September 17, 2002

Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: September 17, 2002

Rinde Eckert brings eclectic, high-energy performance art to Middlebury College Sept. 27MIDDLEBURY, VT- Rinde Eckert is an artist whose talents surpass labels, categories or common two-dimensional descriptions. Simultaneously a singer, musician, dancer, actor, director, writer and storyteller, Eckert will share his unique style and art form at 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27, at Middlebury College's Wright Theatre, located on Ch√Ęteau Road off College Street (Route 125).

Eckert, who has previously performed at Middlebury College, will present "An Idiot Divine," a combination of two of his original solo pieces: "The Idiot Variations" and "Dry Land Divine."

Tall, bald and broad-shouldered, Eckert poses a powerful stage presence. He describes his work as "fiercely interdisciplinary." The tools of his performance art are his unique tenor-countertenor voice combined with skillful movement, a variety of instruments-trombone, accordion, harmonica, percussion and keyboard-and his original writings.

According to The New York Times, who compared him to Bertolt Brecht, Samuel Beckett, Tom Waits and Laurie Anderson, "Eckert is an instinctive showman who preens his considerable skills with contagious enjoyment."

The San Francisco Chronicle declared, "In a world of cookie-cutter entertainers, this charismatic one-man band looks and sounds like no one else."

Eckert's range dazzles audiences and critics alike. "A powerful singer, Eckert is also an extraordinary physical actor, an ingenious mime and a brilliant impersonator," wrote the San Antonio Express News.

Eckert's other projects include music concerts and tours through Europe and the United States with the Stimmen-World Voices Festival. He has directed "Wenji," the one-act chamber opera based on the true story of Cai Wenji, a Chinese woman scholar and musician who lived during the second century A.D. He has collaborated with the Paul Dresher Electro-Acoustic Band, the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, videographer John Sanborn, and sound designer Jay Cloidt. Several CDs of his eclectic music are available on the German label Intuition. He lives in New York and California.

Eckert's performance is sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for seniors. For tickets, call the College Box Office at 802-443-6433.