Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre 

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Looking back in order to move forward is a time-honored approach to life's challenges. Artistic director Anna Simone Levin was originally inspired to make Landtslayt (Yiddish for "people from the homeland") by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but she "filtered this big idea down" into a contemplation of territoriality and defensiveness. Premiered last January during the Next Dance festival, this simultaneously violent and delicate female quartet illuminates the ritualistic frenzy often induced by self-protective impulses. New artistic associate Jeffery Hancock's Reclamation is a look back at childhood; with its crab walks, whispering, games of Duck Duck Gray Duck, and snippets of music and text, it evokes well--and without sentiment--the insularity and creativity of the world kids inhabit. And a new solo choreographed for Hancock by Sherry Zunker, former artistic director of River North Dance Chicago, seems to look back on their ten years together in that company: Between, set to the song "This Woman's Work," communicates a passionate sense of loss and regret. Also new is Conflux, a collaboration between Simone Levin and Hancock; the program is rounded out by Ron De Jesus's The Seated Souls, Hancock's "anti-musical theater" piece Ain't Necessarily So, and former artistic director Jason Ohlberg's The Needy and the Nasty, a riot of movement through flying rose petals that makes this cliche entirely new. Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble, 773-278-7471, ext. 194. Opens Thursday, October 25, 7 PM. Through October 27: Friday, 8 PM; Saturday, 2 and 8 PM. $12-$15 ($50 for the Thursday performance, a company benefit).

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

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