Limbic Fix

Watching contact improvisation can feel like a guilty pleasure, like eavesdropping on a conversation in a bar or restaurant: you know you’re tuning in on an essentially private exchange, but you just can’t help yourself. It’s too interesting. Then, suddenly, it’s not: the energy flags, the talk slows to a fumbling, laconic muddle. Then one person’s provocative remark sets everyone else off and it’s fascinating again. Limbic Fix–Chicago’s only performing contact-improv group–reveals this dynamic in the first half of its upcoming program, “A Particular Fruit: New and Improvised Dances.” In one purposely clotted quintet, everyone remains as much in physical contact with everyone else as possible; in a spare and lovely quintet, everyone moves in isolation to create a landscape that evolves as slowly as shadows in a desert; in various solos, duets, and trios (the “particular fruits” of the title), the performers indulge in eccentric individual motions–one cranes her neck around another woman’s raised leg, for example, to peer at the sole of her foot. The second half features choreographed pieces: Jen Abrams’s new trio Kabbalat Shabbat, about a female Jew greeting the “bride” of the Jewish Sabbath, and Leslie Teng’s solo Solstice, in which she focuses on pivots, fulcrums, axes–those points at which everything can change instantaneously. In one very fine moment, after angrily slamming her arms across a table, Teng balances on it, her legs extended and poised, the exemplar of momentous calm. Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 7 at Link’s Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield; $12. Call 773-973-1169 for tickets and information.

–Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.