Beppie Blankert and Dansers Studio

The third of four presentations in the EuroContempo portion of the Spring Festival of Dance is a full-length piece by Dutch choreographer Beppie Blankert. Oddly, Volume 2 is the second work she’s done about composer Charles Ives: given his penchant for American folk songs and spirituals and his solid grounding in New England life, I would have considered him a uniquely homegrown artist, perhaps not completely accessible to the European mind. Yet Blankert has created a piece with the same easy, colloquial swing and lilt as his music. Especially stunning is a springy, free shifting of the dancer’s weight from one leg to the other, set to a somewhat distorted march–like Ives, Blankert gives the traditional form a playful twist. Also impressive is the lighting design, especially in the first part, when a strong, cold illumination as bright as sunshine on an April morning gives each dancer a long, crisp shadow, a kind of exclamation point that follows him or her around the stage. Ives’s music is to be played live by local musicians; altogether Blankert’s stodgy-sounding Volume 2 promises to be a music and dance lover’s delight. Free preview Wednesday at 12 at the Daley Civic Center, 50 W. Washington; call 312-346-3278 for info. Regular performances Thursday, April 16, through next Saturday, April 18, at 8 and next Sunday, April 19, at 3 in the theater of the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago; $20. Call 773-989-3310 or 312-397-4010 for tickets and information. –Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Marco Borggreve.