When Tiger Prawn, danced with androgynous allure by Marissa Moritz, is wielding her thrilling mix of modern dance and Shaolin Kung Fu, when its funkadelic early 1970s soundtrack is thumping away, when its two percussionists are pounding their drums stationed on both sides of the auditorium and when “The Kouken,” an ensemble of Ninja clones attired all in black with neon ankle straps, are performing a hypnotic Oriental fan dance, Chicago Dance Crash’s “Tiger Prawn: The Mountain Mover” easily becomes one of the most unique dance experiments presently to be enjoyed on the Chicago stage. At times resembling an Eastern-influenced Yoga class on steroids, boasting the wild colors of an Anime cartoon or evoking the physical grandeur of Chinese Opera, “Tiger Prawn” is chock-full of meticulously choreographed fight scenes that are true to the Hong Kong thrillers from which it partly takes its inspiration, as well as featuring wistful ballet solos that offer some counterpoint to all that technical testosterone. Although a spoken-word narration accompanies this dance concert throughout, I couldn’t begin to tell you what “Tiger Prawn”’s convoluted “story” is. Instead, I perceived “sketches” and hints of character, relationships, allegiances and rivalries, and that was more than enough to enjoy the dance. And that’s probably my one gripe with Chicago Dance Crash and their need to saddle their movement plays with ponderous and meandrous dialogue that ultimately adds very little. In fact, it probably extends the work longer than it should be, and for all its holistic pronouncements amounts to little more than Eastern philosophical kitsch. But I’ll be damned if “Tiger Prawn” didn’t possess passionate dancing, an enjoyable punk-ass sense of humor and a look like a Kung Fu beat ‘em up video game come to choreographic life. (Fabrizio O. Almeida)
Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph, (312)742-8497. Fri-Sat 7:30pm/Sun 3pm. $10-$15. Through Jul 15.