Compagnie Marie Chouinard | Museum of Contemporary Art | Dance | Chicago Reader
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Choreographer Marie Chouinard likes to make an impact. In her solo Afternoon of a Faun, performed here in 1995, a woman grows a penis. A 2000 program included a solo that consisted entirely of the female performer drinking water, then peeing in a bucket. In Chouinard's Orpheus and Eurydice, being performed this weekend by the Montreal-based company, men and women alike are bare from the waist up and wear gold pasties. Like most of the costume choices here, including feathery ear decorations reminiscent of Swan Lake, this one makes the dancers seem regal, even mythic. No worries about following the story: there's a spoken precis near the beginning of the 65-minute piece that's later fleshed out, so to speak—with plenty of simulated masturbation, intercourse, and cunnilingus. The dancers' spastic grimaces and tortured utterances are even more bizarre, recapitulating ancient Greek theatrical masks and rooting the poetry of the piece in anguish. Wrapped in a cloak of high art, Chouinard's outre treatment makes the story strange, ritualistic, inhuman. --Laura Molzahn



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