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Chicago Danztheatre Performance This Weekend

Danztheatre2Chicago’s Danztheatre Ensemble is in the midst of a month long performance series that utilizes performance, visual art, film, dance and contemporary movement to explore topics related to activism and  promote change in the world around us. Lucky for us, there is one more weekend of shows coming up starting on Friday April 18th and Saturday April 19th at Ebenezer Lutheran Church at 1650 W Foster. Chicago Danztheare is the current artist resident at Ebenezer Lutheran Church and the partnership has been great for both the church as well as the artists rehearsing and performing there.

I had the privilege of attending a few of the performances last week and each were unique and engaging, a blend of contemporary and modern movement with text and film to relay metaphors and set tone for the piece. The space inside Ebenzer is complimentary to the needs of each performance and creates a unique intimate feeling between performers and audience members. You feel submerged in the space with those performing and witness their breath accompanied with the movement. Each piece had a subtle element of fluidity that was soothing to watch.

The show was broken into 4 different pieces featuring work by choreographers and directors Lisa Leszczewicz, Brittany L. Brown, Ellyzabeth Adler, and Maren Rosenberg. The first two pieces were contemporary dance focused on movement. Though completely different, the dance pieces displayed the complexities of transformation, time and memory, and an individuals relationship to the world around them. The following two performances encompassed movement and text and focused on specific narratives and stories. ‘The Wasteland’ is based on the original poem by T.S. Elliot. The piece is reflective of WWI, after the destruction of Europe with the faith and hope that people could eventually come together and find beauty amidst a time of such desperation. The final piece of the show is ‘Still Small Voices’ by Maren Rosenberg. The piece was created after the author’s trip to Palestine in 2009 and is based on real people and events. The performance breaks down the barriers between cultures and affirms that we are all one race with more to share than we often realize.

DanztheatreArtistic Director Alexander St. John says “We hope that people are inspired and ignited by something they saw and they are moved to take their own stand. We want audiences to leave asking questions and re-examining the world and hope that this new lens reinvigorates their understanding of humanity.” They are looking forward to their future projects at the space and building their relationship with the church and the Andersonville community.

Danztheatre is a company that pushes the boundaries of performance to ‘unite all art media and achieve an all-embracing, radical change in humankind’. The company does a great deal of outreach in the community. They work with schools and community groups doing arts integrated programming to teach things like healthy cooking, reading and literacy as well as math and sciences. Inspired by the German Expressionist movement, “tanztheater”, the ensemble uses the text and the spoken word as the structure and physical movement as the vehicle to create authentic and enticing narratives that bring awareness to a diverse group of viewers and audiences. The company is continuously exploring topics and themes that are socially relevant and include many different artistic mediums.

 

 

 


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