Companhia Clara Andermatt | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Companhia Clara Andermatt

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It's appropriate that Portuguese choreographer Clara Andermatt's A Story of Doubt receive its midwest debut at the Museum of Contemporary Art: this strongly visual dance-theater piece relies heavily on architect Carlos Gomes's ingenious set. A movable platform taller than a man can be used as a bulwark for military defense, a sailing ship, a humble, low-lying hut lit from within. And a burnished metal wall as high as four men beautifully reflects or captures light; outfitted with doors and windows, it also allows for sudden, dramatic entrances. Performed by 13 male dancer-musicians from Cape Verde, a republic of ten islands and five islets west of Senegal, and one European man, A Story of Doubt explores the intersection of Portuguese and African cultures in a country virtually created by the slave trade: the islands were uninhabited when Portuguese explorers came upon them in the 15th century. Divided into three sections reflecting the past, present, and future, A Story of Doubt is a slow-moving, repetitive, ritualistic opera--featuring shouted and sung texts and traditional and contemporary music and dance--that allows plenty of time for reflection and interpretation. Personally, I couldn't help but notice the devolution (evolution?) of men from ranting warriors to preening beefcake music-video stars to limp, enervated figures waltzing to decayed romantic music and finally collapsing. Friday and Saturday at 8 and Sunday at 3 in the theater of the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago; $14-$17. Call 312-397-4010 for tickets and information.

--Laura Molzahn

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.

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