Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Somatic Larynx Waltz

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By definition, a first-time collaboration is a unique and unpredictable event; so no one can tell you exactly what to anticipate at this intersection of instrumental and vocal musics and dance. Vocal artist Theo Bleckmann provides a powerful incentive not only to attend but also to leave expectations at the door. A collaborator of Meredith Monk who has also lent his talents to the music of Anthony Braxton and Philip Glass, Bleckmann can match just about anybody's range of intriguing mouth noises and scattered vocal flights. But more recently, with Monk, he has concentrated on seamless, hypnotic vocal ensembles. Such music stands at one end of the new-music spectrum; at the other, Chicago composer and reedman Gene Coleman pulls together a busy palette dominated by jagged, often startling sounds and distinctive passages of collective improvisation with his Ensemble Noamnesia. (Coleman's own bass-clarinet playing remains a high point of any such performance. His technical acumen allows him to tackle his own work with the knowledge of its creation and the analytical perspective of an interpreter.) The work of choreographer Winifred Haun rests somewhere between these two poles: she creates a remarkably flowing style from often angular movements and motifs, and to hazard a guess, she'll most likely act as focal point and lightning rod for this concert's finale, an ensemble work by the three principals. Wednesday, 8 PM, Kino-Eye Cinema at Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division; 384-5533.

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