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Visceral Fall Engagement

by: Elizabeth|October 11th, 2015


Saturday October 10th Kidgrade had the pleasure of attending Visceral Dance Company’s fall engagement. Visceral opened it’s third season at the Harris Theater and the show met all expectations we had and more.

As some of you already know I grew up dancing, have a BA in dance, and currently am a ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance instructor; naturally, I enjoy heading out to dance performances as often as possible. I have been trying to catch a Visceral performance since it’s first season and finally my husband snagged some tickets. Having been familiar with Nick Pupillo’s (artistic director) work before I was expecting exceptionally technical dancers, clean lines, and strength from his pieces but wasn’t sure what to expect from the guest choreographers.

The show consisted of five pieces Sum Noir, Duet Mabul, Bate, She Three, and Hadal Zone. Each piece was entrancing, moving, and beautiful to watch in very different ways.

Two of the shows strongest pieces were choreographed by the company’s artistic director and founder Nick Pupillo. Sum Noir, the show opener featured all ten gorgeous company members and was jam packed with stunning movement and lovely lighting design. Pupillo’s creativity was bursting at the seams and at more then one occasion I was moved to tears. She Three, the second of Pupillo’s pieces, was three of the Visceral ladies dressed in flesh tones under pools of light. These three women were breathtaking and strong. I couldn’t stop being amazed by all of their muscles. She Three was not the most exciting piece of the night but it did deliver what we can expect from the VIsceral Dancers, amazing technique and beautiful movement.

Duet Mabul, choreographed by Ohad Naharin, was a duet danced by two of the companies strongest members. It was clear the two dancers were telling a story through movement. My only complaint is that this was the shortest piece in the show and I wanted to see more.

The crowd pleaser Bate, choreographed by Fernando Melo, was light and super fun. The first half of the piece was quite comical and reminded me of something you might see in Vaudeville. The piece featured an all male cast except for the snippets of women’s arms and hands you glimpse in one portion of the dance. I thought the jokes were hilarious and found myself giggling almost uncontrollably at certain points. The second half of the piece evolved into something much more technical and less campy. It was incredibly refreshing to see male dancers doing more then tossing women around which is how the media and television portrays them. Bate may have been my favorite of the night.

Choreographer Brian Enos, delivered an energetic way to end the night with Hadal Zone. The dancers didn’t stop this entire piece. The energy and stamina was simply amazing. The music was also a bit more up tempo than the choices of the rest of the evening. I enjoyed the dancing but had a hard time getting past the costumes. They looked a bit like something out of a Hunger Games arena.

Kidgrade can’t wait for the next Visceral performance. They are quickly becoming our favorite dance company in the city! If you have an opportunity to see them, just do it, it makes for a great date night.


Visceral Dance Chicago in a fall engagement at Harris Theater in Millennium Park, “Duet Mabu” by Ohad Naharin with Karl Watson and Caitlin Cucchiara.

(Lewis P Kopp photo)

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