Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Fine arts

Hill Auditorium hosts the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra tomorrow night


Tomorrow night, conductor David Robertson makes his University Musical Society debut with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO). The SLSO has won six Grammys and been nominated for 56 more. It attracts some of the world's best soloists, including Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen, who has performed in more than 90 world premieres and travels with the SLSO this week to Ann Arbor.

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Why nudity belongs in modern dance


I’ve seen my share of eccentric modern dance works. My experience as an audience member has included everything from watching a soloist discussing her fictional love affair with Ann Coulter while dancing in combat boots to a group of students running underneath a tarp screaming at the top of their lungs. A few weeks ago, I went to see a performance at Dance New Amsterdam in New York City, a venue that’s known for presenting edgy and controversial works. And until that night, I didn’t think many things could make me blush with uneasiness.

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The legendary New York Philharmonic performs at Hill this weekend


This seems to be a banner year for fine arts performances at Michigan in terms of the breadth and the notoriety of guests, and the New York Philharmonic is perhaps the biggest name yet to grace campus.

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Restaging a world-reknowned choreographer's work at the University


Last weekend, “Impact” was performed for the first time in 21 years as part of the University Dance Company’s production “Arcs in Time.” Amy Chavasse, assistant professor of Music in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, successfully restaged the dance piece, allowing the innovative work to greatly influence Michigan dance students

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Whitney Pow: Finding the art in campaign imagery


I like graffiti. It's not because of the allure of running around at ungodly hours and spraying art all over establishments and alleyways, or the danger of being caught by “The Man” for the sake of artistic creation. I like graffiti because it’s art made by the people, seen by the people. You can’t get better free visibility anywhere else than on public property, because “public property,” in some circles, also means “public visibility.”

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Chanticleer promises to amaze


There’s great entertainment value in the simultaneously pared-down and multifaceted medium of a cappella singing: In talented hands, the shocking range of an instrument familiar to us all – the voice – becomes a revelation. This Thursday, the paramount professionals of male a cappella group Chanticleer will perform a program of American music at St. Francis of Assisi Church at 8 p.m., marking their sixth University Musical Society performance.

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Tracing music from the cradle of civilization


What will people thousands of years in the future think of us if they listen to the music of today? What if they spin Hilary Duff and think none of us had any sense of rhythm or intonation? What if they hear Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus? With only these sonic artifacts to judge, they would likely write us off as a culture whose music was poorly produced mess of noise. But interpreting culture through music – whatever its quality – is a task that historians face regularly. For those studying ancient civilizations, it's unlikely they'll have a cohesive and intact database of music from which to study.

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