Diversity, extremely high quality and attempts to appeal to a broad population in the region were the driving factors behind the upcoming 2011-12 Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) season.
Robert Bucker, dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication and VPAC’s executive director said the main difference between the first and second VPAC seasons is the diversity among the artists presented.
“The reputations of the artists that we’re presenting this next year are really remarkable,” Bucker said.
The variety of artists scheduled to perform at next season’s VPAC include Geena Davis, Joshua Bell, Bernadette Peters, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Los Tigres del Norte.
“We always try to get the very best artists that we can, so when I was looking for some kind of artistic representation from like Mexico, I came up with Los Tigres del Norte,” Bucker said. “They’re recognized as one of the greatest artists in the world. When we wanted to do something in tap dance, I went after Savion Glover. Nobody is going to argue with the fact that nobody dances better than Savion Glover.”
He added that he wanted an artist that represented a more Latin dance background, so he booked Jose Porcel and his company from Spain, which is recognized as the premier flamenco company in the world.
There are 30 events in the regular season including six events in five series. The five series are premiere, classical, spoken word and jazz/world music.
In addition, there are three single events which include Wynonna Judd, the Moscow National Ballet in “The Nutcracker, and “Moves” by the New York City Ballet, which is does not appear in the schedule brochure but is planned for October 22.
“I wanted as much diversity as possible and so within each one of the categories, we tried to get as diverse of a group of artists as we possibly could,” Bucker said.
More dance, the CSUN jazz program, increase in spoken word and well-known classical artists and orchestras are the main differences in 2011-12, he said.
Responding to criticism that the VPAC only appeals to an older audience, Bucker said the attempt to appeal to a younger audience will continue but college students are just not interested in going to indoor venues.
“One of the things that we continue to find out is that the audience that is willing to pay for these (VPAC) events is an older audience,” Bucker said. “It’s a skewed audience is that respect.”
Students will continue to receive a 40% discount and $25 tickets will be available at every event in the upcoming season to make the events available for them.
Most of the 2011-12 schedule was confirmed in February and a few artists have been added in the last months, Bucker said.
Bucker said commitments and confirmations for the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 have been made.
“When you really have hit your strive, you’re trying to schedule two years in advance, that’s how you get the very best artists,” Bucker said.
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