Sunday, December 16, 2007


SportMarty and I had plans to see Asimino Chremos's new piece Red Swan Red Swan last night at Links Hall. She's been dancing in Chicago forever and I teach on Friday mornings at her place, Silverspace. But for some reason I'd never seen her perform.

I suspected that the show was going to be good, because I'd been looking at the red tutus she was going to wear for weeks. In fact Asimina and one of the regular Friday students recently put them on and did poses in them - which was hilarious. (I actually took some pix, and will ask for permission to put them up). You really haven't enjoyed yoga until you've done Caturanga Dandasana in a bright red tutu.

But I digress.

Long before they predicted yesterday's blizzard - which "punched the nation in its midsection" last night - we decided to walk to the show. It had more to do with parking than the poor polar bears, but that was the plan.

Meantime it continued to snow. And snow. And snow.

SportMarty called when he was halfway to my house, and told me to wear an extra layer because the wind was kicking up.

We trudged to the performance, complaining loudly about the inflatable holiday lawn decorations that are causing the polar ice caps to melt. The wind whipped the snow into our eyes, and we wondered why we hadn't worn ski goggles.

We also discussed whether or not we'd see any drunken Saturday night barhoppers wearing cleavage-showing shoes and tank tops - something we see each and every time we hang out, regardless of temperature. I bet that we would.

There was a good turnout for Asimina's show, despite the weather.

When they let us in the performance was already in progress. Dancers were writhing and rolling around on top of one other, flinging each other around, doing somersaults, etc. I think it's called contact-improv. It was mind-blowing to see bodies move like that, when you're used to the discipline and same movements of yoga. Also amazing was that no one messed up and put the other person at risk. Maybe they're like the BDSM folks, and have a secret password or something.

The space is next to the El tracks, and a few trains went by.

At one point, a ladder appeared in one of the windows. A short time later, a man's head appeared. He knocked on the window, and they let him in. For a moment I thought it might be Bobeisennow (with whom I went to India in 2002). But when he took off his many layers of clothes, it was clear he was not.

He finished the dance with Asimina, who then changed into *another* bright red outfit - while we watched.

Then she began to move to live music. It was riveting.

The show was a tribute "to the memory of Anna Paskevska and all of [Asimina's] ballet teachers."

Then she tore down some of the set, and put on a tutu and pointe shoes. She got up on them and began to move towards the middle of the room taking miniscule steps and making tap-tapping sounds. It was like she was on stilts. Then one of the musicians mic'ed her feet, and the sound reverberated even more. The image was startling.

The final act had her in black, and was sad.

I don't know what it all means, but it was awesome. She can move like no one else.

And the whole thing lasted about 45 minutes.


* * *

On the way home we stopped for mediocre Chinese food at Chen's (NOTE TO CHEF: NO ONE, AND I MEAN NO ONE, CAN CONSUME THAT MUCH SLIMY BORING TOFU IN ONE SITTING - ESPECIALLY WHEN THE DISH IS CALLED "STIR-FRIED GREENS") and watched the storm get worse. There was more snow, and it was horizontal.

After paying, we put on our many layers of clothes and headed towards my house. On the way we saw some fratdrunks in plaid golf shorts dart across the street to another bar. But still no tank top ladies.

During our walk, we realized we were trudging faster than the cars on the street.

We decided to stop at Julius Meinl for some molten chocolate cake.

The Viennese coffee shop is owned by an Austrian company that's been around forever, and is quite authentic (it's their only outlet in the US). They serve tea and coffee on a silver tray with an actual teaspoon, a side of water, a tube of sugar and a little cookie. Their desserts are amazing.

To our surprise, a classical duo began playing some exquisite music. Turns out it was the Sharon Chung Duo; apparently she is or was with the Civic Orchestra -- which is the farm team for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

After gorging ourselves on tea and cake, we layered up and headed outside for the final leg of the trip home.

The storm was even worse.

Yet there were still a few people out trudging.

And that's when we saw them, right in front of Toons.

Two drunken girls, clinging to drunken guys.

One woman was in middle the street, standing in the slush, trying to get a good grip on her man - who was trying to hail a taxi. But there were no taxis.

The other woman was near the door, standing in a snow drift, getting shelter in her boyfriend's arms.

Both women were wearing spike heels and tank tops.

Tank tops.

In a blizzard.

High heels.

In snow.

We thought we'd seen it all (And began speculating about why the men didn't act like men and leave the ladies inside and get the cab while they waited. Apparently chivalry really is dead).

But we hadn't seen it all. Yet.

Because then we heard a bellow from the woman in the street.


Ah, maya.....


  1. Anonymous6:09 PM

    Random yoga question from the Peanut Gallery. Is "yogini" a real word? And if so, is it pronounced "yoh-GHEE-knee" or "YOH-guh-knee"?

  2. According to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary:

    1. Yes.
    2. The latter.
    Details here.

  3. What a great evening! Thanks for that review of the performance -- I wish I could have seen it!

    Yoga in a tutu, eh? Great help in mayurasana, I imagine...