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May 12, 2007

Art News from the Outback: The Midwest

Bridgette Redman

Putting it on the line in high school
Talk about kids taking risks: For an end-of-year fundraiser, they're doing a talent show fund-raiser featuring Broadway songs about teenagers. The audience gets to vote on the winners.
(Thanks to Lori Holcomb of the Battle Creek Enquirer)

Finding New Spaces
After the owner of their performance space was murdered in February (during a run of the ironically named world premiere, "Fatal Error"), Icarus Falling needed to find a new space for the rest of their season. They landed in a conference room of a local Internet services provider. It somehow seems apropros for a group whose season was themed "dot human."
(Thanks to Mike Hughes of the Lansing State Journal)

Sometimes it takes a person
Perhaps it is the nature of art itself that arts communities so often thrive on the work of individuals. It is usually the passion of individuals rather than the corporate underwriting or governmental support that makes the arts scene flourish or wither. In Aurora, one person with that sort of passion is gallery owner Dan Hites. "Hites believes Aurora already has a vibrant arts scene, and it just needs some nurturing. He sees himself as a facilitator -- that's what he did with Dreamerz in Wicker Park, he said, by giving away second floor space to theater groups and poets, and featuring local bands on his stage; that's what he hopes to do with River Breeze."
(Thanks to Andre Salles of The Beacon News)

Inflatable Theater
Don't sit in the front row for this performance. At least, don't sit there unless you're OK with being the target of inflatable people and flaming torches. "The show is unique in its dizzying combination of magic, ballet, juggling, bad jokes, physical comedy and the inflatables. At one point, Garbo -- a Maine native who has performed this show for 17 years -- climbs inside a large orange inflatable box and moves around on stage, oozing into the audience every chance he gets."
(Thanks to Benjamin Ray of Hillsdale Daily News)

Ballet Company turns 20
In a city currently obsessed with its returning American Idol finalist, the local newspaper hasn't forgotten its local ballet troupe, a company that turned 20 this year. It's a story in which dancers share some of their fond memories as they celebrate their anniversary with their spring concert.
(Thanks to Carol Azizian of The Flint Journal)

Reaching Out to Smaller Towns
Lansing is far from a metropolis, but its Wharton Center for the Performing Arts is certainly one of the largest performing arts venues in Michigan and in the top ten centers (at least as far as box office is concerned) in the country. According to this Traverse City article, they're now reaching out to bring their programs into communities around the state.
(Thanks to Traverse City Record Eagle)

Posted by Bridgette Redman at May 12, 2007 9:04 AM

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