Wim Vandekeybus and Ultima Vez | Dance Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Wim Vandekeybus and Ultima Vez 

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Wim Vandekeybus and Ultima Vez

Belgian choreographer Wim Vandekeybus gives new meaning to the expression "rough-and-tumble." His dancers hurl themselves at one another with ragged abandon, throwing themselves at the others' feet as if they were bowling balls knocking down pins. These violent flinging motions to or against others express a scary, willful disassociation from one's own body, as if it were to be disposed of as offhandedly as a used Kleenex. Other movements are chillingly erotic, as when a woman turns her back to a man and lifts her hair and he touches the nape of her neck, producing a visible reflexive flinch. Add to the mix a few eerily surreal elements--a shiny metallic figure with a bird's head, wadded-up paper costumes ripped from the body--and 7 for a Secret Never to Be Told begins to look very intriguing indeed. The opening company in the EuroContempo portion of the Spring Festival of Dance, Vandekeybus's group, Ultima Vez ("last time" in Spanish), performs 7 for a Secret Never to Be Told this weekend: based on a myth about the magpie, the messenger of both good and evil, it takes its dancers through seven transformations set to a variety of music, from classical to technopop. Thursday, March 19, and Saturday and Sunday at 8 at the Merle Reskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo; $15-$25. Call 773-989-3310 for tickets and information. --Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Bruno Vandermeulen.

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