Emio Greco & PC | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Emio Greco & PC 

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Dancer-choreographer Emio Greco and director-playwright Pieter C. Scholten are into mind-body dualism with a vengeance. They describe the duet Extra Dry--the only part of the trilogy "Fra Cervello e Movimento" ("Between Brain and Movement") being performed here--as having a recurring motif, "the longing for a synchronised, unisono [sic] manifestation of mind and body, in defiance of the knowledge that this desire can never be fulfilled." An Italian now based in Amsterdam, Greco dances Extra Dry with Barbara Gutierrez--and fortunately there's nothing intellectual about what goes on onstage. In fact this choreography is some of the most original and instinctive looking I've seen, seemingly governed by some other part of the brain than the cerebrum. Each of several sections is marked by a different kind of music and a different quality of movement. A monotonous drone is punctuated by large, quick motions--a lunge that finishes with a punch, flapping arms, flung heads. The pops of distant fireworks are accompanied by smaller, more restrained movements, twiddling feet and walks on half toe. Jingling sounds are paired with vibrations of the arms, legs, shoulders, and head and lots of muscular tension in the hands, as if an electric current were running through the body. And distant bugle music produces slow, graceful divergences of the dancers' two bodies, seen in silhouette as one iconic figure. But I've made this remarkable piece, which won the Philip Morris Arts Prize for dance in 1999, sound too obvious: it's full of surprises. Museum of Contemporary Art, theater, 220 E. Chicago, 312-397-4010. Through March 25: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 4 PM. $15-$18. Note: There will be a roundtable discussion with Greco and Scholten Saturday at 2 PM in the theater; free. Registration required by calling 312-397-3843.

--Laura Molzahn

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