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.
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!
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.
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.
CFA Arts Administration Intern Monica M. Tinyo ’13 talks about “MiddletownRemix”, which is part of “Music & Public Life”, a year-long campus and community-wide exploration celebrating and studying the sounds, words, and spirit of music.
Are we not formed, as notes of music are,
For one another, though dissimilar?
—Percy Bysshe Shelley
Technology can foster insularity and just as easily foster limitless synthesis. MiddletownRemix utilizes the synthetic faculty of technology and the internet, inviting all members of the Middletown community to share and remix the sounds of Middletown in an open, online forum. The program, part of Wesleyan’s year-long campus and community-wide exploration Music & Public Life, lets all residents express and share their experiences living in greater Middletown through one minute sound recordings that are organized by theme or location. The website brings together a perspectival spectrum of Middletown sounds to form a cohesive and collaborative record of Middletown as a place and as a creatively-charged community.
Sound bites can be posted and remixed by anyone—high school students or retirees, new residents or residents who have been in Middletown all their lives. MiddletownRemix, a subset of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s UrbanRemix program, “geo-tags,” organizes and presents every sound visually by the location of the recording as points on a map online. The creators of MiddletownRemix have made certain their website is easy to use and accessible: there is a step-by-step guide to recording and downloading sounds, a smartphone app, and by the end of this month, anyone will be able to check out an iPhone or iTouch for recording purposes from Green Street Arts Center.
I had the opportunity to talk with Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts Program Manager Erinn Roos-Brown about MiddletownRemix. Erinn explained that Music & Public Life, and specifically MiddletownRemix, was created as a celebration of music in Middletown and music as activism. MiddletownRemix acts as a creative solution that allows the Wesleyan campus and greater community to engage their surrounding environment through music in a more interactive way.
Erinn explained further that all participants of MiddletownRemix can become composers in their own right, either by documenting sound or creating new acoustic identities in mash-ups. The sound recordings and remixes ask the questions: what is music, what is Middletown, and how do the sounds and remixes reinforce or redefine communal and personal perspectives on Middletown?
Participants are challenged to think not only about the sounds around them, but also about four Middletown locations: Main Street, Middlesex Hospital, the North End neighborhood, and the Connecticut River. There are also monthly themes like “Elections” or “Emotions” that can be taken as literally or abstractly as one would like. While participants can be guided by these themes and locations, they have the flexibility to record whatever sounds they believe represent their city.
Music and Public Life has partnered with Middletown Public Schools, Green Street Arts Center, and Middletown’s arts stakeholders group to create the broader range of participants for MiddletownRemix. The DJs of Wesleyan radio station WESU 88.1 FM will air the sounds and remixes that they find the most interesting every month. At Wesleyan University specifically, MiddletownRemix is incorporated into the Music Department‘s curricula by Professor Ronald Kuivila and Assistant Professor Paula Matthusen. More broadly, Music and Public Life is incorporated into every aspect of campus life at Wesleyan, from classes to performances to colloquia.
MiddletownRemix’s year-long exploration will culminate with a community-wide celebration on Saturday, May 11, 2013, featuring the world premiere of a composition for laptop orchestra by Jason Freeman of UrbanRemix.
Listen to this week’s featured sounds and remixes, then start gathering your own sounds: sign-up, download the free app for your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android phone, and start recording!
Music & Public Life www.wesleyan.edu/mpl
A year long campus and community-wide exploration, including concerts, lectures and discussions, symposia and colloquia.
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.”
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.