Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak’s The Delicate Hour | Dance preview
The photo above, taken during dress rehearsal on February 22, captures Mad Shak during The Delicate Hour. Partially inspired by Pennsylvania sunsets and solo study, the actually-hour-long premiere (and latest dance under the umbrella called Stamina of Curiosity) is both a Mad Shak digest reaching back to at least 2003, and a next step in the evolution of a singular voice in Chicago performance.
I won’t dig deep into all the mysteries and satisfactions of The Delicate Hour, but here are some things to look for during three performances only at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, beginning tonight.
What stones that cover questions raised by bodies on a stage are left unturned by this work? I’d be hard-pressed to name three. Even a couple of surprisingly conventional choices (mimed drinking, smoking and pill-popping; accelerating repetitions; a four-part canon, danced in a stage-spanning diagonal line) feel included only because they’ve survived ruthless, extensive interrogation.
Is The Delicate Hour a quartet, or a solo for four?
Shanahan says she hasn’t seen Lars von Trier’s latest film, but could any dance’s first scene feel more like the opening sequence of Melancholia, or have more similar a relationship to the sections that follow? Down to the dancers’ costumes—matching Calvin Klein dresses with no shoes, and a red bowtie undone—and the inebriate effects of a dawn-like lighting scheme, by Joshua Paul Weckesser and Michael Goebel, The Delicate Hour is almost exactly the same still, out-of-time entente that washes over a partygoer so full of doing the only thing left to feel is done.
See Molly Shanahan/Mad Shak’s The Delicate Hour at the Dance Center of Columbia College (1306 S Michigan Ave, 312-369-8330) February 23–25 at 8pm. $26–$30. With music by Brett Dennen, Guillaume Dufay, Biagio Marini, Stars of the Lid and Kenny Rogers.