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Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010

‘Action!’ at Danceworks

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Danceworks Performance Company will present a new concert—“Lights, DPC…Action!”—in its Studio Theatre, 1661 N. Water St., from Feb. 26 through March 7. Artistic Director Dani Kuepper asked the company to explore the collaborative process commonly used in the group’s early years. Taking film genres as inspiration, Danceworks’ resident choreographers made individual dances with feedback from the others, who, in most cases, are the dancers.

Films both reflect and shape us. Thus, Melissa Anderson is interested in the tension between the uniformity and individuality of the women in Busby Berkeley’s seminal films. Her background is ballet with its corps of girls in tutus simultaneously objectified and empowered. Kelly Anderson’s Une Notte in Roma (foreign films) is an erotic encounter inspired by the flamboyant freedom of expression in Italian films. She’ll dance it with Steven Moses. Simon Andreas Eichinger will dance the titular character in Anderson’s take on Hollywood sexuality, Secret Agent: Misson Improbable (spy genre), with a go-go chorus of Charlie’s Angels.

Kuepper helped Eichinger shape a horror movie reflection from the dark side of his imagination. The Unraveling is “really creepy. We haven’t tried to challenge our audiences much. This one will.”

Kim Johnson-Rockafellow contributed Fuyu Mojibi (Red Leaves in Winter), a meditation on balletic martial arts films.Holly Keskey (war movies) has her dancers respond to the soldiers’ prayer This Is My Rifle. Christal Wagner (animated films) has them playing swing-dancing monkeys in Walk Like You, Talk Like You.Diana LeMense takes them to an imaginary banquet set to music from The Big Night. Liz Hildebrandt’s Bound. Struggle. Release deconstructs the suspense genre. Kuepper’s work ends the journey: When the Dog Bites,set to music from The Sound of Music (movie musicals), will be a characteristically “bright, bold, very physical bit of silliness with a surprise twist.”