Deeply Rooted Dance Theater | Harold Washington Cultural Center | Dance | Chicago Reader
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Deeply Rooted Dance Theater 

When: Every other day 2009
Price: $25-$45
Two new works from this company grounded in "the rich traditions of the African-American aesthetic" offer contrasting kinetic manifestations of that aesthetic. 53 Inhale--a sextet by associate artistic director Gary Abbott, about looking back at friends and mentors from the vantage point of middle age--is often abrupt, angular, brassy. Dancers sometimes slap the floor between sections as if to say, "Pay attention!" Touch, by artistic director Kevin Iega Jeff, is much more laid-back: juicy, soft, seemingly spontaneous. Each of its three sections is set to a different song by an African-American icon--first Nina Simone, then Aretha Franklin, and finally Bobby McFerrin singing "Sweet in the Morning." A single male dancer begins the McFerrin section, standing still at first, then slowly, asymmetrically pulling his shoulders back in a motion that takes his arms along for the ride. Though Touch has its ta-da moments, overall its duets create a sense of gradually developing intimacy and passion. Completing the program are Nicole Clarke Springer's Nine in its company premiere, Jeff and Abbott's 2006 Ferrotype, and Jeff's 1991 Church of Nations.
— Laura Molzahn



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