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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Relevance, and a cloud of dust

Posted By on Sat, Feb 8, 2014 at 7:39 AM

In order for a dance company to keep moving forward after 30 years, it has to balance tromping on the accelerator with checking its mirrors. Urban Bush Women, opening its 30th season with Duke Performances at Reynolds Industries Theater Friday night, might not be hurtling into new territory anymore, but it keeps its mission of racial and gender activism, as well as its straightforward storytelling method, firmly in view in its rear-view mirror. And, after a two-week residency at Duke, this might be more important. Courtesy of Urban Bush WomenUrban Bush Women perform at Duke's Reynolds Industries Theater, Feb. 7...

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Temple of acoustic music: Duke unveils the long-awaited Baldwin Auditorium facelift

Posted By on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 4:21 PM

A small group of clearly excited Duke officials greeted the media this morning. The occasion: the unveiling of a shimmering, newly renovated Baldwin Auditorium. As Duke Performances director Aaron Greenwald noted in preliminary remarks, the 685-seat facility is designed exclusively for acoustic music and as such, it will fill a niche in the area's acoustic music spaces. Greenwald pointed out that Raleigh's Meymandi Concert Hall, the Triangle's premier recital venue, is more than twice the size of Baldwin. Although the exterior of the building, which was completed in 1927, looks the same, the interior was gutted. Now, $15 million...

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Some assembly required? Meow Meow in Beyond Glamour at PSI Theatre

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Karl GiantCaburlesque performer Meow MeowBEYOND GLAMOURMeow Meow3.5 stars (out of 5)PSI Theatre, Durham Arts CouncilThrough Feb. 14 It doesn’t always look that way, I know. But critics usually don’t go to a show for the purpose of basking in their own smugness and perceived superiority over the material, the genre, the company or the audience. (At least, they shouldn’t. When one does—and occasionally it happens, even here—little more is served than their own ego.) But what do we make of a performance in which the performer appears to be doing this instead? That is the riddle posed by one Melissa...

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

TERMINUS impresses most when its rhymes impress us least

Posted By on Sat, Feb 26, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Catherine Walker, Declan Conlon and Olwen Fouere in Abbey Theatre's TERMINUSTERMINUS3.5 stars (out of 5)Abbey Theater of DublinDuke PerformancesCarolina Theatre If you want to explore some of the outer limits of theatrical discourse this evening, you now have two choices, not one. For as chance—and producers’ schedules—would have it, less than half a mile away from IN THE HEIGHTS’ amazing musical fusion of slam poetry, rap and meringue-edged songs at DPAC (which earned our latest 5-star review earlier this week), Dublin's Abbey Theatre pursues a different form of verbal gymnastics in a production of Irish dramatist Mark O’Rowe’s latest work,...

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

A bittersweet homecoming for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company

Posted By on Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 1:40 AM

MERCE CUNNINGHAM DANCE COMPANYPresented by Duke Performances@Durham Performing Arts CenterFeb. 4-5 The Durham Performing Arts Center was energized Friday night with the North Carolina homecoming of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Cunningham founded the company in 1953 at Black Mountain College in western North Carolina; he died a year and a half ago, and his will outlined plans for a final two-year tour for his company, which will disband for good in December. Though turnout on Friday night was modest, those who did turn out were treated to a spectacular farewell for the storied troupe, which will perform one...

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

From the archives: Merce Cunningham—an interview and review

Posted By on Thu, Feb 3, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Two stories from the archives, before this weekend's performances by the MERCE CUNNINGHAM DANCE COMPANY on its farewell "Legacy Tour," for those seeking further background on his work: a revealing interview from last summer with Cunningham dancer and dance reconstructor JEAN FREEBURY, followed by an earlier critical review from his company's last appearance at the American Dance Festival. Cunningham dancer and reconstructor Jean FreeburyLast summer, ADF belatedly asked Freebury to place his ISLETS 2 on students over six weeks. After dancing with Merce’s company from 1992 to 2003, she has taught his work now for 15 years. In our July...

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Monday, November 8, 2010

How can you stay in the house... and how can you leave? Ralph Lemon at Duke

Posted By on Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Photo by Frank OudemanRalph LemonRalph Lemon: How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere?Duke PerformancesReynolds Industries Theater Nov. 6 “We had a lot more walk-outs last night than usual,” said lighting director and production manager Christopher Kuhl prior to the Saturday night performance of New York-based choreographer Ralph Lemon’s How Can You Stay in the House All Day and Not Go Anywhere? “Ralph is interested in it. He likes to track when people leave, when they start texting.” The evening began whimsically enough with a video piece featuring 102-year old Walter Carter—Lemon’s muse and mentor,...

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

MoLoRa: The Independent Interview with Yael Farber

Posted By on Wed, Mar 17, 2010 at 12:37 PM

After creating a series of "testimonial plays" based on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the 1990s, playwright Yael Farber approached a group of women from the Xhosa people in 2008, and told them the story of The Oresteia. The Greek tragic trilogy still confronts us with dilemmas our civilization hasn't fully solved. How do we distinguish justice from vengeance? What is the appropriate punishment for murder? And once "eye for an eye" violence is ingrained in a culture, how can it be stopped? At the time she was looking for umngqokolo—traditional overtone throat singing for her new project. But...

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Urban Bush Women at Duke

Posted By on Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 12:41 PM

The Nov. 12 performance by Urban Bush Women at Duke’s Reynolds Theater began with a lone dancer, her arms and shoulders rippling with muscles, standing under a misty spotlight as someone offstage read the names of African-American leaders and activists from Sojourner Truth to Malcolm X. It set the tone for the evening. Though Urban Bush Women performances are ostensibly a form of modern dance, they’re more Toni Morrison than Martha Graham. The troupe’s six dancers avoid nearly any hint of classical ballet forms, focusing on athletic, dramatic stomps, slaps and chest bumps. Troupe founder and choreographer Jawole Willa Jo...

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Waiting it out: Putting a fine point on Beckett's Waiting for Godot

Posted By on Sat, Oct 24, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Indy freelancer Sam Wardle attended opening night of The Classical Theatre of Harlem's production of Waiting for Godot. Here's his report. Waiting for Godot Performed by The Classical Theatre of Harlem
 Duke Campus: Reynolds Industries Theater
 Friday, Oct 23 "Why people have to complicate a thing so simple, I can't make out," playwright Samuel Beckett quipped more than 50 years ago about his masterpiece, Waiting for Godot. Oddly enough, I was left wondering, after watching the Classical Theatre of Harlem's retelling of the play as a Hurricane Katrina morality tale, if this new interpretation didn't go too far in...

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Thanks RobU. This review ran online only.

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on Theater Review: Three Shakespeare Plays Are Pared Down to a Ninety-Minute Game of Dramatic Chess in Henry VI (Arts)

Great review! Since it was out in previous paper, how do we get this in print? Possible to order it?

by RobU on Theater Review: Three Shakespeare Plays Are Pared Down to a Ninety-Minute Game of Dramatic Chess in Henry VI (Arts)

This show is dreadful. I watched clips of the London production which lacked the wonderful sets in the Australian production. …

by mrappleby on Love never dies, but many terrible musicals have: Sitting through Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom sequel. (Arts)

Awesome summation of the beauty and skill surrounding this tap festival! Great Job Dan!
Annabel's mom💕 …

by Dcable on Dance Review: Tap Genius Michelle Dorrance Brings It Home at the NC Rhythm Tap Festival (Arts)

Comments

Thanks RobU. This review ran online only.

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on Theater Review: Three Shakespeare Plays Are Pared Down to a Ninety-Minute Game of Dramatic Chess in Henry VI (Arts)

Great review! Since it was out in previous paper, how do we get this in print? Possible to order it?

by RobU on Theater Review: Three Shakespeare Plays Are Pared Down to a Ninety-Minute Game of Dramatic Chess in Henry VI (Arts)

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