Reader Recommends: On the move with "Iced Coffee" | Performing Arts Sidebar | Chicago Reader

Reader Recommends: On the move with "Iced Coffee" 

Enid Smith and Lauren Warnecke run cold and hot

With "Iced Coffee," Enid Smith and Lauren Warnecke are splitting the bill in more ways than one. The choreographers offer a premiere apiece, the first chilly, the second feverish. Pier, Smith's abstract interpretation of lakeshore icescapes painted by Andrew Rauhauser, has an unnerving score—an unholy union of a 14th-century mass, jazz piano works, and field recordings of ice breaking up. The clicking, banging, and chewing of the ice sound like the earth's stomach growling. At first Smith's movement is extraordinarily simple and clear, but it quickly becomes more floorbound, interconnected, and messy—she was inspired, she says, by the paintings' "gritty reds and browns, the dirt," not their pure blues and whites. Warnecke's theatrical Grind, meanwhile, is a layered treatment of artistic success that incorporates reality and fantasy. Dancing to pop music of various eras, four women in heels and housedresses caricature the ideal 50s housewife. Exaggerated showbiz poses combine with everyday gestures to create a wide-ranging satire.

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