Mordine & Company Dance Theater | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Mordine & Company Dance Theater 

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Shirley Mordine says that last year, when the world faced a series of natural and man-made disasters, she couldn't stop thinking about Portuguese novelist Jose Saramago's The Stone Raft, which she read a decade ago. In the book a geological chasm opens up between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe, and Spain and Portugal drift off. Mordine's interpretation of that surreal event, Quest, isn't literal. Instead she aims to capture the story's spirit and its aura of magic realism. The first two parts of her work in progress, included on this program, suggest in a dreamy way that the earth is a treacherous place: overall the six deft, powerful dancers seem forlorn and anxious, whether quietly watching the sky and one another or whirling frantically about the space. Mordine punctuates the piece with unusual sound effects: the clattering of folding chairs, the flurried sound of dancers quickly patting their own bodies. Alison Chesley's original score is performed live on cello and drums. Also on the program is James Morrow's Passing Me By, a brief, likable quartet created under Mordine's mentorship. Set to music by Aphex Twin and Funky Child, it abstracts the tropes of hip-hop and break dancing. Through 4/15: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, 773-281-0824, $15, $12 for group purchase.

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

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