MCA Stage announces 2011–12 season
The Museum of Contemporary Art announced its 2011–12 Stage season today, a mix of dance, music and theater—and points between, . It will be the theater’s 15th performance series.
It officially begins September 15–17 with a world premiere collaboration developed in residence. Still in Play: A Performance of Getting Ready sounds a little like a high-concept Noises Off by its description: “a behind-the-scenes view of the theater—in both its vision and the intense interpersonal dynamics.” Curious Theatre Branch, its cofounder Jenny Magnus and live musicians Crooked Mouth String Band comprise the ensemble. Magnus’s residency included Office Hours in January during which she chatted with patrons in the museum’s lobby. (A second round began on Tuesday and continues through May 27.)
Unofficially, the season begins June 24, when movement artists Eiko & Koma’s touring retrospective begins with four days of durational performance, Naked. September 22–24, they perform their newest, Raven, along with early works White Dance (1976) and Night Tide (1984). The Caravan Project is on the MCA’s plaza August 23 and 24, and Naked returns November 8–13. An exhibit encompassing the pair’s 40-year career, Time Is Not Even, Space Is Not Empty, remains on display for the five-month stretch.
Faustin Linyekula, one of three artists in the work. D.C. group Liz Lerman Dance Exchange brings its “performance, conversation and game show” The Matter of Origins the following month. (Its second act occurs all around the audience; there’s no fourth wall, but there will be tea and cake.) MCA Stage copresents The Gospels of Childhood Triptych by Poland’s Teatr ZAR with the Goodman Theatre March 29–April 1, also to be presented in spaces throughout the museum. ZAR is in residence at the institute founded by experimental theater godfather Jerzy Grotowski; artistic director Jaroslaw Fret and the company created Gospels over the course of more than a decade.in October with sociopolitical, Congolese dance-theater performance more more more…future, devised by
Two spring presentations straddle multiple boundaries. Following up on the break/s, which played the MCA in 2009, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and the Living Word Project (Oakland, CA) join forces with Chicago’s Theaster Gates for installation-cum-performance red, black and GREEN: a blues April 12–14. Audience members will tour the stage set, whose references include the four seasons and four cities, before the show begins. May 17–20, Imperial Silence: Una Ópera Muerta comes to town, a collaboration between a San Francisco director (John Jota Leaños), a Chicago choreographer (Joel Valentín-Martinez), a New Mexican composer/DJ (Cristóbal Martinez) and Mariachis from Tuscon (Los Cuatro Vientos).
Chicago company Lucky Plush Productions presents its second premiere for the MCA’s theater over the last weekend in October and the first in November. Directed by 500 Clown’s Leslie Buxbaum Danzig and featuring performers from both groups, The Better Half uses ’40s film Gaslight as a starting point for, , “a dance-theater meta-fest something like the movie Clue, as remade by Charlie Kaufman.”
In addition to Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s new works festival danc(e)volve, Luna Negra Dance Theater. Artistic director Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, company member Monica Cervantes, and Argentinian guest choreographer Diana Szeinblum will unveil their creations at Luna Nueva, June 7–10, 2012. And New York–based Armitage Gone! Dance visits in April, with both early (Drastic-Classicism, 1981) and new work (Three Theories) by its founder, Karole Armitage., MCA Stage copresents three premieres made at
On the music front, concerts in October, February and May continue the International Contemporary Ensemble’s MCA residency. Tatsu Aoki’s JASC Tsukasa Taiko brings all-ages Japanese percussion and dance to the theater for an eighth December. And Chicago new music chamber ensemble eighth blackbird presents two concerts in relation to the language of less (then and now), an exhibit on minimalism concurrently in the galleries. “The Music of Less,” on March 22, features works by composers Timo Andres, Caleb Burhans, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, David Lang and Alvin Lucier; “The Music of More,” on March 24, rockets in the opposite direction, toward Philippe Hurel, Amy Kirsten, Bruno Mantovani, Fabian Svensson and Dan Visconti.
If, like me, you were crushed to have to miss otherworldly performance artist/singer Diamanda Galás on her prior visit to the MCA in the fall of ’07, we get another chance on February 23 and 25, 2012. In December, phonograph horns made of recycled newspaper and dryer lint will be on display, created by Andrew Bird and Ian Schneller. The “sound garden” will play recordings made on site and manipulated remotely; during two ticketed events, Bird will play the garden and the violin live, while listeners move through the Sonic Arboretum.
Ticket sales begin in July, including limited quantities at $15 each. Call 312-397-4010 or visit mcachicago.org for more details.