Chicago Dance Crash | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Chicago Dance Crash 

Sometimes reinventing the wheel is a good idea. Though Chicago Dance Crash's evening-length Tribulation and the Demolition Squad has plenty of precedents in theater and pop culture, it also feels fresh and unique. And I've seldom seen a dance so effectively blend story and movement, thanks to writer-choreographer Mark Hackman's nuanced, likable protagonist, who delivers the complicated tale in voice-over. Our hero is the Antichrist, who with his four friends confronts a postapocalyptic urban world characterized by gangs, drugs, and lots of partying. The story can be a little silly, but the clever stagecraft and hyperkinetic movement, which runs the gamut from martial arts to stage combat to acrobatics and modern dance, make this 90-minute piece well worth seeing. Especially endearing are the three strong, sinuous dancers who form the Demolition Squad, decked out in netting that highlights every muscle: their interactions with the audience are both comic and a little threatening. Despite its occasional incoherence, the piece is always intelligent, and the narrator's voice is wonderful--deceptively casual, passionate, funny, confiding, self-aware at times, and also self-deluding. Reviewed this week in Section 1. Through 6/26: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM. Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph, 312-742-8497. $15.

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