Theater, Dance, Comedy and Performance in Chicago

Preview: Hedwig Dances and DanzAbierta/Athenaeum Theatre

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This shared program between hometown Hedwig Dances and DanzAbierta from Havana, Cuba marks the beginning of an extended collaboration and cultural exchange. The two companies are beginning work on a joint, evening-length piece to be staged next year both here and in Havana (start working on that travel license now). What to look forward to this month: the premiere of Hedwig’s “ASCENDance,” a reflection on inundation of information and compression of space in which the dancers manipulate large, surprising, origami-like props, created by sculptor Barbara Cooper. Projections by Petra Bachmaier, lighting by Ken Bowen and music by Matthew Ferraro complete the mood.

DanzAbierta’s “Showroom” takes audiences behind the curtain to witness the transformation of personal grief and joys into theatrical performance. Choreographer Susana Pous was inspired by a show in which her balcony seat afforded a view of the performers waiting in the wings. What she witnessed offstage informed and enriched her experience of the choreographed moments intended for her eyes. “Showroom” peels away the masks of stage and life in surreal, dreamlike sequences, sandwiched between the explosive flash and gloss of a Tropicana nightclub act. (Sharon Hoyer)

At the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 North Southport, (773)935-6875. Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22 at 7:30pm. $15-$30.

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