The Challenge (Desequilibre) | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Challenge (Desequilibre)


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Poetic, sexy, humorous, and haunting, this nonverbal performance piece showcases a fine quartet of young artist-athletes from Montreal, the DynamO Theatre. Employing a variety of movement vocabularies--including modern, jazz, and break dancing, ballet, and circus tumbling--the ensemble portrays the social and sexual evolution of four youngsters, from school-yard games (increasingly violent in their competitiveness) to emerging sexuality to a fascinatingly ambiguous finale in which the cast is literally swallowed up by a mysterious pyramid. Effectively addressing adolescent anxieties in a universal movement-based language, The Challenge also generates visceral excitement with its sometimes breathtaking acrobatics, the performers relying on split-second timing to negotiate their complex interaction. Exquisitely moody lighting adds a dreamlike quality to the proceedings. The lively, luminous result, which suggests a Cirque du Soleil version of West Side Story with Jean Cocteau directing, is sure to provoke excitement and introspection, especially among the younger viewers to whom the work seems most poignantly addressed. Centre East, 7701 N. Lincoln, Skokie, 708-673-6300. Friday, March 31, 8 PM. $17-$20.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo/Pierre Crepo.

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