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This week, our socially distant and socially responsible suggestions include classical masterworks, virtual theater performances, and art films. Below, you’ll find enough to keep you happily indoors for another week.
Starting Friday, August 14, second chances abound when DACAMERA continues its Home Delivery series with the release of a 2016 recital with violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt. The program includes works from Bartok, Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert, and the release will include a pre-concert discussion between Tetzlaff, Vogt, and DACAMERA artistic director Sarah Rothenberg. The performance and conversation will be available on the DACAMERA website, where you can also find prior releases, including performances, commentary, artist conversations, and essays from Rothenberg, in the Home Delivery archive.
Over at Catastrophic Theatre, the second episode of Tamarie Cooper’s 2020: Quarantine Edition! will drop this Friday, August 14. As a reminder, Cooper’s three-part online series is scheduled to run six weeks, with new episodes dropping every other week. If you’ve already got a ticket, you’ll get an email with a link to access the next episode. If not, what are you waiting for? Get your ticket now; one ticket gets you access to the first show, the second, and the third which will be released on August 28. Ticket price, you ask? It’s pay-what-you-can, as it always is over at Catastrophic.
If you’ve visited Rice University, you’ve probably noticed that they love LED light master Leo Villareal. His immersive installation, Particle Chamber, was featured inside the Moody Center for the Arts back in 2018, and his Radiant Pathway installation adorns the school’s BioScience Research Collaborative (BRC) Café and Lounge. On Wednesday, August 19, at 2 p.m. the Moody’s summer film series, which highlights three of the artists in the school’s Public Art collection, continues with director Jeremy Ambers’ 2014 Impossible Light, about that time Villareal used 25,000 LED lights to turn San Francisco’s Bay Bridge into the world’s biggest LED light sculpture. The film will be available through August 26 on the Moody’s YouTube page. And if you’re impressed – and why wouldn’t you be – you can join in on an Instagram Live Q&A the following day, August 20, at 2 p.m. when Ambers talks to Ylinka Barotto, Moody Center for the Arts Associate Curator, about Villareal and the film.
Virtual programming for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston exhibit “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power” continues this Saturday, August 15, at 3 p.m. with its final online panel, Black Cultural Organizations in Houston. The discussion about the city’s Black arts-and-culture scene will be moderated by the Houston Museum of African American Culture’s John Guess and feature panelists including Ensemble Theatre Artistic Director Eileen Morris, Urban Souls Dance Company Artistic Director Harrison Guy, and artist Vicki Meek (whose work you can explore online here). If you’ve missed any of the previous panels, they’re available on Vimeo (links here). And after catching up on those, you’ll also want to check out the final film of the “Soul of a Nation” film series, Losing Ground. The film, along with the six other films of the series, will only be available through August 30.
Stages takes to ZOOM with MJ Kaufman’s Sensitive Guys, opening on August 15.
Screen shot courtesy of Stages
Bright spots continue to emerge despite the past few months of postponements and cancellations, and this one is over at Stages, where their originally planned production of MJ Kaufman’s Sensitive Guys was just one week away from opening when COVID-19 forced a shutdown. Instead, the Leslie Swackhamer-directed show, about two groups at a fictitious college – one a Men’s Peer Education group and the other a Women’s Survivor Support group – and what happens when an allegation is made against one of those “sensitive guys,” pivoted to ZOOM. Five women make up the cast, playing across genders, in the 90-minute-long, intermission-less captured performance, which will open online and on-demand on YouTube on August 15 along with a “making of” documentary. Sensitive Guys will run through August 23, and though the streaming performance is free, you must register here to receive access.
While we can appreciate the efforts of Disney+, their release of the #Hamilfilm this summer didn’t completely erase the disappointment of knowing the musical juggernaut wouldn’t be swinging by the Bayou City this year. If you’re one of the disappointed masses, have we got a heck of a consolation prize for you: On Saturday, August 15, at 7 p.m. the original George Washington himself, Christopher Jackson, will take to New World Stages in New York City for Christopher Jackson: Live From the West Side. The Hamilton star (with a Drama Desk Award, an Emmy, and a Grammy in his back pocket), will regale the digital audience with stories, take some real-time questions, and treat everyone’s ears with a mix of show tunes, pop songs, and even some originals during the one-night-only concert. The $40 family pass gets you the livestream and 72 hours of on-demand access, and proceeds from the show will go to a selection of worthy nonprofits, including our very own Theater Under the Stars. And the best part of watching from your couch? No one around to shush you if you want to sing along.
If you’re a fan of Houston theater and the great performers who comprise the city’s talent pool (it’s an embarrassment of riches), and you’re not watching Actors Quarantine Corner, then what are you doing with your life? Every Monday night, three of those great performers – Kendrick “Kayb” Brown, Brandon J. Morgan, and Joseph “Joe “P” Palmore – get together and do monologues you know and original works you should, tell all kinds of stories, and talk about just about anything, from blockbuster films to the current movement for racial justice. This past Monday, they kicked off a four-part “State of the Theatre” series with a wellness check with local theaters. Representatives from the Alley Theatre, 4th Wall Theatre Company, Catastrophic Theatre, Rec Room, Ensemble Theatre and Stages joined the show to take stock of where the community is and how it got there. Theater folk, you’re definitely going to want to join them on this deep dive into the local theater community on Monday, August 17, and while you’re at it, catch up on what you missed on Facebook.
On August 19, DiverseWorks will look back at Jefferson Pinder’s 2019 site-specific piece inspired by the 1917 Camp Logan Uprising during Fire and Movement Revisited, pictured here.
Photo by Dabfoto Creative/David A. Brown
In 1917, African American soldiers, members of the 3rd Battalion of the 24th United States Infantry, mutinied against the continuous abuse they experienced at the hands of Houston citizens, white soldiers and especially the police. Last year, Chicago-based artist Jefferson Pinder and 13 fellow artists recreated the event in Fire and Movement, a public performance piece commissioned by DiverseWorks. In it, the group retraced the four-mile route through the streets before concluding the work at the African American Library at the Gregory School. With the 103rd anniversary of the Camp Logan Uprising on August 23 in mind, DiverseWorks will revisit the piece and welcome back Pinder, who will join a group of Houston artists, including Vinod Hopson, Mekeva McNeil, Mich S, and Anthony Suber, in conversation during Fire and Movement Revisited on August 19 at 6:30 p.m. The free event will be streamed live (but registration is required), and a recording of the event will be released on the actual anniversary on August 23.
In unsurprising but sad news, 4th Wall Theatre Company postponed the opening of their 10th anniversary season earlier this week. Though they are looking to January 2021 as a tentative restart date, fans of the company, and Houston theater in general, can still enjoy their online interview series, Beyond the 4th Wall. On Wednesday, August 19, at 8 p.m. 4th Wall’s Co-Artistic Directors Kim Tobin-Lehl and Philip Lehl will virtually host Rebecca Greene Udden, the artistic director of Main Street Theater. You can register to join the live conversation on Zoom here, or you can check in on 4th Wall’s YouTube or Facebook page on Thursday when the recorded video premieres. And while you’re waiting, you can always check out their previous interviews, including recent conversations with the Alley’s Rob Melrose and Ensemble Theatre’s Eileen Morris.
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Up Here has been reimagined.
The organizers behind Sudbury’s urban art and music festival have gone back to the drawing board to reimagine a festival that brings together community while respecting the restrictions of COVID-19.
“The sixth edition of Up Here has been reimagined for the ongoing pandemic and will see the creation of murals and painted hydro boxes around the city; intimate musical sessions by local artists; film screenings in collaboration with Sudbury Indie Cinema; a virtual panel discussion about Black art; an interactive, live-streamed game of porketta bingo; and more,” Christian Pelletier, festival co-founder, said Wednesday. “The festival will continue to offer programming throughout the end of the summer and into the fall.”
Up Here will release a series of music video performances featuring six local musicians, beginning Thursday. These pop-up sessions were shot in fun and surprising locations around Greater Sudbury.
They will be released daily from Aug. 13-18 and will feature intimate performances by folk songstress Julie Katrinette; indie-rocker Melanie St-Pierre; Juno-nominated electronic artist Bryden Gwiss; rapper and singer Jor’Del Downz; Peruvian-Canadian powerhouse Patricia Cano; and crust punks Salted Wounds.
“A crusty quartet cobbled together by friendship and laughter, Salted Wounds convenes Rob Seaton (Statues), Andrée St-Onge (The Ape-ettes), and Adam Dempsey and Brady Middaugh from Skin Condition for a brand new project plumbing the depths of love, loss and forgiveness,” Pelletier said. “Taken with a grain of salt, these tunes burn a bit, but help the healing.”
Julie Katrinette is the folk-country solo project of Julie Houle, a songstress and member of The Ape-ettes. Having stockpiled a collection of heartbreak songs, she is ready to offer them up as a musical letting-go of sorts. Her upcoming album is a goodbye to grief gone by and a welcome to growth and to new beginnings.
As St-Pierre gears up to release her sophomore record with the Casper Skulls, she has been hard at work on a self-reflective journey.
“With her new solo project, she shows she knows when to swirl into the echoing beauty of the ambient world and create a powerful, yet delicate performance,” Pelletier said.
Gwiss grew up on the pow-wow trail — learning songs, drum teachings and dancing for more than 30 years. His music fuses traditional pow-wow songs with modern hip-hop production. Gwiss is originally from Neyaashiinigaming (Cape Croker, Ont.) and Sipekne’katik (Indian Brook, Nova Scotia) but he currently lives in Sudbury. Gwiss was nominated for Indigenous music album of the year at the Junos in 2017. His new album, The Forgotten T.R.U.T.H. (The. Real. Un. Told. History), drops Aug. 17.
Cano is a total powerhouse and has won many awards. With a rich, diverse body of work, she has stunned audiences around the world with everything from an 18-member orchestra to a one-woman show.
“If her smile alone doesn’t knock you off your feet, you can bet her voice will,” Pelletier quipped.
Jor’Del Downz seamlessly blends singing, rapping, percussion and beat-making. Born and raised in Sudbury, Downz was totally blind until the age of four, when he gained back 50 per cent of his sight. Through his art and advocacy, Downz raises awareness about different kinds of blindness.
The locations of these performances will be revealed as the sessions are released on the festival’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
“With live events currently on pause, the creative community is in need of support now more than ever,” Scott Simon, regional VP of Royal Bank, said. “This year’s Up Here festival is an amazing example of committed people working to fill that void, to help bring exposure to Sudbury and local talented artists. We’re excited the RBC pop-up sessions featuring emerging northern Ontario musicians will bring us together, even while we’re apart.”
Up Here is also presenting Rock’n’Robics with Ms. Holub. Local gym teacher Jennifer Holub earned some renown when she started releasing hilarious workout videos for kids in April, after the pandemic hit.
Ms. Holub gets physical once again with an exclusive interactive event on Aug. 15 at noon. Livestreamed on Facebook, there is no special equipment required. Just bring a beating heart and a sense of humour.
For more information or to participate in these intimate sessions, go to facebook.com/upherefestival or bit.ly/31JrEXT.
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Want to add a class to your schedule during drop-add this fall? The Chronicle has compiled a list of four classes from DukeHub, sampled from a variety of subjects, for the curious student to consider.
HISTORY 135: Silk Roads and China
Online course. TuTh Noon-1:15 p.m.; cross-listed AMES, MEDREN, RELIGION; CCI, CZ
The oldest and longest routes connecting Asia, Europe and Africa, the Silk Roads have bridged the continents since the days of Alexander the Great. This course investigates the many cultures that have lined the storied network, through themes such as Alexander’s empire, medieval cities and the Mongol Empire visited by Marco Polo.
The course is taught by Associate Professor of History Sucheta Mazumdar.
PHYSICS 134: Introduction to Astronomy
Online course; MW 3:30-4:45 p.m; NS, QS
“Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, got me stargazin’.”
Through this introductory astronomy course, students can go beyond Travis Scott’s hit lyrics to gain deeper insights into the science behind our universe. With only a background in high-school algebra and geometry, students in this course will learn how observation and insight can lead to amazing scientific discoveries.
The course will cover topics such as light and matter, the solar system, the lives of stars, the evolution of the universe, black holes and more.
The course is taught by Professor of Physics Ronen Plesser.
AAS 227: African American Art
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Online course; 10:15-11:30 a.m.; cross-listed ARTHIST; ALP, R, CCI, CZ
This course will be a “flipped classroom”: Students will watch short video lectures and complete assigned readings before attending synchronous meetings to investigate works of art “derived from an Afro-United States cultural perspective,” according to the DukeHub class notes and course description.
The course will focus on major figures such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, Aaron Douglas and Jacob Lawrence. The course aims to help students develop visual analysis and visual literacy skills, covering modern as well as contemporary art.
This course is taught by Richard Powell, John Spencer Bassett distinguished professor of art and art history.
GERMAN 380: Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
Online course; TuTh 5:15-5:50 p.m. or 5:55-6:30 p.m.; cross-listed PHIL, LIT, POLSCI; CCI, CZ, SS
Three of the most influential thinkers of the modern era are remembered for their work in fields ranging from economics to human existence. This “critical examination and assessment on the thought of Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud,” as it’s described in the DukeHub course description, will be taught in English.
Topics will include “ and the challenge of overcoming it” and “the exploration of the hidden foundations of the self and of culture,” according to the description.
This course is taught by Henry Pickford, associate professor of Germanic languages and literature, and Hannah Read, a doctoral student in philosophy.
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