Mad Shak Dance Company | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Mad Shak Dance Company 

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Light in its many forms dominates Molly Shanahan's Eye Cycle: the light of video projections, one prerecorded, the other two live; the light from incandescent bulbs in unshaded lamps on the floor; light reflected from mirrors placed around the space; natural light flowing in through the Link's Hall windows; the light from rattling el cars once the room darkens. Even the dancers' coloring and costumes suggest positive and negative images: Shanahan, who has dark hair, wears white, while her fellow dancer, Kristina Fluty, has blond hair and wears black. A version of the dance was performed last fall, but Eye Cycle has continued to evolve--and in fact was still in flux during a rehearsal I saw. It seems its shadowy, reflective nature has permeated this 45-minute piece and the process of creating it; Shanahan says she wants to be "honest about how it's grown." Affection for the earlier incarnation coupled with the demands of a different venue and new ideas about how to play with the video environment have led to a work that's somewhat disjointed but often beautiful: a live feed through a gauzy curtain captures a looming dancer on the floor, just beyond an elaborate lamp whose crystal decorations, seen in close-up, sway in the breeze. Kevin O'Donnell's original score and Josh Weckesser's lighting help create an environment reminiscent of a child's attic playroom, a secret space that warms and becomes more eerie as light disappears from the sky. Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, 773-281-0824. Through June 6: Friday-Sunday, 8 PM. $10-$15.

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

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