Fluid Measure Performance Company

Once upon a time there were three women who pooled their talents and produced their own fractured fairy tales full of the oblique ways and sayings of wise women–that is, witches. Without ever pretending to understand anything, they explored everything–madness, safety, sex, jealousy, fear–using incantatory motion, stories carefully unraveled and woven back together again, and a sly, self-deprecatory sense of humor. Now, on the closing program of the Nights of the Blue Rider SexFest, each member of Fluid Measure Performance Company offers her own new work, though each is very much of a piece with the company’s past. Patricia Pelletier’s The Doorman is about an evil being that lives inside doors and preys on beloved family members–a tale that makes the other two Fluid Measure members roll their eyes. Kathleen Maltese’s Fall, the most kinetic piece, features four whirling, sliding bodies as well as a poetic treatise on falling (“I fit my bones into the empty places”) and strange gasping, creaking, wheezing vocalizations. Donna Mandel’s Tidal Wave tells the most complete and unfractured tale, about a red satin blouse that’s a harbinger of mortality, a bone of contention between mother and daughter, a force of nature that destroys domesticity and peace of mind yet preserves life. Telling riddles, posing conundrums, never bothering to reconcile a rich riot of feelings, Fluid Measure addresses the human condition like no other performance group in town. Also on the program are Pam Linnell’s dream play Coming to My Senses and Dance>Detour’s fusion of movement and text, Moonlight Sonata. Blue Rider Theatre, 1822 S. Halsted, 312-733-4668. Through November 8: Fridays-Saturdays, 8 PM (November 7 and 8, Fluid Measure with Linnell only). $10, $8 for students. –Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.