The late Martha Graham liked to say that the body does not lie, that movement does not lie. With writer-partner Richard Alger, director-choreographer Tina Kronis and her Theatre Movement Bazaar company have developed Graham's ethos into a strikingly original and expressive form of physical theater whose thrilling lyricism and cool élan have powered an impressive cycle of playfully probing adaptations of Chekhov. The pair's latest entry in the series does not disappoint. This time out, Kronis and Alger use Chekhov's wryly satirical short story "Ward No. 6" as inspiration for a captivating, Brechtian parable of cupidity, solipsism and self-deceptive illusion. After years of pining away for intellectually stimulating company, Dr. Ragin (Mark Doerr), the impotent director of a pestilential provincial hospital, believes he has met his match in Gromov (the fine Mark Skeens), an articulate but hopelessly paranoid psychotic condemned to the institution's infamous lunatic wing, Ward 6. Ragin actually taking an interest in a patient only sets off an ironic chain reaction of his undoing. Alger peppers the play with enough anachronisms and contemporary cultural references to drive home the parallel to our own perilous times, while Kronis stirs the pot with exhilarating dance sequences executed by her precision-perfect ensemble and given added lift by a polished, poetic production design. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m.; through March 25. (626) 683-6883, bostoncourt.com.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Feb. 25. Continues through March 25, 2012