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According to Nana Shineflug, in Bali there’s no word for art. It’s simply part of communicating with the spirit world–as essential to daily living as eating or breathing–keeping bad spirits at bay and the mind, body, and soul well balanced. For Shineflug, one of the city’s oldest choreographers (she turns 60 next year), dance seems to serve the same function. She and the Chicago Moving Company are always moving, always taking journeys that are essentially spiritual. Last winter Shineflug spent six weeks studying the dance and visiting the people of Bali, and the result is a full-length work, In the Water, that’s part travelogue, part art. In it Shineflug attempts to integrate her identity as Western choreographer with her experience of the Eastern world as seamlessly as the Balinese integrate art and life. Her traditionally lyrical movement is still apparent, but so are Balinese hand gestures (taken from Buddhist statues), masks, videos of a Balinese funeral, and discussions of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Performed with grace and alacrity by Shineflug’s seven dancers, the dance exudes a gentle spirituality; together its varied pieces hint at the presence of some far greater force. Friday and Saturday and next Friday and Saturday, June 23 and 24, at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $10-$12 (a silent auction and reception will follow this Saturday’s performance). Call 271-7928 for tickets and info.

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