Jan Bartoszek’s choreography unfolds so gently and graciously that it sometimes seems her movement makes its own music. Neither highly theatrical nor completely abstract, Bartoszek’s dances are poignantly human.

They feel familiar yet otherworldly, landscapes of the soul filled with bittersweet emotions. Her new piece, Clearing, Made of Dream, takes its inspiration from the transformation of winter into spring. It begins slowly and heavily, then bursts open but in a natural, gentle way. Her strong dancers move like the wind, as if they alone were the force that causes the snow to melt and the trees to bud. Artistic associate Sheldon B. Smith’s 5-Line Sheave deftly explores love and dependency through intricate variations on the simple acts of reaching and falling. And Bartoszek’s Sweet Baby, Baby Suite, a musing on the joys and pains of early motherhood, finishes the program. Thursday through next Saturday, April 21-23, at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $12-$15, $4 discount for students and seniors. Call 271-7928 for tickets and information.

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