Center For the Arts CFA

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts announces highlights of 2016-2017 season

Friday, August 5, 2016 - Friday, March 31, 2017

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts announces highlights of 2016-2017 season
"texts&beheadings/ElizabethR" by Karin Coonrod
A Compagnia de' Colombari Production: "texts&beheadings/ElizabethR" by Karin Coonrod. Photo by Teresa Wood.
Click here to download high resolution version.

Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts announces
highlights of 2016-2017 season including
two world premieres, five New England premieres,
and three Connecticut premieres;
box office opens Tuesday, August 23
 

Middletown, Conn.— Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts announces the highlights of the 2016-2017 season, including two world premieres, five New England premieres, and three Connecticut premieres, including the following events (see below for more information):


September 9 - October 9, 2016: "here is new york—a democracy of photographs" exhibition in Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery
September 9, 2016: Seventh annual "Bach to School" organ concert
September 13, 2016: In Conversation—Charles Traub and Michael S. Roth
September 16-17, 2016: New England premiere of "GO/FORTH" by actor/director Kaneza Schaal '06
September 18, 2016: World premiere by contemporary woodwind quintet Harmonia V
October 7, 2016: Connecticut premiere of "BLACK GIRL—Linguistic Play" by Camille A. Brown & Dancers
October 9, 2016: World premiere by Wesleyan Music Department Ensemble in Residence West End String Quartet
October 19, 2016: "Tula Telfair: Invented Landscapes"—Michael S. Roth Interviews Henry Adams
October 20, 2016: Grammy Award-winning banjo and vocal duo Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn
October 27-30, 2016: 40th annual Navaratri Festival of Indian music and dance
October 27 - December 11, 2016: "FLYING CARPETS—new paintings by David Schorr" exhibition in Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery
November 4, 2016: New England debut of South African guitarist Derek Gripper
November 6, 2016: Wesleyan Private Lessons Teacher and jazz guitarist Tony Lombardozzi
November 18-19, 2016: New England debut of "Hoo-Ha" by choreographer Darrell Jones
November 30, 2016: A Reading by Writer Jonathan Galassi
December 6, 2016: New England premiere of Elliott Sharp's "Port Bou—a chamber opera"
February 17, 2017: New England premiere of Karin Coonrod's "texts&beheadings/ElizabethR" by theater collective Compagnia de’ Colombari
February 24, 2017: National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and pianist Muhal Richard Abrams Quintet
March 3, 2017: Connecticut premiere of "Walking with 'Trane" by Urban Bush Women
March 31, 2017: Connecticut premiere of "A Tale of Two Italian Cities" by Tempesta di Mare

Tickets for the 2016-2017 season at the Center for the Arts are currently on sale online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/boxoffice. Starting at Noon on Tuesday, August 23, 2016 tickets will also be available 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. Tickets may also be purchased at the door beginning one hour prior to each ticketed performance during the season, subject to availability. The Center for the Arts accepts cash, checks written to “Wesleyan University,” and all major credit cards. Groups of ten or more may receive a discount to select performances – please call (860) 685-3355 for details. No refunds, cancellations, or exchanges. Programs, artists, and dates are subject to change without notice.
 
The Inn at Middletown is the official hotel of the Center for the Arts. Patrons who show their Center for the Arts ticket stub receive 10% off their food bill at the Tavern at the Armory, located at 70 Main Street in Middletown.
 
Performing Arts Series
The sixth annual Performing Arts Series at the Center for the Arts features a wide array of world-class musicians, cutting-edge choreography, and groundbreaking theater performances and discussions.

Kaneza Schaal: "GO/FORTH"
Friday, September 16, 2016 at 7pm and 10pm
Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 2pm and 8pm
CFA Theater, 271 Washington Terrace, Middletown
$28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

 "...as much about life as it is death, and how we can never sever one from the other."
The New York Times


Actor/director Kaneza Schaal '06 offers a powerful meditation on loss, grief, and ritual in a performance incorporating projection, sound, text, and movement. Inspired by the Egyptian "Book of the Dead"—a 3000-year-old series of spells and incantations intended for the deceased as a blueprint to the afterlife—the New England premiere of "GO/FORTH" (2016) creates space for the presence of the absent, the imagined, and the longed for. Ms. Schaal previously spoke about her professional career in acting at “Theater after Wesleyan: Class of ’06” in February 2012 in the Ring Family Performing Arts Hall (former CFA Hall).

Camille A. Brown & Dancers: "BLACK GIRL--Linguistic Play"
Friday, October 7, 2016 at 8pm
CFA Theater, 271 Washington Terrace, Middletown
$28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

"One of the most powerful representations of Black girlhood I have ever witnessed."
Amsterdam News (New York)

Acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown returns to Wesleyan with the Connecticut premiere of "BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play" (2015), which uses the rhythmic play of African-American dance vernacular—double dutch, steppin', tap, Juba, ring shout, social dancing, and gesture—and privileges the black girl gaze to create a nuanced spectrum of black womanhood. With live music by pianist Scott Patterson and bassist Tracy Wormworth. The company previously performed an excerpt of "BLACK GIRL" as a work-in-progress at Wesleyan in the CFA Theater in July 2014 as part of the “Summer at the CFA” Series. The company also performed as part of the sold-out DanceMasters Weekend Showcase Performance in the CFA Theater in March 2012. Camille A. Brown was the recipient of the 2012 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award.

Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn
Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 8pm
Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown
$35 general public; $32 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

 "Two monsters of the banjo."
—NPR's All Things Considered

With their recent Grammy Award for "Best Folk Album" earlier this year, banjo and vocal duo (and husband and wife) Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn perform original music as well as Appalachian murder ballads, gospel, chamber music, and blues. The two first collaborated as part of the Sparrow Quartet in 2005. Mr. Fleck has been nominated in more categories than any other musician in Grammy Award history.

Derek Gripper
Friday, November 4, 2016 at 8pm
Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown
$28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

"His playing has a depthless beauty...a staggering achievement on solo guitar."
Songlines

South African musician Derek Gripper conjures anew a centuries-old musical heritage, interpreting kora (21 string harp) compositions for solo classical guitar. He has created a repertoire of arrangements of African music, based on transcriptions of works by Toumani Diabaté, Ali Farka Touré, and others. Other influences on Mr. Gripper include the multiple layers in the music of Oliver Messiaen, the African-influenced structures of Steve Reich, and guitar arrangements of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Darrell Jones: "Hoo-Ha"
Friday, November 18, 2016 at 8pm
Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 2pm and 8pm
World Music Hall, 40 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown
$28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

"An arresting and mysterious deconstruction of voguing."
The New York Times

Choreographer Darrell Jones describes "Hoo-Ha" (2010) as the release of the oppressed feminine in the male body. For nearly a decade, his artistic research has found its central focus through a dialogue between his postmodern training and the voguing aesthetic. At Wesleyan, the New England debut of "Hoo-Ha" in a salon format is an opportunity to experience examples of these translations and their backstories. Mr. Jones hopes they ignite discussion and discovery. Wesleyan’s 2016-2017 Creative Campus Fellow in Dance, Darrell Jones has performed in the United States and abroad with a variety of choreographers and companies including Bebe Miller, Urban Bush Women, Ronald K. Brown, and Ralph Lemon. Mr. Jones performed Bebe Miller Company’s “History” at Wesleyan in November 2011 in the Patricelli ’92 Theater as part of the Performing Arts Series.

A Compagnia de' Colombari Production
"texts&beheadings/ElizabethR" by Karin Coonrod
Friday, February 17, 2017 at 8pm
CFA Theater, 271 Washington Terrace, Middletown
$28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

"A surprisingly graspable crash course in Elizabeth I and her times."
The New York Times

From the visionary director Karin Coonrod, four actresses from the theater collective Compagnia de' Colombari offer a fractured portrait of "The Virgin Queen" Elizabeth I of England in a breathless game of hide-and-seek with history, mystery, and the theater form inspired by James Joyce and Gertrude Stein in the New England premiere of "texts&beheadings/ElizabethR" (2015). Ms. Coonrod is a Lecturer in Drama at Yale University.

Muhal Richard Abrams Quintet
Friday, February 24, 2017 at 8pm
Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown
$28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

"In Abrams' singular universe, elemental blues themes and warp speed postbop structures with challenging intervals coexist comfortably."
All About Jazz

Legendary pianist and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Muhal Richard Abrams performs with his Quintet, featuring trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, vibraphonist Bryan Carrott, drummer Reggie Nicholson, and bassist John Hébert. Mr. Abrams co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians in Chicago in 1965, and has performed with Max Roach, John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Emeritus Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, Marty Erlich, Kronos Quartet, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, among many others.

Urban Bush Women: "Walking with 'Trane"
Friday, March 3, 2017 at 8pm
CFA Theater, 271 Washington Terrace, Middletown
$28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

"Zollar and her troupe plumb the structure of bebop and modal music in 'Trane's saxophone solos."
The Village Voice

Urban Bush Women return to Wesleyan with the Connecticut premiere of "Walking with 'Trane" (2015), an ethereal investigation conjuring the essence of John Coltrane, inspired by the musical life and spiritual journey of the famed jazz saxophonist. Choreographed by founder and Artistic Director Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Associate Artistic Director Samantha Speis in collaboration with the company, the work is set to music by composers George Caldwell and Philip White and inspired by Mr. Coltrane’s "A Love Supreme" and other works.

Urban Bush Women previously performed the work “Les Écailles de la Mémoire (Scales of Memory)” with Compagnie Jant-Bi in February 2008 in the CFA Theater. The New England premiere of "visible" choreographed by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Nora Chipaumire (2007 recipient of Wesleyan's Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award) took place in October 2012 in the CFA Theater. “Blood, Muscle, Bone: A Performative Teach-In” conceived by choreographers and visiting faculty members Liz Lerman (founder of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange) and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar took place in November 2013 in Fayerweather Beckham Hall. Samantha Speis taught DanceMasters Weekend Master Classes at Wesleyan in 2012 and 2016.

Tempesta di Mare: "A Tale of Two Italian Cities"
Friday, March 31, 2017 at 8pm
Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown
$28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

"Tempesta di Mare performed with precision and passion. A sheer joy to hear."
The Birmingham News

Philadelphia-based Tempesta di Mare performs baroque chamber music from Venice and Naples on period instruments during the Connecticut premiere of "A Tale of Two Italian Cities." The six musicians from the ensemble, celebrating their fifteenth anniversary season, play recorder, violin, cello, lute, and harpsichord on trios, quartets, and concerti by Antonio Vivaldi, Alessandro Scarlatti, Dario Castello, Andrea Falconieri, Francesco Mancini, and Giovanni Legrenzi.

40th annual Navaratri Festival
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. Wesleyan’s 40th annual Navaratri Festival (Thursday, October 27 through Sunday, October 30, 2016) celebrates traditional Indian music and dance. Presented by the Center for the Arts and the Music Department, with leadership support from the Madhu Reddy Endowed Fund for Indian Music and Dance at Wesleyan University, and additional support from the Jon B. Higgins Memorial Fund.

Music Department Colloquium
Building a Home: The First Half-Century of Music and Dance of India at Wesleyan
Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 4:30pm
Ring Family Performing Arts Hall (former CFA Hall), 287 Washington Terrace, Middletown

FREE!

Ph.D. candidate Joseph Getter presents the historical background of Indian music and dance in the United States, the Wesleyan University World Music Program, and the Navaratri Festival.



B. Balasubrahmaniyan: Vocal Music of South India
Friday, October 28, 2016 at 8pm
Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown

$12 general public; $10 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students


Vocalist and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music B. Balasubrahmaniyan is joined by Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music David Nelson on mridangam and violinist Sandhya Anand.



Shenkar
Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 8pm

Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown
$28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students

"Some of the most daring, exuberant, and technically proficient improvisational music...has cascaded from the fingertips of Indian violinist L. Shankar."

Downbeat



Indian-born American violinist, singer, and composer L. Shankar earned a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University in 1974, and co-founded the group Shakti with British guitar player John McLaughlin the next year. Shenkar has worked with Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, Phil Collins, and many other artists. He returned to Wesleyan in September 2000 to perform with Zakir Hussain.

Saraswati Puja (Hindu Ceremony)
Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 11am
World Music Hall, 40 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown

FREE!


This religious service, led by A. V. Srinivasan, marks the most auspicious day of the year for beginning new endeavors. The audience may participate and bring instruments, manuscripts, and other items for blessing.



Nrityagram Dance Ensemble
Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 3pm

Crowell Concert Hall, 50 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown
$28 general public; $26 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students




"The ensemble mesmerized a sold-out audience with its artistry, energy, technique and beauty."
Dance Magazine



Internationally acclaimed Nrityagram Dance Ensemble from Bangalore, India brings its exceptional synchronicity, compelling physicality, and emotional honesty to redefine dance and theater through powerful imagery and captivating dance.


Music at The Russell House
A free series, presented in the parlor of the historic Russell House since 1997.

Harmonia V
Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 3pm
The Russell House, 350 High Street, Middletown
FREE!

The innovative contemporary woodwind quintet Harmonia V features Jennifer Berman on flute, Janet Rosen on oboe, Sue Zoellner-Cross on bassoon, Curt Blood on clarinet, and Wesleyan Private Lessons Teacher Robert Hoyle on French horn. The group will perform the world premiere of "Shadows of our Past" by Jonathan Schmieding, "Fugue1966" by Wesleyan's John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Neely Bruce, and "Crescent City Suite" by Chris Brubeck.

West End String Quartet
Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 3pm
The Russell House, 350 High Street, Middletown
FREE!

The West End String Quartet features Wesleyan chamber music instructors Sarah Washburn on violin, Anne Berry on cello, and John Biatowas on viola. The group will perform music for string trio and piano quartet with pianist Ira Braus from The Hartt School of Music, including Robert Schumann's sublime Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 47; Max Reger's Trio No. 2 in d minor, Op. 141b; and the world premiere of String Trio in g minor by Wesleyan's John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Neely Bruce. The West End String Quartet is the Wesleyan Music Department Ensemble in Residence. The group previously performed in The Russell House in October 2014.

Tony Lombardozzi
Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 3pm
The Russell House, 350 High Street, Middletown
FREE!

Since the 1970s, jazz guitarist and Wesleyan Private Lessons Teacher Tony Lombardozzi has performed with many artists, including Kenny Barron, the late Bill Barron and Ed Blackwell, Wesleyan's John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Emeritus Anthony Braxton, Adjunct Professor of Music and African American Studies Jay Hoggard, fellow Private Lessons Teacher Giacomo Gates, and Yoron Israel. This is his first concert at The Russell House since 1999.  

Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery
 
In Conversation: Charles Traub and Michael S. Roth
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown
FREE!

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth '78 talks with artist Charles Traub, Chair of the M.F.A. in Photography and Related Media Department at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, about the "here is new york" project. Mr. Traub, a noted photographer, was one of the original organizers of the exhibition in 2001. Mr. Roth is a historian, curator, and writer who has authored books on the topic of trauma and memory, and has often turned to photography and film as he considers how people make sense of the past.

"here is new york: a democracy of photographs"
Friday, September 9 through Sunday, October 9, 2016
Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown
FREE!

"here is new york: a democracy of photographs" is an exhibition of photographs made in response to the events of September 11, 2001. What began as one photo hung in the window of a SoHo storefront directly after the attacks became a means for everyone to have a voice beyond the conventional networks of reportage. Marking the fifteenth anniversary of September 11, this is the first time the photographs have been exhibited in Connecticut. At Wesleyan, the exhibition will replicate the democratic setting of the original exhibition, featuring photographs given to the University by Charles Traub in 2014.

"Tula Telfair: Invented Landscapes"—Michael S. Roth Interviews Henry Adams
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 6pm
Ring Family Performing Arts Hall (former CFA Hall), 287 Washington Terrace, Middletown
FREE!

Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth '78 interviews Henry Adams, Ruth Coulter Heede Professor of Art History at Case Western Reserve University and Menakka and Essel Bailey '66 Distinguished Visiting Scholar in the College of the Environment at Wesleyan, about Professor of Art Tula Telfair's new book, "Tula Telfair: Invented Landscapes." Ms. Telfair's hyper-realistic landscape paintings are at once awe-inspiring and extremely personal. Featured essays by Mr. Adams and Mr. Roth explore the technical and aesthetic aspects of Ms. Telfair's work, her personal history, and the interplay between realism and invention. Co-sponsored by the Center for the Arts and the Department of Art and Art History's Art Studio Program.

"FLYING CARPETS: new paintings by David Schorr"
Thursday, October 27 through Sunday, December 11, 2016
Opening Reception: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 from 4:30pm to 6:30pm; Gallery Talk by Professor of Art David Schorr at 5pm
Preview (Wesleyan Family Weekend): Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 2pm to 4pm; Gallery Talk by Professor of Art David Schorr at 2:30pm
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown
Closed: Wednesday, November 23 through Monday, November 28, 2016
FREE!

Professor of Art David Schorr's solo exhibition and site-specific installation "FLYING CARPETS" revisits his childhood days spent playing on his grandmother's Persian rugs. In the paintings, gouache with silverpoint drawing on linen, he recreates the richly-colored world of his young imagination, contrasting familiar toys from the mid 20th century with images that hint at the exotic and expansive world beyond his home. The artist brings the actual subjects of the paintings in a site-specific installation. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog designed by David Schorr, featuring an essay by poet Jonathan Galassi.

A Reading by Writer Jonathan Galassi
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 5pm
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown
FREE!

Jonathan Galassi, author of the catalog essay that accompanies the exhibition "FLYING CARPETS: new paintings by David Schorr," is a poet (most recently the acclaimed "Left-Handed Poems," Knopf, 2012), a renowned translator of Italian poetry (Giacomo Leopardi and Eugenio Montale) and novelist ("Muse," Knopf, 2015). He is also the president and publisher of Farrar, Straus & Giroux where he is editor to some of its leading novelists and poets. Co-sponsored by Wesleyan Certificate.

Music Department
 
Seventh annual "Bach to School" organ concert
Friday, September 9, 2016 at 8pm
Memorial Chapel, 221 High Street, Middletown
FREE!

Artist in Residence and University Organist Ronald Ebrecht's seventh annual opening of the Wesleyan concert calendar will mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Maurice Durufle with a performance by Mr. Ebrecht of his restored editions of the complete organ works of Mr. Durufle. This concert will also be performed the following weekend at the Minsk Philharmonic.


Elliott Sharp's "Port Bou--a chamber opera"
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 9pm
Fayerweather Beckham Hall, 55 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown
Ticket prices to be announced.



"Scored for accordion and piano and blended with pre-recorded electroacoustic music, the soundtrack aptly mirrored Benjamin's state of mind: eerie, haunted and at times cacophonous."

The New York Times


The New England premiere of the opera "Port Bou" (2014) by Elliott Sharp depicts the last moments in the life of philosopher Walter Benjamin at Port Bou, in 1940, as he was fleeing Nazi-occupied France. "Port Bou" features the astounding bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood with virtuosi Jenny Lin on piano and William Schimmel on accordion, as well as electroacoustic backing tracks by Mr. Sharp. The video set is by Janene Higgins.

A World of Arts in the Heart of Connecticut