Jump­ing across the dig­i­tal di­vide

Chicago Sun-Times - - AGENDA - CIT­I­ZEN Thu 10/ 12Sat 10/ 14 , 7: 30 PM, Dance Cen­ter of Columbia Col­lege, 1306 S. Michi­gan, 312- 369- 8330, col­umedu. dance­cen­ter, $ 30.

THE WORLD IS BE­COM­ING more and more dig­i­tized, but chore­og­ra­pher Reg­gie Wil­son doesn’t see tech­nol­ogy as a threat to the dance world at least. On the con­trary, “the more tech­nol­ogy i s present, peo­ple have more of a need for con­tact,” he says. “For phys­i­cal re­la­tion­ships, and real present ac­tiv­ity. Live ac­tiv­ity.”

For the past year, Wil­son and his dance com­pany, Foot + Heel Per­for­mance Group, have been tour­ing with Cit­i­zen, a piece that uses ex­tended solo per­for­mances to ex­plore themes of iden­tity and be­long­ing. Tech­nol­ogy was a boon for Wil­son dur­ing the re­search process— Google and YouTube al­lowed him to an­a­lyze the spe­cific move­ments of com­mu­ni­ties around the world.

“I’m not big on nar­ra­tive or sto­ry­telling, but com­mu­ni­cat­ing is a key hu­man ac­tiv­ity, and what I’ve found is the value in non­lit­er­ate cul­tures. The more we find about na­ture and hu­man abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate, the more we find out that some of th­ese cul­tures and com­mu­ni­ties that we thought were prim­i­tive and back­ward are ac­tu­ally jump­ing the dig­i­tal di­vide” to con­vey mean­ing.

This non­ver­bal, non­lit­er­ate com­mu­ni­ca­tion is what makes dance at once uni­ver­sal and sub­ject to in­ter­pre­tion, and Wil­son be­lieves that to be a ma­jor strength of the art form: “The poetry of dance is that it opens it­self to be­ing rel­e­vant to more than one per­son at the same time.” — OLIVER SAVA

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