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

Mordine & Company Dance Theatre 

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Miguel Mancillas, cofounder of Antares Danza Contemporanea of Hermosillo, Mexico, says the piece he's choreographed in collaboration with Mordine & Company Dance Theatre, Desert Eye, is about the effort to bring forth life from stones--whether in the desert or the city. But frankly I see little barrenness in this quartet, which is full of life from start to finish: when a dancer lifts her shirt to expose her stomach, seeming to examine herself for some injury or wound; when two dancers hold each other's faces, or one attends another curled on the floor; when the performers whisper urgently but unintelligibly to one another in low, prayerful voices. With the help of a folk-inflected original score by Mexican composer Joaquin Lopez, Desert Eye immediately establishes an atmosphere of apprehension--especially fear of physical vulnerability--but also of concern and caring. A network of shifting relationships among the two men and two women suggests a story, which ends with the careful rearranging of desert rocks in what seems a funeral rite. On the same program Shirley Mordine premieres a piece for five women and two men, Long Walking, about the mysteries of the relations between the sexes; she also continues her experiments in jazz-based improvisation with bassist Tatsu Aoki in Tripping With Tatsu. Thursday, May 6, through Saturday at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $20 ($50 for the company benefit on Saturday). Call 773-989-3310 for tickets and information. --Laura Molzahn

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