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

Mordine & Company Dance Theatre 

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Clearly Shirley Mordine wants something bigger than the human, larger than life, from her dancers for the conclusion of her new piece, Tracking the Heart: during rehearsal she tells them that they should feel they're "moving mountains, changing oceans." The phrase "grand opera" keeps coming up. And indeed the last scene of the dance's third and final section, a man gently pulling a reluctant woman offstage, has a biblical resonance, as if we were watching Lot lead his wife out of Sodom or Adam leaving the Garden of Eden with Eve. Chicago composer Tatsu Aoki provides first thrilling, then suspenseful live drum music as accompaniment to this section, while in earlier sections he plays the bass or his own recorded music. Slide projections capture the art of suminagashi, or painting on water, as it's practiced by Amy Lee Segami. Tracking the Heart is said to be about "the tension between permanence and impermanence," but the human eye sees human beings. Most vivid to me during rehearsal, which included only part of the piece, was a stunning image of three pairs of dancers, the one in front leaning hard against the one behind--it suggested that conflict is the basis for intimacy and, ultimately, support. Also on the program is Mordine's collaboration with Miguel Mancillas, of the Mexican group Antares Danza Contemporanea, Desert Eye; Michael Montenegro offers a puppetry piece. Thursday, December 2, through Saturday at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $20. FamilyDance Series performance Sunday at 3 (optional free parent-child movement workshop at 2:15) in the same place; $10, $6 for children. Call 773-989-3310 for tickets and information. --Laura Molzahn

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

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