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Dayton Ballet’s There Was a Time casts
60’s era in dance
There are times when words are not enough. The crystallization of the sturm und drang of the Vietnam era has given us books, films, documentaries galore to help explain that doleful time. Those of us who lived it, and are living it again in this present morass in Iraq, look to the arts for surcease.
Dance unites movement and emotion. The technical brilliance of a ballet dancer can also communicate a story, an emotion, with great depth. In an entirely home-grown effort, Dayton Ballet has created There Was a Time. The concept and choreography flow from Executive Director Dermot Burke and Stephen Mills. The music by Dayton’s composer laureate Stephen Winteregg, the interesting abstract set by Daniel McLaughlin and Lowell Mathwich’s costumes all combined to make a message and a lesson which leap from the stage.
First presented in 2006, persistent and enthusiastic audience response prompted Dermot to again present the ballet this season. The effect was as electric as the first time.
The premise is not to dwell on the political, or the international, but rather with the highly personal – the family. Remarkably, it is the very essence of a family divided by events, politics, generation gaps, conveyed wordlessly by beautiful dancers dancing beautifully.
The story line focuses on events beginning with the assassination of President Kennedy leading to the division of the country over the Vietnam War as reflected within the family. Brother follows the path of military service and patriotism. Sister is passionately against the war and the establishment. Finally, they are reunited after two decades of suffering and separation.
The Dayton Ballet dancers can do anything so well. This season proves that they are actors as well as dancers. Justin Koertgen and Jennifer Grund provide the focus as the embattled siblings. Richard Grund and Katie Keith are the loving but distressed parents. The other stars of Dayton Ballet were shining too. Erika Cole, Eduard Forehand, Grant Dettling all made their characters live.
The corps, all stars in their own right, danced marvelously. They were joined by DBII members and students including several very young budding dancers, Owen
Horning, Taylor Hensley, Kaylee Palmer and Rebecca and Haden Clark. The future is safe!
Next, we have another visit with Peter Pan in March and the long-awaited repertory program in April. Lots of great dance from great dancers.
Jupiter String Quartet at DAI
Vanguard Concerts nears its golden anniversary. When Artistic Directors Elana and Vince Bolling began the series, the goal was to bring musicians of the highest caliber to Dayton. The quality has remained stratospheric. Some of the focus has changed. Elana’s unerring ear and network of connections have discovered a mother lode of incredible youthful talent. Over the past seasons, young and brilliant artists have given the most exciting concerts.
These groups, such as the Claremont Trio, have made Dayton a second home. The Jupiter String Quartet, Boston based young Americans, plan to do the same. The knowledgeable audiences, the beautiful performance space and the appreciative following enhance our “adoption “of these marvelous young talents.
The Jupiter, returning for its second visit, is composed of sisters Elizabeth and Megan Frievogel on violin and viola. Nelson Lee plays the first violin and Daniel McDonough the cello.
Their concert was preceded by the quartet’s visit to three schools, Oakwood and Fairmont high schools and the entire Miami Valley School. Their artistry is enhanced by their passion and enthusiasm for their art.
I had the pleasure of hearing their presentation at The Miami Valley School. The packed gymnasium included the youngest as well as the senior students. I watched the youngest moving their feet and hands in time to the music without a fidget or fuss. These kids will never forget their first dose – and it will be the first of many.
The concert explored the quartet literature. The opening work, hardly a typical curtain riser, was Mendelssohn’s Quartet in F minor. Written as a grief response to the death of his sister, Fanny, it is four movements of magnificent music, interwoven melodies, fascinating progressions and compelling emotions.
The mood and the century changed with the playing of Samuel Barber’s and Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Quartets for strings. Both works, quite different in their modernity, were true gifts to the audience.
The concert closed with Beethoven’s final quartet, No. 16. I have had an intense relationship with this monumental work since it was introduced to me by one of my college professors. I have heard it many times. The Jupiter’s performance was true perfection. I wish that my loving German professor, Herr Kelly, could have heard it.
The week ended with a recital by the students of Dr. Jerry Kopmar. Years after his retirement as cantor of Beth Abraham Synagogue, Jerry remains frenetically busy creating singers. His taste and passion for his art are boundless.
His students are a varied lot. His pledge to them is, “You will learn to sing better.” The recital was proof positive of that.
There isn’t space to remark on the works sung. The program was highly varied and contained two of Kopmar’s original songs. He will write a song for any of his students who bring him a suitable text. Quite a commitment from a voice teacher!
There were a dozen recitalists, each sang several numbers. Several of the voices were truly outstanding. All were quite good.
The four cantors of Dayton’s major synagogues are all his students. They sang individually and as a quartet. It is rather whimsical to hear the combined cantors of the leading Jewish institutions of Dayton in a Lutheran Church.
I must single out several truly outstanding voices. Emily Barrows is a student of Kim Warrick at WSU. She sang a Kopmar original song based on the poetry of her mother. She has the vocal tools to go far - and will.
The mother and daughter team of Bonnie Dobbs and 15 year old Dara Neer are beautiful vocally and visually. Cantor Jason Green of Beth Jacob has a Puccini tenor that rings marvelously. Oakwoodite bass Dr. Barry Taylor also sang a Kopmar original with grace and power. UD future engineer Alexandra Grezinski and Dayton Jewish Observer editor Marshall Weiss were additional gifts
DAI to host Hofeldt violin recital Feb. 24
On Sunday, Feb. 24, at 2 p.m. there will be a free violin recital in the Dayton Art Institute’s Renaissance Auditorium. The recital will feature violinist Elizabeth Hofeldt, a member of the Dayton Philharmonic, collaborating with her long time colleague, Stephen Phillips, on piano. They have played chamber music together for over 15 years, beginning when both were pursuing graduate degrees in performance at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
The concert will include music of Corelli, Beethoven, Bernstein and St. Saens. It will begin with Corelli’s Baroque masterpiece, a set of variations on the tune La Folia. Some variations include serene, cantabile melodies while others exploit the technical capabilities of the violin, with fast passagework and double and triple stops. It is a beautiful summation of techniques for the violin at the time of Stradivari. A Beethoven Sonata will follow, characterized by two effervescent, joyful movements framing an elegiac, mournful middle slow movement.
The Bernstein pieces from “West Side Story” are arranged by the Hispanic composer Raimundo Penaforte and are filled with virtuosic violin pyrotechnics that fit the character of each selection. Each piece is based on an unforgettable tune from this musical: “I Feel Pretty,” “Somewhere,” and “America.” Bernstein’s music is timelessly fresh and endearing.
The St. Saens Sonata has the unusual construction of two pairs of connected movements. The turbulence and despair of the opening is quickly dissipated by liquid, Chopinesque melodies in the second movement. The teasing, macabre energy of the third movement spills into a perpetual motion finale that has one of the most exciting endings in the violin repertoire.
T & C Fine Art Center to present exhibit Feb. 22
During the month of February, the artists of the Town & Country Fine Art Center will present a special Art Exhibit entitled “Language of the Heart.”
The Open House for Language of the Heart will take place on Feb. 22 from 5-8 p.m. at the Town & Country Fine Art Center at 300 E. Stroop Rd in Kettering.
For more information contact 937-293-5381.
Moon over Aullwood with Zydeco Fire Feb. 23
Zydeco Fire on stage
Come out for a toe-tapping evening at Moon Over Aullwood with Zydeco Fire on Saturday, Feb. 23 from 7:30 - 10 p.m. at the Marie S. Aull Education Center, 1000 Aullwood Rd., Dayton. Doors open at 7 p.m. At intermission take a naturalist-led night hike or purchase delicious desserts and refreshing drinks.
Seating is limited; purchase tickets in advance. Single performance tickets are $8 per person (adult or child) for Friends of Aullwood members and $10 for non-members. Day of performance tickets are $10 each. Call 890-7360 for more information and visit Aullwood’s website at http://aullwood.center.audubon.org.
Zydeco music evolved in southwest Louisiana from blues forms combined with Creole, Cajun, French, African and Caribbean musical traditions. Lead singer Mark Laurens is joined by B.J. Walters, Carl Schumacher, Phil Tracey and Joe Donley.
Noonday recitals at CUMC
Recital: 12:05 p.m., Admission Free
Debra Lindley, piano
Leora Kline, violin
Christ United Methodist Church Sanctuary
Open to the Public, Handicapped Accessible, Admission Free
Two Shakespeare classics at UD
The American Shakespeare Center on Tour will present The Taming of the Shrew and The Merchant of Venice through the University of Dayton Arts Series at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 21-22, in Kennedy Union’s Boll Theatre.
On Thursday, ASC artistic director Jim Warren brings Shakespeare’s classic, The Taming of the Shrew, to the stage.
On Friday, guest director P.J. Paparelli, the artistic director of Alaska’s Perseverance Theatre and former associate director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., presents The Merchant of Venice.
Tickets are $14 for the public, $8 for UD faculty, staff and alumni and $5 for students. For tickets, call the UD box office at 937-229-2545.
BLAST! to rock Victoria
BLAST! is back - by popular demand! This spectacular performance event is “music in motion” – ranging from classical to the blues, jazz to rock and roll, and beyond.
Location: Victoria Theatre
Performance Dates: February 19 - March 2
Performance Times: Tuesday - Friday evenings at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Fri. & Sat. Evenings, Sat. & Sun. Matinee: $73, $69, $60, $39
All Other Performances: $63, $60, $52, $35
Discounts available for students, seniors and groups.
18th Annual Dayton Area Works on Paper
The Rosewood Gallery is pleased to present the 18th Annual Dayton Area Works on Paper, a juried exhibition of artworks “on or of paper” by artists within a 45-mile radius of Dayton, Ohio. The exhibit runs from February 25 through March 21, 2008, with an opening reception on Sunday, February 24, from 2 to 4 pm. The United Arts and Education awards will be presented at 3 pm. Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public.
The juror for the Works on Paper competition was Robert Coomer, a national award winning photographer and graphic designer. He studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Art, Architecture and planning. Coomer has been an artist as long as he can remember and has gone from colored pencils, to airbrush to being a darkroom trained photographer who has embraced digital technology.
In this year’s Works on Paper, 148 artists entered a total of 385 pieces. Of those 385 pieces, Coomer selected 67 pieces to exhibit, representing 54 artists. 10 artists will receive a total of $1,100.00 in United Arts and Education awards.
In his juror’s statement, Coomer said, “Being asked to judge the 18th annual “Works on Paper” has been both an honor and a challenge. This year there was no shortage of excellent works of art, almost setting a record with 385 entries from 148 artists. Selecting the 67 pieces from 54 different artists for the show seemed like an impossible task. The artwork was diverse, ranging from abstract to realistic, from 3 dimensional sculptures to 2 dimensional photography and textural paintings. Each one brought out different aspects of their shared substrate, paper.
The field of entries showed excellent mastery of their technique, making it that much harder to choose the award winners. Attention was paid to line, shape, color, form, composition, and the stories that they conveyed. Each one told something about their subject, their substrate, but also about the artist as well.
Though each artist has chose to use different media, showcase his/her own unique style, and tell a very different story, they all come together as a visual feast, exalting the flexibility and the beauty of paper. They tell a story about the wonderful artists in and around the Dayton area. Dayton, Kettering, and the Rosewood Gallery should be proud to have attracted so many talented artists and their wonderful works of art.”
Hours for the exhibition are Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 9 pm; Friday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm; and Saturday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. For more information, call (937) 296-0294 or visit our web site: www.ketteringoh.org