A cappella ensemble, dance troupe join forces
Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 8:32 a.m.
Friday night brings Britain's famed vocal group, The King's Singers — accompanied by America's own Séan Curran Company of dancers — to the Phillips Center stage.
The unrivaled a cappella vocal ensemble and the highly praised contemporary dance troupe, respectively, join forces for “Travel Songs,” on stage here in Gainesville for one night only.
The performance begins 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available at the Phillips Center box office (392-2787) or online at Ticketmaster.com.
The King's Singers have created more than 150 recordings, including their 2009 Grammy-winning album, “Simple Gifts”.
On Friday, The King's Singers will perform established classics to newer works, including pieces especially arranged for this collaborative project with the Séan Curran Company.
Based in New York City, the dance group is named for Boston-native, director/founder Séan Curran.
As principal dancer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Curran won a New York Dance and Performance (aka “Bessie”) Award. (The “Bessies” are known as the Tonys of dance.)
Excited by percussive dance (his earliest training was in traditional Irish step), he performed for four years in the original New York cast of “STOMP.”
Curran, who has served as a guest faculty member at Harvard and at New York University, has choreographed for Broadway plays, the Metropolitan Opera, American Ballet Theatre's ABT II, the Irish Repertory Theatre and Trinity Irish Dance Chicago.
The Los Angeles Times says, “There's no fresher, more invigorating new American dance now than the choreography of Séan Curran — an artist with a background in Irish step dance, post-modern experiment and Broadway hoofing — but with no clear allegiance to anything but his restless imagination.”
In a press release, Curran says of Friday's program: “Music — particularly vocal music — has always inspired and informed my choreography. The opportunity to collaborate with these world-class singers and create a cohesive evening of music and movement has challenged me to approach my choreography in a fresh way.”
Paul Phoenix, a member of The King's Singers, says that from the vocalists' perspectives, “we have always been keen to explore possibilities and ... share the stage with other great artists.
“One of the aims of the project,” Phoenix continues in the same press release, “is to fully utilize the stage, with both dancers and singers sharing the space, interacting with and juxtaposing one another.”
Dance Alive performances
Also ahead is a unique, Valentine's-themed series from Dance Alive National Ballet, Gainesville's own professional dance company.
At 3 p.m. Saturday, Dance Alive professionals perform “Hearts and Flowers: A Valentine Treat” at Pofahl Studios.
Tickets are $15, available at the door or in advance by calling 371-2986.
Saturday presents a rare, up-close-and-personal, family-friendly program, with light refreshments served. Repertory includes grand pas de deux from “Don Quixote” and from Act III of “Swan Lake,” as well as Dance Alive originals. Audience seating is limited to 100.
Then on Monday at 7:30 p.m., Dance Alive takes the Hippodrome Theatre mainstage with “A Valentine Performance.”
Tickets to the show (which is a separate program from Saturday's) also are $15, available at the door or by calling 371-2986.
The classic “Rose Adagio” from “The Sleeping Beauty” shares the bill Monday alongside more contemporary works.
Both the Saturday matinee of “Hearts and Flowers” and Monday's “Valentine Performance” feature Gainesville premieres you won't see anywhere else in the Dance Alive concert season.
Sarah Maze can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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