SPDW Dance Theatre Launches Two World Premieres for 15th Anniversary
Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre (SPDW), a Chicago-based modern dance ensemble, launches its 15th Anniversary with a spring mixed repertory program featuring two World Premieres by guest choreographer Peter Carpenter and SPDW Artistic Director Joanna Rosenthal, along with reprisals of work by Chicagoan Colleen Halloran and former Stephen Petronio Company dancer and rehearsal director, Ashleigh Leite.
SPDW presents its 15th Anniversary Spring Program in the Zacek McVay Theater of the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, March 8 –10 at 8 pm.
About the first show: Carpenter presents the fifth installment in his ongoing dance-drama cycle that explores alternate definitions of wealth. In Rituals of Abundance for Lean Times #5: Lavish Possession, accompanied by an original score by Michael Caskey, Carpenter delivers abstract treatise on the relationship between abundance, excess and ownership, while also interrogating his own process as a dance-maker. He articulates the concerns of authorship and possession through
spoken text and an unconventional, nuanced dance vocabulary. “I’ve been influenced recently
by two pieces of literature, one by Ruby Payne on the nature of poverty and the different
relationships to time based on class, and another on Buddhist philosophy by Pema Chödrön
about reconnecting with the importance of being present as a spiritual practice,” commented
Carpenter. “These two texts started me thinking about how dancing and making a dance
requires a kind of attention that values the here and now. The ramifications of ‘being present’ in
civic, spiritual and economic spheres has been the guiding inquiry of this work.”
About the second show: Rosenthal presents It is What it Is, a new work takes the pervasive American idiom “it is what it is,” used to voice acceptance of the unchangeable, as a jumping-off point to explore curiosities about the role of the artist in modern society. In this work, Rosenthal invokes the era of Vaudeville as her stylistic tool for approach. Through research on Vaudeville and the artists that participated in this lucrative but short-lived genre, she poses a dichotomy between “artist” and “entertainer” that questions the values of both. “From rejection, shortage in funding, politics, self criticism, and tremendous financial and personal sacrifice, I ask myself ‘when is enough enough’,” Rosenthal shared of her creative process. Rosenthal crafts a sophisticated work for three dancers full of historic references but decidedly contemporary in feel.
Rounding out SPDW’s Spring Program are two “audience favorite” repertory selections.
Halloran’s female duet After Many Years, originally choreographed in 2003, paints an abstract
portrait of support between two women that have spent their lives together, who know what the
other will do before it even happens.
Leite’s trio The Drift League, commissioned by SPDW in 2007 as part of the Guest Artist
Project, combines quick, sharply angular movement with innovative costuming that limits the
dancers’ use of their arms, resulting in a high-velocity, off-kilter dance of tension and attack.
Tickets are $24 general admission and $15 for students with ID, and are available by calling the
Victory Gardens Box Office at 773-871-3000 or online at www.victorygardens.com.