Rasa Dance Chicago | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Rasa Dance Chicago 

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In "Rasa Takes On . . ." artistic director Van Collins challenges his dancers to perform pieces by not one but several other choreographers. He says he didn't want his guests to "fast food" new work on the troupe, though, so he invited them to spend time in the studio getting to know the dancers--and maybe that's why many of the program's six premieres have a psychological bent. A prominent feature of Brock Clawson's Shaun's Room, created for the expressive Shaun Ricks, is her manipulation of her long red hair. Lizzie MacKenzie's first venture into choreography, Journey, is an intense, agreeably quirky full-company piece about the different aspects of a single psyche. Christy Munch's accomplished Chapters revolves around a transformative experience, and August Tye's trio Adjuratio around an exorcism. Also new are Elijah Gibson's Prepare for Battle and Anthony Foster's The Lost Children. Collins presents his Riot in the Heart, created after two years of choreographer's block (partly occasioned by his mother's death) and first performed last February. It has an Eastern sound and look, and its wavelike phrases and floor patterns manage to communicate both passion and a sense of peace. Fri 8/25, 7:30 PM, Sat 8/26, 8 PM, Sun 8/27, 3 PM, Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport, 312-902-1500, $20-$25, $40 for the show and company benefit on Friday.

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