Honorable mentions: Best dance visits | 2011 in review
As noted infor the latest issue of Time Out Chicago, what we loved most about dance in 2011 was its steady supply of pleasant surprises. We ran out of room to list them all, but thanks to borderless online real estate, .
In particular, we were paid many memorable visits by fabulous folks from around the world. In no particular order, here are 10 top gifts from terrific travelers (click through the links below to read more about each artist or show):
- 50 Collective In May, the Passing Through project . What began as a group strolling the perimeter of an empty room gathered momentum until some dancers were running up the walls. Little effort was made to make a small, scattered audience feel safe. Then, as gradually and as mysteriously as it had begun, 50 Collective’s dance storm subsided and the group went back on the road.
- Rushes, by Rushes (2007), however, was unlike anything we’d ever seen, with a centerpiece sequence of sliding chairs that was spatially symphonic. , Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak for Pilobolus Dance Theatre Twenty-eight days into 2011, we caught a Pilobolus performance at the Harris Theater. While older works such as Walklyndon (1971) and Duet (1992) proved resilient, newer pieces felt formulaic. Show closer
- Socrates, by Mark Morris A month later, we returned to the Harris to see of dances from 2010. And again, the show’s finale brought a uniquely engaging experience, a painterly frieze set to Satie, with supertitles.
- Gim Gwang Cheol The first of three dance and performance-art head-to-heads at DEFIBRILLATOR in October paired local choreographer Michelle Kranicke with Korean artist Gim Gwang Cheol. We only caught the last of their three hours of exploration, but Gwang floored us with his alternately tender (wrapping detritus in cellophane) and aggressive (throwing wads of unwound steel measuring tape at observers) choices. Few performers are as vibrantly committed to the moment.
- Cirque Éloize iD Proving yanked our eyeballs out of our heads at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in late April. Often without harnesses, the performers executed stunts of which we’d never dreamt. The breakdancers’ endless head spins looked like special effects; two months later, Cirque du Soleil seemed tame. that Montréal is the global capital of circus arts, the streetwise spectacular known as Cirque Éloize iD
- Red Bull BC One U.S. Qualifier It was hot inside the Aragon Ballroom on July 24. Really fucking hot. Also hot: where San Francisco’s Roxrite beat Lil G of Venezuela. vying for a ticket to world championships last month in Moscow,
- Vangeline During one of the last weekends of 2011, this NYC artist visited Chicago to teach workshops and perform with at DEFIBRILLATOR. Her solo, SPECTRAL, which she performed shaking violently, in a heavy white dress, holding a piece of twine and with both eyes rolled back into her skull, was bone-chilling.
- Richard Move as Martha Graham August’s fifth annual, free Chicago Dancing Festival , not least of which was that it introduced us to the perfectly executed .
- Nejla Yatkin’s Wallstories Fringe festivals are hit-or-miss basically by definition, . While its dance offerings this year left much to be desired, we were fortunate to finally see .
- Pina Wim Wenders’s 3-D Pina Bausch film began production as a collaboration with the German choreographer, but wrapped as a eulogy of sorts. At the in October, we watched it through tears.