Posted inArts & Culture

Deborah Hay

When Deborah Hay choreographs a dance, she has trillions of collaborators: every living cell in her body. Years ago she set herself a unique disciplinary system of what she calls “cellular consciousness,” isolating herself all day, every day, in her studio, training herself to listen to her body’s messages on how to move. The resulting […]

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Chicago Moving Company

With each new dance, Nana Shineflug reinvents herself–or at least reveals a new facet of her personality. She has bounced back from a lot: divorce, alcoholism, childhood rape, her studio burning down twice in ten years. Still dancing at 58, Shineflug knows the everyday victory of just getting through the next dance class, let alone […]

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Ensemble Espanol

It’s a theatrical truism that firelight onstage is effective, whether it’s a candle, a candelabra, or a lit cigarette in the dark: natural burning light magnifies the presence of the performer who holds it. So imagine two dozen dancers holding lit candles as they march from the back of an auditorium down to the stage, […]

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Kast and Company

Maggie Kast has been choreographing dances as striking as her long, prematurely white hair for 30 years. But after all this time she’s still remarkable for her childlike sense of wonder, and the way she transfers this quality to her movements. Her work is also intriguing in its degree of variety; she packs her whole […]

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Spanish Dance in Concert

SPANISH DANCE IN CONCERT Ensemble Espanol at Northeastern Illinois University, October 15 and 16 What makes Spanish dance in general and flamenco in particular so popular is the fact that they’re sexy. The men are usually rail-thin, the women all curves, and their passionate duets steam up the stage. Dame Libby Komaiko, artistic director of […]

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Seduction of the Gods

CLASSICAL DANCE OF INDIA Leela Raja and Pasumarthy Vithal at Ravinia Festival, September 3 MANIPURI NARTANALAYA Jhaveri Sisters Dance Group at Mandel Hall, University of Chicago, September 4 It should come as no surprise that a country as large as India, with its many regional cultures, has a rich and varied dance heritage, each region […]

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The First Butoh

To the editors: In Renaldo Migaldi’s article on the appearance of butoh artist Natsu Nakajima at Randolph Street Gallery [“In Performance: dance of the empty dancer,” July 9], he states that this marked the occasion of the first Japanese butoh performance in Chicago. This information was provided in Randolph Street Gallery’s press material (I received […]

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Human Rhythm Project

Syncopated rhythmic line dances, intricate tangles of footwork, high-flash leaps and turns, swoops and slides, dapper elegance: tap dancers know how to grab your attention. A few years ago downtown commuters would sometimes find a tap dancer in tails–complete with top hat and cane–on the subway platform, his dress and energetic dancing contrasting with the […]

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Festival of Organ and Dance

FESTIVAL OF ORGAN AND DANCE at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church, March 5 Site-specific performances are big favorites among choreographers and dancers. After all, dance deals with ephemeral figures in space, and dancers love to squeeze themselves into odd little challenging or intriguing shapes. Incorporating the odd little nooks and crannies of the room they’re […]

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What’s a Family

DEFINE: FAMILY at Woman Made Gallery It never ceases to amaze me how group shows around a common theme turn out to be so diverse. Woman Made Gallery/Studio/Cafe, a lively new north-side spot, invited 15 artists to exhibit works on their ideas of family–and like families themselves, their interpretations vary incredibly. In fact the common […]