2011-12 Edison Ovations Series

Schedule of Events

Canadian duo Dala, aka Amanda Walther, and Sheila Carabine. Download hires image.

Lucy Guerin Inc. in Structure and Sadness. Photo by Jeff-Busby. Download hires image.

Sept. 30 and Oct. 1
Lucy Guerin Inc.
Structure and Sadness

One of Australia’s premier young dance companies, Lucy Guerin Inc., challenges and extends the art of contemporary dance while investigating the aesthetic potential of everyday events. Structure and Sadness, inspired by the 1970 collapse of Melbourne’s West Gate Bridge, grounds a powerful movement vocabulary in the engineering principles of compression, suspension, torsion and failure. Less factual narrative than a physical, emotional and visual response to a devastating accident, the piece examines the bridge as a metaphor for both the precarious architecture of our lives and the resiliency of the human spirit.

Oct. 28
560 Music Center
Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata
The Hills Are Alive

Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata (BRO) — the latest project from Peter Kiesewalter, founder and arranger of the Grammy-nominated East Village Opera Company — makes its St. Louis debut with this genre-bending adaptation of songs from the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound Of Music. Initially conceived as a one-time only concert, The Hills Are Alive caught the attention of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, which granted BRO unprecedented artistic license (and later invited BRO to appear on the 45th anniversary re-release of the 1965 film adaptation). The result is a high-octane blend of rock, jazz, hip-hop, R&B and country that will thrill Sound of Music purists and skeptics alike.

Nov. 4 and 5
Indian Ink Theatre Company
uru of Chai

Once every millennia there comes a teacher who awakens us all to the power of the divine. But if you can’t wait that long, spend an evening with the Guru of Chai, a spiritual leader who will sell you tea, charm with a smile and take away all that is wrong with your life. Enlightenment is at hand as award-winning actor Jacob Rajan, cofounder of New Zealand’s popular Indian Ink Theatre Company, brings this tale of a humble chaiwallah (tea seller) to exuberant life. Expertly portraying a series of indelible characters — from the lovelorn policeman to the abandoned girl whose singing stops railway crowds in their tracks — Rajan reminds us that the most powerful production tool is the audience’s imagination.

Nov. 18 and 19
The Intergalactic Nemesis:

Live-Action Graphic Novel

The year is 1933. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Molly Sloan and her intrepid research assistant Timmy Mendez team up with mysterious librarian Ben Wilcott to save humanity from an invading force of sludge monsters. Welcome to the wild world of The Intergalactic Nemesis. Part graphic novel, part old-time action radio play — complete with a nimble Foley artist producing hundreds of live sound effects — this sci-fi spectacular combines history, comedy, drama and old-fashioned theatrics with larger-than-life projections of 1,250 individually hand-drawn, blow-your-mind comic book images. It’s a whole new genre of theater.

Brian Brooks Moving Company in Motor. Photo by Christopher Lange. Download hires image.

Jan. 20 and 21
Brian Brooks Moving Company

Cheeky wit, punchy color, mathematical intricacy and superhuman physicality infuse the Brian Brooks Moving Company’s signature, minimalist works with an unexpected but delightful sense of whimsy. In Motor, the acclaimed choreographer employs three miles of sky blue cord to create a large tunnel-like space that encompasses both audience and artists. Within this vibrant installation, dancers wrestle with themselves and one another in sequences that amplify our linear perception of time. Structuring informal movement in a formal way, Brooks builds each moment from the one before, creating a propulsive, intricately linked chain reaction.

Feb. 18

Pop singer/songwriters Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine have it all: talent, looks, charm and heavenly, harmonious singing voices. The Canadian duo — which performs as Dala, a name formed by combining the last two letters of each artist’s first name — has captured the hearts of music-lovers across North America, most recently with Girls From the North Country, a PBS live special interweaving original songs with classics by Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot. Released as both a DVD and a CD, Girls From the North Country earned Dala a 2010 Canadian Folk Music Award for Vocal Group of the Year and a 2011 Juno Award nomination for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year.

Feb. 25
The Water Coolers

New York-based musical comedy troupe The Water Coolers brings Broadway-caliber talent to its satirical celebrations of topics shared everyday around the American water cooler: life, work, kids, travel, technology and trying to balance it all. From pretending you understand what the IT guy is saying to trying to figure out exactly what that “one guy” does all day, this hilarious evening of original songs, sketch comedy and pop parodies will help you make it through the week. It’s not just about work. It’s about life.

March 2 and 3
Ballet Hispanico

Hailed by the Chicago Sun Times as “gorgeous to look at and thrilling to watch,” Ballet Hispanico — now celebrating its 40th anniversary — has earned a reputation as the foremost dance representative of Hispanic culture in the United States. Under new artistic director Eduardo Vilaro, the company continues to reflect, explore and expand this rich heritage through its innovative repertory, which fuses classical, modern and Latin dance forms into a spirited image of the contemporary Hispanic world.

March 23
560 Music Center
Soweto Gospel Choir

The world-renowned Soweto Gospel Choir returns to the Ovations series for a special one-night-only performance. Drawn from some of South Africa’s finest choirs, this all-star 52-member “super group” — which performs in eight languages — presents a vibrant mix of contemporary African music, from folk anthems, popular songs and African gospel to traditional Zulu, Xhosa and Sotho spirituals. Strong, proud and full of life, Soweto Gospel Choir combines earthy rhythms and rich harmonies drawn from the soul of the land and resonating with the spirit of its people.

ovations for young people

Sept. 17
Mark Nizer

Since winning the International Jugglers Championship in 1990, Mark Nizer has emerged as the quintessential juggler’s juggler, combining deft comedic wit with new tricks and technologies that make the impossible suddenly possible. His latest one-man show, 3-D, incorporates cutting-edge imaging technology with interactive video and world-class juggling, along with robots, carving knives, flying lasers and a 16-pound bowling ball. Whether hurling Ping-Pong balls or juggling a burning propane tank, Nizer continually reminds audiences to expect the unexpected. 3-D glasses will be provided.

Feb. 11
Cashore Marionettes
Simple Gifts

The brainchild of master puppeteer Joseph Cashore, Cashore Marionettes has helped redefine the art of puppetry with unmatched artistry, grace and engineering. In Simple Gifts, Cashore presents a series of touching vignettes drawn from everyday life. Set to music of Vivaldi, Strauss, Beethoven and Copland, these poignant and sometimes humorous scenes unfold with a dazzling combination of virtuoso manipulation, theatrical illusion and artistic insight, providing audiences with an entertaining and sensitive vision of what it means to be human. Recommended for ages 8+.

March 3
Ballet Hispanico

Ballet Hispanico takes young audiences on an exploration of Latin American and Caribbean dance forms and music that celebrates the dynamic aesthetics of the Hispanic diaspora.

May 5
Dynamo Theatre
Mur-Mur (The Wall)

Montreal’s Dynamo Theatre combines gymnastics, theater, juggling, mime and minimal dialogue to create what it calls the Theatre of Acrobatic Movement. Their latest show, Mur-Mur (The Wall), centers on the friendships between two teenage couples and a pesky and incorrigible younger brother. With exuberant humor and acrobatic virtuosity, these five characters tell of quarrels, shared schemes and stolen kisses, capturing the moving and poignant world of young love and discovery.