Synapse Arts Collective | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Synapse Arts Collective

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"Hideous Transformations," a show organized by Synapse Arts Collective, isn't nearly as dire as it sounds. Subtitled "Strange Tales of the Ordinary," it highlights the oddity of often-overlooked activities and experiences. Synapse artistic director Rachel Damon presents a reworked piece from 2003, Language Body, set to her complex, layered score of involuntary sounds: sighing, snoring, sneezing, yawning, retching, laughing. More often humorous than horrifying, this study of human habits creates a bizarre universe out of everyday actions. Associate director Bethany Betzler's whimsical Left in the Ghost is inspired by the experience of entering a space recently occupied by others whose presence seems to linger. A duet she performs with Damon, it also suggests deja vu and the feeling of recognizing people you don't know. Both choreographers present new works as well, company member Kristin Helfrich displays her photos, and SAC production manager Brad Norris offers a shadow-play take on the Minotaur story. Guest artists include Columbia College faculty member Lisa Gonzales, choreographer Margaret Morris, musician Adam Sonderberg, and Nicole Garneau and Erica Mott in an evolving performance piece featuring live music. Thu-Sun 6/1-6/4, 8 PM, Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, 773-281-0824, $10-$12. A postshow reception Friday is free to performance attendees.

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