The Sould of Our Feats | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Sould of Our Feats 

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Bad puns aside, this festival of Chicago dance past and present sounds highly promising. Part of the Chicago Dance Legacy Project, a yearlong series of events including free workshops, fireside chats, and performances, this event begins with a lecture-demonstration and ends with three performances that integrate historical footage (compiled by choreographer Rosemary Doolas and videographer Robin Cline) with dancing by lots of current and former Chicagoans. Perhaps the program's highlight is a brief performance by Sybil Shearer, now over 80, who studied with Doris Humphrey and danced in the company Humphrey formed with Charles Weidman. Critic Walter Terry said of Shearer, who was renowned as a solo performer, "She dances as if she were a part of nature, innocent and free and strangely worshipful of the miracles of life....Her command of movement is enviable." Also included is film footage from the 50s of Shearer dancing. Returning to Chicago to perform in the festival are Bob Eisen (who moved to New York in September) and Maya (formerly Mary) Ward, now living in Santa Fe. The older choreographers represented are Humphrey and Joseph Holmes (whose works will be performed by Sarita Smith-Child), Loie Fuller (performed by Nana Shineflug), Ruth Page (performed by Larry Long's Civic Ballet of Chicago), and Katherine Dunham (performed by Laurie Goux). Other participants include Jan Bartoszek and Hedwig Dances, Charlie Vernon, Doolas's Chicago Dance Medium, Shineflug's Chicago Moving Company, Shirley Mordine, Christina Ernst, and Randy Duncan. Harold Washington Library Center, auditorium, 400 S. State, 773-883-0335, 847-724-1931. Opens Thursday, April 19, 12:15 PM, with the hour-long lecture-demonstration; free. Through April 22: Friday-Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 3 PM. $12.

--Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Helen Balfour-Morrison.

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