Seeded Ground: An Evening of Improvised Dances

I like the idea of seeds in relation to improvisation: you can plant this little idea, word, image, or rule of the game and in a matter of minutes produce a big, flowering bush with its own eccentric symmetry. Selene Carter–the director of this evening of on-the-spot dance–has also been seeded: over the last year she’s studied with five master improvisers, among them Nancy Stark Smith, who helped found contact improv with Steve Paxton, and Simone Forti. Now she pays tribute to each of their techniques and philosophies, gathering some of Chicago’s most venerable performers for her experiment: Kathleen Maltese, who’s been one-third of Fluid Measure Performance Company since the late 70s and who founded the amazing contact-improv group Limbic Fix four years ago; Leslie Teng, who was a founding member of Limbic Fix; Donna Mandel, another one-third of Fluid Measure; Sheldon B. Smith, whose eccentric choreographic vision and original music have enlivened the Chicago dance scene for many years; Bob Eisen, whose improvised solos and chance-directed group works have been the sine qua non of Chicago dance improvisation for decades; and Charlie Vernon, a founder of Link’s Hall (and Reader contributor) who returns to the stage after a five-year hiatus. Carter also performs, and John Fishback provides lighting and sound design. Of course each evening will be a crapshoot, but with this much talent and dedication invested, the outlook is promising. Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 7 at Link’s Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield; $10. Call 773-784-5386 for tickets and information.

–Laura Molzahn

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