Rosy Co. | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Rosy Co.

Alternately flopping like rag dolls and bursting into visceral attacks on the space around them, the seven dancers of Tokyo-based Rosy Co. perform Kota Yamazaki's Picnic like so many graceful junkies, lethargic and violent by turn. That's not surprising, I guess, given that one of Yamazaki's inspirations for this 1997 dance was the film Trainspotting and the other was the New York nightclub scene. Yamazaki's roots are in butoh--he performed with Akira Kasai, who appeared at the Dance Center of Columbia College last week, for three years--and a few slow-motion sequences in Picnic under a dappled, watery light recall the form. But otherwise this work, performed as the company's Chicago debut, looks and sounds Western. The choreography is modern, sometimes with a tinge of club dancing and sometimes with touches of ballet. The music is primarily industrial-sounding rock--occasionally a mindless chugging like an idling steam engine. The dancers' silky costumes emphasize the fluidity and tensile strength of their movements. The lighting (often a TV blue glare) and set (a hanging ladder and table set for four, including wineglasses) heighten the irony of the title: this is very far from a pastoral scene. But in other ways the title is perfectly appropriate--a picnic is rootless and transitory, an evocation of home that isn't home, and the dance does depict a human community, however fragmented and anomic. Thursday, March 30, through next Saturday, April 1, at 8 at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 4730 N. Sheridan; $20. Call 773-989-3310 for tickets and information. (As part of the DanceMasters series, Yamazaki and Rosy Co. will offer an intermediate-level two-hour workshop this Saturday at 12:30 in the dance studio of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Call 773-989-3310 for information.)

--Laura Molzahn

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

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