One of the most charming aspects of the PAC/Edge festival is its determination to exploit every possible venue of the Athenaeum for performance: restrooms, coatrooms or, in this case, vending-machine rooms all get pressed into service. Asimina Chremos and Kairol Rosenthal have created a short dance-theater piece that makes clever use of the unorthodox setting. Once the piece’s mini-audience of eight takes their stools, Chremos and Dan Mohr rise from their crouches side-by-side atop the Pepsi and 7-Up machines. Costumed as maintenance staff, names stitched above their breast pockets, Chremos and Mohr perform a simple but elegant duet, looking alternately like socialist realist posters come to life or fugitive heroes from a Hal Hartley dance sequence. Mohr courts Chremos with an aria that thunders resonantly within the cubicle, momentarily drowning out the relentless hum of the machines. Chremos dips her hands past the 7-Up machine’s ice and gushing soda advertisement as if it were a diving pool. Nestled within the schedule of longer, more elaborate pieces, “L’air Lair” itself functions as a welcome refreshment, even as it subtly alters your view of vending machines for good. (John Beer)
“L’Air Lair” plays at the PAC/Edge Festival at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 North Southport, (773)PAC-LINE, through April 10.