Jan Erkert & Dancers

Love poems are doubly risky. Not only do you make yourself vulnerable by having feelings for a treacherous other, you open yourself up to ridicule and public humiliation when you put those feelings down in words, leaving a paper trail–a record of often humbling thoughts and emotions. “You say ‘I will come’ and you do not come. / Now you say you will not come so I shall expect you. / Have I learned to understand you?” These lines come from Japanese love poetry over 1,000 years old, the basis for Jan Erkert’s vibrant, moving new piece in six sections, Love Poems. The writer and the object of affection have been dead for a millennium, but you, dear reader, may recognize the thoughts. And during Erkert’s spring concerts, you’ll have the opportunity to jot down your own lines of triumph or disappointment, amusement or tragedy, and see them used (anonymously) during the performance. Also on the program is last year’s UnWeavings, which explores the final stages of love rather than its beginnings. That piece features a textile set design by Laurie Wohl and music by Gustavo Leone performed live by two harpists and vocalist Louise Cloutier; Love Poems employs an original score by Claudia Howard Queen and Kris Cahill’s gauzy white costumes. Take a chance on these dances by a generous artist; they’re well worth the risk. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 3 through March 22 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport; $15-$18, $12 apiece for groups of ten or more. Call 312-902-1500 for tickets, 773-935-6860 for information. –Laura Molzahn

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