Hypnotic

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halprin-collod.jpgMidway through the latest MCA Stage production, Anna Halprin/Anne Collod and guests: parades & changes, replays when dancer Laurent Pichaud was transformed into a wacky, flummoxing cross between Rae Dawn Chong in Quest for Fire and Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind run through a trash compactor, wearing a variety of disparate costumes and accoutrements, from animal heads to hoop skirts to fur-lined clogs to trash bags to a mop and bucket which the rest of the cast had piled on him while a hypnotic, electronica score played in the background, I had to remind myself that I was neither drunk, medicated, or ‘shroomed.   I have always been an avid fan and passionate advocate of MCA Stage, but this adventurous, highly audience-demanding show, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that it plays an essential, irreplaceable role in making sure that our beloved Chicago will never just be flyover country in the minds and hearts of serious performance artists everywhere.  I’m not really sure if parades & changes, replays is dance, theater, bizarro fashion show, or a combination David Lynchian-Burning Man fantasia, but, it is a highly memorable, intriguing, jaw-dropping night of performance (and I guess the New York Times and the audience in this summer’s Athens and Epidaurus Festival, one of the most prestigious dance festivals in the world, also didn’t really know what to make of it, as well.)

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