A high wind in North Dakota forced Michael Estanich to pull off the highway and videotape the play of prairie grass that “looked like the ocean.” This is the inspiration for RE|Dance’s “Inhabitants of Tall Grass, ” an austere trio of great beauty and tenderness. Midwest ancestral blood should stir at the horizontal extensions, the graceful and severe lines—planes on plains—evoking images of broad expanses under vast skies. The earth too is a character in the first half, less in the gravity it applies to the dancers—their avian limbs and spines respond to pillows of air, not pulls of earth—than in their gently downcast eyes. Estanich and co-director Lucy Riner create small, onstage worlds in which dancers can play; sections of tall grass cut from roadsides will be installed on the floor of Links Hall with video of grasslands projected behind. The program concludes with “The Attic Room,” a longer, episodic piece that explores memory, confinement, play, youth and old age as a band of masked bird-people seek to escape an attic filled with old books, maps and warm lamplight. (Sharon Hoyer)
At Links Hall, 3435 North Sheffield, January 13 and January 14 at 8pm, January 15 at 7pm. $15. For advance tickets visit brownpapertickets.com.