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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Current artistic director Judith Jamison wrote in the New York Times last December that her new piece Here…Now, about the accomplishments of Florence Griffith Joyner, evolved from “an idea of dancers and athletes as both similar and different beings.” She came up with four areas of overlap–speed, strength, style, and heaven (meaning reaching one’s goals, […]

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Otis Taylor

Otis Taylor fell in love with folk music growing up in Denver–his first instrument was a ukulele, and before long he’d picked up harmonica, banjo, and guitar as well. As a teenager in the 60s he led a series of blues bands, eventually recording for the London-based Blue Horizon label in 1969, but in ’77 […]

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Jazzkamer

Maybe it’s something in the water, but lately the Scandinavian experimental-music community has seen an increase in the same sort of cross-stylistic interaction–jazz improvisers working with laptop jockeys working with noise artists–that put its Chicago counterpart back on the map in the 1990s. Not surprisingly, there’s a connection. Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson has been visiting […]

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Ellen Allien

In a scene where an outsize personality has become just as important as technical ability, it’s surprising what a low profile Ellen Allien keeps–especially since she’s earned the right to toot her own horn. A DJ and recording artist, in 1999 she founded BPitch Control, a Berlin-based label known for frosty, dark, and rhythmically complicated […]

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Proof

David Auburn’s absorbing psychological mystery-cum-romantic drama, seen here in a touring edition of the Tony-winning Broadway production, is set in the sprawling, run-down Hyde Park home of a brilliant but mentally ill University of Chicago math guru, Robert, and his 25-year-old daughter and caregiver, Catherine. She has inherited some of her dad’s intellect but also […]

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Antibalas

Antibalas, the 17-piece Afrobeat band from Brooklyn, have never made any secret of their slavish worship of Fela Kuti. From the expansive James Brown-inspired vamps to the tightly coiled rhythms to the politics seething beneath the party, they seem determined to carry the torch, even if they’re mistaken for a tribute band now and again. […]