Tron: End of Line | Victory Gardens Theater | Dance | Chicago Reader
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Tron: End of Line 

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 24 2014
Price: $30
If you can look past its narrative flaws, Chicago Dance Crash's Tron: End of Line will reward you with both its special effects—large, rolling jumbotrons double the onstage action and represent the ubiquity of computer screens in contemporary life—and with the visually impressive dance itself. Inside a mainframe computer, dancers in black ninja onesies mimic the glossy look of CGI animation. Aerial moves launch imperceptibly, and cartwheels hang midair and finish with silent landings. Jessica Deahr's choreography effortlessly evokes a digitized primordial ooze; dancers rise up from the floor, slicing a diagonal as they balance, painfully, on the tops of their feet, then drop flat again onto their bellies. But the two-hour production might have been more bearable if the story occasionally answered simple questions like "who?" "what?" and "where?" I truly did not understand what was going on. There are more plot contrivances than actual plot. Much of what happens seems to be aimed at some kind of political allegory, but the halfhearted symbolism fizzles and fades. Most lamentable is a prerecorded voiceover that is as vexing as it is unnecessary. The voice explains obvious situations, but also manages to obscure them. The overbearing narration is so extreme that dancers pause and teeter while they wait for cues; they'd be a lot better off if the voice got out of their way. —Jena Cutie



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