12 Mar “Bindis and Bruises” and “Encuentros” at Chicago Danztheatre Chicago
Tonight is the last chance to see Bindis and Bruises and Encuentros on the same program. There will be special performances of Bindis and Bruises on Friday, March 18th and Saturday, March 19th.
Both pieces are fascinating. Both are about relationships, but from very different perspectives.
Bindis and Bruises was conceived by ensemble member Priya Narayan when she was working on a master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Arts. It has since grown through collaboration. Ellyzabeth Adler directs it. Bindis and Bruises is intended to bring “awareness to issues of domestic and dating violence to offer solutions for change and hope.” The piece integrates the experiences of survivors. It was inspired in part by Adler’s own experiences facing dating violence and her belief that stories can help the healing process.
The piece incorporates classical Indian dances and religious Hindu storytelling with elements of modern dance as well as texts, but everything melds smoothly. It engages several senses, with incense and spoken word as well as movement. It is, of course, intense. I found myself sorrowful, angry, and fearful, but it was involving, not unbearable. The ending is positive and healing.
Note: A bindi is a red dot worn on the center of the forehead, commonly by Hindu women.
On the same program, Encuentros, choreographed by Silvita Diaz-Brown, follows the journey of two couples, presenting alternative outcomes of a relationship. Diaz-Brown attempts to show that “a loving relationship should not be an oppressive relationship rooted in patriarchy and misogyny, but a partnership between equals that brings out the best in us as human beings.”
Her work “interweaves dance, partner-acrobatics, sound, ritual gesture and poetry to recreate scenes of life experiences.” It includes hypnotic music and a recording of an original poem. Particularly effective is the repeated use of the words “flying, flying” and “volando, volando,” which translates to “flying” in Spanish and takes on different meanings as the dance progresses. The dancers are strong, flexible, and fearless.
The night I saw the program, it was sold out; in fact, they had to add extra chairs.
Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble’s mission is to challenge, engage and inspire audiences through innovative, multidisciplinary storytelling. The aim is to explore important social issues in an artistic setting.
Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble has been in existence 15 years. Ellyzabeth Adler founded it 2001 to bring together artists that wanted to inspire positive change in the world through performance.
Adler lives on the northwest side and is involved in efforts to jumpstart cultural development in the area.
Ebenezer Lutheran Church Auditorium, 1650 W. Foster Ave., Chicago
After each performance, a post-show talk back will take place
Tickets range between $10-20, but are free for high school and middle school students.
Tickets are available at the website, powered by Brown Paper Tickets http://www.danztheatre.org/
Photos by Al Zayed