“The Bowie Project,” the brainchild of Austin-based choreographer Andrea Ariel, whose other credits include the choreography for the film Waiting for Guffman and a three-part dance-theatre series on the floating garbage patch in the North Pacific Gyre, was an exercise in personae, layering, fragmenting, and improvisation. The performance, which incorporated three dancers, the David Bowie tribute band the Super Creeps, and three members of New York’s Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble, utilized Soundpainting, a “composing sign language” invented by musician Walter Thompson.
As part of its “Flower of the Season,” currently in its 14th year, Body Weather Laboratory (a forum for investigating kinesthetic and movement research that was initiated in 1988 by dancer/farmer and improvisateur, Min Tanaka), presented a new work by Oguri, the Japan-born Butoh dancer who leads BWL in Venice, and, to be blunt, never fails to astonish.
When terpsichorean stars align, magic can happen. Such is the case with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, a troupe founded 40 years ago by Lou Conte and directed by the indefatigable Glenn Edgerton since 2009. Edgerton comes to his role with a prestigious pedigree: Having danced 11 years with the Joffrey Ballet before taking the helm at Netherlands Dance Theater for a decade, his curatorial skills are in full flower as he and his 16-member troupe celebrate Hubbard’s four-decade anniversary.