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PERFORMING ARTS

The Norwegian group Datarock, shown in a publicty photo, brought its over-the-top dance-rock to the Rock & Roll Hotel on Saturday.
The Norwegian group Datarock, shown in a publicty photo, brought its over-the-top dance-rock to the Rock & Roll Hotel on Saturday. (By Knut Aserud)
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The soloists approached their assignments with a sense of the dramatic. Bass Kerry Wilkerson, who was responsible for much of the narration, sang powerfully throughout his range. Tenor Joseph Dietrich projected excellent diction and a wonderfully clean sound up high but couldn't be heard much in some of the lower range, and soprano Susan Wheeler, who did a fine job with coloratura passages, swallowed most of her texts.

There was a lot of fussing with "dramatic" lighting and projections of translations superimposed on illustrations of what was being created -- water, cows, people and so forth. Haydn didn't need this help.

Conductor Gretchen Kuhrmann, who led all this briskly and confidently, is building a fine program with this group.

-- Joan Reinthaler

Thievery Corporation

Thievery Corporation shows are not your typical lounge parties. This time around there was trip-hop tango-dub by Argentinean classic guitar virtuoso Federico Aubele, a priming Turntables on the Hudson DJ set detonated by a live Middle Eastern/Latin percussion duo, '80s goth-glam new wave courtesy of Ladytron and soulful, gospel-music-doused art rock by TV on the Radio.

And that's before T-Corp's DJs Eric Hilton and Rob Garza even hit the stage Saturday night at Merriweather Post Pavilion for the last of their six-city, eight-day "Outernational" mini music festival.

Throughout their hour-and-a-half set, the D.C. twosome did what they do best: provide a sonic foundation and get out of the way. After barricading themselves behind their DJ gadgetry and laying down a seismic bass beat that may have registered on the Richter scale, they began cycling in their live talent: a seductive belly dancer, three pogoing reggae emcees, a sitar player and a few other guest vocalists, including Brazilian samba revivalist Seu Jorge.

Though Thievery's high-energy set ran together at times, it did little to discourage the nearly 5,000 faithful concertgoers from getting their dance on.

-- Mario Iván Oña


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