Same Planet Hits the Dance Center

Artistic Director Joanna Rosenthal. Photo by William Frederking.

Same Planet Different World headed by Joanna Rosenthal is hitting the stage at The Dance Center this weekend for the first time.  The three-piece program featuring Rosenthal’s Grey Noise,  Black Label Movement Artistic Director, Carl Flink’s new work HIT, and Shapiro & Smith Dance‘s To Have and To Hold and will showcase the 11-member company’s strength, athleticism and emotional range.

Grey Noise, a finalist the last year’s The A.W.A.R.D. Show!, is Rosenthal’s 32-minute thesis work that was inspired by ’40s and ’50s film noir.  The company has toured the piece, but this is the first time they are presenting it in Chicago.  Commissioned by SPDW in 2008, To Have and To Hold may be familiar to local audiences.  Incorporating three, seven-foot-long benches, the dancers lean, flip, slide and rest on them while telling of the fragility of life.

The world premiere on the program is Flink’s HIT.  The movement was developed with the SPDW dancers and his own BLM dancers in Minnesota and is extremely physical.  “It’s pretty intense,” says the petite Rosenthal on a brutally cold February morning, when RB stopped by to watch rehearsal at Links Hall.  “We’ve had some cracked teeth, split lips, sprained ankles…it’s daredevil stuff.  It’s not about feeling good in your body.  It’s about that moment of being hit and what that moment does.”  As the title suggests, collision is the goal.  The four dancers tasked with this piece are not faint of heart.  They did a full-out run to a random piece of music (the original score by Greg Borsofske wasn’t finished yet) of the 19-minute piece and I was exhausted just watching them.  “He’s (Flink) always pushing the limits physically,” says Rosenthal.  “I was interested in that, because I relate to his hunger for eating space with athleticism and movement.”  The hits are real, hard and loud – and the ladies take hits and give it back equally to the men.  When asked which part hurts the most, they laughed, but all had different answers.  The main concern was to be present and to make it as pain-free as possible.

This is a high-energy, eager and appreciative group of dancers made up of alums from University of Iowa, Northwestern and Point Park.  “I am super lucky to have amazing dancers,” Rosenthal says.  “I have a ton of respect and gratitude for them.”

The Dance Center at Columbia College, March 10 – 12 @ 8 pm

Tickets:  $26 – 30, call 312.369.8330 or

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *