CHICAGO MOVING COMPANY
If there’s any Western dance equivalent to the oriental forms of No and the martial arts, intended to produce beauty and cosmic connection throughout a lifetime, it’s choreography like that by Nana Shineflug, especially her new 25th-anniversary Chicago Moving Company creation, Coming Forth by Day. At the heart of this work, inspired by a new translation by Normondi Ellies of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, is a solo by Shineflug herself, “On Becoming Ptah.” Its refrain– “making, making, making,” a spoken text recorded as part of the score–sums up Shineflug’s vision, in which craft is an act of worship, a means of understanding nature, and a moral contribution to the world. Unlike other modern dancers who are locked into the physical, Shineflug recognizes and honors a creator apparent in the actions of the universe–sunrise, generation, seasonality–and in human interaction. Her themes are those of the soul’s journey. Shapes like ancient Ptolemaic stones for measuring the heavens identify cosmic motion, then evolve in later action. Egypt is evoked by the occasional archaic posture and rhythmic patterns linked into great canopies. Here is something Greek, Egyptian, Mayan–and modern. The dancers take cues from one another, just as the divine process and worldly work interpenetrate. Thursday, June 12, Friday, and Saturday at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $10-$12. Call 773-989-3310 for tickets and information. –Joseph Houseal
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): performance photo.