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See this dance.

September 19, 2009

The Drawing Board

Last night wasn’t a complete loss thanks to Chicago Dance Crash.  Their newest work, The Drawing Board, opened last night and I was lucky enough to be there.  An experiment in a 2009 version of artistic collaboration, the show promised to create work based on idea submissions to their site crashthedrawingboard.com.  The potential for confusion and haphazardness in the fulfillment of this promise was pretty great, but artistic director Kyle Terry absolutely rose to the occasion.

Certainly this practice of making something out of what many would see as nothing is not new.  Merce Cunningham is perhaps the most well known explorer of chance in the dance world, always experimenting with combining disparate elements to create new wholes and finding ways to create compositions out of “scraps”.  It’s particularly exciting to see how contemporary artists are exploring this idea using contemporary tools like the internet, blogs, and twitter to gather disparate items and weave them together.  In this practice, Terry is absolutely successful.

The Drawing Board has managed to become something that is of course a bit strange at times (which is good, I like strange) yet absolutely cohesive…somehow.  Terry’s ability to weave his specific kind of humor (which ranges from subtle to over-the-top) throughout the whole show does a lot towards this.  The music and the aesthetic choices do a lot as well.  I’m not sure how it happened, but I know that the mood was right, the pacing was right, the combination of (and seamless transition between) dance styles was right…it worked.

I knew this experiment would be worth seeing, but now I must up that endorsement: you HAVE to see it.

Chicago Dance Crash presents The Drawing Board | Sept. 18, 19, 25, 26 – 8PM

The Ruth Page Center for the Arts
1016 N. Dearborn
Get Your Tickets Here: http://chicagodancecrash.com/productions/drawing-board
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