Maureen Fleming and Loretta Livingston

If contortionists make your stomach churn, you won’t like Maureen Fleming. Ditto if you’re offended by nudity onstage. But if you’re a fan of the human body’s abstract beauty–of its rolling, shifting planes, ridges, and bumps–Fleming’s solo After Eros should be a treat. A New Yorker who was born in Japan, Fleming’s twisting, iceberg-slow style of movement has been influenced by butoh–and in press materials she talks about an injury from a car accident in Japan when she was two (which her mother told her about) caused by a bicyclist who rode away laughing. In a rather goofy gloss on the story, Fleming connects the bicyclist with the mythical figure of Eros (hence the work’s title) and in effect casts herself as Psyche, the mortal woman so beautiful she incited Venus’s wrath and Eros’s love. Of course the title also implies eroticism–and there is a sexual undercurrent to After Eros, which transforms Fleming’s body into an icon suitable for religious contemplation, though perhaps a lover would be more inclined than an ordinary audience member to worship her in this way. After Eros is accompanied by novelist David Henry Hwang’s original text and Philip Glass’s original music. Loretta Livingston, a fifth-generation Californian and former member of the Lewitzky Dance Company, appears on the same program, which kicks off the “Changing Channels Festival” at the Dance Center of Columbia College; she’ll premiere Solo Traveler (“Viajera Sola”), said to pay homage to the “Mexican history and global border identity of Los Angeles.” Thursday, April 22, through next Saturday, April 24, at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $20. Call 773-989-3310 for tickets and information. –Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Maureen Fleming photo by Lois Greenfield.