Mahaney Center for the Arts celebrates anniversary with 2017-2018 season

In case you haven’t heard, Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts celebrates its 25th anniversary this month. The arts center invites everyone from the college and surrounding communities to celebrate and enjoy the diverse and exciting array of concerts, plays, exhibitions, dance performances, films and more featured this season.
BANDALOOP, a vertical dance company, will kick off the season on Sept. 15-16, with public performances at the Mahaney Center for the Arts plaza on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Middlebury College alumnus Mark Stuver ’97.5, artistic associate for BANDALOOP, will give a career talk on Friday, Sept. 15, at 12:15 p.m., in the Mahaney Center for the Arts, dance theatre.
From there, the season continues with a bunch of art events you won’t want to miss. Grab your calendar and get ready, here’s a rundown of this season’s highlights:
The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series has a strong history of presenting the finest in chamber music, a tradition that will continue throughout the 2017-18 season. Highlights include the Danish String Quartet playing works by Bartók and Beethoven, and arrangements of traditional Nordic folk tunes (Oct. 7); an encore appearance by the world’s most recognizable a cappella ensemble, The King’s Singers (Nov. 3); and the Grammy-nominated woodwind ensemble Imani Winds (Dec. 1).
The Performing Arts Series also reaches beyond classical music, with world arts events like the multi-national dance theater company Baker & Tarpaga, hailing from Burkina Faso and Philadelphia, and traveling with the West African Dafra Kura Band (Sept. 26-30); Iranian-Canadian musical duo Moody Amiri (March 10, 2018); and dynamic Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista and his quartet Banquet of the Spirits (May 5, 2018). The acclaimed New York city-based theater company Bedlam will also appear on the Performing Arts Series, with riveting, stripped-down productions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (March 2, 2018) and Shaw’s Saint Joan (March 3, 2018). Saxophonist and singer Grace Kelly, a regular on the Late Show, leads a rollicking jazz concert on Feb. 16, 2018. American fiddler Jeremy Kittel of Turtle Island Quartet and A Prairie Home Companion fame will treat audiences to a concert of American roots on April 13, 2018.
Tickets go on sale Sept. 14 for the public. Performing Arts Series Society members and Middlebury College ID card holders will have early access to ticket sales.
The Middlebury College Museum of Art, also celebrating its 25th anniversary in its current location, has curated an engaging season of exhibitions and events for visitors in 2017-18. Ongoing exhibitions of Ancient Mediterranean and Early European Art, European and American Art, and Asian Art are drawn from the museum’s permanent collection.
Seasonal exhibitions include “Land and Lens: Photographers Envision the Environment” (Sept. 15-Dec. 10), a comprehensive survey presenting some 70 images through the lens of environmental appreciation, concern or activism. The winter brings “10 Years: The Cameron Print Project” (Jan. 9-April 29, 2018), highlighting works produced in collaboration with artists Mark Dion, Derrick Adams, Tomas Vu, Kati Heck, Rona Yefman and others in conjunction with the Studio Art program. “Power & Piety: Spanish Colonial Art” will be on exhibit Jan. 26-April 22, 2018, drawing from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, founded to enhance the appreciation of art from Latin America.
The popular Fridays at the Museum series continues this year, with free programs on Fridays, at 12:30 p.m., with speakers, faculty-led talks and hands-on activities.
The Museum is open Tuesdays-Sundays year round, and admission is free. Visit museum.middlebury.edu for more details.
The Dance program will feature work by alumni, students and faculty this season. The Alumni Showing (Nov. 16) will welcome back recent graduates to perform excerpts from their latest creative work. The Fall Dance Concert (Dec. 1-2) will showcase emerging student choreographers and the annual Newcomer’s Piece, choreographed this year by Artist in Residence Julian Barnett. This year’s Faculty Dance Concert (April 19, 2018) will feature samples of work by Barnett, Dance Chair Christal Brown and Assistant Professor Laurel Jenkins.
The Dance Company of Middlebury, always a highlight, will perform a new piece entitled Native + Stranger on Jan. 26-27. This interdisciplinary exploration of individuality, place, acquisition, lineage and the construction of identity is directed by  Brown, collaborating with Rulan Tangen, artistic director of Dancing Earth.
Tickets to dance shows go on sale two weeks prior to opening night.
The Hirschfield International Film Series continues its tradition of presenting acclaimed foreign and independent films on Saturdays throughout the year at 3 and 8 p.m. at Dana Auditorium. The series opens on Sept. 16 with the Oscar and Golden Globe winning film “Moonlight,” chronicling the life of a gay African American man from his troubled childhood to adulthood in a rough area of Miami.
Other notable films are acclaimed Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s mother-and daughter tale “Julieta” (Nov. 11), the 2016 documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” (Nov. 18), based on an unfinished book by James Baldwin and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson; and Pablo Larraín’s bio-drama “Neruda” (April 7, 2018), following an inspector on the hunt for the famous Chilean leftist poet-politician in the 1940s. Screenings are free.
The Department of Music will feature concerts by its many excellent student ensembles throughout the coming year, including the 80-voice Middlebury College Community Chorus (Nov. 18-19 and May 13, 2018); the Middlebury African Music and Dance Ensemble (Nov. 29 and May 1, 2018); big band The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble (Dec. 2 and May 4, 2018); student vocal recitals ranging from operatic arias to showtunes (Dec. 9, March 17, 2018, and May 12, 2018); and the Middlebury College Choir (March 18, 2018).
Professor Emeritus Emory Fanning will perform a 50th anniversary concert on Mead Chapel’s Gress-Miles organ on Oct. 1.
The eighth annual Bach Festival will take place April 27-29, 2018, with concerts and activities across all three days.
Most music events are free and open to the public.
Also of note, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra returns to Middlebury with its “Made in Vermont” festival tour concert on Sept. 23. Internationally renowned violinist Pamela Frank will join her longtime friend and colleague, VSO Music Director Jaime Laredo, in a program as colorful as Vermont’s famous fall foliage.
The Studio Art Program welcomes Cameron Visiting Artist Brian Novatny for a public talk on Oct. 3. Novatny is an innovative artist, equally at home with painting and drawing, with a remarkable approach to mark-marking, line and materiality. In addition to his talk, Novatny will also lead a four-day, intensive drawing lab open to on- and off-campus participants Oct. 2-5 at the Johnson Building.
Imaginative and provocative exhibitions of student work are always a strong part of the Studio Arts season. The year begins with “Portraits of Power” (Sept. 11-18), featuring dynamic, large-scale paintings and ceramic assemblages that convey visions of who and what students think is powerful in their lives. Later exhibitions include silkscreen prints (Nov. 28-Dec. 5); “Landscape Re-Imagined: The Autumn Campus” (Jan. 9-15, 2018); and “Scratching the Surface: Intaglio Prints” (April 17-24, 2018). These exhibitions are presented in the Johnson Building, and are free and open to the public.
The Department of History of Art and Architecture presents a public talk by photographer Jane Fulton Alt on Sept. 15. She will discuss her project “The Burn,” for which she photographed controlled burns conducted by ecologists on the Illinois prairie, as well as her latest project “Fire and Water.” Marlon Blackwell of the University of Arkansas will speak on “The Sacred and the Secular” onOct. 17. Working outside the architectural mainstream, his architecture is based in design strategies that draw upon vernaculars, typologies, and the contradictions of place.
These talks are free and open to the public. Check middlebury.edu/arts for locations and times.
The theatre program’s mainstage season opens with David Mamet’s dark comedy “Glengarry Glen Ross” (Oct. 26-28.) Professor Richard Romagnoli will direct an all-female cast playing desperate, funny, conniving real estate salespeople who must make their quotas or risk losing their jobs. Associate Professor Alex Draper ’88 will direct the second show, “Middletown” (Nov. 20-Dec. 2.) In this play by Will Eno, the strange beauty of life and its sometimes unbearable weight are considered with a screwball lyricism. Tickets to theatre shows go on sale two weeks prior to opening night.
For more information, or to request a 2017–2018 arts calendar, call (802) 443-3168 or visit middlebury.edu/arts. To reserve tickets call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or visit middlebury.edu/arts/tickets.

Share this story:

More News

Bernard D. Kimball, 76, of Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — Bernard D. Kimball, 76, passed away in Bennington Hospital on Jan. 10, 2023. … (read more)

News Uncategorized

Fresh Air Fund youths returning to county

The Fresh Air Fund, initiated in 1877 to give kids from New York City the opportunity to e … (read more)

Obituaries Uncategorized

Mark A. Nelson of Bristol

BRISTOL — A memorial service for Mark A. Nelson of Bristol will be held 1 p.m. on Saturday … (read more)

Share this story: