Showcasing the talents of musicians and dancers from Tokyo, San Francisco and Chicago, this annual festival takes a long view of improvisational dance, as paired with traditional Taiko drumming, and directed by Tatsu Aoki of the Art Institute’s Film, Video, and New Media Department. Co-presented by the MCA and Asian Improv aRts Midwest, the program runs Saturday and Sunday, with a special presentation titled “Reduction” one-night only on Saturday. With its background in Kabuki theater, the main program presents a range of kimono-performances by, among them, grandmaster Shunojo Fujima and Yoshinojo Fujima, along with a number of Tokyo-based musicians who individually specialize in this presented Kabuki context, including taiko artist SHINTA, shamisen artist Chizuru Kineya, Kizan Kawamura on bamboo flute and Takane Umeya on hand drum. “Reduction” focuses on Taiko’s influence on the Japanese experimental music of the 1970s and features dance improviser Ayako Kato performing with flautist Nicole Mitchell and Ari Brown, Francis Wong and Douglas R. Ewart on reeds; additionally, Hamid Drake and Michael Zerang will perform an improvised set to taiko drumming. Otherworldly is the word for this production and worthy of experimental music and improvisatory dance-theater lovers visits alike. (Michael Workman)
At MCA Chicago, 220 East Chicago, (312)397-4010, Saturday, December 19 & Sunday, December 20 at 3pm. $20; admission is free for children twelve and under. “Reduction” takes place Saturday, December 19 at 7:30pm. $20.