Jan Erkert & Dancers | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jan Erkert & Dancers 

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Jan Erkert takes her politics further and more seriously than any other Chicago choreographer while still creating theatrical, well-crafted, intelligent dances. Her 1991 dance Sensual Spaces looked at the sensuality in sacred music that was stolen from women. Erkert stripped the stage to its black walls and floor and dressed the six women in black slips; in the stage's cathedral airiness their sensuous movement--accompanied by the University of Chicago Chorus performing medieval plainsong--brought medieval and modern arts together. In Two Lives of Women, premiering this weekend, 20 women will tell about their conflicts between mothering and working; the dancers will form two communities, one based on nurturing and the other on direct, outgoing action. The stories and dances are held together with narration by Erkert and vocalist Glenda Baker. Erkert's 1991 dance Forgotten Sensations, also on the program, is set to medieval music by Martin Codax, the first known music composed by a woman. Its movement is derived from infants' first reflexes; the dance itself is set in a mythic place and centers on a mother and the demands of her two children. Another premiere, Three Short Solos in White With Audience, is an audience-participation piece that Erkert promises "will have a few surprises in it." The Symphony of the Shores Chamber Players will perform at the Friday performance. Friday and Saturday and next Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27, at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan. $10-$14; call 271-7928 for tickets and information.

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

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