Khecari Dance Theatre | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Khecari Dance Theatre 

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It takes a confident choreographer to create sequences of little or no movement--something that Khecari artistic director Jonathan Meyer does consistently. His The Opal Door opens with a still line of dancers who begin to twitch or shift their weight almost imperceptibly. The effect is like watching a painting come to life, especially given Iris Bainum-Houle's richly textured raggedy costumes--each one unique, though many bare the lower back. Set to cinematic-sounding music by Mandible Chatter, the two-act piece tells a vague, apparently cyclical apocalyptic story. The nine characters and their relationships are relatively constant, created through movement phrases that repeat or repeat with variations--people seem to die only to come back and die again. In other chilling moments, Meyer blurs the line between affection and aggression. But he also manages to create some humor. This isn't a perfect piece by any means: it's sometimes melodramatic, it's too long (almost two hours), and the coda by an iconic character feels tacked on. Still, Meyer shows a strong feeling for the dramatic moment. a Through 6/15: Thu-Fri 7:30 PM, Hamlin Park, field house, 2nd flr., 3035 N. Hoyne, khecari.org, $12-$15.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Nadia Oussenko.

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