Mikhail Baryshnikov, Elevator Repair Service and Sandra Bernhard are all to be part of an expanded MCA Stage program during the 2013-14 season at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.
The legendary dancer Baryshnikov, still a formidable bold-faced name, will present his touring theater piece "Man in a Case," based on two short stories by Anton Chekhov. Baryshnikov Productions will be in residence at the MCA from May 15-18.
Elevator Repair Service, the New York-based performance company best known for "Gatz," will present a new piece, "Arguendo," based on the oral arguments in the 1991 Supreme Court case involving dancers at the Kitty Kat Lounge in South Bend, Ind., who were fighting for the right to dance in the nude. Elevator Repair Service, who were last at the MCA in 2008, will be in Chicago from March 14-16.
The MCA Stage season begins with Taylor Mac's "An Abridged Concert of the History of Political Popular Music," a piece created by the well-known New York performance artist exploring 240 years of popular music in America. It's slated for Sept. 27-28.
For Oct. 3-6, the Buenos Aires-based theater ensemble Timbre 4 will perform its piece "Tercer Cuerpo" ("Third Wing"), wherein the stage is turned into an abandoned office building filled with employees doing mindless tasks in a claustrophobic setting.
On Oct. 26, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will celebrate the 60th birthday of the saxophonist and composer John Zorn with an eclectic concert.
In early November, the MCA will partner with the Chicago Humanities Festival to present both "Elephant Room," a performance piece from an group named Rainpan 43, combining Las Vegas-style magic, movement and comedy; and "White Rabbit, Red Rabbit," an unusual piece created by Iranian artist Nassim Soleimanpour, performed by local theater personalities who will not receive the script in advance.
Following the Chicago Dancemakers Forum on Nov. 16, the MCA will present Bernhard's latest show, "Everything Bad and Beautiful," on Dec. 5-7. In the past, Bernhard, a regular Chicago visitor, generally has performed at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
Another regular, Tsukasa Taiko, will perform two drumming shows at the MCA, "Taiko Legacy 10" and "Reduction," for Dec. 21-22.
"Lola Arias: El año en que nací (the year I was born)" is the first attraction of 2014. It's a theater piece wherein Chilean performers born in the late 1970s or early 1980s, during Augusto Pinochet’s dictatorship, "reconstruct their parents’ youth from photographs, letters, tapes, clothing, and murky memories." It will play Jan. 23-26.
The hip-hop choreographer Kyle Abraham will present "The Radio Show" Feb. 20-23, followed by the Chicago-based regulars eighth blackbird, performing a piece titled "Colombine’s Paradise Theatre," which represents more of a move into musical theater by the contemporary music ensemble based on Chicago. Eighth blackbird is at the MCA March 8-9.
Next is Elevator Repair Service and a March 21-22 stand by ICE focusing on Alvin Lucier.
"Rabih Mroué: 30 rounds and a few seconds" follows for April 10-12. It's a semi-documentary theater work by the Beirut-based artists Mroué and Lina Saneh, designed to focus on the last few days of the life of a young Lebanese man.
In May, French choreographer Maud Le Pladec will perform his "Democracy," a high-energy, five-dancer, four-drummer piece.
Baryshnikov's appearance wraps up the season.
For the first time this year, the MCA is offering various themed subscription packages, reflecting the extensive, eclectic season. It's also possible to mix and match shows. Subscription (three performances or more) and member tickets are on sale Thursday; single tickets go on sale to the public on July 31. For more information, visit mcachicago.org.
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