When: Oct. 9-10, 7:30 p.m. 2011
A troupe of sure-footed Shaolin monks (and their precocious 5-year-old protégé) kept Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui—and fortunate regional dancegoers—perpetually off-balance last November during their performance of Sutra at Memorial Hall. In that satire on cross-cultural collaboration, monks effortlessly balanced aside and atop wooden staffs; interrupted the fall of large rectangular boxes in midair, indefinitely, by counterbalancing them with their weight; and looked on, baffled, as their guest struggled to replicate (or, in some cases, re-engineer) such feats.
Cherkaoui returns to Memorial Hall this weekend with Eastman, his multigenerational, multinational company. They'll consider the nature of cultural boundaries by re-examining and riffing on accounts of the very first one: the Tower of Babel, whose construction reportedly provoked God to divide humanity through a myriad of different languages and then scatter the people across the globe. Narratives in English, French and other tongues punctuate sequences in which designer Antony Gormley's oversize aluminum frames demarcate the stage—and determine who's in and out—to a live accompaniment including Hindu percussion, Kodo drumming and European medieval song. —Byron Woods