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ODD at ODC Theater Speculates on the Nature of Flesh and the Human Condition

AXIS Dance Group and inkBoat; Photo by Michele Clement

Ballet. Tap. Jazz. Modern. Hip hop. Rhythm and Motion. All forms of dance you're familiar with. Wheelchairs moving effortlessly in a seamlessly choreographed work of art—now, this is a dance concept you may never have heard of. This weekend, inkBoat and AXIS Dance Company come together to present ODD at ODC Theater, a collaboration inspired by the Scandinavian painter Odd Nerdrum whose work plunges to the depths of human condition, exposing loneliness, fear, hatred, birth, and death with uncanny precision.

Artistic Director of AXIS Dance Company Judith Smith was drawn to Nerdrum’s material because "the subject matter is often dark and the potential for using the light, gestures, and shapes in the paintings and translating that to movement is a very different vocabulary than what we're used to," she says. Choreographed by current ODC artist-in-residence and inkBoat Artistic Director Shinichi Iova-Koga, the work is accompanied by the music of famed cellist/composer Joan Jeanrenaud and vocalist Dohee Lee.

With ODD, there is no room for sympathy onstage. Instead, the viewer is forced to come to terms with the beauty of what is, instead of focusing on what isn't—these performers don't look at disability as obstacle, but rather use it as an exercise in what is possible when one places no limitations.

AXIS Dance Company is one of the world’s most acclaimed and innovative ensembles of performers with and without disabilities. inkBoat is a performance company that uses a hybrid of traditional and experimental forms weaved with Physical Theater and Japanese Butoh Dance.

ODD, with inkBoat and AXIS Dance Company, at ODC Theater; $18; 11/5 - 11/7, 3153 17th St., odctheater.org