Xsight! Performance Group | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Xsight! Performance Group 

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Seven years ago, when I first saw Tim O'Slynne's Isosceles Triangle: Conversations From Purgatory, I was appalled by his use of a diapered dancer to represent rebirth. Now I wonder whether I just didn't get his campy sense of humor. This weekend I can take a second look--a rare opportunity in the ephemeral world of dance--because O'Slynne's ensemble piece is being remounted by his partner, Brian Jeffery, just a few weeks after Tim's death from AIDS-related illness. Xsight! Performance Group, which O'Slynne started with Jeffery and Mary (now Maya) Ward, is also being reborn: O'Slynne's former students at Northwestern, Peter Carpenter and Marianne Kim, are joining as associate directors (Ward left a few years ago); the two of them and Jeffery have collaborated on a new piece, Wait'll It Happens to You, said to be based on "the science of torture." Carpenter and Kim, who performed together a few weeks ago in Carpenter's Love Me, Love My Head, make a good couple: he's quirky, ironic, intense, and she's mellow, fluid, self-contained. Somehow I can't help but see them as the literal manifestations of that diapered baby. Jeffery describes his new Sleep. An Angel Waits, also about rebirth, as atypical of Xsight!'s work, "a whisper." Gotta Go, which he made with Ed Burgess, sounds more in the old Xsight! line: two Beckettian clowns are in a big hurry but don't know where they're going or why. Also on the program are Jeffery's The Kiss and Kim's Wagon Red. Friday and Saturday at 8 in the Josephine Louis Theatre of Northwestern University, 1979 South Campus Dr. in Evanston; $6-$12 (an opening-night reception in memory of O'Slynne follows the performance; $35 single, $60 couple includes the performance). Call 708-491-7282 for tickets and information.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/J. Ross.

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