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

Dancing Across State Lines 

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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 trees outside her window, wondering if anything will start again. An abstract dance that evokes the suspended time between dreaming and waking, it's also about memories being distorted over time, according to Kranicke. This well-danced quartet is set to a sound design by Scott Silberstein that mixes passionate Patti Smith songs with the ethereal, desolate minimalism of Arvo Part's music; three other pieces round out Zephyr's part of the program. Peter Sparling and Co., an Ann Arbor-based troupe led by former Martha Graham dancer Sparling, will present three dances on the same program, the third annual "Dancing Across State Lines" event. When Sparling dances, he makes Graham's iconography work by putting his heart into every gesture, but many of his young dancers prefer a jazz attack. For them he's choreographed the jazzy, entertaining Dances From Popular Songs, set to Rickie Lee Jones and James Brown, among others. Friday and Saturday at 8 at Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett; $10-$15. Call 773-989-8225 for tickets and information.

--Terry Brennan

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/ Bill Frederking.

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