MCA Chicago Announces Summer 2019 Performances
The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago announces highlights of the Summer 2019 lineup of performances, featuring cutting-edge and genre-blending works of music, theater, dance, comedy, and spoken word. These events take place as part of a year-round season of bold programming by emerging and established artists from Chicago and around the world who are redefining their fields and experimenting with new forms.
Dahlak Brathwaite: Try/Step/Trip
August 16, 7:30 pm
Opening night: Friday, August 16
Dahlak Brathwaite is a hip-hop artist, poet, actor, and activist whose work was featured on the television series Def Poetry Jam. His work-in-progress Try/Step/Trip re-imagines his personal journey through a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program. Directed by Roberta Uno, the performers use step dance, spoken word, poetry, and gospel-inspired singing to examine his struggle for vindication in the eyes of the law and society, looking at what the artist sees as a cultural 'rite of passage' for many young black men. Try/Step/Trip is presented as part of the MCA's New Works Initiative.
Rennie Harris: LIFTED
August 23-24, various times
Opening Night: Friday, August 23
Legendary hip-hop dance theater choreographer Rennie Harris presents Rennie Harris: LIFTED, a new work and loose adaptation of Oliver Twist that follows a teen orphan through his time of grieving to find spirituality and morality in his everyday life. He is then awakened by the liberating spiritual experience of house music and dance often referred to as "going to church." Performed by a group of local hip hop dancers and church choir, Rennie Harris: LIFTED is set to an original soundtrack of gospel-inspired house music and follows a community in their deep examination of communion and redemption, and broader social justice concerns.
Thurman Barker and Ben LaMar Gay: South Side Suite and Hecky Naw! Angles!
August 30, 7:30 pm
Opening night: Friday, August 30
Two generations of Chicago-born composers share an evening of honoring the history and future of musical experimentation and the profound influence that Chicago's music played in shaping the minds and lives of the members of the AACM and beyond. Percussionist, composer, and educator Thurman Barker presents a quintet version of South Side Suite, a new long-form work set to be released in 2019 that looks back at how Chicago's music scene influenced his body of work. Ben LaMar Gay, a next-generation member of the AACM, offers a new dance and video collaboration Hecky Naw! Angles! The performance, which includes choreography by Columbia College professor Raquel Monroe, explores the shapes and sounds of black social dances in Chicago, and is presented as a work-in-progress as part of the MCA's New Works Initiative.