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

Instruments of Movement 

James Morrow says he looked back over his troupe's five years to create "Cult Classics," a program of "all the pieces people have been bugging me to do again." The eclectic mix of nine dances includes several by nonmembers, one by Morrow, and two by assistant artistic director Raphaelle Ziemba. Her Illustration III is part of a series inspired by works in other media--in this case, an Anais Nin story. Set to music by Tom Waits, Illustration III begins and ends with four women slowly shifting their weight from foot to foot while lightly caressing their own arms; by the conclusion, four seated men hold the women's thighs. In Nicholas Leichter's Undertow, four dancers' rough movements seem efforts to ride and sometimes surmount the rolling, eerie waves of Bjork's singing. Morrow's Right as Rain--which features an "angel" in a black gown with book pages stapled to her hem--tells a story about what Morrow calls "the evolution of the community through the gift of knowledge." The only premiere is Michael Rioux's Emigration Study #1, a powerful duet for two men whose alternating near stasis and vigorous engagement suggest wrestling's intimate antagonism. Morrow and Ziemba designed all the costumes, often trippy blends of male and female--and overall the troupe benefits from a kind of yin-yang synergy. 2/3-2/4: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Northeastern Illinois University, auditorium, 5500 N. Saint Louis, 773-442-4636, $12-$15, $10 for children under eight.

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