By Rob Klevan
CSU Summer Arts is back! With an impressive array of guest artist performances, the third season of CSU Summer Arts at CSU Monterey Bay gets underway with evening events starting on June 30th and running through July 26th. Over 30 public events including concerts, lectures, and demonstrations will be presented on the college campus at various venues that include the World Theater, Tanimura and Antle Library, Visual and Public Arts building, and for the first time ever, the Otter Sports Center
This year, Summer Arts will have a special focus on the art of dance and will kick-off the season on Monday, June 30, with a performance by Lux Aeterna, an interdisciplinary dance and physical theatre company that has developed an eclectic and powerful movement vocabulary through fusion of various art forms such as contemporary dance, breaking, and circus. The event takes place in the University’s Otter Sports Arena and will be sure to thrill young and old alike. On July 23rd, dance fans will be sure to enjoy a lecture/demonstration by Sylvia Waters, a former member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater who joined the company in 1968 and, in 1974, was personally selected by Ailey to be the Artistic Director of Ailey II which she directed for over 38 years.
Concert musical performances at Summer Arts the past two years have been stellar, and the 2014 season looks to be equally as exciting. On Monday, July 7, famed Latin Jazz musician and five-time Grammy Award nominee John Santos will be joined by Brazilian drum master Mario Pam in a lecture demonstration of the rhythms and styles of music from Cuba and Brazil. Later in the week on July 10, audience members will be treated to an evening of musical hits sung by famed Broadway actress and Tony Award nominee Susan Egan* who played the original part of Belle in the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast. Ms. Egan has over forty recording credits to her name as well as several appearances in major Broadway productions, film, and television.
Then on July 19th, area jazz fans will be treated to a jointly sponsored performance of the famed Next Generation Jazz Orchestra at the World Theater presented by Summer Arts and the Monterey Jazz Festival. The NGJO is comprised of the most talented high school jazz musicians in the world and boasts former members and current jazz luminaries such as Joshua Redman, Patrice Rushen, Chad Wackerman, Ambrose Akinmusire, Dave Koz, and more. Led by Paul Contos, this performance marks the debut of the 2014 NGJO prior to their performance tour to Japan and subsequent performances at the Monterey Jazz Festival next September.
Other not-to-be-missed evening events include film and animation lectures by guest artists Nick Fredin and Mark Pullyblank (July 2), and Ryan Woodward (July 3). Mr. Fredin has worked on The Hobbit films, Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and the Academy Award-winning Rango. Mark Pullyblank has a background in feature animation having worked on feature films such as Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin, and The Watchman at a number of studios including Weta Digital and Sony Imageworks. Animator Ryan Woodward’s projects include Space Jam, Where the Wild Things Are, Iron Man 2, and more. On July 14th, Happy Feet Foley explores the world of sound in film as Jeffrey Wilhoit and Brett Voss, two experts in the field who will peel back the curtain on the hidden world of Foley performance and recording!
The visual arts will also be well represented in several lectures and demonstrations presented by Summer Arts guest artists. On July 8th, celebrated typographers William Longhauser and Steff Geissbühler will discuss the notion that there is no such thing as a bad color, but just a question of proportion. Guggenheim Fellow, MacArthur Fellowship Genius Award winner and prominent sculptor/inventor Trimpin takes the podium on July 9th for an interactive art and sculpture lecture/demonstration. He summarizes his work as “… an ongoing exploration of the concepts of sound, vision and movement, experimenting with combinations that will introduce our senses of perception to a totally new experience.” And, photographer David H. Wells, whose project on the pesticide poisoning of California farm workers was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by The Philadelphia Inquirer, addresses his latest project “Foreclosed Dreams” in a lecture format on July 17.
Summer Arts events also have much to offer those seeking something different, including a visit to the World Theater the evening of July 5th for a comedy event sure to make the audience laugh till it hurts. Second City of Chicago alumni David Razowsky, James Grace, Amy Seely and Matt Craig will present both sketched and improvised comedy scenes for a night full of fun and laughs! On July 15, a comedic meditation on fear and why it is hilarious will be presented by Moth Story Slam host and performer David Crabb in a solo performance of his “The Horror: An Evening of Storytelling.”
The Michael Chekhov Acting technique will be the focus of a Summer Arts two-week intensive workshop in theater arts. On July 16, Summer Arts will present a screening of the film Eugene’s Ghosts which was co-produced by the Michael Chekhov Association and The Actors’ Ensemble of New York. The film was shot at Monte Cristo Cottage, Eugene O’Neill’s childhood home and location of his play Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Following the screening will be a lecture about the film and theatre craft.
On July 18, Summer Arts will present a fight-choreography and lecture demonstration presented by theatrical violence fight coordinator Anthony Carreiro and certified fight instructors Collin Bressie and Amie Root who will demonstrate the choreography of creating a fight scene for a theatrical production. And, on July 21st an evening of poetry reading and performance will be presented by award winning writers Sharon Bridgforth, Kwame Dawes and Aimee Suzara.
Finally, on July 11 & 12, and then again on July 25 & 26, student participants in the Summer Arts intensive workshops will have the opportunity to present the results of their hard work in the Student Culmination series. Culminations are presented throughout the day at various locations on the CSUMB campus and all are open to public free of charge.
For ticket prices, venues, a calendar of events, and more information about CSU Summer Arts, please check the website at http://blogs.calstate.edu/summerarts/index.php/events/ or call the box office at 831-262-2714. Other inquiries can be directed to Dr. Rob Klevan, Community Relations Specialist at email@example.com.
*Photo by Kevyn Major Howard