Crafting “The Alumni Show II” Exhibition (Through Dec. 8)

Director of the Center for the Arts Pamela Tatge ’84, P ’16 discusses “The Alumni Show II” and guest curator John Ravenal ’81, P ’15. The exhibition is on view in Wesleyan University’s Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery through Sunday, December 8, 2013.

alumni show flux imageAt Homecoming/Family Weekend last year, I spoke with John Ravenal ’81, P ’15 about curating The Alumni Show II as part of the celebration of the CFA’s 40th anniversary. John is the Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Despite the swift timetable, he agreed and began the daunting task of crafting from the rich and wide-ranging body of art by Wesleyan alumni a selective and cohesive exhibition of seventeen artists. I’m excited for the extended Wesleyan family and the community-at-large to engage with the work and eager to hear the conversations that follow. As John writes in the exhibition catalogue, reflecting on his own experience, an experience shared by many who have passed through Wesleyan in some capacity:

“The building of the CFA and the value it conferred on the study and practice of the arts, while not uncommon for a liberal arts college, underscored Wesleyan’s commitment to education conducted in a spirit of free inquiry, without consideration for vocational utility, but rather dedicated to increasing the understanding of the human and natural worlds we inhabit. This lofty ideal, ever under attack as impractical, unaffordable, and even elitist, is precisely what has opened the door for generations of young adults to expand their minds far beyond what they even knew to anticipate, and to consider the arts as a valid path for a lifetime of intellectual as well as creative pursuit. The broad spectrum of themes and subjects explored by the artists in this exhibition underscores the wisdom of this attitude. It doesn’t seem a stretch to see in their complex, sophisticated, critical, and beautiful work a confirmation of Wesleyan’s core values.”

Join us in celebrating and expanding this vibrant tradition. The official opening reception for The Alumni Show II is Tuesday, September 10 from 5pm to 7pm, followed by a performance/installation [“Centrifugal March”] by Aki Sasamoto ’04 at 7:30pm in Art Studio North. We look forward to seeing you!

“The Alumni Show II”
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery
Friday, September 6 through Sunday, December 8, 2013
Tuesday-Sunday, Noon-5pm
Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 from 5pm to 7pm. Performance by Aki Sasamoto ’04 at 7:30pm in Art Studio North.
Homecoming/Family Weekend Reception: Saturday, November 2, 2013 from 2pm to 4pm. Talk at 2:30pm by Guest Curator John Ravenal ’81, P ’15, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond; Special Gallery Hours: Noon to 6pm.
Closed Wednesday, November 20 through Monday, November 25, 2013.

Celebrating 40 Years in 2013-2014; Tickets On Sale July 1

Doug Varone and Dancers will be performing on Thursday, September 12 & Friday, September 13, 2013.
Doug Varone and Dancers will be performing on Thursday, September 12 & Friday, September 13, 2013.

Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts announces the highlights of their 40th anniversary season in 2013-2014, including two world premieres, four New England premieres, and six Connecticut premieres:

September 6 – December 8, 2013: The Alumni Show II exhibition in Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, featuring painting, sculpture, drawing, installation art, video art, performance, and films
September 12 & 13, 2013: Stripped/Dressed featuring Rise and the Connecticut premiere of Carrugi by Doug Varone and Dancers
September 13, 2013; November 16, 2013; and February 15, 2014: Dine/Dance/Discover, a new event designed to bring audiences closer to the work on stage before and after all three 2013–2014 Breaking Ground Dance Series performances
September 27 & 28, 2013: the Connecticut premiere of Who’s Hungry by Dan Froot and Dan Hurlin
September 29, 2013: the first of twelve recitals featuring the complete piano works of Wesleyan John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Neely Bruce, including two world premieres
October 9–13, 2013: the 37th annual Navaratri Festival, including the Connecticut debut of dancer Aparna Ramaswamy
October 15, 2013: the New England debut of Netherlands-based pianist Reinier van Houdt
October 25, 2013: Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, the “Hendrix of the Sahara”
November 9, 2013: the Connecticut debut of London-based a cappella trio Juice Vocal Ensemble
November 11, 2013: Blood, Muscle, Bone, a performative “teach-in” by choreographers Liz Lerman and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar
November 13–16, 2013: Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull directed by Wesleyan Associate Professor of Theater Yuri Kordonsky
November 15 & 16, 2013: the Connecticut premiere of the dance work Pavement by Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion
January 30 & 31, 2014: the New England premiere of the theater work HOME/SICK by The Assembly
February 1, 2014: the Connecticut debut of the Ignacio Berroa Trio
February 14, 2014: the first concert in New England by Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko after winning the Gold Medal in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
February 14 & 15, 2014: the New England premiere of Times Bones by San Francisco’s Margaret Jenkins Dance Company
March 8 & 9, 2014: the 15th annual DanceMasters Weekend, featuring a Showcase Performance by three dance companies, and twelve Master Classes over two days
March 27—29, 2014: the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States conference, to be held in New England for the first time since 1998

Tickets for the 2013-2014 season at the Center for the Arts go on sale on Monday, July 1, 2013. Tickets will be available online at; and starting at Noon by phone at (860) 685-3355, or in person at the Wesleyan University Box Office, located in the Usdan University Center, 45 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown.

Programs, artists, and dates are subject to change without notice.

Wesleyan’s Laura Grabel and Choreographer Elizabeth Johnson Team Up to Create the Pluripotency Dance

Director of the Center for the Arts Pamela Tatge discusses the intersection of art and science being explored at Wesleyan and as part of the Reintegrate New Haven project.

Many of you will remember the groundbreaking work by the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange commissioned by the Center for the Arts that premiered in February 2006, Ferocious Beauty: Genome. It was a movingly beautiful work that looked at the repercussions of genetic research raising prospects that previous generations may scarcely have imagined: of prolonging life and maintaining youth indefinitely, of replicating an individual, of choosing the bodies and brains of our children, and of creating new species to feed and serve us. The work toured for five years following its Wesleyan debut bringing audiences to their feet, and bringing many people in contact with scientific subject matter they might not otherwise have considered.

Reintegrate: Enhancing Collaborations in the Arts and Sciences. Photo by Kike Calvo.
Reintegrate: Enhancing Collaborations in the Arts and Sciences. Photo by Kike Calvo.

Fast forward to today: one of the Wesleyan scientists who began her partnership with Liz Lerman and the Dance Exchange over eight years ago has teamed up with one of the dancers/choreographers in the company to create a new work funded by Reintegrate New Haven, a project of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. Dr. Laura Grabel is the Lauren B. Dachs Professor of Science in Society and Professor of Biology at Wesleyan; and Elizabeth Johnson is now a dancer/choreographer/educator at Arizona State University. (If you’re not sure who Elizabeth is, she danced the role of Miss Tata in Genome, and in September 2005, for Middletown Dances, she choreographed the waiter dance in downtown Middletown, and the famous dog dance for owners and their dogs that was staged on Andrus Field).

The two submitted a proposal which was funded by Reintegrate to create the Plurpotency Dance, an interactive, multi-media performance piece, exploring stem cells and the ethical implications of stem cell research. The piece addresses the fact that many non-scientists have opinions about stem cell research, and that their opinions may not be based upon a full understanding of the relevant science and ethics. Particular focus will be placed on how individuals will bring their full thoughtful and emotional selves to both scientific exploration and artistic creation. In science classrooms at Wesleyan, Grabel, Johnson and the Wesleyan Science Choreography team have been experimenting with allowing students to bring emotion to their biology subject matter. According to Grabel:

“This may be a jarring concept for the traditional scientist or science students, but there is a long tradition of scientists expressing affection for their work and recognizing its inherent beauty. Making an emotional connection to the science can help to increase the level of commitment and provide a new perspective that uses regions of the brain not typically activated in designing, executing, and interpreting experiments. This approach may lead to unexpected insights.”

All of the seven Reintegrate teams will give a free, 90-minute TED-type talk at New Haven’s International Festival of Arts & Ideas on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 5:30pm at the Yale Center for British Art, located at 1080 Chapel Street. [Click here for more information about the Reintegrate: Enhancing Collaborations in the Arts and Sciences talk.] I encourage you to go and hear Grabel and Johnson speak about their work, along with others who are exploring the potential of art/science collaboration.

Monica M. Tinyo ’13 on the MiddletownRemix Festival (May 11)

CFA Arts Administration Intern Monica M. Tinyo ’13 discusses the MiddletownRemix Festival, taking place on Saturday, May 11, 2013 from 2pm to 5pm. All festival events are free, and will take place rain or shine. The Festival Information Center will be located at 575 Main Street, Middletown, CT (in front of It’s Only Natural Market). Click here to download the MiddletownRemix Festival Schedule and Map (opens as a pdf).

middletownremix logo_revisedThis Saturday, MiddletownRemix: Hear More, See More – A Festival of Art and Sound will celebrate the city’s acoustic identity with four world premieres of works commissioned for the festival, three live DJ sets, two commissioned art/sound installations, a laptop orchestra, a flash mob dance, food trucks, graffiti art, improv sketches, and a gallery walk.

MiddletownRemix is part of Wesleyan’s year-long initiative Music & Public Life, as well as part of the Center for the Arts’ greater initiative to foster community engagement using the arts as a catalyst. Not since Middletown Dances in September 2005 on Main Street, and the Feet to the Fire Festival in May 2008 at Veterans Park, has there been such an opportunity for Wesleyan students and the greater Middletown community to collaborate and celebrate the space they share. Gabriela de Golia ’13 explains this collaboration is exactly why “the Wesleyan Student Assembly’s Middletown-Wesleyan Relations Committee is so excited for this festival. For a whole afternoon, students, residents, families and renowned artists will be able to experience the artistic culture of Wesleyan and Middletown, and celebrate the work of talented community members. This is a special chance for the University and town to come together and engage with one another on a more personal and interactive level than is usually possible.”

The MiddletownRemix project stemmed from the interest of Wesleyan Assistant Professor of Music Paula Matthusen in UrbanRemix, a project created by Georgia Tech composer Jason Freeman and his collaborators. The project includes a smartphone application and website, and allows people to easily record, geographically tag and share sounds from everyday life. Over the past year, campus and community members have been uploading sounds that characterize Middletown. After monthly meetings with Middletown’s arts stakeholders group, a committee of 25 dedicated community members and members of Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts, WESU 88.1 FM, and Green Street Arts Center together shaped the MiddletownRemix festival, including partnering on a successful grant proposal to the Connecticut Office of the Arts.

This Saturday’s festival will premiere a total of eight commissioned works from Middletown artists, Wesleyan students and faculty; including “MTRX” (2012) by Jason Freeman, which will be performed by Wesleyan University’s Toneburst Laptop & Electronic Arts Ensemble, directed by Paula Matthusen, at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm at the Green Street Arts Center (located at 51 Green Street).

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to listen and dance with your neighbors. There will be a flash mob dance at 2:30pm on Main Street between Liberty and Ferry Street. It’s not too late to learn the flash mob dance, which is open to all levels of dancers. Learn the dance on YouTube here and perform it as part of the flash mob on May 11 (participants should plan to arrive at the Festival Information Center, located at 575 Main Street in front of It’s Only Natural Market, at 2pm, and then perform the dance at 2:30pm).

For more information about six of the commissioned MiddletownRemix festival artists, check out these interviews from the Creative Campus blog:

Aletta Brady ’15 talks to DJ Arun Ranganathan
Michelle Agresti ’14 talks to Ronald Kuivila
Aletta Brady ’15 talks to Joe McCarthy and Peter Albano
Michelle Agresti ’14 talks to Jason Freeman
Michelle Agresti ’14 talks to Marc Pettersen
Aletta Brady ’15 talks to Kelsey Siegel ’13

Sofia Warren ’13 talks to Kimberly Ladd ’13 and Kelsey Siegel ’13 about Urip Sri Maeny (May 2 & 3)

Wesleyan University’s Dance Department honors Artist in Residence Urip Sri Maeny and celebrates her retirement following four decades of teaching Javanese dance. Sofia Warren ’13, Press & Marketing Assistant at the Center for the Arts, spoke to fellow seniors Kimberly Ladd ’13 and Kelsey Siegel ’13 about their experiences studying with Maeny. 

Urip Sri Maeny
Urip Sri Maeny

This Thursday and Friday, Wesleyan is celebrating the incredible tenure of Urip Sri Maeny, an Artist in Residence who has taught Javanese dance at Wesleyan for 40 years. Born in Java, Indonesia, Maeny became a dancer of great renown at an early age, performing in the Royal Court of Surakarta, and in major cities all across Indonesia, as well as Hong Kong, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq, and Australia. Since coming to Wesleyan in 1972, she has touched the lives of generations of students. I was lucky enough to sit down with two of these students, Kimberly Ladd ’13 and Kelsey Siegel ’13, whose glowing appraisal of Maeny made me understand, at least in part, the immense impact she has had on the Wesleyan community.

In describing Javanese dance, both Kelsey and Kim emphasize how different this form is from others taught here at Wesleyan. Kelsey tells me that originally, courts in Indonesia considered watching Javanese dancers to be a form of meditation, and would bring in dancers for this purpose. “It’s really slow and it’s very articulate with your hands,” she says, “it’s very therapeutic.” Coming from a hip-hop background, Javanese dancing was a radical change of pace for Kelsey, but one that Maeny made inviting and manageable. “She introduced me to the culture in a way that was so comfortable for me that I didn’t feel like it was something I could never understand. I had no idea what Javanese dance was, but immediately I wanted to be a part of it.”

It is apparent from the enthusiasm with which both Kim and Kelsey talk about Maeny how much she has influenced them. When I asked what distinguishes her as a teacher, Kim tells me how willing she is to take time for her students. “She has a really open schedule—she’ll come in on a day when she’s not teaching to work with you.” Kelsey adds that her style is very unique, and one that puts a lot in the hands of the students. “She doesn’t need to show you every detail, but she’ll do it with you and then correct you at the end. She has a way of not really showing you the movement, but you just kind of do it, and you don’t really know how it happens.”  Kelsey and Kim both emphasize how it is her care and complete attention to students, as well as her complete understanding of her craft, that set Maeny apart as a teacher.

This week, both Kim and Kelsey will take part in a piece choreographed, adapted by, and featuring Urip Sri Maeny [excerpts from the dance drama “Ramayana”] to be performed at the World Music Hall on Thursday, May 2 at 7pm. “You don’t say no to Maeny!” Kelsey laughs, explaining how she became a part of the project. “She’s just a brilliant mastermind,” Kim adds, and tells me about the mythic narrative dance. “It’s this whole drama which she conceived and put together and edited, and brought us all with our different experiences to dance one form. It’s really astounding.” Maeny’s approach to the choreography, all of which is her own, is to let everyone take the dance and put it into their own styles and their own bodies, in a way that is very unifying. As Kim puts it, “she knows the whole story, and we’re still discovering how we fit in. But that will happen.”

Before I leave her interview, Kelsey tells me her lasting impression of Urip Sri Maeny, which I can’t help but to quote at length. “I just have an image of Maeny that will always stay in my head,” she says. “It’s just me walking into the Center for the Arts and I see her—she’s the cutest woman—just running out, and she comes up to me and is always hugging me and kissing me and making me feel so welcome. I’m a dance major and a huge part of being a dance major is Maeny. She’s one of the reasons why I feel so safe in this community, and so loved. Just so loved.”

Celebrating Four Decades of Javanese Dance: A Retirement Celebration Honoring Artist in Residence Urip Sri Maeny
Thursday, May 2 at 7pm
World Music Hall

The celebration begins with a performance of excerpts from the dance drama “Ramayana,” choreographed, adapted by, and featuring Urip Sri Maeny in her last production at Wesleyan, with Adjunct Professor of Dance Susan Lourie, undergraduate and graduate students, and Middletown community members; accompanied by the Wesleyan Gamelan Ensemble, under the direction of I.M. Harjito and Sumarsam.

Annual Dr. Cynthia Novack Lecture and Celebration Honoring Decades of Javanese Dance at Wesleyan
Friday, May 3 at 2pm
World Music Hall

The annual Dr. Cynthia Novack Lecture will address cultural reconstruction in post-genocide Indonesia with a free talk in World Music Hall by dance scholar, choreographer, and cultural theorist Dr. Diyah Larasati, author of The Dance That Makes You Vanish (University of Minnesota Press, 2013).

The talk will conclude with a tribute to Urip Sri Maeny and the legacy of Javanese dance at Wesleyan by special guests. The lecture and tribute will be immediately followed by a reception and book signing in World Music Hall.

This Weekend: Puppetry, Funk, Grateful Dead music, and more!

CFA Arts Administration Intern Monica M. Tinyo ’13 surveys this week’s offerings at the Center for the Arts.

What are you doing this weekend? Are you rocking out to the music of the Grateful Dead? Watching an outdoor puppet show? Maybe you are listening to an orchestra of laptops, or expanding your idea of art. If you aren’t, you should be. This weekend holds a ton of exciting performances, exhibitions, and lectures that are as diverse in subject as they are in medium.

On Friday at 1:30pm, get your dance fix with a free studio showing by the Philadelphia-based choreographer Moncell Durden, President and Founder of Dance Educators of Funk and Hip Hop.

Time Stands Still: Notation in Musical Practice Festival-Conference, April 5 & 6

If music is more your thing, there are a number of senior and graduate recitals, like Henry Robertson’s tribute to the Grateful Dead, “Transitive Nightfall of Diamonds” (Thursday at 9pm). You could also explore musical notation with international experts at the Time Stands Still festival-conference this weekend (starting Friday at 1:30pm). Along with symposium sessions and roundtables, there will be two concerts (Friday and Saturday at 8pm), including the U.S. premiere of London’s Vocal Constructivists, alongside Wesleyan students in the Toneburst Laptop & Electronic Arts Ensemble.

A little overwhelmed? Take a break and have some quiet contemplation with artwork at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. There you can see the brilliant art studio thesis work (Noon to 5pm). The students featured are so talented, you won’t believe that not one of them has yet lived a quarter of a century. You can also see artists taking action in a collection of protest posters at the Davison Art Center (Noon to 4pm).

Last but definitely not least is the outdoor puppet show (Thursday through Saturday at 9pm), with handmade puppets and complimentary tea. You really don’t want to miss Frog’s journey to prevent Tokyo’s destruction by enlisting the help of a lowly collections officer, Katagiri!

Instead of your normal weekend routine, come to an event at the Center for the Arts. I promise it will be more fun, valuable and out of the ordinary than anything you were planning!

Two Major American Dance Companies Make Their Wesleyan Debut This Weekend (Mar. 9)

Director of the Center for the Arts Pamela Tatge discusses the three dance companies that will be performing as part of the 14th annual DanceMasters Weekend Showcase Performance on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

It’s amazing to me that this weekend we will celebrate the 14th annual DanceMasters Weekend at Wesleyan, an annual feast of dance that goes on for two days, with thirteen Master Classes by leading American dance-makers (names you’ll recognize from past seasons at the Center for the Arts: Brian Brooks, Ronald K. Brown, Camille A. Brown, to name a few). Dianne Walker is arguably the grande dame of tap, and she will be teaching a Master Class as well [see below for full list of Master Class teachers].

And on Saturday night, we will showcase the work of three companies that have shaped the landscape of contemporary dance in America: Armitage Gone! Dance, Ballet Hispanico and ODC/Dance. Because this is a showcase, companies often bring us duets or dances for a small group of dancers.  This year, however, both Armitage Gone! Dance and Ballet Hispanico are presenting full company works!  There is simply nowhere else in New England where you can see such a breadth of work in a single evening.


Armitage Gone! Dance, “Three Theories” (2010). Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Karole Armitage has been pushing the boundaries of ballet and movement research since she danced works by George Balanchine and Merce Cunningham.  Christened the “punk ballerina,” she worked in Europe as the Artistic Director of companies in France and Italy and made works for companies around the world before returning to the U.S. in 2004 to form Armitage Gone! Dance. She explains:

“Historically ballet has been thought of primarily as a narrative art, and many great story ballets survive in the repertoire today. There is another great tradition in ballet, however, descending from Balanchine and innovators in modern dance, which eschews narrative and works directly through metaphor, symbol and abstraction. In this tradition, dance is a poetic language of the body. Rather than serving as a vehicle for conventional dramas with plots and named characters, this tradition of dance seeks to express the deepest emotional, existential and even spiritual realities through pure movement.” (

Wesleyan audiences will see excerpts from her newest work, Mechanics of the Dance Machine (2013), that alternates between electrically fierce dance and metaphors of intimacy: the work blends powerful partnering, pointe work and non-pointe work with fractal geometry in a hybrid performance with music by Gabriel Prokofiev, a hip hop producer trained in classical music, and Craig Leon.

ODC/Dance, “Breathing Underwater” (2012). Photo by Margo Moritz.

This will be the third time that the Center for the Arts welcomes ODC/Dance to Middletown. The Oberlin Dance Collective (named for Oberlin College in Ohio, where the founders met), was founded in 1971 and proved a major American company could grow up outside of New York. “ODC was one of the first American companies to return, after a decade of pedestrian exploration, to virtuosic technique and narrative content in avant-garde dance and to commit major resources to interdisciplinary collaboration and musical commissions for the repertory.” ( On Saturday, we will have a sneak preview of their newest work, Triangulating Euclid (2013), which will have its official premiere at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts March 15-23, 2013.  According to their program notes, ODC’s Artistic Directors Brenda Way and KT Nelson have teamed up with New York-based choreographer Kate Weare in this “unprecedented collaboration designed to shake up their creative process and explore new artistic territory. Inspired by a rare original edition of Euclid’s Elements, perhaps the most influential work in the history of mathematics, this highly physical and emotive piece moves from the formal elegance of geometry to its human implication: from triangles to threesomes, from lines to connections, from the page to the heart.”

(Interesting note: for a number of years [2003 to 2005], KT Nelson was the Chair of Dance for the Capitol Region Education Council’s Center for Creative Youth at Wesleyan—we’re so delighted to have her back to teach a Master Class and show us her newest work).

Ballet Hispanico, “A vueltas con los Ochenta” (2012). Photo by Paula Lobo.

Ballet Hispanico is recognized as this country’s premiere Latino dance organization. Their work emanates from the legacy of Tina Ramirez who founded the company over 42 years ago, who was interested in “exploring the diversity of Latino culture through a fusion of classical, Latin, and contemporary dance powered by theatricality and passion.” Since August 2009, the company has been led by Cuban-American Eduardo Vilaro, a former dancer with the company who has commissioned a host of contemporary choreographers to create new works for the company, including A vueltas con los ochenta (2012), choreographed by Meritxell Barberá and Inma García, who studied together in Valencia, Spain.  The company introduces the work in their program notes as follows: “A vueltas con los ochenta uses contemporary dance to evoke the sights and sounds of the cultural revolution, known as ‘La Movida,’ in 1980s Madrid. Drawing upon that time’s need for creative expression and individuality, the work recreates the memory of one night of freedom, exploration, and invention lived by a young group of friends.”

The exuberance and virtuosity of these dancers will be thrilling to see this weekend!

14th annual DanceMasters Weekend
Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10, 2013

Showcase Performance
Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 8pm in the CFA Theater

$28 for the general public; $23 for senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff, non-Wesleyan students; $8 for Wesleyan students.

Master Classes
The thirteen Master Classes on Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10 provide an opportunity for intermediate to advanced dance students, and also dance professionals, to explore diverse dance techniques. Asterisks (*) denote the five teachers who will be teaching their first DanceMasters Weekend Master Class at Wesleyan in 2013.

On Saturday, March 9, Master Classes will be taught by the following seven teachers:

*Karole Armitage (Artistic Director of Armitage Gone! Dance)
*Donald Borror (Company Dancer with Ballet Hispanico)
Camille A. Brown (Artistic Director of Camille A. Brown & Dancers, and recipient of the 2012 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award)
Ronald K. Brown (Artistic Director of Evidence Dance Company)
Carolyn Kirsch (Broadway veteran, teaching “Never Stop Moving: A Fosse-Style Jazz Workshop for Older Dancers”)
*KT Nelson (Co-Artistic Director of ODC/Dance)
Dianne Walker (Artistic Director of Boston’s TapDanZin, Inc; teaching a Tap Master Class)

And on Sunday, March 10, Master Classes will be taught by the following six teachers:

Brandon “Peace” Albright (Artistic Director of Philadelphia’s Illstyle & Peace Productions, teaching a Hip Hop Master Class)
Brian Brooks (Artistic Director of Brian Brooks Moving Company)
*Christal Brown (Artistic Director of New York’s Inspirit, former Principal Performer with Urban Bush Women)
*Dana Moore (Broadway veteran, teaching a Jazz/Broadway Musical Theater Master Class)
Troy Powell (Artistic Director of Ailey II)
Kate Skarpetowska (Dancer with Lar Lubovitch Dance Company)

To see the full Master Class schedule, please click here.

$19 per Master Class for the general public (plus a $6 registration fee); $17 per Master Class for four or more classes; $13 per Master Class for Wesleyan students. A Weekend Pass includes five Master Classes and one ticket to the Showcase Performance, and costs $100 for the general public (plus a $6 registration fee); and $73 for Wesleyan students. To register for Master Classes, please call 860-685-3355 or visit the Wesleyan University Box Office.

Fearless Physicality at the CFA Theater (Feb. 9)

Director of the Center for the Arts Pamela Tatge discusses choreographer Andrea Miller, and her company Gallim Dance.

[The performance by Gallim Dance on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 8pm has been canceled due to the snow storm. Ticket holders have the following options:  receive a gift certificate to be used for a Breaking Ground Dance Series performance during the 2013-2014 season; return tickets for a tax deductible donation to the Center for the Arts; or receive a refund. Please call the Wesleyan University Box Office at 860-685-3355 for more information. Click here to read the text of the talk about Gallim Dance prepared by dance scholar Debra Cash.]

[The Master Class with Andrea Miller on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 2pm has also been canceled.]

Choreographer Andrea Miller, Artistic Director of Gallim Dance

It’s hard to fathom all that choreographer Andrea Miller has accomplished in the past six years. She has created a highly acclaimed company, Gallim Dance, that this year alone will tour to the Guggenheim Museum, Sadler’s Wells (London), Brooklyn Academy of MusicThéâtre National de Chaillot (Paris), and festivals in Germany and Austria. She’s won awards from the Princess Grace Foundation and USA Artists. She’s been commissioned by Nederlands Dans Theater 2 (The Hague),  Noord Nederlandse Danse, Phantom Limb and Bern Ballet (Switzerland). And a year ago, she established a permanent home in Brooklyn that hosts year-round education and performance programs.

But this week, she comes home to Connecticut, a state where she spent her formative years, attending the Foote School in New Haven and Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford. Andrea’s mother Irena Tocino was a great friend of Mariam McGlone, who together with Center for the Arts staff founded DanceMasters Weekend at Wesleyan. Mariam was an important mentor to Andrea, and the young dancer came to take Master Classes at DanceMasters while she was studying at Juilliard. Mariam always knew she would end up a choreographer! In 2011, Wesleyan awarded her the Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award, and her company brought the audience literally to their feet.

What’s distinctive about Andrea’s choreography is its visceral quality: it is fearless movement that is at times poetic, and at other times, quite mad. Her dancers are all individuals – their personalities, their passions are all accessible and immediate.

We always knew we wanted to bring her back for a full evening program, and we were delighted when her schedule opened up to make that possible. Tonight, Andrea will have dinner with Jewish students on campus and discuss the creative path that led her to Mama Call (2011), the work that will open the program and has roots in Andrea Miller’s Sephardic-American heritage. Ms. Miller adapts the Sephardic story into a contemporary and more universal tale of border-crossing investigating the idea of how those who have been displaced rescue the idea of “home.” The second piece on the program is a Gallim masterpiece, Pupil Suite, created in 2010.

Join us as we welcome this extraordinary choreographer and her company of brilliant dancers to Wesleyan.

See the feature from the Sunday, February 3 edition of the Hartford Courant here.

Wesleyan University Creates Madhu Reddy Endowed Fund for Indian Music and Dance

Pictured (left to right): Wesleyan University Music Artist in Residence David Nelson, Wesleyan University Center for the Arts Director Pamela Tatge, and Madhu Reddy. Photo by Olivia Drake.

Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts announces the creation of the Madhu Reddy Endowed Fund for Indian Music and Dance at Wesleyan University. Mr. Reddy, a real estate agent with William Raveis based in Glastonbury, Connecticut, established the fund with a pledge of $100,000 and presented a check for $50,000 to Pamela Tatge, Director of the Center for the Arts, at a brief ceremony on Friday, December 14. “For over fifty years, Wesleyan’s Music and Dance Departments and the Center for the Arts have been presenting the music and dance of India to the campus and the region. The Reddy Fund will sustain Wesleyan’s annual Navaratri Festival of music and dance, as well as provide much needed support for faculty research and performance,” said Ms. Tatge. “We are all so moved by Madhu’s generosity and passion for the arts of India, and look forward to working with him to grow the Fund in the coming years.”

Wesleyan’s program in Indian music and dance was founded by T. Viswanathan, who earned his Ph.D. at Wesleyan in 1975 and then began teaching South Indian music together with his brother T. Ranganathan. Their sister was the renowned dancer Balasaraswati, who also taught at Wesleyan. Today, Wesleyan’s Indian music and dance faculty includes Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music B. Balasubrahmaniyan, Assistant Professor Dance Hari Krishnan, and Music Artist in Residence David Nelson.

Navaratri, one of India’s major festival celebrations, is a time to see family and friends, enjoy music and dance and seek blessings for new endeavors. The annual Navaratri Festival at Wesleyan celebrates traditional Indian music and dance. The 36th annual Navaratri Festival, which took place in October and November 2012, included a concert by Mr. Balasubrahmaniyan and Mr. Nelson, along with performances by singer T.V. Sankaranarayanan and dancer Rama Vaidyanathan in Crowell Concert Hall. The 37th annual Navaratri Festival will take place in October 2013.

About the Music Department
The Wesleyan University Music Department provides a unique and pioneering environment for advanced exploration committed to the study, performance, and composition of music from a perspective that recognizes and engages the breadth and diversity of the world’s musics and technologies. As an integral part of one of the nation’s leading liberal arts institutions, the department has enjoyed an international reputation for innovation and excellence, attracting students from around the globe since the inception of its visionary program in World Music four decades ago.

A recording studio, a computer and experimental music studio, the Center for the Arts media lab and digital video facility, the World Instrument Collection (which includes the David Tudor Collection of electronic musical instruments and instrumentation) and the Scores and Recordings Collection of Olin Library (which includes the World Music Archives) offer many learning opportunities outside of the classroom.

For more information about the Music Department, please click here.

About the Dance Department
The Dance Department at Wesleyan University is a contemporary program with a global perspective. The curriculum, faculty research and pedagogy all center on the relationships between theory and practice, embodied learning, and the potential dance making has to be a catalyst for social change.  Within that rigorous context, students encounter a diversity of approaches to making, practicing and analyzing dance in an intimate learning atmosphere. The program embraces classical forms from Ballet, Bharata Natyam, Javanese, and Ghanaian, to experimental practices that fuse tradition and experimentation into new, contemporary forms.

For more information about the Dance Department, please click here.

About the Center for the Arts
Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts is an eleven-building complex on the Wesleyan campus that houses the departments of Art and Art History, Dance, Film Studies, Music, and Theater. Opened in 1973, the CFA serves as a cultural center for the region, the state and New England. The Center includes the 400-seat Theater, the 260-seat Hall, the World Music Hall (a non-Western performance space), the 414-seat Crowell Concert Hall and the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery.

The Center for the Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of its many generous funders and collaborators, including the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Office of the Arts, as well as media sponsors the Hartford and New Haven Advocates, Shore Publishing, WESU 88.1FM, and WNPR.

For more information about Center for the Arts, please call (860) 685-3355, or click here.

Spring Events include World, U.S. & New England Premieres

Gallim Dance performs February 8 & 9, 2013 as part of the Performing Arts Series.

This spring at the Center for the Arts we bring you work that is of today: innovative, inquisitive and sure to surprise and engage you. Continuing our exploration of Music & Public Life, we bring you a concert of music from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello–what you might have heard both in the mansion and in the slaves’ quarters–where audiences will have the chance to experience the first glass harmonica on the Crowell Concert Hall stage. The great activist and trumpeter Hugh Masekela will bring his band to Wesleyan, and our own West African Drumming ensemble will have the chance to open for him. In dance, we bring back Andrea Miller’s Gallim Dance after their performance at the DanceMasters Weekend Showcase in 2011 brought audiences to their feet. Her piece Mama Call investigates her Spanish-Sephardic heritage, and the reprise of Pupil features the spirited music of Balkan Beat Box. In theater, we bring the master innovator Lee Breuer to campus with his newest work Glass Guignol, a compilation of texts from Tennessee Williams’ women, performed by the indomitable Maude Mitchell.

In Zilkha Gallery, Lucy and Jorge Orta’s Food-Water-Life will be on view. This is the first-ever solo show in the U.S. of work by these Paris-based artists, who stage performative events to bring attention to some of the world’s most urgent environmental and social issues. The colorful sculptural works, including a large canoe, and three parachutes, will take advantage of Zilkha’s scale, and a series of food events is being staged to more deeply connect you to the themes of the show.

Spring is also when you have the chance to put your finger on the pulse of the next generation of contemporary artists: an evening of work by seniors in dance, three theater thesis productions, four weeks of thesis exhibitions in Zilkha, and two solid months of music recitals will give audiences an overview of the art that is being generated at Wesleyan.

So please join us! We look forward to welcoming you.

Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts