Wind Dancers Circus | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Wind Dancers Circus 

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Wind Dancers Circus, Magic Circus, at the Theatre Building. This evening purports to "tell the story of the four winds" through a "compilation of the tales from Greek mythology to Cherokee legend that embody the themes and characters common to many cultures." But while its characters are identified in the program as Storm, Sprite, Earth, and so on and the set is dominated by icons representing nature, the sun and moon, and their cyclical relationships, the show's ostensible purpose is largely ignored.

Still, the five dancer-acrobats comprising the Magic Circus put on a hell of a show, ranging from simple juggling (featuring Ann Dorwin, substituting for Agnieszka Colen, doing hula hoop tricks and Omar Ramirez-Leyva on the "devil sticks") to rope dancing, both the vertical Spanish web and the horizontal "cloud swing." Also featured are human pyramids, intricate Pilobolus-style gymnastics, three-passenger trapeze work (Amy Riccio, the smallest ensemble member, gets tossed through the air by her compatriots), moon ballets, conga lines, and flashlights swung at the end of strings to create imaginative patterns.

As conceived and directed by performers Amanda McLaughlin and Robert Sokolick, Wind Dancers Circus might not achieve its stated goal. But by the show's finale, when its athletic personnel are hanging like bats or scrambling like spiders over a steel grid, audiences probably won't mind.

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