Arts Beat: Renowned performer to offer new dance pieces

The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series will present Assistant Professor of Dance Tzveta Kassabova as she leads an evening of vibrant new dance works in the Dance Theater at the Mahaney Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
The works have been created in collaboration with renowned performers Paul Matteson (Five Colleges), Elena Demyanenko (Bennington College), and Jennifer Nugent (Amherst College).
The program will open with Kassabova’s newly crafted group work, “Of this world of ours,” which attempts to make sense of the world we live in and the relationships we experience. Set in a visually stunning, meditative environment constructed of half a mile of rope.
The second half of the program will feature “Suneaters,” a movement trio for Demyanenko, Kassabova and Nugent with an original sound score by Nick Brooke. Viewers will find the work athletic, personal and visually stimulating.
Tickets are $20 for the general public. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 443-6433 or go to middlebury.edu/arts.
Brandon Music is excited to welcome Sarah Blacker with Aaron Katz on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. as she premieres new material in preparation for an upcoming live album.
The Huffington Post says Blacker’s “infectious, well-written songs led to her being named Female Performer of the Year at the New England Music Awards.”
Blacker has a knack for songwriting. She writes in an uninhibited, honest and fearless style, producing “a constant flow of material” that, according to South Shore magazine “is a testament to the fact that she is such a prolific writer.”
However, her ability to write is only half the battle, says South Shore, because “when Sarah performs her music, she is equally steeped in technical proficiency as well as pure emotion, bringing a veteran’s confidence to the whole package.” Along with Katz, a percussionist with the national band Percy Hill, Blacker artfully spans rock, pop, indie-folk and Americana.
Tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is also available for $20. Reservations are recommended for the show and required for dinner. Venue is BYOB. Call 247-4295 or e-mail [email protected] for reservations or for more information.
The second annual United in Harmony a cappella competition will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater.
United in Harmony is a fun-filled evening of a cappella entertainment featuring some of the area’s best a cappella groups in a friendly competition to help raise funds for, and awareness of, United Way of Addison County.
Competitors are from all over Vermont including House Blend, Upscale, Aged to Perfection, Sweet Transitions, Vocal Unrest, UVM Paws, Skidmore Dynamics and Fortunate Happenstance.
This event will serve as a showcase for all vocal harmony enthusiasts. Judges will be Clint Bierman, Justin Bouvier and Helen Weston. The emcee for the evening is Alisa Endsley, and the United in Harmony artistic director is Loren Sylvester.
Tickets are $15-$35 and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, by calling 382-9222 or in person at the THT box office, Monday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.
There will be four live musical events this week at Middlebury’s 51 Main. At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 51 Main presents a Celtic Jam. This student-led session takes place on the first Wednesday each month from 8 to 10 p.m. while school is in session. All are welcome.
At 7 p.m. on Thursday, the Marcelo Hanta-Davis Quintet takes to the stage. This jazz quintet uses musical ideas of the present to explore eclectic styles of the past from swing to bossa nova.
Then, on Friday, Let’s Be Leonard makes its debut at 8:30 p.m. You can expect to hear intricate songwriting sprinkled with dashes of jazz, reggae, funk, and good old-fashioned rock-and-roll.
Finally, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Soule Monde will perform. Erupting from the syncopated minds of power-drummer Russ Lawton and organ wizard Ray Paczkowski, this duo takes soul-jazz back to the deep end.
All ages, no cover. For additional information visit www.go51main.com or phone 388-8209.
The Middlebury College Department of Theatre and Dance will present Aaron Posner’s “Stupid F***ing Bird” on Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Seeler Studio Theatre at the Mahaney Center for the Arts. Additional performances will be at 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Professor Cheryl Faraone will direct a cast of six Middlebury students and one alumnus.
The play is “The Seagull” on steroids: Con hates his mother. Nina, the girl he adores, lusts after his mother’s lover, and he after her. Mix equal parts art, ambition, sex and alcohol, and what you get is a recipe for madness.
There will be a post-show discussion with the cast and crew following the Thursday night show.
Tickets are $12 for the general public. For tickets or information, call 443-6433 or go to middlebury.edu/arts.
Town Hall Theater and Middlebury Mountaineer are happy to announce the return of the Fly Fishing Film Tour on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Now entering its 10th year, the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) has become the entertainment event of the year for America’s diverse fishing community. In 2015 the film tour screened in over 160 North American cities and provided a venue to showcase some of the country’s best independent outdoor filmmakers.
Luckily for fans of fishing flicks, the guys and gals that make these movies keep raising the bar. With backdrops ranging from Bolivia to Saskatchewan, Montana to Virginia, Patagonia to the Seychelles, these films feature fresh, dynamic stories amongst some of the best fishing footage that has ever been shot. Period. There will be a 6 p.m. open house for vendors.
Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, available at Middlebury Mountaineer, at the door, or by calling 388-7245.
Edgewater Gallery on the Green announces its April Solo Exhibition Artist: Donna Andreychuk. A Canadian artist, Andreychuk’s work can best be described as landscape inspired abstract impressionism.
Although many of her pieces are motivated by her love of the Canadian landscape, her scenes depict great similarities between Canada and Vermont. Both can be rugged and harsh, yet soft and soothing. The color and texture of the forest floor inspire her as much as the open vista. The smell of fresh air is translated into cool blues. The lush undergrowth of pine needles and moss are brown and warm. The textures of sand and rock are everywhere. Andreychuk paints both on location and from memory, but most importantly, she paints from her heart.
Edgewater Gallery will host an opening reception on Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. For more information on Donna Andreychuk and her exhibit, call 989-7419, email [email protected] or visit edgewatergallery-vt.com.
Hailed as the most successful exhibition in Tate Modern’s history, audiences can now catch “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” at Town Hall Theater, featuring exclusive new footage from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This colorful film is part of Town Hall Theater’s Great Art Wednesdays series and will be shown at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.
Audiences are invited to enjoy an intimate, behind-the-scenes documentary about this acclaimed exhibition with contributions from people who knew Matisse and experts such as curators, historians and Tate director Nicholas Serota and MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry. Plus there are breathtaking, specially commissioned performances by Royal Ballet principal dancer Zenaida Yanowsky and jazz musician Courtney Pine.
Tickets are $10/$5 students and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, 382-9222, at the THT box office, or at the door.
The exciting 2015-2016 Hirschfield International Film Series continues on Saturday at Middlebury College with the 2014 UK/France/Germany film, “Mr. Turner,” directed by Mike Leigh.
This film explores the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851). Profoundly affected by the death of his father, and loved by a housekeeper he takes for granted, he forms a close relationship with a seaside landlady with whom he eventually lives incognito in Chelsea. “Funny and visually immaculate,” says Peter Bradshaw, the Guardian.
The film will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium on College Street. It’s free. Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.
There will be a vocal performance, “Nightingales: Stories of Love Through Nature and Song,” at 4 p.m. on Sunday in Robison Hall in Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts.
Lisa Wooldridge presents an evening of vocal music as part of her senior work. The program features arias, art songs and lieder from the Baroque period up through the modern period, and includes works by Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Debussy, Moore and more. The performance is accompanied by Cynthia Huard and also features Annie Beliveau, Nimrod Sadeh, Mikaela Chang, Dan Frostman and Betsy Killorin.
It’s free and the public is welcome.

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