Posted inArts & Culture

The art of access

On Sunday, August 13, from 1 to 4 PM, the Art Institute of Chicago hosted Cripping the Galleries, a series of live gallery activations through the lenses of crip culture, access, and belonging by Chicago dance artists in collaboration with Bodies of Work: A Network of Disability Art and Culture and the Museum of Contemporary […]

Posted inDance

From Skokie to Spain

Skokie is a suburb on the north side of Chicago with a cemetery on one side of the street and a cosmetic surgeon on the other, where a designated forest preserve is a square patch of land about one residential block in length and width. Signage abounds: “No Trespassing” in the parking lot by a […]

Posted inTheater Review

Asian American renegades

When you hear “Charlie Chan,” do you think of a Honolulu police detective with a penchant for fortune cookie proverbs in pidgin English, who was made into an American icon in six novels by Ohioan Earl Derr Biggers and portrayed in yellowface by mostly white actors, including Swedish actor Warner Oland (who also played the […]

Posted inDance

Malevolent enchantment

Through a wash of watercolor sea, as if glimpsed through a periscope, a lighted box appears, within which a poet writes lines in cursive script: “Far far out to sea, where the water is blue as a cornflower and clear as a crystal . . .” It isn’t once upon a time in Hans Christian […]

Posted inDance

Duels and duets

The lobby filled with the heat of many bodies on April 8 for closing night of Shamel Pitts|TRIBE’s Touch of Red, the first program of the MCA’s spring On Stage series on Blackness and movement, Frictions, curated by Tara Aisha Willis. By the spiral staircase, the short film Touch of Red: Overture plays on a […]

Posted inDance

Trilogy of terpsichore

In 2016, the Chicago Cultural Center presented the exhibition Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen. Built by the Dutch inventor since 1990 and described by their maker as “new forms of life,” strandbeests surpass their man-made material—PVC pipes—to become something animate and other, each with dozens of narrow yellow legs. Simultaneously archaic and advanced, […]

Posted inTheater Review

The three faces of Joan

Joan of Arc: history or apocrypha, saint or schizophrenic, myth or martyr? We’re all mad here, suggests Trap Door Theatre’s vivacious U.S. premiere production of Matei Vişniec’s Joan and the Fire (2007), translated by Jeremy Lawrence and directed by Nicole Wiesner. Down a narrow alleyway, through a restaurant, beyond an unimposing doorway, lies a world […]

Posted inDance

Bodies and metaphors

Downstage right is a cabinet of crystal figurines, concentrating the light to shimmer with rainbows. Their allure is hypnotic: ghostly against the dark curtain, reflection distorted on the marley; delicious as diamonds but far more fragile, they remain in place throughout the performance, surely shivering with every footfall on the floor. Stacked stage left are […]