Blonde on blonde on
Ten Marilyn Monroes dance the night away
If one Marilyn Monroe
is good, then ten must be better. Although a dreary
Hallow's Eve depletes the ranks by eight, the rehearsal
goes on, undaunted like its muse and patron saint. Led
by Chicago-based choreographer Rachel Thorne Germond,
the dance represents what she calls Monroe's "embodiment
of paradox." Based on a performance-art piece,
"5 Marilyns," originally done while she was
an MFA student at the University of Illinois, Germond
has expanded and opened this to her Links Hall dance
workshop students, some of whom are dancing for the
first time. "I wanted the workshop students to
reinterpret the piece, to take emotions in pop culture
and make them abstract and profound," she says.
In less than two weeks, Germond took ten divergent interpretations
of Marilyn and shaped them into a comprehensive dance.
Effortlessly switching personas, dancer Andrea Gerniglia
pulls off her Marilyn wig, revealing her dewy youthfulness.
Participating in this dance, she began to experience
that paradox of strength, defenselessness and siren-next-door
quality Marilyn brought to the screen. "My only
reference to Marilyn is through pop culture," she
notes. With gestures drawn from films like "The
Misfits," "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,"
and "Some Like It Hot," the dancers alternatively
reveal Marilyn's innocence and insouciance from her
hyper-feminine nude pinups to the more world-weary film
star stumbling across the stage in pain. Dressed simply
in black with blonde curly wigs, the workshop students
make Marilyn seem more real and less maudlin. They come
to praise her, not to make her into a character. The
Marilyn dance premieres at Links Hall at 3435 North
Sheffield, (773) 281-0824, at 8pm, November 7-9. (2002-11-06)
Copyright Newcity Communications, Inc.
-Tracey Lewis, New