Seep | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Seep 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Seep, Sprung, at the Vittum Theater, through September 14. If politics is show business for ugly people, then the ensemble-created gestural movement in Seep is dance for awkward people. Certain performers--notably Dalia Cidzikaite and Sandro Garibashvili--move elegantly, but even they can't help revealing the body's limitations as a means of communication. Movement can be enormously expressive, but not when gestures substitute for speech: if they're obvious enough to be clear, they're clownish; if not, they're obscure. Seep purportedly portrays the consequences of a couple's public breakup, but knowing that didn't clarify what was going on. I still don't understand the meaning of a gesture by Cidzikaite's character, the first onstage, that looked like writing on the air with her elbow.

Obscurity wouldn't matter if the movement conveyed emotion, but Sprung seems to deliberately avoid feeling. Though the performers exaggerate ordinary movements--jiggling legs, picking lint off clothes, glancing at watches--they minimize facial expressions, perhaps intending to convey profundity or to discourage any search for meaning. (An exception is Mary Ann De La Cruz, who encompasses the couple's entire history in a raised eyebrow.) As the music shifts from rap to opera to jazz, they repeat moves ad nauseam, mirror one another's twitches, and rearrange chairs. Though Sprung purports to offer a "radical reunderstanding of the banal," the results are--well, banal.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Give $35/month →  
  Give $10/month →  
  Give  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
October 02
Galleries & Museums
August 20

Popular Stories