Founded 30 years ago, the Chicago Moving Company has never shied away from current events–though its approach is seldom predictable. Two of the three new pieces on this program, “Threads,” were inspired or influenced by the events of September 11. Founder-artistic director Nana Shineflug offers Altered, a piece for five dancers and one runner, who jogs in place at a corner of the stage throughout. A highly visceral response to crisis and tragedy, Altered is often agitated, though there are also supportive group tableaux. Warlike posturing (for instance, the archer’s pose in yoga) alternates with self-protective gestures: arms pushed out, head lowered, torso contracted. Prerecorded video sequences and live-feed video by Ron Boyd add a second and third layer. Shineflug emphasizes that the piece is not nationalistic and that we need to understand history. Artistic director Cindy Brandle says although she started Slip soon after September 11, “it’s not specifically about that day but about feelings of life being so precarious and people slipping away from you.” Though Brandle originally wanted to create something “very aggressive, athletic and driving,” she came to feel she needed to be more compassionate in her approach. Accompanied by electronic music performed live by Milkbaby’s Barry Bennett, the choreography often keeps the five dancers at a distance from one another, and near embraces tend to fall apart, though one dancer sometimes clasps another from behind. The third premiere is Shineflug’s improvised solo Truth, about the importance of honesty in relationships. Also on the bill are Brandle’s abstract trio Duplicate, set to music by Moby, and Shineflug’s goofy Love Songs, set to music by the Magnetic Fields. Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 S. Michigan, 312-344-8300. Opens Thursday, April 11, 8 PM. Through April 13: Friday, 8 PM; Saturday, 3 and 8 PM (the matinee is family oriented). $20.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Erika Dufour.