When choreographer Margi Cole received a grant from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, she used part of it to buy herself some men–three, to be exact. For Written on the Body, her piece about the Bronte sisters, Cole wanted to include their male alter egos–they wrote under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell–but she hasn’t often employed men in her ten-year-old troupe. She also used the money to travel to the Brontes’ home in Haworth, Yorkshire, where she came to understand the family’s social and physical isolation, located as they were on the desolate moors, their home surrounded by a cemetery. In a single year Charlotte–the longest lived of the four siblings, dying at 38–watched Anne, Emily, and their ne’er-do-well brother, Branwell, all die. Cole’s dense, layered piece pairs each sister with her male counterpart, but more significant than the historical figures is the matrix of intimacy and sorrow the three of them together create and inhabit. Kevin O’Donnell’s original score is richly evocative but never sentimental; Michael Cole supplies a videoscape. Also on the program are Cole’s new Second Wind, Pam Hoffman McNeil’s Curious Alice, and Ann Boyd’s . . . Through Night Long as Rain. . . . 11/17-11/19: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 7 PM. Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn, 773-604-8452. $16 in advance, $20 at the door; $40 for the show and a postperformance benefit on Saturday.

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