Ephrat Asherie Dance in Odeon (photo courtesy of Ephrat Asherie Dance).
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
To open the 45th season of its Dance Presenting Series this fall, the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago will the Chicago debut of Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD), a company rooted in street and social dance.
Odeon, an original work for seven dancers and four musicians, represents the second collaboration between sister-and-brother team Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie and Ehud Asherie (choreographer and musical director, respectively). Set to the music of Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth, known for mixing early 20th century romantic music with samba and other popular Afro-Brazilian rhythms, this work takes a hybrid approach to movement. Odeon delves into what happens when you bring together the extended family of street and club dances—including breaking, hip hop, house and vogue—remix them, pick them apart and challenge them to inhabit unfamiliar spatial and choreographic contexts.
Following the premiere of Odeon at Jacob’s Pillow, Carolyn and Eli Newberger wrote in The Berkshire Edge, “Just when you thought you knew something about dance, along comes Ephrat Asherie to blow that all to smithereens. …Asherie stretches boundaries and categories of dance, and in the process, redefines what dance is and what dance can do.” Also in The Berkshire Edge, Liz Thompson wrote, “Ephrat Asherie creates a world I want to live in. …The dancers and musicians are stellar. The work is a gift.”
Coinciding with EAD’s residency on Saturday, October 13 is the B-Series, the Dance Center’s free mini-festival celebrating the cultures, histories and aesthetics of hip-hop and street-dance forms, such as breaking, popping and Chicago footwork. With a jam as the focal point, blurring the lines between spectator and participant and spotlighting some of the most talented street dancers in the region going head to head in dance battles, the B-Series is a gathering space where all can learn through and connect to the rich culture of hip hop.
Performances of Ephrat Asherie Dance take place October 11–13 at the Dance Center, 1306 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Tickets are available by calling 312-369-8330 or online at dance.colum.edu.