Over the course of the next year, a campus-wide steering committee has put together a far-reaching series of global performances, talks and participatory projects, all with the intention of bringing us into an examination of the role of Music & Public Life. We will celebrate and study the sounds, words and spirit of music in public at the local, national and transnational levels, all designed to cross disciplines and to engage the campus and community-at-large. From performances by Middletown’s own Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem to the legendary Hugh Masekela; showcasing student research in the role of music in the current political campaigns; to the creation of MiddletownRemix–there are points of entry for everyone.
In September, we feature dance and theater companies who are exploring the role of the audience as actively engaged in the live creative process of the theatrical event. In ZviDance’s Zoom, patrons use their smartphones to integrate their own photos and text into the work; in Anonymous Ensemble’s Liebe Love Amour!, the audience is engaged in constructing the “performance script.”
Center for the Arts Director Pamela Tatge reflects on the many events that have taken place this week.
Monday, April 2, 2012:
I had some wonderful conversations, emails and phone calls from students and community members who attended Chunky Move over the weekend. I will say that I thought it was one of the most successful integrations of visual art and dance that I’ve ever witnessed, and I was particularly pleased that Gideon Obarzanek said he’s never seen Connected look better than it did in the CFA Theater. For those of you who were there, thank you for supporting this important performance.
I had lunch with Gillian Goslinga in Anthropology and Jill Sigman, Center for Creative Research Visiting Artist to hear about “Ritual, Health, and Healing”, the course they are co-teaching in Dance and Anthropology as a part of the Creative Campus Initiative. It’s also a Service Learning Course and so they are taking their students to St. Nicks Alliance in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn on three Saturdays to conduct research with residents. It will culminate on Sunday, April 22, 2012 as a series of student performance works are presented alongside Sigman’s Thinkdance installation at St. Nicks. See a reflection by one of the students in the class, Hannah Cressy ’13, here.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012:
I attended the opening of the beautiful exhibition, Provincial Elegance: Chinese Antiques Donated in Honor of Houghton “Buck” Freeman, a collection of objects donated by Anna Lee ’84, that’s at the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies Gallery through Sunday, May 27, 2012. I was so moved by Patrick Dowdey’s story of how Anna made the contribution to Wesleyan in honor of the great spirit that was Buck Freeman, whose family made, and continues to make, so many great things possible at Wesleyan. Jean Shaw, former director of the Center for the Arts, told me that not only did Anna graduate the same year I did, but that Anna worked at the CFA when she was a student!
I also attended the second week of the Senior Thesis Exhibitions in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. If you’ve never taken the time to attend one of the Wednesday receptions from 4pm to 6pm, then you are missing one of the great “scenes” at Wesleyan. Hundreds of students flock to Zilkha to see their fellow students’ capstone project. All of us have the great opportunity to feel the pulse of contemporary art on our campus in all of its many manifestations, from JoAnna Bourain’s video animation installation [sometimes its hard 2 b a woman (i c u looking at me!!)] to Alex Chaves’ vibrant paintings [casual desire] in South Gallery. Exhibitions continue for the next two weeks, with receptions on Wednesday, April 11 and Wednesday, April 18, 2012.
And I want to wish our senior thesis students in dance the best of luck on their thesis presentations in the Patricelli ’92 Theater, tonight through Saturday, April 7, 2012 at 8pm. Click here for more information about the concerts.
At a time when so many of us are turning to YouTube to see performances by our favorite artists, we can lose sight of what it’s like to experience live performance. This fall, the Center for the Arts offers you a wide range of performances and exhibitions that will connect you with some of the brightest minds in contemporary art-making, transport you to foreign lands, and inspire you to think about the world in new ways—and the performers will never be more than 69 feet away!
We recognize that it has become increasingly difficult to classify a work as strictly music, dance, theater, visual art, or film as more artists are blurring the boundaries among disciplines. So we have merged our visiting artist performances into a single Performing Arts Series. We hope this will lead you to cross the boundaries of your own comfort zone and discover new artists and art forms.
Highlights of the fall season include the American premiere of the ground-breaking Italian movement theater collective Dewey Dell and the return of Philadelphia’s Rennie Harris Puremovement, that has been a trailblazer in taking hip hop forms from the street to the concert stage for nearly twenty years. We’ll also host two New England premieres: the astoundingly brilliant throat-singers and musicians from Inner Mongolia, AnDa Union and, continuing our collaboration with the College of the Environment, we’ll welcome Water is Rising, a breathtaking performance by a group of 35 dancers and musicians from the Pacific Island atolls, the first islands predicted to be submerged due to climate change. In November, the Music Department and CFA join forces to celebrate Alvin Lucier, internationally renowned composer who has just retired after serving on our faculty for four decades. Alvin Lucier: A Celebration features a major symposium, concert series, film screenings and an exhibition curated by Andrea Miller-Keller.
With performances and exhibitions by visiting artists, students and faculty, there is an extraordinary amount of good work to see at Wesleyan this fall, with 60% offered free to the public or at ticket prices that make us one of the most affordable venues in the state. Tickets are on sale now online. Starting at 10am on Tuesday, August 16, you can call or visit the Wesleyan University Box Office at 860-685-3355 to receive a 10% discount on your purchase of four or more Performing Arts Series events (and if you buy six or more “Performing Arts Series” events, you’ll save 15%!) Starting August 16, you will also be able to buy subscription packages for both the 35th annual Navaratri Festival (a 15% savings) as well as the Alvin Lucier Celebration (a 25% savings!)
Please join us. We appreciate that you believe, as we do, in the power of the arts to add meaning to our lives and to remind us of the capacity of the human spirit. Thanks for making Wesleyan’s CFA your center for the arts.