To create a concert celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of Hedwig Dances, founder and artistic director Jan Bartoszek turned to her earliest works. “I think I’ve grown as a choreographer over the years,” Bartoszek says, “but the reasons I wanted to make dance are in these works—ideas about dependence and independence—things I was grappling with in my life. I feel fortunate that I’ve been doing this long enough to look back.” The title piece of the show weaves together reworked excerpts from Bartoszek’s early pieces based in social dance—waltz, polka and tango—in a dialogue about human relationships. The waltz section is a reflection on courtship, and has text taken from a 1950s manual on social dance etiquette. The tango represents fierce independence, dancers who pivot around each other’s axes, but share little weight. And the polka…” One of my earliest memories of dance was of the polka. I grew up in a small rural community; that’s what people did at church and social gatherings.” For Bartoszek, a unifying thread runs from her earliest memories of dance through thirty years of work with her Chicago-based modern company. “Works are connected by the ideas of an author,” she said. “All things I’ve done are essentially one grand dance.”
The evening also features a new work by company member Edson Cabrera—a series of three duets that, in keeping with Bartoszek’s theme, explores relationships between friends, family and lovers, and a retrospective video by filmmaker Nadia Oussenko. (Sharon Hoyer)
Hedwig Dances at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 North Southport. Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16 at 7:30pm. $30-$42, seniors $20, students and children $15. For tickets, visit web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/9981796.