March 17, 2003

March 21-23 is Contemporary Arts Weekend

By Sally Corbett

The Contemporary Arts Emory Weekend, March 21–23, part of the Schwartz Center Opening Festival, offers an array of visual and performing arts opportunities anchored by four events: Sound Stage: A New Music Theater Work About Making Music; The SITI Company’s Room; the dance premiere Triptych for V, and the opening for the “Emory Chairs Project” featuring 37 works of sculpture.

The Chairs Project, organized by the Visual Arts Program and Chair Project Advisory Committee, is a juried exhibition featuring Emory and guest artists, many of national acclaim. Project organizer Linda Armstrong, a visual arts faculty member and sculptor, said the chairs are “visual landmarks to celebrate and symbolize the new era of arts on the Emory campus.”

The project, Armstrong continued, is similar to efforts in Milan (Italy), Chicago and Oklahoma City “where an identifying characteristic serves as a motif for artists.” Encouragement for the project came from Rosemary Magee, senior associate dean of Emory College and executive director of Emory’s Arts Project, who was impressed with similar projects and saw an opportunity for the growing Visual Arts Program to collaborate with the performing arts during the Schwartz Center Opening Festival.

On Friday, March 21, from 5–8 p.m. a public opening reception with contributing artists will be held in the Visual Arts Building, 700 Peavine Creek Drive. A brochure indicating chair locations and clusters will be available. Participant Vito Acconci will lecture on the project, April 8 at 7 p.m. in the Carlos Museum.

Leading West Coast musical innovators the Paul Dresher Ensemble return to Emory with Zeitgeist for the Atlanta debut of Sound Stage at the Schwartz Center, March 21 at 8 p.m. This concert is performed on a two-story-high instrument equipped with everything from pendulums to plastic tubing. After the concert, audience members can view the instrument close up.

Debra Joyal, Schwartz Center assistant director for programming, said Sound Stage promises to be a “cutting edge and visually stunning event.”

“Audiences will be awestruck by the instrument’s monumental stature and its sounds,” Joyal said. Tickets for Sound Stage are $20 general admission; $16 faculty and staff; and $8 Emory students and children. On March 20 at 2:30 p.m. in Emerson Concert Hall,

Sound Stage creator Dresher will hold a free “Performers Up Close” discussion about the science of sound.

Theater Emory and the Candler Series present Room, conceived and directed by Anne Bogart, artistic director of The SITI Company (Saratoga International Theater Institute). Starring Ellen Lauren, Room is a dramatic sampling of Virginia Woolf’s memoirs, novels and essays, including “A Room of One’s Own.”

New York Times critic Bruce Weber wrote that Room “is not a biography, nor is it a conventional character study. Rather, as exemplified by Lauren’s highly stylized performance as Woolf, it is a theatrical representation of the writer’s mind, an abstraction painted with the theater’s animated tools.”

Performances will be held March 21–22 at 8 p.m. and March 23 at 3 p.m. in the Mary Gray Munroe Theater. Tickets are $25 general admission; $20 faculty/staff; and $10 Emory students. A Performers Up Close discussion with the artistic collaborators for Room follows the March 22 performance.

Triptych for V features new choreography by Anna Leo, associate professor and acting director of the Emory Dance Program.

“This cluster of three dances was made in honor of my daughter, Vita,” Leo said. “They illustrate such things as the bond of mother and daughter—full of quick banter, give and take, and intimacy.”

The performance includes a solo, duet and quartet performed by Emory dance faculty and guest artists. The quartet features a score by Department of Music Chair Steven Everett; the solo is scored by Klimchak; and the duet is highlighted by Chip Epsten performing his score on violin.

Triptych for V was supported in part by the University Research Committee. Perform-ances are March 21–22 at 8 p.m. and March 23 at 3 p.m.; admission is free, but advance ticket reservations are recommended.

For ticket purchase or reservations, or for information about any Contemporary Arts Weekend shows, call the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050.