The world of Jan Bartoszek’s choreography is a gracious, orderly one; movements unfold gently, birth comes as surely as death. Her new piece, Falling Into the Sky, part of the “Dances for the Deep Field” program, explores the archetypal relationship between a grandmother and her young granddaughter. Innocent and playful in the beginning, they share the wonders of stars above and rocks below. Each seems to learn something magical from the other. Transitions are inevitable, however, in life and in Bartoszek’s choreography. The poignancy with which she depicts the transition–using masks, puppets, and the motions of angels–brings us closer to the knowledge we carry within us but seldom voice. Equally enchanting is the choreography of Hedwig Dances artistic associate Sheldon B. Smith, which will also be part of the program. His Schubert Dances pays genuine homage to the music of Franz Schubert–but in a surprising way. It too is about transitions: from sleeping to waking and all the absurdities in between. Avian aspirations, midnight fridge raids, dancing in the dark with headphones on, lovesick factory workers, paddling down a clear brook on a summer’s eve and catching sight of a lovely gentleman on the bank: these images slip in and slide out, making us laugh at their sweet humanity. Closing the program is Conversation II, a collaboration between Bartoszek and Hema Rajagopalan, artistic director of Natyakalalayam Dance Company, that deftly blends India’s ancient bharata natyam with modern dance. Free preview of Bartoszek’s work Friday at 4 in the dance studio of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; call 907-2192, 744-6630, or 346-3278 for info. Regular performances Thursday, June 13, at 7 and next Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $10-$14 ($35 for benefit performance/party Thursday). Call 907-2192 or 989-3310 for tickets and information. –Maura Troester
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/William Frederking.