International artists offer conversation and master classes

Posted by Centre News in News, Norton Center 31 Mar 2014

MotionHouse

Classical guitarists from Ireland and dancers from England will offer special workshops and other opportunities to engage with the artists in conjunction with performances this week at Centre’s Norton Center for the Arts.

“These performers are willing to share their vast knowledge of the arts and humanities and their even more important life lessons with our students and our community,” says Steve Hoffman, Norton Center executive director, who makes a point to encourage such interactions whenever possible.

“These connections are powerful and have the potential to change people in incredible ways,” he adds. “They can help to open minds, open hearts and strengthen people. They teach us how to see others and ourselves in new ways that can shape leadership, management and growth.”

Dublin Quartet

Centre students will have a chance for hands-on instruction from the Dublin Guitar Quartet (right) at a lecture and demonstration about commissioning new music, a signature aspect of the group. The event will be held Wednesday, April 2, in Grant Hall, Room 403, beginning at 2:20 p.m.

The quartet got its start in 2002 when the founding members were students at the Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama. Since then they have developed a repertoire that includes both newly commissioned works and pieces by such minimalist composers as Philip Glass newly transcribed for guitar.

Using eight- and ten-string guitars, the performers bring “a striking array of sonic colors,” to their concerts, according to a recent review in the Washington Post. They will display their unique blend of modern classical music and acoustic guitar in a concert in Weisiger Theatre on Wednesday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m.

The next day, one of the United Kingdom’s leading dance theater companies comes to Danville for two days of conversation, a master class and a performance of their latest mesmerizing extravaganza. Founded in 1988, Motionhouse (above) is known for its startlingly creative combination of dance, acrobatics, physical theater and cinematography. The current program, Scattered: A Meteor Shower of Unlikely Moments, explores humanity’s lifelong relationship with water.

Motionhouse Artistic Director Kevin Finnan will discuss how his company uses art to address environmental concerns at a public forum on April 3 at 7 p.m., in the Nichols Room of the Campus Center. Co-sponsored by the Centre Environmental Association, the conversation is free and open to the public.

At 8 p.m. on April 3, the Motionhouse dancers will lead a low-impact movement class in Room 502 of Grant Hall. The free demonstration will particularly appeal to those who take mediation, yoga, Pilates or dance classes. Wear comfortable clothes.

Motionhouse will perform Scattered in Newlin Hall on Friday, April 4, at 8 p.m.

Tickets to the two evening performances are available at the Norton Center website. Other events listed are free.

by Diane Johnson