Indiana Daily Student

Avant garde jazz to come to Bloomington

Local improvisational group Unstable Ensemble to open

Eponine Cuervo-Moll would like to expand popular definitions of music and the human body.\nThe Colombian-born choreographer serves as art director of Corpus Ludens, a San Francisco-based avant garde jazz dance troupe.\nThe troupe will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Rose Firebay Theater in the John Waldron Arts Center, 122 S. Walnut St. The cover charge is $4.\nCorpus Lundens, which is Latin for "dancing bodies," is an improvisational ensemble seeking to strike a balance between music and dance. Cuervo-Moll, who has been trained in modern dance and traditional Japanese theater, has written that "the dancers play the instrument of silence through movement, while the musicians use sounds as sonic movements through space."\nCuervo-Moll also serves as the troupe's dancer, "choreographing" her pieces while onstage. She is accompanied by the improvised jazz stylings of contra bassist Morgan Guberman, percussionist Ian Davis and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Voigt.\nTom Donohue, who owns the record store TD's CDs and LPs, 322 E. Kirkwood Ave., said Bloomington's intellectual climate makes it a suitable environment for experimental jazz.\n"We tend to be more accepting of different forms of art," he said. "This town is more likely than not to accept avant garde jazz."\nLocal electro-acoustic improvisational group Unstable Ensemble, consisting of a rotating group of musicians, will open. \n"(Unstable Ensemble) is not as unstable as its name suggests," said graduate student Jessica Baldanzi, who hosts Melody Unmasked, an experimental jazz show that airs on WFHB. "It's outstanding ' in the same league as groups from Chicago and New York."\nBaldanzi, a doctoral candidate for English, has been long committed to bringing more experimental music to Bloomington. She's a member of Beyond the Pale Promotions, a non-profit booking group that attempts to expand Bloomington's appreciation of "out-there music." \n"I find that (avant garde jazz) contradicts people's expectations," she said. "I love pop music, don't get me wrong. It has its place, but people don't always need to be fed the sugarly, sweet and happy. There's so much more out there."\nUnstable Ensemble acoustic guitarist Eric Weddle agrees the music is off the beaten path.\n"It's not the type of music you hear on the radio," he said. "It takes patience. Those who need to be instantly satisfied may not get it. I would say that it's very challenging."\nWeddle, also the guitarist for the local punk act John Wilkes Booze Explosion, booked Corpus Lundens for the performance. \n"They're beyond the pale," he said. "But that doesn't make it marginalized. It's worth checking out."\nBoth acts have projects in the works. Corpus Ludens will produce their new pieces in October at the La Mama Theater in New York. And the Unstable Ensemble has recently finished recording for their upcoming album The 2-9 Variations, which will be released on the local label Family Vineyard.\nFor more information, visit the Bloomington Area Arts Council online at

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