Violent mood swings are the dominant feature of Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16, which Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is giving its U.S. premiere in the company’s fall engagement downtown. The music ranges from a Dean Martin song to cha-cha and mambo tunes to a heavy-metal version of “Havah Nagilah.” The always inventive choreography is similarly schizoid–sometimes humorous, sometimes introspective, sometimes angry and militant. But I don’t mean to suggest that Naharin’s channel-flipping approach is casual or unmotivated: it seems he might be speculating on groupthink versus individual experience. Whatever, his crazy quilt is bound to be gorgeous given the expertise of the Hubbard Street dancers, whose attention to detail has always been exquisite. Watching current ballet master Lucas Crandall drill the 16 dancers in this piece was a treat in itself: in one of many colorful corrections, he distinguished the proper collapsed wrist over a forehead from a wrist flexed “so far it says ‘woe is me.'” The engagement also features a world premiere by American choreographer Trey McIntyre, Split, set to the music of Art Blakey; Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort (“Small Death”), premiered last spring; and Harrison McEldowney’s lighthearted dance on a heavy subject, Group Therapy. Tuesday through Thursday, October 5, at 7:30; next Friday, October 6, at 8; next Saturday, October 7, at 3 and 8; and next Sunday, October 8, at 3 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph, Chicago; $17-$50. Call 312-902-1400 for tickets.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/William Frederking.