Pacific Performance Project east
Wednesday, May 29, 7:30 p.m.
Dunham Hall Theatre
Set in a suburb of Paris in 1913, "Flight" tells the story of two French actresses who set out to fly a Bleriot XI monoplane, which the women build onstage during the production, from Paris to Moscow. "Flight" is a beautifully designed narrative that intersects technology, history and art with dance and music. The performance also incorporates elements of Chekhov's "The Seagull" and filmmaking to tell the stories of pivotal turning points in history: the start of modern feminism, the invention of powered flight and the eve of The Great War.
Critical Praise for Pacific Performance Project east
"…Beautiful and powerful… every one of these moments is an eloquent comment on the human experience…distills drama into movement so that complex conflicting emotion is expressed without words…poetry in motion."
-danceviewtimes, review of The Water Station
"…Haunting and revelatory…breathtaking imagery…if there is a particular strength to this company it is finding inner connections through physical means…"
-Theatre Journal, review of Gravity
Chicago Dance Crash: Selected Works
Chicago Dance Crash
Thursday, May 30, 7:30 p.m.
Premier dance company Chicago Dance Crash will bring a sampling of its riveting works to Xfest. Chicago Dance Crash is a multi-disciplined, contemporary dance company that showcases a plethora of styles: ballet, capoeira, breakdance, acrobatics and contemporary dance. The company will be presenting four pieces that run approximately 10 minutes each and will be preceded by a short talking introduction discussing the piece, its choreographer and its cross-disciplinary nature. The four pieces are as follows:
"I Didn't Realize I Wasn't Minding My Own Business"
Choreographed by Jessica Deahr and Mark Hackman
In this collaboration, Hackman set an individualized phrase of trick movement on each of the six dancers. Deahr then chose when and where those phrases would occur and filled in the piece with athletic contemporary movement. Set to violins and xylophones, this piece crosses acrobatics with contemporary movement and also contrasts aggressive difficult movement to delicate music.
Choreographed by Paul Christiano
Christiano mocks the short attention span of today's audiences by giving them exactly what they want. He combines sight gags, gestures, behavioral movement and athleticism to a constantly changing score of sound effects, text and song snippets to create a high energy, blink-and-you'll-miss-it work of art.
Choreographed by Jon Lehrer
Lehrer originally set this piece about aliens as a duet on his own company in Buffalo, New York, and was then hired by Crash to expand it into a group piece. This work features an alien community that never stand up to walk and dance, thus the choreography draws only from hands and knees, floor work, sliding, rolling and skittering to create a captivating creature-like piece.
This piece will combine the vast array of styles crash is known for by both featuring them separately and fusing them together, almost entirely through freestyle that is loosely structured ahead of time.
Critical Praise for Chicago Dance Crash
"Like a Synergy drink or a Kombucha, Chicago Dance Crash is a pure mix of unadulterated, raw ingredients: a potent surprise upon first taste, and deliciously smooth by drinks end. It's not about additives for this crew's natural movers."
-Matthew De La Pena, Timeout Chicago Magazine, Review of 2012 Fall Concert
"…I've seldom seen a dance-theatre piece so effectively, authoritatively blend story and movement… The movement, drawing on an array of forms from capoeira and other martial arts to acrobatics to stage combat to modern dance, gives the performance an apocalyptic thrill…"
-Laura Molzahn, Chicago Reader, Review of Tribulation and the Demolition Squad
"The Chicago Dance Crash provides a gutsy, rip-roaring extravaganza with 'Gotham City,' a full-length dance assault pulsing with fun, energy, great pop dancing and in-your-face acrobatics."
-Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune, Review of Gotham City
Friday, May 31, 7:30 p.m.
We are proud to welcome back the Wonderheads, whom audiences may remember as the full-masked performers who brought the fantastical "Grim and Fischer" to Xfest last year. This season, the physical theatre group will present Loon, a love story between a lonely elderly man named Francis and the moon. This lunar love story features full-masked characters and tells this extraordinary narrative through movement. If you were fortunate to see the Wonderheads at 2012's Xfest, you'll know that this group presents unforgettable tales that are best described as "live-action Pixar." If you did not get the chance to see the Wonderheads last year, don't pass up this opportunity!
Critical Praise for Loon
"It's beautiful, heart-wrenching and incredibly moving - storytelling at its finest and simplest."
-Kerry Ryan, Community News Commons
"Wonderheads has a sharp instinct for the humour potential in pathos...It's a simple, classic underdog story, the rediscovery of the sense of possibility. And it's told with beautiful physicality."
-Liz Nicholls, Edmonton Journal
LOON is flat-out wonderful, and it's all done without a single word."
-Aidan Morgan, Prairie Dog Magazine
"This is a show the likes of which you won't see anywhere else, and will remember for a long while."
-Justin McElroy, Vancouver Sun
Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind
By The Neo-Futurists
Presented by Theatre 310b, SIUE
Saturday, June 1
After running for 24 straight years in Chicago and one hilarious sold-out weekend in Edwardsville, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind is back on stage for Xfest 2013. This unique production features a menu of 30 short plays that the cast will attempt to perform in 60 minutes. Audience members shout out the number of the play they want to see based on an ever-shrinking menu as the clock ticks down and the entertainment grows. Too Much Light is a one-of-a-kind performance that will make you laugh…or cry...or leave you completely stunned. Or, as one long-time devotee of the show said, "If you haven't seen Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind you may want to reconsider what you are doing with your life."
Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead
Saturday, June 1, 7:30 p.m.
Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead confronts one of the most controversial and contemporary topics in politics, education, economy and society: climate change. The Seldoms' choreographer Carrie Hansen, visual artist Anna Kunz and sound designer Mikhail Fiskel have collaborated to create this energetic, intriguing expression of the divisiveness of climate change on our nation. Exit Disclaimer presents all sides of the climate change debate-denial, skepticism, indifference and urgency-to ultimately ask the questions that must be addressed: Who is talking about climate change? Who is listening? Who is paying for it?
Critical Praise for The Seldoms
"Touches of humor-physical and verbal-leaven weighty subject matters, as does deeply felt, beautifully crafted dancing that draws heavily from the familiar periphery of the psyche. The Seldoms have brought us touching and thought-provoking reflections on we human creatures, capable of great destruction, great foolishness and great beauty."
~ New City, Exit Disclaimer named "Best of Local Dance"
"Chicago choreographer Carrie Hanson has it all: a probing mind, a social conscience, and a gift for pared-down, abstract dancemaking that nevertheless tells a story."
- Dance Magazine, Carrie Hanson named one of 2012's "25 to Watch"
Stupormarket succeeds at bringing a situation we regard with anger, frustration and fatigue a fresh new perspective. There's no shortage of editorials bemoaning our financial future, but this one has its sleeves rolled up, bearing ideas that actually help."
-Zachary Whittenberg, TimeOut Chicago, Review of Stupormarket
"Performed by her expressive dancers, Hanson's choreography cuts, as usual, like a well-honed knife."
-Laura Molzahn, Chicago Reader, Review of Exit Disclaimer