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Ellen Sinopoli Dance Company, 25th Anniversary of the Egg

In celebration of its 25th birthday, the Egg commissioned choreographer Ellen Sinopoli to put together a celebratory performance. The pairing of Sinopoli and the Egg isn’t exactly a coincidence: The well-known Capital Region choreographer’s dance company is in its 12th year of residency at the Egg. The group has been commissioned for special works and performances before, by the likes of the Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Schenectady Museum. The evening of dance and music will feature three choreographic premieres and live music provided by cellist Gideon Freudmann, pianist Carl Landa, percussionists Brian Melick and Don Knack, guitarist Maria Zemantauski and vocalist Siobhan Quinn.

Two of the three dance premieres were created during a three-week residency at the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in January. One of the dances explores perception of “falling and spilling down, as well as falling and spilling back up again.” This piece combines the talents of Sinopoli, Melick and Zemantauski. The second piece being premiered involves a dancing duo with piano accompaniment and two chairs with wheels, and the third uses bird and flying imagery while Quinn performs a spoken-word and vocal score.

The Egg’s 25th Anniversary celebration will be held at the Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) on Saturday (April 12) at 8 PM. Sinopoli and the musicians will be available for an informal talk at 7:15 PM. Tickets for the show are $18 adults, $15 seniors and $9 children. For information and reservations, call the Egg at 473-1845.

Bread and Puppet Theater

For the sixth year, Peter Schumann’s Bread and Puppet Theater returns to Hudson’s Time & Space Limited—and this year, the title alone is worth the mention: The Insurrection Mass With Funeral March for a Rotten Idea is a “non-religious service in the presence of several papier mâché gods” featuring secular scripture readings, a fiddle sermon and hymns.

Though the performance sounds whimsical, the theater brings with it a reputation for pointed—if adventurous—topical commentary, and the rotten idea to be laid to rest “is derived from some recent political-economical event or idea that deserves burial.” We can’t tell you specifically which moribund idea will be interred, but as the theater is calling for 15 volunteers to assist, it must be a doozy.

From its inception in the early ’60s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the theater has been socially and politically conscious. Founder Schuman has compared theater at its best to “bread . . . like a necessity,” and for theater to be necessary it must not shy away from the important topics of daily, contemporary life. For more than four decades, Schuman and Bread and Puppet Theater have been so engaged, and the theater is now one of the oldest nonprofit self-supporting theatrical companies in the country.

Bread and Puppet Theater’s Insurrection Mass will be performed at Time & Space Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson) on Sunday (April 13) at 4 PM and Monday (April 14) at 7 PM. Tickets are $12 members, $15 nonmembers. For more information or to volunteer to assist with the performance, call 822-8448.

Beequeen, Andrew Liles, Howard Stelzer and Jason Talbot

What’s that odd Dutch buzzing sound in your ears? It’s Beequeen. Since the late ’80s, Frans de Waard and Freek Kinkelaar have explored numerous permutations of ambient-industrial music, using triphop, electro-environmental sounds, assorted samples and other tasty aural folderol. The result is a densely layered, richly complex organic music that also includes instruments—you know, like keyboards and guitars. Or, as one U.K. music writer put it, Beequeen “convey many alternatively bleak, if imagistic soundscapes, either through the wheezing of asthmatic machines, drones of catatonia immersed in cryogenic guitar feedback or the steamy smelt of arcane industry.” Beequeen tour infrequently, so this Impulse Response program tomorrow (Friday) may indeed be, as the press release suggests, a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.

Also appearing will be Andrew Liles and the duo of Howard Stelzer and Jason Talbot. Liles’ debut disc An Un World made a strong impression on the critics, such as this notice in side-line: “Extremely minimalist sadness compiled into 14 tracks. . . . This is audio material for the trained ear only.” Liles often combines samples of natural sounds with bits of found conversations, sine waves and music made on traditional instruments; the results consistently attract adjectives like sad, disquieting and beautiful. Stelzer and Talbot have been collaborating for a few years. Stelzer’s ax is a standard cassette player, which he plays by manipulating the motors and gears, while Talbot works a turntable with a prepared needle (prepared, that is, with items like paper clips and balloons). C’mon, your ears will thank you.

Impulse Response presents Beequeen, Andrew Liles, and Howard Stelzer and Jason Talbot tomorrow (Friday, April 11) at 8 PM at the iEAR! Gallery in West Hall Auditorium (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy). Tickets are $5, $3 seniors and students. For more information, call 281-3206.

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