A gentle feminist, Margi Cole has made dances about women’s experiences since she started her company eight years ago; only 2001’s Reel to Real, which featured tape measures and a voice-over about disguising female figure flaws, was remotely strident. Now, in a new trio called Passages Freed From Soil, Cole takes a look at Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte. Set to the third movement of Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, the piece is a departure for Cole–she says it’s intentionally “slow, deliberate, and simple.” Whether gazing at or away from one another or rolling apart or back together, the dancers convey the sense of relationships constantly shifting but often returning to old patterns. Recently awarded a grant by the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, Cole intends to use it to eventually expand this work into a sextet, adding three male dancers to represent the Bronte sisters’ male alter egos in the publishing world. Also on the program, called “Seven Windows,” is Cole’s new Sinking In, inspired by her dancers’ dreams: of a funeral procession, of riding in a car that gets fished out of Lake Michigan. Gentle, sometimes touchless caresses and manipulations convey a dreamer’s eerie sense that she’s lost her will. Company member Sabrina Cavins says her new solo, Body and Water, is about confronting the self; slow and close to the floor, it suggests rolling around at the bottom of the ocean. Also being performed are Cole’s Hues, a collaboration with Atalee Judy called She Rains, a piece by company member Rachel Nicoli, and a solo for Cole jointly choreographed by her company in which they’re all onstage with her. Weird. Opens Thu 12/16, 8 PM. Through 12/18: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, 773-604-8452, $16-$20.

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