CFA 2007/2008

BREAKING GROUND DANCE SERIES

Ronald K. Brown/Evidence–World Premiere of One Shot
Friday & Saturday, September 14 & 15

Ronald K. Brown and his company Evidence have been praised worldwide for their profound choreography and powerful performances, blending African, modern, ballet and hip-hop dance styles to tell stories that illuminate fundamental aspects of the human experience. Inspired by the life and work of African American photographer and Pittsburgh native Charles “Teenie” Harris, Brown’s One Shot bridges both visual and performance arts. Its dancers embody a range of memorable characters against a backdrop of an opulent middle class, at odds with the hustlers and working-class communities of Harris’s Pittsburgh of the late 1930s. The CFA has been an artistic home for Ronald K. Brown since he made his Connecticut debut here in 2001. We are now honored to present the world premiere of his newest work.


Brian Brooks–I’m Going to Explode (and other dances by Brian Brooks)
Friday & Saturday, October 26 & 27

Pushing the boundaries of physical and emotional space, choreographer Brian Brooks creates dances that test the limits of human strength and endurance. This rare solo performance features live dances from his series of monochromatic pieces in pink, orange, green, white and blue, and I’m Going to Explode, his most recent work, is set to an infectious disco-punk song. Animated and live videos include his first performance marathon, in which Brooks danced at eleven different public locations in New York City within eight hours.


Urban Bush Women and Compagnie Jant-Bi–Les Écailles de la Mémoire (Scales of Memory)
Friday & Saturday, February 15 & 16

Scales of Memory is a creative exchange between the all-male Compagnie Jant-Bi of Senegal and the all-female Urban Bush Women (UBW). Representing two continents, this two-year collaboration, with visits to Senegal and the United States, culminates in a piece about the importance of place and community. The unique movement vocabulary that is created by mixing Jant-Bi’s nature-inspired technique and UBW’s brand of contemporary dance is a cross-cultural exchange in itself.


CROWELL CONCERT SERIES

Tiempo Libre
Saturday, September 29

Grammy-nominated Tiempo Libre is one of the hottest young Latin bands today. The Miami-based band has become known for their incendiary, joyful performances of timba, the rhythmically charged Cuban version of salsa. Schooled in Havana conservatories, they have all enjoyed thriving careers in Latin music performing, touring and recording with such artists as Albita, Cachao, Arturo Sandoval, NG La Banda, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and DLG.


Randy Weston
Saturday, October 27

Jazz master Randy Weston is one of the world’s foremost pianists today, a true cultural ambassador, innovator and visionary. He is both a riveting soloist and a prolific composer, many of whose works-such as “Little Niles” and “Hi-fly”-have become jazz classics. Rooted in the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa, his global creations musically continue to inform and inspire.


Parthenia with Julianne Baird–As It Fell on a Holie Eve–Early English Christmas Music
Friday, November 30

Parthenia is a dynamic ensemble exploring the extraordinary repertory for viols from Tudor England to the court of Versailles and beyond. Formed in 1989, the group collaborates regularly with the world’s foremost early music specialists. For this concert, Parthenia collaborates with soprano Julianne Baird for a concert of 16th and 17th-century English Christmas music including works by William Byrd and Thomas Morley.


Turtle Island String Quartet with Stefon Harris–The Divine Duke
Friday, February 1

The Turtle Island String Quartet (TISQ) fuses the classical quartet aesthetic with contemporary American musical styles. At Wesleyan, TISQ explores Duke Ellington’s musical legacy, continuing their own tradition of employing the string quartet form to shed new light on the timeless joy and beauty contained in the greatest music of the American jazz masters. For this performance, TISQ collaborates with vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris, whom The Los Angeles Times heralded as “one of the most important young artists in jazz.”


Cherish the Ladies
Saturday, March 1

Taking their name from the name of a traditional Irish jig, Cherish the Ladies initially won recognition as the first and only all-women traditional Irish band. With their unique spectacular blend of virtuosic instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing, this powerhouse group combines all the facets of Irish traditional culture and puts it forth in an immensely humorous and entertaining package.


eighth blackbird–Sound Mirror
Saturday, April 5

Described by The New Yorker as “friendly, unpretentious, idealistic and highly skilled,” eighth blackbird promises its ever-increasing audiences provocative and engaging performances. It is widely lauded for its performing style-often playing from memory with virtuosic and theatrical flair-and its efforts to make new music accessible to wide audiences.


DANCEMASTERS WEEKEND

Master Classes on Saturday & Sunday, March 8 & 9
Showcase Performance on Saturday, March 8

DanceMasters Weekend, now in its ninth year, is one of the most anticipated dance events in the Northeast. The combination of dance master classes and performances by premier companies provides an essential retreat for students and professionals interested in the latest techniques, as well as a showcase for dance enthusiasts who want to sample the work of leading choreographers.


EZRA & CECILE ZILKHA GALLERY

Charles “Teenie” Harris: Rhapsody in Black and White
September 4 through September 23

A selection of photographs by Charles “Teenie” Harris (1908-1998), who went by the nickname “One Shot,” will be exhibited in conjunction with the Ronald K. Brown/Evidence residency. During his 40-year career with the Pittsburgh Courier, Harris produced more than 80,000 photographs. Unsurpassed in their evocation of the spirit of his era and the essence of Black urban America, Harris’ photographs are finally getting the recognition they deserve.


Alfredo Jaar
September 14 through December 2

Internationally acclaimed artist and MacArthur Fellow Alfredo Jaar is represented by three works reflecting his ongoing examination of the dichotomy between the authority of the image and its failure to fully convey an event. Muxima (2005), Jaar’s first film, is rooted in his love of African music. It poetically portrays the evolving history of Angola through alternate interpretations of a single folk song. The Sound of Silence (2006), a haunting multi-media video installation, confronts the often tortured relationship between public media and private ethics. The third work, Untitled (Newsweek) (1995), is a straightforward photo installation that addresses media coverage of the Rwandan genocide. It deftly demonstrates the power of a single media giant to define what is newsworthy, and thus to shape public opinion.


Who’s Looking: Chimp Portraits by Frank Noelker
November 3 through December 2

Frank Noelker has been photographing animals in captivity for many years to show how their lives are completely affected by human intervention. The work in this exhibition centers on chimpanzees retired from biomedical research, the entertainment industry and the pet trade. Noelker visited sanctuaries where the chimps now live a protected life and photographed them in their current situations. His chosen format is akin to studio portraiture. The chimps’ heads and shoulders fill each frame; they directly confront us, their eyes hold our gaze. Their sadness, dignity and loneliness are impossible to ignore.


NAVARATRI FESTIVAL OF INDIAN CULTURE

Wednesday, October 3 through Sunday, October 7

The Navaratri Festival, a longstanding tradition at Wesleyan, celebrates Indian culture with music, dance, a religious service and the annual bhojanam (feast). This year’s festival features performances by acclaimed dancers Madhu Nataraj and Satyanarayana Raju as well as a musical performance by violin virtuoso T.N. Krishnan.


OUTSIDE THE BOX THEATER SERIES

The Civilians–Gone Missing
Thursday & Friday, September 20 & 21

Both documentary and musical cabaret, Gone Missing uses real life to take a humorous look at what’s not there anymore. The Civilians are a vibrant New York-based ensemble creating engaging contemporary theater that illuminates the interplay between the personal and larger social phenomena. The performances are boldly theatrical and rooted in a dynamic relationship to the audience, taking inspiration from the full range of theatrical forms-from cabaret to experimental theater.


Great Small Works–Lecture/Demonstration
Saturday, October 20

Great Small Works, the OBIE-winning theater collective from New York City, will present an animated lecture and performance of their work reinventing, reviving, and re-enchanting the puppet genre of Toy Theater. Popular with children and adults in the 19th century, Toy Theater became eclipsed by cinema and other forms of automated entertainment until companies like Great Small Works rediscovered it in the 1990s.


Shosha Goren–Born in Baghdad
Wednesday & Thursday, October 31 & November 1

“It’s a dream to see Baghdad after 55 years!” A quote that may seem anomalous to today’s audience opens up this wonderful evening of storytelling. Unveiling a rich and ancient heritage of Iraqi Jewry, Su’ad (Shosha Goren) takes the audience on a journey that brings to light one of the unexplored societies of the Middle East.