Through an interpreter–Luna Negra choreographer Eduardo Vilaro–Afro-Peruvian singer Susana Baca tells me during a rehearsal that it feels good to dance in his Mi Corazon Negro (“My Black Heart”). “I love when the music moves and lifts me,” she says. A woman of great serenity, dignity, and authority, she certainly looks happy, even blissful, while dancing. She adds that the dancers’ energy in turn fuels her musicianship: “They make me want to sing more.” Vilaro’s new 35-minute piece for nine dancers, accompanied by Baca and her four-member band onstage, has a vitality that comes partly from the live music and partly from his choreography, which blends African and contemporary movement seamlessly and naturally. Vilaro and Baca hope to take Mi Corazon Negro to Peru, to show it to a culture she describes as “silenced and marginalized.” Also on the program are Ron De Jesus’s The Last 12 Minutes, Maray Gutierrez’s Eterno Despertar (“Eternal Awakening”), and Enamorados (“The Lovers”), by Bessie-winning choreographer Pedro Ruiz. a Fri-Sat 11/10-11/11, 8 PM, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph, 312-334-7777, $25-$50.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Kristie Kahns.