Posted inArts & Culture

Sankai Juku

If any proof is needed that the Japanese have done more than just imitate the West in the last 50 years, butoh is it. Butoh–or ankyoku butoh, the “dance of darkness,” as it was originally called–emerged in the mid 1960s as the most extreme of postwar reactions in art, a “scream against the sky,” to […]

Posted inNews & Politics

City File

“We [homeless people] know that $5 an hour is not enough to get an apartment without some type of subsidy,” writes Joel Alfassa in StreetWise (October 16-31). “And of course, a situation where subsidies are necessary is not good for anyone in our country. . . . We know that it takes at least $7.50 […]

Posted inColumns & Opinion

Savage Love

Hey, Faggot: I saw that letter from the black guy who prefers white women and had a rollicking good laugh. This poor slob really believes the way to a white woman’s heart is “pussy-eating and romantic evenings.” My advice: stop reading Hustler magazine, honey. I’ve polled white women, and practically none of them listed “potential […]

Posted inMusic

Jennifer Larmore

JENNIFER LARMORE Last year at age 37, roughly a decade after her debut with a regional company in France, Atlanta-born mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore finally took her first bows at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. On Friday, she’ll make her first local appearance, in a solo recital at the University of Chicago–a belated homecoming for this longtime […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Calendar Photo Caption

Like much of Kim Dingle’s art, this tattooed, porcelain pugilist in a frilly dress depicts what art critic Anne Ayres calls a “vision of a bizarre, ordinary, grotesque, cheerful, dubious, matter-of-fact American childhood.” Priss is part of a series that revisits the American West and populates it with pugnacious, prepubescent girls. The Los Angeles-based painter, […]

Posted inMusic

Spot Check

Stella 11/22, Beat Kitchen Curt Perkins’s pensive, detached bellow on this quartet’s upcoming debut for Beggars Banquet briefly fooled me into thinking Mark Hollis of Talk Talk (whose most interesting work came after his early-80s techno-pop hits) had returned in a harder-edged guitar-band context. But on closer inspection, it turns out that this band has […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Last Good Moment of Lily Baker

THE LAST GOOD MOMENT OF LILY BAKER, Mary-Arrchie Theatre. It would be a challenge for any company to make Russell Davis’s atrophied play engaging, given the playwright’s penchant for excessive exposition and his jumbled point-and-click style, which jumps from Hollywood melodrama to TV sitcom to metaphor-soaked naturalism with slight regard for structural integrity. While Kay […]

Posted inNews & Politics

The Straight Dope

If the earth stopped spinning would we fall off of it? Which way would we fall if we did? Or would there just be less gravity? –Grant Shepard, age seven, Oak Park, Illinois You gotta be prepared for anything, kid. If you’d asked this a couple years ago I would have said, “The earth stop […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Dancing Across State Lines

The last couple of dances that Zephyr Dance Ensemble artistic director Michelle Kranicke has choreographed have had an understated elegiac quality, a sorrow that insinuates itself into every movement. Her new Memory Slipped conveys a feeling of quiet abandonment, perhaps the feeling of a woman with two children asleep in the house gazing at the […]

Posted inFilm

Madame Butterfly

Translating opera into film requires a director who can grasp the narrative stripped of music, then come up with a visual strategy that sustains the emotional resonances and rhythms of the music. Few reach the standard set by Ingmar Bergman and Joseph Losey in their thoughtful and visually imaginative adaptations of two of Mozart’s masterpieces. […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Field & Street

The storm that hit the day before Halloween marked the end of the soft autumn days that provide Chicago with its annual taste of perfect weather. The seasonal shift announced itself at my house about 3 AM, when the wind blew a large packing box into the fence under my bedroom window. I awoke expecting […]