Ga-Ga | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Laughter is what powers the four clownlike characters in Marta Carrasco's 2005 work Ga-Ga, named after a fictional place; laughter is described as their oxygen, their food. But don't expect a barrel-of-fun approach--Carrasco's Mira'm, presented at the Goodman Latino Theatre Festival in 2003, was surreal and often violent. An eclectic score jerked the mood this way and that, and the performers' doll-like masks distorted their humanity. Though that work was reminiscent of Pina Bausch's dance theater, critics have insisted Ga-Gˆ is movement or circus theater. In any case, Carrasco's fascination with imperfection rules out the usual technique-driven approach to dance. Compana Marta Carrasco, based in Barcelona, performs Ga-Ga; also this weekend Carrasco herself performs her 1995 solo, Aiguardent, for the last time ever. It's described on the company's Web site as "ruled by anger and innocence . . . [showing] the double life of a woman . . . who finds refuge in alcohol." Though Carrasco's work may sound difficult, her advice is to just let go: "Everything is simpler than it seems." Ga-Ga Thu 8/17, 7:30 PM, and Fri 8/18, 8 PM. Aiguardent Sat 8/19, 8 PM, and Sun 8/20, 7:30 PM. $15-$25.

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