Jana Haimsohn | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Jana Haimsohn 

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"My older siblings convinced me early on that I couldn't sing and generally was incapable of doing anything respectable," says New York-based performance artist Jana Haimsohn. Judging from her solo explorations of movement and sound, one of her responses was to act as weird as possible. But beneath Haimsohn's repertoire of unearthly high-pitched vocals, powerful body work, and spaced-out comic characterizations, there is clearly a very serious personal mission: to unleash in herself, and maybe in her audience, a primal inner power and clean out the accumulated crap of urban living. Using her impressively disciplined body to produce an astonishing array of sounds and shapes, the petite, leanly muscular Haimsohn infuses her work with a deep-rooted neediness; the underlying theme of her art (occasionally spoken of in her monologues about AIDS) is the elemental human drive to simply physically exist. This is Haimsohn's first time performing in Chicago. Randolph Street Gallery, April 10 and 11 (756 N. Milwaukee, 666-7737). Friday and Saturday, 8 PM. $7.

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