Sample Critique

Poems You Can Dance To
By Jenn Morea

What does it look and sound like to dance to a poem? “And Now for the Dancing Pants!,” the latest creation be innovative performance group Chicago Dance Crash, has the answer.This new work, inspired by the poems of Chicago native Shel Silverstein, brings to life the atmosphere of the poem “Where the Sidewalk Ends”, and the other poems. As the title suggests, the primary tone is upbeat and carefree, but the tone occasionally becomes more serious, which can be heard in the music and seen in the movements.

The movements throughout the performance are mostly energetic. The dancers’ bodies quickly shift from high to low levels and then pop back up again. Throughout the performance, dancers work in ensembles and duets. Sometimes the dancers are in synch with one another and the choreography is smooth. However, at other times the dancers are all performing their own unique movements, and the variety and pace are more frenetic, making it challenging to focus on what is happening on any particular part of the stage.

It’s hard not to feel enthusiastic about “And Now for the Dancing Pants!” because these exuberant colorfully costumed performers seem to be having such a fun time together. They transform the repetition and rhyme of Silverstein’s poems into lively breakbeats and highlight his sensory-rich imagery with their stimulating and evocative movements. Check out “And Now for the Dancing Pants!” by Chicago Dance Crash to hear and see it for yourself. The performance runs at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts on Dec 2, 3, 9, and 10 at 8pm.