7/2: The City Is Our Playground/Sparx in the City

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MorrisonDance has performed in atypical outdoor settings since its first production, Erie Sirens, featured dancers in the waves of Edgewater Park in 1998. But they started performing interactively in the city a little later. “It started spontaneously several years ago, when we were rehearsing outside,” says director Sarah Morrison. “When you’re outside, people see what you’re doing. You’re not hidden away in a studio.” Starting with 2003’s Tremont Arts Festival, MorrisonDance began structured improvisation in and among outdoor audiences. The company begins its 2009 al fresco season today as part of Sparx in the City. Morrison, Jessica Carthen, Carli Taylor Miluk and Rebecca Nicklos will don their trademark black-and-white striped leggings and play with red balls while they mix and mingle with the crowd. Morrison says the group will base this year’s The City Is Our Playground performances around whatever music is available on the scene. Today, it’s the funky and twangy (and fellow Sparx performers) Crookneck Chandler and the Tibbee Bottom Boys. They dance from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Star Plaza (Euclid Avenue at E. 14th St.). It’s free. — Michael Gill

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