Cynthia Shaw had the honor of being the “performer” who
kicked off the all-day Inaugural Arts Festival as the initial reader
for Poetry Matters, a public reading forum held next to Cox Hall.
Shaw, director of student development in Campus Life, said she had
never participated in previous Poetry Matters but read her three
poems—including pieces from the Bible, Phillis Wheatley and
Frances E.W. Harper—like a pro.
About 40 participants showed up with poems in their hands or in their minds,
drawing on self-composed thoughts or the famous words of notable bards such as
T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, ee cummings and Sylvia Plath to celebrate President
Jim Wagner’s inauguration. As readings were given by students, administrators
and Emory’s own writers (including Jim Grimsley, senior writer in residence
in the creative writing department, and poet and retired medical professor John
Stone), the hubbub of the day continued. During the span of the event, passers
by frequently stopped simply to hear the poems, including Wagner himself, who
sat down and relaxed for a few minutes to take in some verse.—Stephanie
Dance and theater
open rehearsals, 6–8 p.m.
As part of the Inaugural Arts Festival, Theater Emory and the Emory
Dance Program threw open the doors to performance rehearsals the
afternoon and evening of April 1 in the Mary Gray Munroe Theater
(MGM) and the Schwartz Center theater lab and dance studio.
In the MGM, preparations were under way for Life Goes On, believed to be the
first stage production modeled in the style of black-and-white silent film,
scheduled to run April 15–24. Director John Ammerman, associate professor
of theater studies, coached his cast in the art of physicality, as the show’s
only sound will be in the form of musical accompaniment. Dialogue slates will
carry the characters’ words, but their emotions and mannerisms will be
conveyed through the actors’ physical actions.
“I like theater in general,” said Cecile Long, administrative assistant
in the Emory
Eye Center, who stopped by the MGM to watch the Life Goes On rehearsal. “I’ve
seen Ammerman perform and really like his acting. I’m curious to see
how they bring in the silent-movie part.”
Meanwhile up Asbury Circle at the Schwartz Center, the doors were open to rehearsals
for the Lenaia Festival of Student Play Readings. Earlier that day, Emory dance
Lecturer George Staib invited visitors to an advanced choreography class (dubbed “Dance
in the Making”) in the Schwartz dance studio.
—Katherine Baust & Michael
Ovid at the carlos
museum, 7–8 p.m.
Joining in the Inauguration Celebration, the Carlos Museum, the
Friends of the Emory University Libraries, and the departments
of classics, music and English presented “Love, Sex and
Transformation: An Evening of Ovid in Poetry, Music and Art,” in
the museum’s reception hall.
The program opened with Emory alumna Kim Lorch performing Benjamin Britten’s “Six
Metamorphoses after Ovid for solo oboe.” Emory faculty members Garth
Tissol and Peter Bing (classics) and Ronald Schuchard (English) read original
texts and modern translations of the poet’s work.
Among the contemporary poets whose translations of Ovid were featured were
Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes and Michael Longley, whose archives are held in Woodruff
Library’s Special Collections. Selections from the manuscripts of these
poets’ translations and works from the Carlos collection of Greek art,
featuring images of transformation, were on view during the event.
The evening concluded with a performance from György Ligeti’s “String
Quartet No. 1: The Metamorphoses Nocturnes” that varied between melodic
and frenzied asynchronism by the Metamophosen String Quartet.—Katherine
The only musical instruments heard in the Schwartz Center Thursday
night were the unadorned, un-miked and completely stirring voices
of more than 200 vocalists.
Advertised as “The First Emory Student A Cappella Celebration,” Barenaked
Voices brought together seven singing groups with a variety of styles and demographics.
They were all male (No Strings Attached), all female (The Gathering), multicultural
(AHANA A Cappella), raucous (Aural Pleasure), gospel (Voices of Inner Strength),
tuxedoed (Emory University Concert Choir) and massive (the 150-plus Emory University
The groups sang at least two songs on their own, and the finale
featured all the singers delivering a rousing rendition of the
Isley Brothers’ “Shout,” led
by Director of Choral Studies Eric Nelson.
Other highlights of the 16-song performance included a show-stopping two-song
gospel set by Voices of Inner Strength; a spot-on impression of B-52s’ vocalist
Cindy Wilson by Katie Sloop during Aural Pleasure’s cover of “Roam”;
and that group’s pop medley which touched on songs ranging from Billy
Idol to R.E.M. to Motley Crüe.
Immediately following Barenaked Voices was the opening of “Creative Process,” an
art exhibit featuring the works of 27 artists, many of whom are faculty or
students in Emory’s visual arts program.
The audience filed into Ginden Arts Commons and the Upper Level West Hallway
for chocolate desserts and hung around to enjoy the artwork, which ran the
gamut from painting to sculpture, pencil drawings, mixed media and video.—Eric