Reviews of the Chicago Dancing Festival.
The Chicago Tribune
But founders Lar Lubovitch and Jay Franke also managed some interesting themes, including a mini-tribute to Martha Graham. Through the 1970s, Graham was eminence grise, overshadowed a tad in the following decades of post-modernism.
But Thursday's impassioned Auditorium Theatre performance of her "Embattled Garden," set in Eden, by members of the Graham troupe, proved as exciting as any fest offering. It's as if this 1958 piece has enjoyed breathing room and can be viewed with the reverence heaped on other midcentury arts, a heavily stylized ritual with colors as bold as Mondrian's and tension as gnarled and febrile as Jackson Pollock's. The set, a fascinating modernist design by the late Isamu Noguchi, is one of the stars.
There is a tendency—in arts criticism and in the world at large—toward taxonomy. We simply can’t resist classifying damn near everything we see down to its genus and species. Of all the arts, dance, I think, struggles the most stiffly under labels, and quite frankly, it’s a huge turnoff when movement is described as modern, postmodern, contemporary, or whatever blah-de-blah is the term of the day.