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Movement Architecture wraps itself around cloning

Choreographer Deborah Jinza Thayer has an unusual sense of humor, a roving intellect, and a propensity for putting dancers inside all manner of architectural contraptions. Her company is called Movement Architecture for reason. Thayer’s new piece or dance installation, “Ode to Dolly, The Sheep, Inter Alia,” at the New California Gallery, investigates cloning. 

What is the human fascination with procreating? And what sort of turn has the biological imperative taken with cloning’s possibility of creating mini-me’s? To explore such questions, Thayer has enlisted some of the strongest dance and acting talent in town: Rachel Barnes, Sarah Jacobs, Penelope Freeh, Christine Maginnis, Kimberly Richardson, and Sharon Picasso.

The performers move under canopies and become tangled in grids constructed of clastic wrap meant to mimic fascia — the connective tissue that organizes our musculoskeletal system. These elastic-wrap installations also hold baby-doll parts (set design by Bryan Axell/3 Ring Scenic). Puppets (by Deirdre Murnane) appear to complicate things. And Matthew Smith’s electronic music underscores the creepy factor with a driving beat.

“Ode to Dolly, The Sheep, Inter Alia,” Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Dec. 4-6, 10-13; various times. New California Gallery, 2205 California Street NE, Minneapolis. Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at door. For more info 612-245-2253.

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