Now in its second year, this showcase of modern dance was “not necessarily” just a response to Dance Chicago, the behemoth festival making its ninth appearance in November. Still, Other cocurator Kay LaSota says modern work isn’t well served by Dance Chicago’s format, where the programs can be crowded–as many as 13 companies on one bill–and “commercially and entertainment” oriented. All the companies in the Other Dance Festival have entertained me, at least on occasion, but in a thought-provoking way. Produced by the Chicago Moving Company (LaSota is a CMC member, as is cocurator Elizabeth Lentz), this two-week festival includes plenty of old and new pieces by some of the city’s most popular and challenging modern-dance companies. Mordine & Company Dance Theatre reprises one of Shirley Mordine’s most moving recent works, the quintet Haven’t Heard From You; set to Mozart, it’s lovely but by no means easy. Hedwig Dances performs two pieces from its spring 2003 program, artistic director Jan Bartoszek’s What Lies Between and Renee Wadleigh’s Totem, while the Seldoms offer Ode, Hi! Performance (Sheldon B. Smith and Lisa Wymore) stages excerpts from Deseret, and Mad Shak Dance Company presents a section from My Luscious Demise. Among the brand-new pieces are a solo choreographed by Colleen Halloran for Margi Cole of the Dance COLEctive; a movement-and-music trio by Shu Shubat of Jellyeye with Oliver Seay and Michael Tooles; an “apocalyptic” trio by Atalee Judy of Breakbone DanceCo. (which just completed a much praised run of Logotype vs2.1 at Ideotech gallery); Nana Shineflug’s ensemble piece, The So-Called Laws of Nature, for CMC; and Cindy Brandle’s “fast and furious” trio, also for CMC. On October 2 and 3: the Dance COLEctive, Lucky Plush Productions, Mad Shak Dance Company, the Seldoms, Shu Shubat, and the Chicago Moving Company in Shineflug’s work in progress. On October 9 and 10: Breakbone DanceCo., Hedwig Dances, Hi! Performance, Mordine & Company Dance Theatre, Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre, and Brandle’s trio for CMC. Hamlin Park field house, 3035 N. Hoyne, 773-880-5402. Opens Thursday, October 2, 7:30 PM. Through October 10: Thursdays-Fridays, 7:30 PM. $10-$12; $20 for a two-week fest pass, good for admission one night of each program.

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