Deeply Rooted Productions | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Deeply Rooted Productions 

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Strong colors, unmistakable emotions, passionate political views, finely etched but whiplike movement: these are the ingredients of Kevin Iega Jeff's choreography. Hired about a year and a half ago as the artistic director of Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre, he lost his job last fall when the 20-year-old company was disbanded. But the Brooklyn artist didn't just go away, tail between legs--he stuck around to create Deeply Rooted Productions. Made up of many of last spring's JHCDT performers, the troupe reprises two of Iega's works: Church of Nations, a stern, hard-edged look at the role religious groups have played in wars, and the dream ballet In a Child's Eye. Part of a long tradition of children's journeys along surprisingly adult paths, this 45-minute piece revolves around a young girl who confronts and conquers evil in the form of a feathery oppressor that destroys all the male warriors who set out to defend her. Then she attempts to bring that evil into the fold of a reconstituted community. Designed in incandescent colors, In a Child's Eye aims for a mythic dimension it doesn't quite achieve (part of the problem is its pop score), but it does feature a vivid fight scene and an authentically sorrowful solo for the girl. Iega will also premiere Dedication, which celebrates the passage of knowledge to a younger generation; Gary Abbott presents a brand-new work, Panic, about the fears raised by mass-media reports on AIDS, racism, and war; and Linda Spriggs offers Time Line, in which she subverts the straight lines of linear time with vibrating motions. Part of the Spring Festival of Dance, performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 at the Shubert Theatre, 22 W. Monroe; $10-$30. Call 902-1500 for tickets and information. --Laura Molzahn

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

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