National Choreography Series IV | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

National Choreography Series IV 

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A woman in a scarlet evening dress backs onto the stage on tiptoe, as if wearing invisible sky-high heels, holding her long, full skirt out to either side. She looks lost and luxurious, a figure from an ad for an expensive perfume; a rich female voice singing Mozart provides the aural setting. The dancer arches back, farther, farther, and slides into the floor--then flips into the yogic "plow" position, her panties visible, her legs like two halves of a compass mechanically measuring the space around her. Clearly Janet Lilly's solo Glacial Milk makes its point through ironic contrasts--through the differences between angry screaming and polished singing, between a swirling skirt and thudding drops to the floor, between an ornate love seat and an armrest wrenched off and held like a club. A former Bill T. Jones dancer, Lilly now teaches dance at the University of Michigan; like his work, hers is subtle, edgy, and moving, and you can see it on a program that also offers pieces by seven other choreographers, all college dance teachers whose work has been selected for performance as part of the American College Dance Festival Association's National Choreography Series IV, jointly presented by the Dance Center of Columbia College. Marina Walchli's duet Give and Take is also intriguing: with its scary original score, gestural but spare vocabulary, and dry, almost icily impassive performance, it's not your everyday relationship dance. Friday and Saturday at 8 at the Dance Center, 4730 N. Sheridan: $10-$14. Call 271-7928 for information and tickets.

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