Of his 1924 play “In the Jungle of Cities, ” Bertolt Brecht entreats his audience not to “worry your heads about the motives of the fight, concentrate on the stakes.” Peter Carpenter’s latest creation for Lucky Plush, inspired by Brecht’s Chicago tale of two men locked in battle, dissects the concept of a motivation-less struggle from shifting vantage points. We see the virtuosic ensemble struggle, watch struggle, resist and succumb to physical manipulation. Text—some original, some lifted from the play—add theoretical musings and deconstructive moments that peel away at Carpenter’s multi-layered themes while contributing a marvelous texture to the movement. Carpenter invents a physical language full of nuance and humor, yet we feel immediately fluent. The piece takes place between several rooms, and the installation works beautifully in the Galaxie warehouse space—strikingly so in starker moments, as when one dancer, dressed in a vest and button-down shirt, slithers across the floor in pursuit of a dollar bill; or when another discovers the spontaneous grace of her limbs before awkwardly posing with a self-conscious grin. (Sharon Hoyer)
“The Sky Hangs Down Too Close” runs at The Galaxie, 203 West Barry, June 27-29. Tickets available at luckyplush.com.