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September 16, 2013

Sybil Shearer – IN A VACUUM

Sybil Shearer performing IN A VACUUM 

It’s probably time you got to know dancer/choreographer Sybil Shearer. We can suggest a time and place to begin. On September 20, 2013 at the Logan Center for the Arts, you can see the Thodos Dance Chicago perform the very first restaging of Shearers’ “In a Vacuum” accompanied by the Fulcrum Point New Music Project. It is then and there that you can experience Shearers’ vision of the mid twentieth century machine-age worker derailed from his or her humanity.

Her stuff is good, funny and unusual. We know it because we have been stabilizing and digitizing her dances recorded on film, shot by her long-time artistic collaborator Helen Morrison. Shearers’ dance is unique, spiritual and earthly at the same time.

Trained on the east coast by the likes of Doris Humphrey and Agnes de Mille, Sybil debuted her talents as a dancer at Carnegie Hall in 1941. In spite of the huge success of her performance there, she chose to quietly slip away from the glare of fame and notoriety that New York brings to develop her art in the plains of Chicago “…a magical place…the place that the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead had said was the seedbed of creativity out of which so many artists had come… Everything called for me to create in a new way.”

The work of Helen Morrison and Sybil Shearer is abundant and still unseen. Thanks to the Morrison-Shearer Foundation, CFA has been organizing, inventorying, stabilizing, cataloging and digitizing the work of these two women who today go largely unknown.

Take a chance and spend an unusual night as the Thodos Dance Chicago restages In a Vacuum for the first time.

September 20, 2013, 7:30PM

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
University of Chicago Film Archives 915 E. 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637