Stories and creators come together in Lucky Plush Dance's 'Rooming House'

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 05:32:14 AM. REVIEW: Lucky Plush Dance presents 'Rooming House' at Steppenwolf 1700 Theatre as part of the LookOut Series, co-created and directed by Julia Rhoads and Leslie Buxbaum Danzig. (2.5 stars)
Whither contemporary dance in the golden age of the podcast? Can it fuse? Those provocative questions present themselves at the beginning of “Rooming House,” the interesting and experimental dance-text-story fusion piece going on in Steppenwolf's intimate 1700 Theatre, which now sports a new floor suitable for dancers. As the 75-minute piece from Lucky Plush Productions begins, you hear snippets of conversations from the six performers. They’re telling stories of a personal nature and because they all are wearing headset microphones, it sounds like you are listening to a whole bunch of personal podcasts at once. I’ve long been compelled by the intersection of dance and story and “Rooming House” is one of those pieces that, in tandem with much of the recent work at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, gives dancers individual voice and helps you, the audience member, get to know them better. That empowerment is one of the most inspiring trends in this art form. In this piece, co-created by Julia Rhoads and Leslie Buxbaum Danzig, the focus is on the making of big decisions that change your life. The artists want to draw a line between, say, Orpheus wanting to rescue his Eurydice and a dancer breaking up with her boyfriend or moving to another city. Here’s what works: You actually get to see the dancers’ own preoccupations, however esoteric, and, it seems, the professional problem of how to manifest that through movement. It’s a window into the choreographic process, to some extent,...Read more
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