In Chicago's kaleidoscope of a performance scene people fall together and apart, forming new and different patterns, often over a period of many years. Dancers Carrie Hanson and Susan Hoffman and performance artist Doug Stapleton have been kicking around the city for a while and worked together (with a few others) on a piece in 2000 called The Flying Man's Falling Thoughts. Now they've formed a group called the Seldoms, giving its debut concert this weekend. But there's nothing naive or unseasoned about this new company, which includes some wonderful veteran guest artists, among them dancers Mark Schulze and Julia Rhoads and composer Dave Pavkovic. In fact, though "Post" is a repertory concert and not a collaboration, it has a theme, and a rather middle-aged one at that: the fragility of human life. Hanson's Exi(s)t uses projections of medical imagery (including video taken by an angioscope) as a backdrop for movement that's sometimes pedestrian (sitting slumped, legs sticking straight out), tender (placing a cheek on another's back), or evocative of the body's marvels (the way forearm, wrist, and fingers can rotate in multiple directions). Stapleton, in his solo I Wake Up Empty, one in a series based on the poems of Sufi mystic Jalaluddin Rumi, speculates on the effect of death on desire. Placing one hand at his breastbone, the other just above his groin, he intones, "I'm so busy all the time and worried that I'll reach for you and you won't be there," then pokes himself in the stomach repeatedly, saying "worry, worry" over and over. Hoffman's In Shadow, expanded from a solo she performed last fall and in part a response to September 11, frames dancers with jagged cutout panels that isolate their alternately compassionate and alienated interactions. Also on the program is Hoffman's Doors, Windows, Through I See and a video, Refuge, by Terry Brooks of Hanson's choreography (performed by Hoffman and Stapleton), inspired by the sinking of a shipful of Jewish refugees off the coast of Turkey in 1942. Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western, 312-328-0303. Opens Thursday, May 9, 8 PM. Through May 12: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 7 PM. $10-$15.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Doug Stapleton.