Looking back and looking forward

Anna Osipova

Photo courtesy of Guthrie Theater
Photo courtesy of Guthrie Theater

With the new performing arts center opening in the fall, and the lineup underway the Sundial look back at the performances of last semester and what’s to come for next semester.

On February 2, Dance Theatre of Harlem, founded by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook in 1969 as the first black classical ballet company, came to CSUN as part of their nationwide tour. Having recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, the company put on a series of Interactive Performances, in which an instructor guided the audience through many of the techniques and then had the dancers demonstrate them, along with several full pieces.

Pianist Leon Bates performed on February 4. To celebrate Black History Month, Bates also shared with the audience his experiences as an African American musician and the lessons he learned from his predecessors, as well as offer some technical advice and guidance to the audience. He has performed on major concert stages all around the world.

“Polaroid Stories” was a contemporary adaptation of Ovid’s classical play, Metamorphoses.  Set on an abandoned pier, the play, written by Naomi Iizuka, was a mix of the profane and poetic. The play had six performances in early to mid February.

On April 30, Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli de Veracruz performed dances from seven regions of Mexico with authentic stringed instruments. The troupe celebrated its 25th anniversary with new pieces and vibrant costumes at the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall.

October 9, Ed Asner will be coming to CSUN in “FDR,” a solo performance drama based upon Dore Schary’s Broadway hit “Sunrise at Campobello”, which ran 70 weeks on Broadway. Ed Asner has won seven Emmy Awards (Mary Tyler Moore Show”, “Lou Grant”), and five Golden Globe Awards. The play follows Franklin Delano Roosevelt as he reflects on his years in office, from inauguration to the trials of World War II.

On October 27, The Acting Company, founded in 1972 by John Houseman and Margot Harley, will put on “Romeo & Juliet.” The Acting Company has performed 133 productions touring to 48 states and ten foreign countries.

The Moscow State Symphony Orchestra will be the debut performance in the new performing arts center at CSUN. Dean Robert Bucker said “The November 1st performance of the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra will usher in a new era in CSUN programming.  The Valley Performing Arts Center provides us with a venue that can accommodate a 100-piece internationally recognized symphony orchestra for the first time.” The ensemble, acclaimed as one of the greatest orchestras from a cultural tradition rich with extraordinary symphonic ensembles, celebrated its 65th anniversary in 2008.

“In this new season, we will depart from traditional styles and introduce to our audience artists that are on the leading edge of contemporary music,” said Bucker. “ We are thrilled to present the genre-bending collaboration between John Doe and The Sadies. The fusion of traditional country songs with a modern sound stretches the boundaries of conventional music classifications.” John Doe and The Sadies will be performing November 20 at the Plaza del Sol Performance Hall.