Saturday, February 4, 2012

This is a Damage Manual-BONEdanse Rocks!

In the opening scene of This is a Damage Manual, the ensemble is in suspended animation, frozen in space and time, as the audience filters in.  Take a good look, as this is one of the last moments of calm before a storm of political, passionate, intense dance.  We adored this surreal look at damaged souls, making the best of an insane world.  Damage Manual had the whole audience laughing and cringing in turn.  The music was fantastic and the message right on target.  This show is a must see for self help addicts, skeptics, and nonconformists.   Is the message hitting a little too close to home?  You can even duck out for a hypnotically suggested tranquilizer, in the form of a well stocked lobby bar, over intermission.

I was blown away by the excellent, multimedia presentation, and the way BONEdanse organically melds into the space.   They made great use of the varying textures in The Wit walls, projecting giant images on the black cinder block back wall and throwing visually stunning shadow play across the brick and metal end walls.    The voice overs of Earl Nightingale, self help guru, were even more disturbingly wonderful with the vintage scratch of a record running throughout.   Atalee Judy and the ensemble take us on a vital journey through the eyes of a driven, unbalanced ballerina, an over medicated 50's houswife, a nazi, and more.   The audience is propelled on a journey through dream treatment, tranquilizers, and other attempts to numb people into acquiescence in an unbalanced world.

Conceptually, this is an adult piece, or recommended for mature tweens and teens.   Although there isn't anything objectionable or over the top, if you're considering bringing underagers.   

Here are our post show shots.   Be sure to stick around for snacks and a bit of shopping therapy after the show!    The multifaceted women of BONEdanse not only choreograph, write, and kick butt on stage, but they design amazing, affordable eco-friendly clothes too!!   Instead of a fundraiser, BONEdanse is selling Bone Ware.   Damage Manual was drop dead delicious, but it's well worth the ticket price to get to the goodies.   T's are only $5-$15.   Fleeces are $15.  One of a kind Upcycled T-Shirt dresses are $30-$40.   

Check out photographer, Chrystyne, modeling one in our shots above.   I snagged the awesome black & orange one with excellent text on the back "I will not be a victim...I will not be a perpetrator....above all I will not be a bystander &'s what matters.

BONEdanse is one of our favorite Chi-town dance troupes.   Check out their creative and ferocious theatre.   These women are all about being smart AND mighty, and they create some mighty fine, thought provoking pieces of modern dance.   We've been loving their weekly Danse Skitz.   Check 'em all out on YouTube where Danse Skitz #1-10 are all archived.   They were all shot around Chicago last June through August.  

Don't miss the opportunity to see them live.   This is a Damage Manual has just 6 performances left!

Check out ChiIL Mama's prior coverage with more show details and Chrystyne's exceptional photos here. 


february 2-12, 2012 

th/fri/sat 8pm, sun 3pm

theater wit

1229 belmont 

tickets $15-$24


BONEdanse’s (simplified from its former Breakbone DanceCo), evening length version of This is a Damage Manual premieres this February; a satirical, witty, and humoured performance that offers as many absurd questions about the idiosyncrasies of human behavior as it answers. 

With its title sourced directly from the industrial post-punk music entity The Damage Manual featuring 80s punk era icons Martin Atkins (Public Image Ltd [Pil], Killing Joke), Chris Connelly (Murder, Inc), Geordie Walker (Killing Joke) and Jah Wobble (PiL), BONEdanse’s Damage Manual, also draws largely from the world of vintage instruction manuals and self-help vinyl records to explore how universally damaged we all are and how many of us stay that way.

Once again, here's the basics:

WHAT:  Damage Manual, a darkly comedic dance theater work examining vintage self-help books and recordings through dynamic physicality.

WHO: BONEdanse. A solo created by guest choreographer Jyl Fehrenkamp Choreography by Atalee Judy with performances by Janna Barta, Anita Fillmore, Atalee Judy & Mindy Meyers. Lighting Design: Jacob Snodgrass Costumes, Video, and Soundscore: A. Judy

WHEN: Thursdays-Sundays, February 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11 and 12; Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 3: 00 pm

WHERE: Theater Wit is located at 1229 W Belmont, Chicago, 60657 in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

HOW: Ticket prices are Th/Fr $15, Sat $24, and Sunday matinee $20. ALL tickets are available at walk-up or call-in box office: 773.975.8150 (no service fee online or by phone) Follow BONEdanse on Facebook and join their email list for exclusive discount ticket offers at

Make it a whole Wit Weekend:
This is a Damage Manual & Punk Rock are both playing at Theater Wit!
Kid alert-Punk Rock Contains Adult themes NOT suitable for kids. Damage Manual is appropriate for all ages, but recommended for an adult night out or possibly savvy tweens & teens--conceptually.
Political, passionate, accessible dance. This is a Damage Manual is a must see! Stick around for the Bone Ware--awesome, affordable up cycled clothes. We'll be seeing and reviewing Punk Rock tomorrow.
Punk Rock
Griffin Theatre
Theatre Wit

Visiting Company Griffin Theatre
Punk Rock
By Simon Stephens
Directed by Jonathan Berry
Now playing through March 04, 2012

The American Premiere of Simon Stephens' powerful and critically acclaimed drama about a group of high school age students preparing for their final exams and nearing the end of their school lives.
When the whole world opens up before you, there’s a danger it’ll swallow you up, there’s danger all around in this shattering new play that explores the volatility of adolescent life.

*Strong Adult Content

There is no late seating available for this production.
****NOTE:   If you loved This is a Damage Manual.....In a similar vein,  check out Under The Gaslight, coming soon at Aloft.

Under the Gaslight

The Aloft Loft
Chicago, IL

The Aloft Student Ensemble Performance group presents a full length contemporary circus show exploring the line between sane and "crazy". Aloft's signature style of using traditional circus apparatus in new and surprising ways, and spinning clear narrative through movement and risk come alive again through this group of 10 up-coming acrobats, studying at the Aloft Loft, the Midwest's premiere contemporary circus school. Trained by some of the top instructors in the country, and directed by Aloft's Artistic Director, Shayna Swanson, the performers have created a show based in consensus building which questions weather mental illness is just one tragedy away from everyone.

All proceeds from this show will go into a new scholarship fund to assist current Aloft Loft students who lose their incomes due to the economy in continuing their acrobatic training. Some money will also be directed into mirco-grants to help professional artists-in-residence at the Aloft Loft develop new work.

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