Breakbone DanceCo. | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Breakbone DanceCo. 

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Atalee Judy's Logotype vs2.1 is a big, big dance. Seeing it in its entirety the way I did at a rehearsal last weekend--as opposed to catching one or two of its seven sections on this or that occasion--makes this fact abundantly clear. It's big because it's got so much in it: live music, recorded music, projected videos throughout the 70-minute piece, and Judy's trademark "bodyslam" movement--dancing so violent and raw it raises the hairs on your neck. Rhythmic coordination of the video editing, the music, and the movement onstage ensures an overwhelming feast for the senses, but the piece is also thoughtful and coherent. Each section flows naturally into the next, connected by a feeling, a movement, an idea. Judy's choreography addresses the relationships between abandonment and anger, anger and depression, cynicism and acceptance in a visceral way. Moreover she gives these psychological terms a cultural dimension, as in the section called "Logotype 02," danced by all nine members of the newly enlarged company. An opening vignette in which Judy is doused in a toxic "shower" and costumes that consist of gas masks and striped jumpsuits make the context clear: this is yet another re-creation of the Holocaust. But this one works. The angriest of the sections, it isn't merely furious: when the performers remove their masks and strip down to flesh-colored underwear, Judy suggests we've all been on both sides of the oppressed/oppressor fence. The movement at the end of this section makes it clear that the alternative to rage is debilitating sadness and submission, a thought that leads fluidly to the next section, which addresses our culture's view of women. Slightly revised since its June 2002 premiere and restaged in a smallish art gallery with high ceilings, Logotype vs2.1 makes us feel we're sitting in a maelstrom at the bottom of a well. Ideotech, 2000 W. Fulton, room 310, 773-588-4582. Opens Thursday, August 28, 8 PM. Through September 7: Thursdays-Sundays, 8 PM. $12; Thursdays "pay what you can."

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