The combination of beautiful, easy movement and raw insight in the work of the Joe Goode Performance Group is seductive, even irresistible. Watching The Disaster Series and Convenience Boy, I laughed–laughed hard–until the absolute tragedy and unarguable reality of character and situation hit me. Convenience Boy, commissioned by the Dance Center and premiering there next Thursday, is about street kids–homeless, disregarded, disenfranchised–but Goode dissolves all the walls we build between us and them. These kids’ fantasies are our own–we all want a laugh, a safe home, a warm body to hold. If you saw The Disaster Series, you know Goode’s telling use of pop culture icons: in appropriating the images of mass culture–like the waltz scene in The King and I–he first sends them up, then bares their latent meaning. Over and over his work suggests that no matter how hip or aware we may be, we are still susceptible. As part of its residency here Goode’s San Francisco-based company is offering a free public lecture-demonstration at the Harold Washington Library Tuesday at 12:15; master classes at the Dance Center Monday through Friday; a text and movement workshop for local artists at Columbia College on Saturday, February 27, at 10:30; and a workshop for local youth in conjunction with Neon Street, the Lakeview youth-services organization. Performances of Convenience Boy run Thursday through Saturday, February 25 to 27, at 8 PM at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $12-$14. Call 271-7928.

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