Arts & Dialogue

Spring 2017 Schedule

Shaina Lynn

Bayou Blues

Friday, February 24
8:00 pm
Historic Playmakers Theatre

Bayou Blues dives deep into the consciousness of a black girl’s pursuit to find air amidst the drowning waves of colorism in New Orleans. Shaina Lynn takes the audience through the alluring culture of Mardi Gras, Bounce music and second line parades to shine light on the city’s dark history of internalized racism. With spoken word, song, dance and rap she shares her story, based on true-life experiences. A tale of transformation and healing for all, Lynn’s powerful one-woman show questions the current impact of colonialism and race on communities of color. Discover more here.


Martha Graham Dance Company

Photo: Andrea Mohin, New York Times

Thursday, March 23
7:30 pm

Memorial Hall

Hailed for its commitment to the leading edge of modern dance, the Martha Graham Dance Company performs adventurous new works created by some of today’s top dance-makers side by side with the most profound and influential choreography by Martha Graham. Often compared with Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky and Coco Chanel, this revolutionary artist is an icon of 20th-century modernism. The Company embodies her uniquely American style of dance, which has influenced generations of artists and captivated audiences worldwide.

This program features a CPA Commissioned Work by choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui inspired by Sufi poetry and accompanied by Turkish traditional music, in connection with Sacred/Secular: A Sufi Journey. Discover more here.


Sounds of Kolachi

Photo: Mohammad Ali, White Star

Friday, March 31
8:00 pm

Memorial Hall

Like an Indian Ocean blast from the seaport megacity it calls home, the new 10-piece supergroup of vocalists and instrumentalists from Karachi (formerly known as Kolachi) blurs raga and western harmony, counterpoint and South Asian melodic lines, all without losing the groove. In this instantly listenable ensemble, South Asian classical instruments like the sitar and bowed sarangi are on equal footing with electric guitar and rock rhythm section. Guiding the journey, composer, theorist and singer Ahsan Bari spins outrageous, bluesy, modal riffs. Like the West’s Son Lux or The National, Sounds of Kolachi defies boundaries in its mix of classical, avant-garde, jazz and rock music. Discover more here.

 

Fall 2016 Schedule

Ping Chong + Company

Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity

Sunday, September 18
7:30 pm
Memorial Hall

Ping Chong + Company’s interview-based theater production Beyond Sacred delves into the diverse stories of young Muslims who came of age in a post-9/11 New York City. The participants personify a range of Muslim identities, from converts to Islam to those who have drifted from their beliefs, from secular or cultural Muslims to stringent observers of the faith. Coming from varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds, they differ in many ways but share similar experiences and emotions in a time of increasing Islamophobia. Beyond Sacred illuminates the daily lives of Muslim Americans in an effort to work toward greater communication and understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.


Sussan Deyhim

The House is Black

Friday, October 28
8:00 pm

Memorial Hall

Inspired by the works of Forough Farrokhzad, one of Iran’s most influential feminist poets and filmmakers, this stirring multimedia piece sheds light on the importance of Iranian contemporary arts. Iranian American performance artist/composer Sussan Deyhim examines the prophetic vision of Farrokhzad, whose message is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago when she died at the age of 32. Co-directed by award-winning director Robert Egan, The House is Black features Deyhim’s striking visual projections along with archival footage including Farrokhzad’s 1965 interview with Bernardo Bertolucci. The original score by Deyhim and Golden Globe-winning composer Richard Horowitz is rooted in Persian and Western contemporary classical music, jazz and electronic music. Featured on film soundtracks including Argo and The Last Temptation of Christ, Sussan Deyhim has worked with Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone, Peter Gabriel and Bobby McFerrin, among others.


Joe Sellman-Leava

Labels

Thursday, November 17
7:30 pm

Historic Playmakers Theater

Joe Sellman-Leava’s one-man show Labels is a funny, moving tale about mixed heritage and immigration. Recounting his childhood in rural ’90s England in light of changing political attitudes and the ongoing refugee crisis, the performance melds stand-up comedy, storytelling and poetry. Shortlisted for Amnesty International’s Freedom of Expression Award, Labels analyzes the way we use words, the line between curiosity and fear, and the rise of anti-immigration rhetoric. Amid the cacophony of statistics and soundbites that surround the immigration debate, Labels offers an honest, human story about the bridges and barriers formed in a multicultural Britain.