Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble ETHEREAL ABANDONMENT Review- Leaving Your Mark

Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble re-creates Dreams Found in an Abandoned Building

ETHEREAL ABANDONMENT begins with a silent film projected on the back wall as the performers dance in and take their place among the set. It is a large open space that we are all seated around. Among the many curious objects there is a bathtub, a piano, a chest, and a dress form, all draped in white cloth, waiting to be discovered. Three woman dressed like Greek muses pose on a ledge at the back of the stage where they remain for most of the performance.

From the actors narrating the story we learn that this abandoned stage still holds the stories of the past and a promise of inspiration for future generations. Three explorers arrive and soon discover there is something magical about the abandoned theater. As they inspect the objects, the ghosts of past performers appear and play tricks on them. They slam a chest and move furniture so the explorers know there is something off about this space. We watch as these discoveries help these explorers to find their own inspirations.

Along the way, we meet the buildings prior inhabitants and learn why they left their old lives behind. Three muses tell their story of having been someone’s muse but no longer inspiring anyone. They dance and sing about their loss and feeling trapped in time.

One of the explorers is inspired by their performance and begins to play a song for them. Isaura Flores’ stellar performance on the piano speaks to the theme of the show. For this writer, the lyrics and her moving performance is one of the most powerful moments in ETHEREAL ABANDONMENT. It leaves us in awe of her talent and the importance of the show.

At another point, two women dancers, in matching dresses, who have been guides for the explorers then tell their tale of friendship.  This included an impressive solo using a chair as a prop and a very visual dance recounting how a mother struggles to care for her daughter while also trying to sew her a perfect dress.

Candace Casey Photographs’ Launch Point

Combining film, music, dance and acting ETHEREAL ABANDONMENT takes its inspiration from a series of photographs by Candace Casey of abandoned buildings and what is found within them. Her photographs incorporate both the natural and the industrial to create a unique look that the show emulates.

Ellyzabeth Adler, who directed, choreographed and performed in ETHEREAL ABANDONMENT has given us a unique and moving theatrical experience. Adler’s choreography expertly weaves the stories of these many characters together well. It has a message of following your dreams and leaving your mark on the world. This message comes across strongly as choreography

Photo: Candace Casey

Ellyzabeth Adler, who directed, choreographed and performed in ETHEREAL ABANDONMENT has given us a unique and moving theatrical experience. Adler’s choreography expertly weaves the stories of these many characters together well. It has a message of following your dreams and leaving your mark on the world. This message comes across strongly as choreography depicting dreams of present day artists mirrors the choreography of the artists from the past. It is a theme that likely speaks to a wide audience and many will probably connect with it.

Photo: Candace Casey

For this writer, the multi-disciplinary nature of the show makes it especially easy to latch into the production and follow the story. The dancing reveals the emotions of the characters.   Perhaps others who are similarly not overly familiar with dance performance, will likely find this work accessible and engaging.

Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble is dedicated to “performance with a purpose”. Their Multidisciplinary storytelling aims to unite all media and further the genre of art. They are also dedicated to providing arts education to Chicago students. Their though provoking pieces and educational aim to inspire Chicagoland residents and spark a love for art.

For more information about Chicago Danztheatre and to find out about future performances visit the Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble website.

Photos Courtesy of Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble

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