Compagnie Kafig – This is a group of 11 Brazilian dancers doing kind of hip-hop, but with lots of influences from that part of the world and elsewhere. To be honest, the show started off really rocky. It’s split in two parts, the first one being very… abstract. Not a lot of music, a lot of bicycling and running motions. Not a lot of dancing, really. The guys were obviously very talented, but the choreography was too interested in being clever and cute, and not enough in dancing. Fortunately, the second half happened. The theme there was water, which was kind of whatever, but the dancing was brilliant. The used a bunch of plastic cups with water in them as a prop. At first it seemed forced, but it was pretty damn cool. Dancing among the cups, dancing with the cups, pouring the water, all pretty good. More importantly there was some real choreography that really showed the guys off. There were a few of them that were pretty fantastic. Crazy powerful in the floor work and just impressive all around. Toward the end a dude did a headspin longer than I’ve ever seen by 2 or 3 times. The first half was a bear, but the second half was a blast.
Inon Barnatan – This guy is a fancy piano player. What he played was a bit of a mix for me. I can’t remember any of the names of the composers anymore, but I know there was a more classical section and a more modern (1900s) section. And, surprisingly, I liked the modern music more. Not all of it, but some of it was pretty good. The older stuff was pretty boring for me. But, as always with these classical folks, it’s no fault of his. He was very very good at his job. There was a few things he was playing where his hands were literally a blur to my eyes. It was astonishing how quickly he was playing, very very impressive.
Quartet for the End of Time – Or…. not. I don’t know what else to call these guys, this is what they showed up to play. But their violinist got food poisoning and was in UMC. Unfortunately, as they joked, it’s not a Trio for the End of Time. So they couldn’t do it. That was a bummer, because it’s a pretty well known piece, written by a french guy in a german POW camp during WWII and performed by said guy and 3 other musicians who (somehow) had their instruments. Then 3 of them get shipped back to france, but the clarinetist is jewish and isn’t going back to france because he doesn’t count. So he literally jumps out of the train clutching his clarinet and makes it back home. Crazy. Anyway, they play a couple excerpts from the real thing that happen to be violin-less. And my conclusion from those is I wouldn’t have liked the Quartet much. The clarinet solo was this stupid bird thing. The three piece wasn’t very good. A couple other classic things they played were boring. But then the clarinetist, a jewish dude, rocked the shit out of some klezmer music. Like, holy balls. He did the longest circular breathing (on a clarinet!!!) I’ve ever seen in my life. He did some insane solo which was not at all fun to listen, but very impressive. But most of the klezmer music was really really good. Kind of ended up being a klezmer show instead of a trio, but it was pretty good.
Danu – We saw the Chieftains a couple years ago, so I guess this is the follow up. I can’t say exactly how they are different, seems like another folky irish band. But, I like folky irish bands, so no problem. The musicians were good. The fiddler was probably the best, the rest were good. There was a flute/singer lady. I wasn’t digging her flute at first, she sounded chronically out of breath. But she got into it (or I stopped hearing it, I don’t know) after a couple songs and was good. Fun time.