Instruments of Movement | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Instruments of Movement 

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Thank God there always seem to be young dancer-choreographers to fill in the ranks thinned by minuscule budgets and flagging aspirations. Instruments of Movement is a new group formed by Cameron Jarrett, formerly a dancer with Momenta Performing Arts Company and Melissa Thodos & Dancers, and James Morrow, who does African, hip-hop, and break dancing. Since this loose band of friends and acquaintances comes from so many different backgrounds, they're calling their first show Shape Shifters, an evening of about an hour with some nine sections by different choreographers, all roughly addressing the theme of male-female relationships, with a focus on women. In her solo "Scar Tissue" Denise Zdenek performs inside an open-sided box, perhaps six feet square, eerily lit from beneath; wearing a six-foot-long skirt of her own design, she seems to search for escape, then traps herself as if in a cobweb by fastening her skirt to the box's interior walls. Morrow's "Where I'm Comin From" is a duet for Zdenek and Jen McLean illustrating the strength of women. And Paul Christiano's coiled, quick solo "State of Emergency," performed to a score he composed that includes gunfire, is an itchy, mechanical, yet yearning piece. The music throughout should be provocative; there will be a DJ atop some scaffolding to play it, and the group promises a meet-and-mingle event with the artists after the show. Academy of Movement and Music, 605 Lake, Oak Park, 708-848-2329. Through January 13: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 3 PM. $10-$12, $8 for kids under eight.

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