Posted inArts & Culture

The Blasian March comes to Chicago

On plantations in the 1800s, plantation owners used diversity as a means of division. “We lay great stress on the necessity of having our labor mixed. By employing different nationalities, there is less danger of collusion among laborers,” reports an 1883 Planters Monthly article. Sowing division was essential to maintaining the oppression of the working […]

Posted inTheater Review

Dimming of the day

“When people die, they move from the first person to the third person. They also move from the present tense to the past tense.” These words are spoken by Christine (Kendra Thulin), who opens Simon Stephens’s Light Falls, directed by Robin Witt, by narrating her own death—sudden, solitary, and mundane in a liquor store in […]

Posted inTheater Review

Native tongues

The grounds are defined by meandering turns of grass and dirt, a rainfall of lightbulbs, a shining blue curve that sometimes picks up projections and reflections of what might be ghosts or clouds, and a dotted line made of glass bottles of water. Amid these clear and reflective surfaces, natural elements and their simulations curbed […]

Posted inTheater Review

Just skating by

The year is 1994, and rock star Jacqueline Miller (Diana DeGarmo) is zigzagging the country on a tour. Her dishonest manager has absconded with her earnings, her deadbeat saxophonist boyfriend (Ace Young) is either cheating or has forgotten her birthday, and she’s going on Oprah tomorrow but just lost the cover of Rolling Stone to […]

Posted inDance

Romance languages

Two years into this pestilence, the misery of war, the disappointment of mankind day after day weighing down desperate minds, with a future certain of nothing but social and planetary destruction, do we not long for a reprieve? As the nobleman Alonso Quijano sought glory in the guise of the knight Don Quixote, as a […]

Posted inDance

Light drives the story in TAKE

On an industrial strip of Rockwell just off Elston, beyond a white door with numbers painted in red, past a makeshift bar, through a dark curtain lies a white brick room filled with smoke. Through the haze, folding chairs line each wall, leaving bare an expanse of concrete, above which soar long sheets of white […]

Posted inArts & Culture

‘Afong Moy was a real person’

The year was 1834. Indigenous communities were being displaced from their ancestral homelands on the forced march known as the Trail of Tears. Over two million people of African descent were enslaved. And America’s first model minority, Afong Moy, was imported to New York: a 14-year-old girl with bound feet, made to perform for the […]

Posted inDance

Binary ballets

The evening begins with Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk’s melancholy Melody meandering through the auditorium, a haunting tune that invites contemplation. Curtain down, panels bordering the stage lit in blue and yellow, vines rise in relief where pillars would seem to stand: a ruin retaken by foliage or a reminder of the interdependence of nature and […]

Posted inTheater Review

Gossamer robots

“Robot”: from robota, Czech for “forced labor,” coined in 1920 in Karel Čapek’s play Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti (Rossum’s Universal Robots), meaning not machines made of metal, gears, wheels, and bolts, but artificial life forms of manmade flesh and blood, indistinguishable from us though of alternative origin, usage, and intention. But the idea of inventions that […]

Posted inDance

‘A lot of us took on breaking because we were missing something from our lives’

Feet sizzle and fly like minced onions on a hot pan. Limbs wind into a knot, then spring loose. Fulminant levitation—transformation of momentum into moving sculpture—acrobatic play. When someone falls, it’s kidneys to concrete. Toprocks, footwork, power moves, threading, freezes: infinitely variable elements that throw bodies down to the ground and up to the sky […]