Dancing Across State Lines | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Dancing Across State Lines 

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Zephyr Dance Ensemble artistic director Michelle Kranicke has created two new dances that sneak up on you. At first her duet A Minor Concern seems merely a catalog of quirky movement, made even more disjointed by its accompaniment: a singsong children's ditty. But the movement starts to create a logic of its own, the logic of a broken windup toy. When Tom Waits's music begins in the second half of the dance, the movement becomes more assured and driving, delivering an emotional punch, a sort of absent grief over things that have never been found. Kranicke describes her second premiere, a solo for herself, as "an abstract work about desire and the reactions of others"; the image that came to my mind as I watched a tape was of a moist pocket of the soul that was beyond both desire and loss. The second half of the solo, which seems to focus on the reaction of others, becomes a little too self-judgmental. Zephyr, the host of "Dancing Across State Lines," has invited the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble of Rochester, Michigan, to join them for this year's event. The dances by Laurie Eisenhower that I saw on tape are as extroverted as Kranicke's dances are introspective. Besides two of Eisenhower's pieces, the company will perform David Parson's Three Courtesies, a courtly dance for three couples dressed in 18th-century costumes. Friday and Saturday at 8 at Triton College, 2000 Fifth in River Grove; $10-$15. Call 989-8225 for tickets and information.

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