Wednesday, March 26, 2014

We Were Rockin' Our Souls at the Center!

Dance classes at Revelations Celebration on the Arts Plaza.
Photo by Dawson Photography.

Segerstrom Center’s welcome to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater began on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. with a Revelations Celebration on the Arts Plaza. The free event included dance classes taught by the Ailey’s National Director of AileyCamp/Spokesperson & Master Teacher for Arts in Education Nasha Thomas-Schmitt and former Principal Dancer Renee Robinson, a performance by The Spirit Chorale of Los Angeles, Center Teaching Artist and master storyteller Victoria Burnett, the Imagination Playground, visual arts demonstrations, street mural chalk drawing and food trucks. 


The Spirit Chorale of Los Angeles at Revelations Celebration
on the Arts Plaza. Photo by Dawson Photography.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater opens on Wednesday, March 26 with a special Discover Ailey performance. Artistic Director Robert Battle will host the evening. He’ll discuss the history and development of the Ailey company and talk about the artistic vision and legacy that the company is creating in the world dance scene. The company will dance Bill T. Jones’ modern dance classic D-Man in the Waters (Part I) and Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece Revelations. Following the performance, Mr. Battle will introduce the dancers to the audience. Tickets are just $29. 


Revelations Celebration the Arts Plaza. Photo by Dawson Photography.
Full performances are March 27 – 30. There will be free Preview Talks one hour before each performance. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

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Center Flaunts Yoshiki Concert Kick-Off

Yoshiki

This past weekend at the 2014 SXSW Music and Media Conference global rock icon Yoshiki unveiled a never before seen classical concert performance at FLAUNT Magazine’s party celebrating its upcoming List Issue. Yoshiki mesmerized the audience at Austin’s Qui as he performed a piano duel with a hologram of himself. Watch the performance on Yoshiki’s YouTube channel. 




Yoshiki will kick off his first ever classical world tour on April 25 in the Center’s Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. He will perform music from his new classical album Yoshiki Classical. Known worldwide as founder of the legendary band X Japan and arguably the most successful rock band to come out of Asia, Yoshiki has sold 30 million singles and albums combined. The Yoshiki Classical tour is a rare chance for fans of both his signature brand of rock and classical music to see him perform in some of the world’s most renowned concert halls. 

For more information about Yoshiki’s performance at the Center and to purchase tickets, click here.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Let Us Introduce You to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with Artistic Director Robert Battle
 and Associate Artistic Director Masazumi Chaya. Photo by Andrew Eccles.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is presenting a special Discover Ailey performance on Wednesday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m. Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle will host the evening. He’ll discuss the history and development of the Ailey company and talk about the artistic vision and legacy that the company is creating in the world dance scene. The company will dance Bill T. Jones’ modern dance classic D-Man in the Waters (Part I) and Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece Revelations – a must-see for anyone who wants to discover the heart, and soul, the energy and spirit of the Ailey, which has been hailed as an American cultural treasure. Following the performance, Mr. Battle will introduce the dancers to the audience. 

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater  Artistic Director Robert Battle.
Photo by Andrew Eccles
All seats are $29 for this special performance. For information and to purchase tickets to other performance during the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater engagement at the Center from March 27 – 30, click here.


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Alvin Ailey's Revelations. Photo by Gert Krautbauer.



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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Doctor's Notes: Lonnie Smith's Rejuvenating Jazz

Photo by Luke Ratray

By Cristofer Gross


Photo by Mark Sheldon
To get a preview of Hammond B-3 master Dr. Lonnie Smith's Center debut this weekend, I went back to his 2012 CD, The HealerAgain, I was immediately pulled in by the less-is-more interplay of Smith and guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg, who along with drummer Johnathan Blake accompanies the organist in Samueli Theater this Friday and Saturday. 

The way they weave together various styles and rhythms produces music that is both immediate and timeless. 

"The sound is a combination," Smith says. "You have fusion, mixed in with hip-hop, jazz, and funk without even thinking or trying to do that." At 71, Smith has clearly gotten the upper hand on time. Whether it's a single song tempo, the signature beat of an era, or his life, there's an energy that comes across. You can't help but feel rejuvenated. "I think his specialty is making people feel something," Kreisberg says. "I've seen an audience rise to their feet and lose their woes. He's almost like a healer, you know, and that's how we got the idea." 

When Ramsey Lewis wanted a segment on the Hammond B-3 for his 13-episode series, Legends of Jazz, in 2006, he invited two greats from two generations: Smith and Joey DeFrancesco, who appeared here a couple years back with vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. Now it's Smith's turn to show how it's done.

He continues to appeal to artists of every era, with his music recently sampled by Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige. "I don't even think about the age because I don't feel that way," Smith adds. "I'm just doing it and it feels great: Just doing it while I have a chance to do it."

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Win Dinner for Two and a Trip to Oz

Danielle Wade as Dorothy and Robin Evan Willis as Glinda in THE WIZARD OF OZ
 Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann ©2013 Canadian Cast

A magical production of THE WIZARD OF OZ comes to Segerstrom Center for the Arts this month, and the Center and the Patina Group would like to make someone’s special wish come true. As Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home”! Show us what home means to you, and you could win a memorable evening on Saturday, February 22, 2014. The winner will enjoy dinner for two at Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge, selecting from Executive Chef Ross Pangilian’s THE WIZARD OF OZ themed menu, and attend the show at 7:30 p.m. in Segerstrom Hall. 

Here’s how to enter: 
Follow @PatinaGroup on Instagram and @Patina_Group on Twitter! Submit a photo of your favorite home-cooked meal on either social media channel. Include the hashtags #SCFTAPRGFoodies and #WizardOC.* Easy, right? Send in your submissions by Wednesday, February 19 to be eligible. 

*Alternate hashtags to use: #PRGHome #SCFTAFoodies #SegerstromPRGFoodies 

For rules and THE WIZARD OF OZ menu, click here

For more information about THE WIZARD OF OZ and to purchase tickets, click here. 

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Center Favorites Make Olympian Impressions in Sochi

Ivan Vasiliev in the opening ceremony
Among Russia’s great artists and cultural ambassadors to the world who performed during the opening ceremonies at the Sochi Olympics were Maestro Valery Gergiev, general and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, and dancers Diana Vishneva and Ivan Vasiliev. Gergiev has appeared at the Center many times and is probably best remembered for bringing the Mariinsky Orchestra, Ballet and Opera for the opening celebrations of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in 2006. 


Maestro Valery Gergiev conducts in the 
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in 2006

The brilliant Diana Vishneva swirled among other dancers on the Sochi stadium floor until they eventually created the shape of a dove, which was followed by opera star Anna Netrebko singing the Olympic anthem. Among Vishneva’s many appearances at the Center, she has starred in two solo evenings created for her by the Center in association with Ardani Artists – Diana Vishneva: Beauty in Motion and Diana Vishneva: On the Edge. Her performance in Beauty in Motion won Russia’s prestigious Golden Mask award for the Center, that nations’ highest accolade for achievement in the arts. 


Diana Vishneva in the opening ceremony

Following his appearance in the opening ceremony, one report said, "The brilliant Ivan Vasiliev brought the stadium down with astonishing leaps.” Vasiliev has also appeared at the Center. He has been seen here with the Bolshoi Ballet, in two Tour de Force gala evenings, Reflections and Kings of Dance. He returns in July with Natalia Osipova in a special night titled Solo for Two. Included in that program will be two world premieres.

Dancers with Diana Vishneva, center

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Prima Ballerina is Prima Assoluta in the U.K.

Natalia Osipova.
Photo by Damir Yusupov.
Natalia Osipova has won Britain’s Critics’ Circle National Dance award for Best Dancer of 2013. Qualifying artists must have performed in the U.K. between August 31, 2012 and September 1, 2013. Britain’s Judith Mackrell reported for The Guardian in her DANCEBLOG that, “there are few more dramatic and virtuoso stars in ballet today than Natalia Osipova – yet while the Russian ballerina wins her best female dancer award for performances with the St. Petersburg company the Mikhailovsky Ballet, and has been nominated in previous years for her performances with the Bolshoi, there is an extra frisson to her win this time around, given that her recent signing to the Royal Ballet has, for the time being, made her one of our own.” 



Natalia Osipova. Photo by Gene Schiavone

Osipova has appeared at the Center with the Bolshoi Ballet, the Center’s Tour de Force dance galas, in Reflections and American Ballet Theatre’s world premiere of its new production of Firebird. The incomparable Osipova returns to the Center with her equally phenomenal partner, Ivan Vasiliev, July 25 – 27. They will perform a special program titled Solo for Two.


Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev in Don Quixote.
Photo by Mikhail Logvinov, copyright Bolshoi Ballet.


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