Holy Body Tattoo | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Holy Body Tattoo 

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Everything about Our Brief Eternity is relentless. Jean-Yves Theriault's escalating score for this evening-length piece seems to hunt us down, William Morrison's black-and-white film multiplies and enlarges the three dancers' movements, and the lighting and projected texts by William Gibson and Christopher Halcrow thrust us into a dark place from which the only escape seems to be further punishment. But most of all this piece by the Holy Body Tattoo, based in Vancouver, is relentlessly young, with its brutal, almost militaristic repetitions and deadpan despair. Choreographed by dancers Noam Gagnon and Dana Gingras, who are joined in the performance by Chantal Deeble, Our Brief Eternity offers not one lyrical moment in 55 minutes; anything remotely resembling a caress or tender gesture has a hostile edge, and the dancers perform their harshly geometric, repetitious movements with the angry energy of a tantrum. The amazing thing is that expending all this pugilistic force finally seems to put the performers--and us--into a state of utopian calm, described in the text as a place of simple actions, of seeds and rain and wind, beyond signs and "gray logics." But even these words are annihilated by speed and repetition to achieve the final result. Thursday, April 27, through Saturday at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan, Chicago; $20. Call 773-989-3310 for tickets and information. (The troupe also offers a class in the DanceMasters series Saturday from 12:30 to 2:30 at Zephyr Dance, Holstein Park, 2200 N. Oakley, Chicago; call 773-989-3310 for information--and come prepared to "push your limits.") --Laura Molzahn

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

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