Experimental music venue Constellation and experimental dance venue Links Hall have shared the same roof for several years, but their most captivating entente may well be in the open air, as part of the city’s Made in Chicago jazz series at the Pritzker Pavilion. Constellation’s Mike Reed and Links’ Roell Schmidt pulled together a dream team for a delicious project: the reimagining of Charles Mingus’ yearning, sultry, tortuous masterwork, live under the stars. Composer Greg Ward used threads from “The Black Saint” as building blocks for a seven-part composition performed by Chicago’s jazz greats—including Keefe Jackson, Jason Roebke and Marcus Evans. Choreographer and scholar Onye Ozuzu assembled a cast of fifteen dancers to give visual movement to the epic soundscape through improvisation and choreography that traverses genres: modern, breaking, West African, ballet. Mingus framed “The Black Saint” as music for dancing, naming each track after a set number of dancers. This performance is very much in the spirit of Mingus’ original: a masterful balance of composition and improvisation, immersive sound and sweeping movement. (Sharon Hoyer)
At the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 201 East Randolph. Thursday, August 13 at 6:30pm. Free.