With each new dance, Nana Shineflug reinvents herself–or at least reveals a new facet of her personality. She has bounced back from a lot: divorce, alcoholism, childhood rape, her studio burning down twice in ten years. Still dancing at 58, Shineflug knows the everyday victory of just getting through the next dance class, let alone the next performance. When she blends her gracefully aging dancer’s body with her fertile mind, stories from her life, and her wise sense of humor, as she does in her recently reworked On Surviving, the dance is masterful. In one of its most moving sections, she sits on a bench tearing pages out of a book, ripping each one into tiny pieces while she talks about her fractured relationship with her family, each cascade of paper falling, like the loose ends of her life, into a cathartic heap. A new piece, Egypt, is based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead and her own recent trip to the Middle East; Winston Damon’s score employs rain sticks, cymbals, goat hooves, and a music-making sculpture specially made for this concert. At the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan, Friday and Saturday and next Friday and Saturday, February 4 and 5, at 8, $8-$12. Special matinee concerts for young people, people with disabilities, and senior citizens Tuesday and next Thursday, February 3, at 10 AM and noon; $4. Call 271-7928 or 880-5402 for tickets and information.

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