Zephyr Dance Opening (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through June 6 2009

One of Chicago's newest performance venues--the bare, decayed, but majestic Epiphany Episcopal Church--adds an agreeable mystery to the two oblique premieres on Zephyr Dance's triple bill. Essentially formal studies, both pieces gain shading as the dancers get lost in the murky distance of the church's vast, towering nave or plop down under our noses. Artistic director Michelle Kranicke says her ambitious Erased Dance is "more about smearing than erasing." Set to a score of everyday sounds recorded and then digitally modified by Michael Caskey, the enigmatic work communicates a ghostly sense of deja vu as its simple, pared movements and formations dissolve and re-form. The historic space heightens both the performers' focused intensity and their cool dissociation. For The Forest, associate artistic director Emily Stein had each dancer improvise a response to the sentence "This dance is a tree." She then shaped the material into four distinctive, sometimes overlapping solos, each set at a different spot in the nave. By the end, the dancers have not only shifted positions but also the character of their movement under one another's influence. Kranicke's Interlude No. 2 completes the program. --Laura Molzahn

Price: $15-$20

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