Dance Professor Choreographs Show in Chicago

Paula Frasz, professor of dance in the NIU School of Theatre and Dance, brings her original choreography to an upcoming show in Chicago.

"The Escape," three Tennessee Williams plays and three corresponding modern dances, opens at the American Theater Company in Chicago for a six-performance run starting Thursday, November 3. Paula choreographed the dances which act as prequel, sequel and finale to the three plays. Each dance and play deals with the act of escape in a different way.

In the first, three members of a Mississippi chain gang listen while their compatriot tries to escape. The dance looks at five African-American dancers and their attempt to escape the larger bonds of racism and bigotry. Actors sing authentic chain gang songs as accompaniment.

"Summer At The Lake" deals with a sensitive boy and his overbearing mother who spend their last summer at a lake house before it is sold. He escapes reality by walking into the lake forever. The dance shows the inappropriate sexual tension between mother and son in a lyrical duet set to the music of Franz Schubert.

Finally, "Auto de Fe" shows an older man and his equally overbearing mother, his sexual but repressed urges as he longs to escape into the streets of New Orleans and sample the delights there. His escape is self-immolation after, in dance form, he imagines all the orgiastic experiences of New Orleans night life. The actors and live drummers provide music , singing "Ecstacy" by Rusted Root. The project was originally conceived and performed at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

There is a nice article about the show at - you can read the article here.

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