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The Arts

Dance Circle hosts lecture on ballet fundamentals

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Mimi Eddleman and Maris Battaglia have been in the ballet world for years. Eddleman, founding co-president of the Chautauqua Dance Circle, still takes classes in New Jersey. Battaglia, member of the CDC and frequent guest speaker, has taught the Workshop dancers at Chautauqua Dance for 22 years. The two will merge their knowledge of ballet at 3:30 p.m. today in Smith Wilkes Hall in a lecture titled “20 Ballet Steps that Everyone Should Know.”

Songs of Britten, Russians featured in Artsongs recital

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This week’s Artsongs recital, held at 4 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, will feature songs of famous Russian composers, as well as those of Benjamin Britten, a legendary 20th century British composer. The program will showcase the voices of three Young Artists: bass Heath Sorensen, mezzo Courtney Miller and soprano Kasey King, all new to the Chautauqua Opera Company.

Poet laureate Dove to speak on forgotten prodigy

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On a morning in May of 1803, Ludwig van Beethoven sat behind his piano on the stage of Augarten Theatre in Vienna and premiered his now-famous Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47. Reading the score over his shoulder was George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower, the up-and-coming, biracial, African-Polish prodigy. The sonata had just been finished the night before, and there was no time for a rehearsal. The violinist took a chance at improvising, mimicking a difficult piano run, and Beethoven beamed. “Once more, my dear fellow!” he jumped up and shouted, and the two played the movement again.

Chamber music programs teach students artistry

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There are lessons musicians learn while playing chamber music that they don’t learn when playing in an orchestra. Leadership, sacrifice and responsibility make the chamber ensemble one of the most difficult, and most rewarding, experiences. The Student Chamber Music Recital at 2 p.m. today in McKnight Hall marks the beginning of a summer-long series of daily chamber music concerts for students of the Chautuauqua School of Music.

Opera’s Lesenger sees his art as expression of spirituality

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Opera is part of Jay Lesenger’s soul, but his soul has been burdened lately. At 2 p.m. today in the Hall of Philosophy, Lesenger, the general and artistic director of the Chautauqua Opera, will explain the challenge the arts are facing right now. His lecture is titled “Opera as a Spiritual Journey: My Confession.” “I also will talk about the time that we’re in right now, which is a very difficult time,” Lesenger said. “Our souls are burdened now because of the economy and because of the lack of exposure to the arts in schools. So the focus will be on how we got there and the impact of what’s going on today.”

Opera singer Conrad fought racism with song

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Growing up in the segregated south, Barbara Smith Conrad knew firsthand the pain racial discrimination brought. She also knew firsthand the healing power of music. “Music absolutely saved my life,” Conrad said. Conrad grew up in a very musical environment, and singing was her passion. She came to the forefront of national attention in 1957, when she was forcibly removed from the cast of an opera production at the University of Texas.

McSweeny, Benesch: Humanity is revealed through theater

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The playwright George Bernard Shaw wrote plays to share his message with a large number of people, an idea that seems old-fashioned in the age of new media. But what if Shaw still chose to write plays in the midst of the 21st century? “Is there something about the experience of live theater that actually is capable of creating more effective and profound change than sitting in front of a television or watching a movie? And I think the answer is probably yes,” Ethan McSweeny said.

Voice, instrumental students collaborate, foster ensemble frame of mind

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The Wednesday-night voice concert series continues at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Fletcher Music Hall with a recital that is all about chamber music. This will be the first opportunity for students in the Voice Program, who up until now have performed in these recitals with only piano accompaniment, to enter the ensemble frame of mind. The singers will perform with various chamber groups from the School of Music.

Chautauqua’s first monochromatic art show to open in Strohl gallery

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A blue streak of artwork will take over the Strohl Art Center for the next five weeks. “Out of the Blue,” which will have its opening reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. today in the Strohl Art Center, features work from eight artists in all different shades of blue. Judy Barie, director of galleries and curator of the show, said this will be Chautauqua’s first monochromatic-themed show.

In VACI lecture, Bibro to speak on current market conditions in art world

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Denise Bibro has a case for the arts. Bibro, owner of Denise Bibro Fine Art in Chelsea, N.Y., will lecture at 7 p.m. tonight in the Hultquist Center. She will talk about the lessons she’s learned and experience she’s garnered from the 25-plus years she’s spent in the art business and the current art market — a market that, she admits, is difficult. Economic situations worldwide have changed what buyers and collectors are looking for and what types and quantities of pieces are selling.

Penneys gives annual piano recital

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Last year was the bicentennial celebration of two great classical composers, Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann. The pair, both born in 1810, left a legacy of some of the most masterful works in the piano repertoire.

Poet-in-residence praises the Psalms

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Psalms is the book in the Bible containing 150 chapters of verse. Some sing to praise God and give thanks, while others lament misfortune and ask for guidance. Jacqueline Osherow said she sees the Psalms as some of the most beautiful poetry ever written.

CTC electrician named finalist in international lighting competition

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Light is a part of everyone’s daily life, regardless of age, religion or location. Noah Craft sees the beauty and inspiration in this universality of light. This is what led him to enter and become a finalist in the Philips 2011 Light World Tour, a competition that allows one person with a passion for lighting to travel for three months finding new lighting inspirations.

Full of character

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Magic flutes, valkyries, rampant consumption — some themes in opera can be hard to relate to, and not just for the audience. Singers, like actors, perform best when they can lose themselves in a character — when they can find that common thread that connects them with their role. But how do you find something in common with a 13th-century family in Florence?

Week Four Writers-in-residence to bridge gaps in writing, culture

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The Writers’ Center this week welcomes Jacqueline Osherow and Janice Eidus, two writers who will lead workshops into the cross-currents of culture and the center of writing. Both writers will read selections from their work at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Literary Arts Center at Alumni Hall and later in the week as part of the Chautauqua Jewish Writers’ Festival.
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