Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Color, Color, and More Color in the 2016 Student Art Exhibit


This year's group of young artists from the Bigfork School in Minnesota will display their talents at the Edge Center Art Gallery from May 5th through the 21st. The art is both creative and colorful. As with each yearly exhibit, this group of new artists will give you a chance to see creations often best made with a young person's early encounters with the creative process. These artists manage to come through with a surprising outlook at the basics of color, texture, and shape, mixed with light and darkness. They are stretching their creativity in ways that may surprise you.  The art show is open through May 24th with a reception in the gallery on May 11th at 4:30PM to 5:30PM. Normal gallery hours are Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays 10AM to 4PM.


As in the past, the art is from Roberta Steinhart’s art classes. This traditional first of the season's exhibits in the gallery will not disappoint you and will show you a wide range of color and uses. Student artwork often reflects aspects of the artist's lives as emerging adults.  The following examples will give you a little taste of the color and creativity.  If you wish, contact the school for more details.









Saturday, April 23, 2016

Piatigorsky Violin and Piano Artists with Captivating Presence





Once again we get to enjoy the pleasure of having two Piatigorsky artists on stage at the Edge center, but this time with extras. Not only do we get the pleasure of violinist Qing Li and accompanying pianist Paolo André Gualdi, we also have Mozart music on the program, which provides an excellent introduction to classical music. Debussy and Franck compositions also are added from different periods in music development which provide a nice contrast to the Mozart’s work.  There will be two performances on Monday, April, 25, a private performance for the elders of the Bigfork Valley Assisted Living and Long Term Care communities, and a second, open to the public, at 7PM at the Edge center for the Arts in Bigfork. Prices for the public performance are $10 adults,children are free. If someone wants an introduction to classical music in general, and its chamber music component, this concert is perfect for them.



Astonishing in her musical versatility, violinist Qing Li (above) brings great warmth, poise, and insight to her music. Born in Beijing China, Ms. Li began violin studies at age 4 with her father Zhen-Kun Li.  At age 12, Qing Li was accepted to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. There she was discovered at a master class by Berl Senofsky, the first American to win the prestigious Queen Elizabeth International Violin Competition.  Mr. Senofsky brought her to Baltimore’s Peabody Conservatory where she was granted a full scholarship and won the Marbury violin competition.  Ms. Li career’s has been incredible after graduating from Peabody and studying with the legendary Joseph Gingold.  In 1993 Ms. Li auditioned for the Baltimore Symphony, winning a position playing a $100 Chinese violin.  Ms. Li currently now performs on a Neopolitain instrument made by Nicolo Galliano in 1736.

In addition to being a Piatigorsky Foundation touring artist, Qing Li is currently the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Principal Second Violin, and is soloist. Her broadcast appearances include a biography on Voice Of America, interviews on Baltimore’s WBJC and WYPR radio and television stations in Germany and China.

Ms. Li also serves as  Assistant Concert Master and facility member at the Eastern Music Festival.  She has taught at the University of Delaware, the Festival Internacional de Inverno Compos do Jordão Winter Festival in Brazil, and the Central Conservatory of Music, in Beijing.  Ms. Li has always felt that teaching is her way of repaying the kindness shown to her by her mentors.

Notable reviews for Qing Li include the Baltimore Sun, “It was impossible not to be swept along by all the passion,” The German Hohenlohe News, “excelled with ethereal play” and the Richmond Times, “her style was impeccable.”


Italian pianist Paolo André Gualdi (above) began studying piano with his father at the age of five, and eventually at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome, Italy, with Carmela Pistillo. He earned his Piano Diploma with highest honors at the Conservatory Arrigo Boito in Parma. has played recitals in Italy, France, Brazil and the United States for numerous music organizations. He has also appeared with many orchestras including the Georgia Philharmonic, Wilmington Symphony, Atlanta Philharmonic, Florence Symphony, DeKalb Symphony, and the Universidade de Caxias do Sul Symphony Orchestra.  He has recorded for Mark Records and IFO Classics, and his performances have been broadcast by NPR and Radio Vaticana.

While in the U.S., he earned a Master Degree at Carnegie Mellon University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Georgia.  Gualdi worked extensively with Carlo Maria Dominici, Roberto Cappello, Enrique Graf, and Evgeny Rivkin and took part in master classes with Earl Wild, Sergio Perticaroli and Menahem Pressler, among others.

He has won the top prize in numerous piano competitions, including the European Competition of, the Altruda National Competition of Vasto and the Françoise Grimaldi National Competition of San Polo.  Winning the “De Martino Award” at the Ibla International Piano Competition enabled him to study at Elon University with Victoria Fischer.  During this period, he won the First Prize in the 15th Bartók-Kabalevsky International Competition.

Gualdi regularly gives master classes and lectures nationally and internationally at universities, conservatories and other music institutes, including New Mexico State University and College of Charleston (U.S.A.); the federal universities of Porto Santa Maria and Pelotas (Brazil); Cittadella della Musica (Italy), and others.  He has served on the faculties of Elon University, Emmanuel College and Oxford College of Emory University.  He is the founder and artistic director of the South Carolina Chamber Music Festival, and is currently Associate Professor of Music at Francis Marion University.  

The non-profit Piatigorsky Foundation's mission is to make live classical music part of the fabric of everyday life for communities throughout the United States with concert tours bringing top-quality musicians to audiences who often would not have the opportunity to hear them. The Foundation was established in 1990 by cellist Evan Drachman; grandson of the great Russian cellist Gregor Piatigorsky (1903-1976), The Foundation carries on his legacy in the belief that, as Piatigorsky said, "Music makes life better. Music is neither a luxury nor a frill. It is a necessity! It is rich. It is imaginative. And it is for everyone."

The Music

The music presented are Sonatas which are “…compositions for one or two instruments in three or four movements in contrasted forms and keys.” For the audience member who is new to classical music, this sonata format will make the concert an easy introduction to classical music in a way for the audience to understand and appreciate the music heard. Ref: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/sonata





Composer: Mozart
There will be a Sonata from Mozart’s (above and below) work. It is hard to find someone that does not like, if not love, Mozart music. It is just easy listening. He started playing and composing at an age before some of us talked well....he was a "rock star" of his era and the love of his music lives on and on. 
Sonata titles, like the ones for this concert, are a way of cataloging classical music. Mozart composed this music in spurts starting when he was not yet a teenager and the more formal description just goes on from there for years of his life.  “…the six Mannheim sonatas of 1778, the six sonatas of 1781, and finally the four glorious late works put to paper during the mid- and late 1780s. The Sonata for violin and piano No. 26 in B flat major, K. 317d (formerly K. 378), comes from the 1781 set…”. If you want to read more go to: http://www.allmusic.com/composition/sonata-for-violin-piano-no-26-in-b-flat-major-k-378-k-317d-mc0002375603 


Music Title: Violin Sonata in B-Flat major, K.378
Allegro moderato
Andantino sostenuto e cantabile
Rondo-Allegro 



Composer: Claude Debussy 
The second composer in the program is a Frenchman Claude Debussy (above) who “….offered a musical alternative to Romanticism. Because he reinterpreted or discarded many of the laws of traditional harmony and form, he is considered one of the fathers of modern music. - See more at: https://www.sfcv.org/learn/composer-gallery/debussy-claude#sthash.RTxNeKHB.dpuf

 Music Title: Violin Sonata in G minor, L 140
  Allegro vivo
  Intermède: Fantasque et léger
  Finale: Tres anime
This sonata for violin and piano was “…the composers last major composition in what had originally been conceived as a cycle of six…the premiere took place on 5 May 1917…with Debussy himself at the piano. It was his last public performance. Reference:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violin_Sonata_(Debussy)




Composer:  Cesar Franck

The third composer in the program is Cesar Franck (above) who was born in Liege which is now part of Belgium. “He gave his first concerts there in 1834 and studied privately in Paris from 1835, where his teachers included Anton Reicha. After a brief return to Belgium, and a disastrous reception to an early oratorio…he moved to Paris, where he married and embarked on a career as teacher and organist. He gained a reputation as a formidable improviser, and traveled widely in France to demonstrate new instruments built by Aristide Cavaille-Coll.”
“In 1858 he became organist at Sainte-Clotilde, a position he retained for the rest of his life. He became professor at the Paris Conservatoire in 1872; he took French nationality, a requirement of the appointment.” Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A9sar_Franck  

 

Music Title: Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major

Allegro ben moderato
Allegro Recitativo-Fantasia, Ben Moderato 
Allegro poco mosso 

“The Violin Sonata in A was written in 1886, when Franck was 63, as a wedding present for the 31-year-old violinist Eugine Ysaÿe. Twenty-eight years earlier, in 1858, Franck had promised a violin sonata for Cosima von Bulow. This never saw the light of day, but it has been speculated that whatever work Franck had done on that piece was put aside and eventually ended up in the sonata he wrote for Ysaÿe in 1886.
Franck presented the work to Ysaÿe on the morning of his wedding on 26 September 1886. After a hurried rehearsal, Ysaÿe and the pianist Leontine Bordes-Pene, a wedding guest, played the Sonata to the other wedding guests.” Reference:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violin_Sonata_(Franck)   


This promises to be a very special event for the Edge Center, and, as said earlier, it will have music that someone new to classical should enjoy along with veteran concertgoers. If you are a regular visitor to the Edge for Piatigorsky events, please mark this one on your calendar.  If you are not a regular, consider this one for your first try.  You certainly will hear a program that will fully utilize the acoustics of the theater, and qualities of the Yamaha grand piano.  It should be very interesting. Date April 25. Time 7PM. Place The Edge Center for the Arts in Bigfork.  Prices $10 for adults, children free..








Thursday, April 14, 2016

TU Dance Returns to Bigfork on the Edge Stage


The Minnesota-based TU Dance Company, led by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, will again grace the stage at the Edge Center in Bigfork with a public performance on Saturday, April 23 at 7:00 PM.  Founded in 2004 by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands in Saint Paul, Minnesota, TU Dance is a leading voice for contemporary dance. The 10-member, professional company is acclaimed for its diverse and versatile artists and work that draws together modern dance, classical ballet, African-based and urban vernacular movements.  The TU Dance repertory features original work by Uri Sands, as well asother renowned choreographers including Gioconda Barbuto, Dwight Rhoden, Ron Brown, Katrin Hall, Gregory Dolbashian and Camille Brown.

TU Dance provides opportunities for everyone to experience the connective power of dance. The public performance is at 7PM on Saturday, April 23. Prices for the public performance are $10 adults and $5 children. 

Founders Toni Pierce Sands and Uri Sands are veterans of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.  They have won numerous awards and recognition including the Minnesota State Arts Board and McKnight fellowships, the Princess Grace Award, and the Joyce Award. TU Dance has credits including the Sage Cowles Best Performance Awards (2005, 2007 and 2010).  They consistently receive outstanding reviews, and engage new and diverse audiences.  They have performed in auditoriums from the 200-seat Southern Theater to the 1900-seat Ordway Center TU Dance is known for bringing a multi-cultural awareness of modern dance with style and grace to audiences of all ages.

Part of the public Bigfork performance includes three numbers:


Title: Veneers (24 minute, 7 dancers) Premiered in 2006
Choreography: Uri Sands
Music: Arvo Part, Kronos Quartet
Above Photo by V. Paul Virtucio

A 2009 review by Camille LeFevre says in part.  "Veneers" is my favorite dance work by a local choreographer. That it still has the rigor, intelligence, ferocity and nuance to thrill — even after five or so viewings — is a testament to its choreographer, Uri Sands…”

 Reference:  https://www.minnpost.com/arts-arena/2009/06/tu-dance-features-thrilling-veneers-show-southern




Title: High Heel Blues (5 minutes, 2 dancers) Premiered in 2005
Choreography: Uri Sands
Music: Tuck and Patti
Above Photo by V. Paul Virtucio

A 2008 review by Erin Caryle  of City pages says in part, “…Next, TU Dance pleased the crowd with High Heel Blues, a retro-feel piece danced by Uri Sands and Toni Pierce-Sands, the company's artistic directors. Pierce-Sands acted out the sung longings of a woman lusting after high-heeled shoes, though she knows that they are not good for her feet; Sands was the salesman who helped her along the path to buying them.”

Reference http://www.citypages.com/music/tu-dance-charms-st-paul-crowd-6622679




Title: Vibrations, Sightglass San Francisco (28 minutes, 10 dancers)
Premiered in 2015 with production support from The O'Shaughnessy
Choreography: Uri Sands
Music:  Charles Mingus
Above Photo by Michael Slobodian ©

A review by Caroline Palmer in a special to the Star and Tribune says in part…““Vibrations, Sightglass San Francisco” is an ode to city living with sections titled ‘Morning Coffee,’ ‘Power Lunch and ‘Happy Hour.’ But choreographer Uri Sands adds a distinct 21st-century twist to this suite set to sparkling Charles Mingus jazz compositions. His dancers are constantly in motion, their heads bobbing and twitching, their bodies unsettled and yearning for the digital pulse as they search for rhythmic connections.


Of note is a trio for Darwin Black, Randall Riley and Alexis Staley, all buttoned up and ready to conquer the financial district. They stomp to the flamenco-inspired beats, agitated as bulls locked up in a pen. All three are stylish and cool yet itching to seal a deal. But Sands directs the talents of these exquisite dancers away from the obvious power play, directing them into soaring leaps and long-limbed looseness. They have a higher purpose.”


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Experimental Contemporary Dance and Mixed-media Exhibit by Native Choreographer Rosy Simas


Rosy Simas Danse presents “We Wait In The Darkness”, a story of one Native American family’s struggles through generations of displacement and search for identity, and is a multimedia event that documents the history of a Native American family through the generations that includes traumatic events of Simas’ mother, including the flooding of her ancestral home to make way for the Allegheny reservoir.  Rosy Simas Danse will present, “We Wait In The Darkness” on Saturday, April 9th at 7PM. Admission $10 adults and $5 children. Simas will also conduct residency activities in the area and in neighboring Native American communities associated with her visit.  Ms. Simas’ accompanying historical exhibition will be displayed in The Edge Center Gallery April 8 through April 30.




From the Rosy Simas website (www.rosysimas.com):  “Recent scientific study verifies what many Native people have always known, that traumatic events in our ancestors lives are in our bodies, blood and bones. These events leave molecular scars adhering to our DNA. Our grandmother’s tragic childhood can trigger depression or anxiety in us, but we have the ability to heal these DNA encodings and change that trait for future generations.”




"Rosy Simas, wearing an old-fashioned white dress, dances to the sounds of rushing water and whispering voices. Eyes closed, she steps carefully along an invisible path trod by many before her, including her grandmother Clarinda Jackson Waterman. Simas uses her slowly unraveling movement to reach back into time while still performing in the present..." From http://www.startribune.com/tragic-history-informs-dance-by-rosy-simas/265597851/  



Ms. Simas states: “If time travels in both directions, we can heal the scars of our grandparents’ DNA.”



“We Wait In The Darkness” is an art/dance work created to heal the DNA scars of Simas’ grandmother, her mother, and our ancestors.  It is a journey of displacement and homecoming fueled by the stories of the Seneca women of Simas’ family, particularly her grandmother Clarinda Waterman.”



Within an environment of images and sounds from Seneca lands this new dance work engages past and future, DNA memory, and invisible presences, to create a personal artwork about loss, family, perseverance and home.  This work is created in collaboration with French composer Francois Richomme.



Background of the Seneca People and the KinZua Dam                                  
The Seneca are a group of indigenous Iroquoian-speaking people native to North America who historically lived south of Lake Ontario.  They were the nation located farthest to the west within the Six Nations or Iroquois League in New York before the American Revolution. In the 21st century more than 10,000 Seneca live in the United States in three federally recognized Seneca tribes.  Two are in New York and one in Oklahoma, where their ancestors were relocated from Ohio during Indian Removal. Approximately 1,000 Seneca live in Canada, near Brantford, Ontario, at the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. They are descendants of Seneca who resettled there after the American Revolution, as they had been allies of the British and forced to cede much of their lands.



 “The federal government through the Corps of Engineers undertook a major project of a dam for flood control on the Allegheny River.  The proposed project was planned to affect a major portion of Seneca territory in New York.  Begun in 1960, construction of the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River forced the relocation of approximately 600 Seneca from 10,000 acres of land which they had occupied under the 1794 Treaty of Canandaigua….The Seneca had protested the plan for the project, filing suit in court and appealing to President John F. Kennedy to halt construction…The Seneca lost their court case, and in 1961, citing the immediate need for flood control, Kennedy denied their request.” Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seneca_people 


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

“Modern Times” with Charlie Chaplin at the Edge in Bigfork



The 1936 Charlie Chaplin film, “Modern Times” is often referred to as Chaplin’s greatest movie. It blames the problems of its time, specifically the depression, on the modernization of society and screws the dehumanizing effects of technology with hilarious comedy.  This is a “laugh out loud” sort of movie that will give you a chance to look at what Chaplin thought of the problem that is still an important political issue in 2016.  “Modern Times” will be shown by Jack Nachbar at The Edge Center in Bigfork on April 14th at 6:30PM free of charge. The movie will be accompanied by Jack’s presentation providing a better understanding of the film at the time period of the picture.


This film has a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating and remains one of Chapin’s most beloved classics. It was supposed to be Chaplin’s first talking movie. By1936, the movie industry had long passed silent movie era. But Chaplin worried that some of the charm and mystique of his beloved character, the “Little Tramp,” would be lost by sound. That seems strange today, but we live in a world totally overwhelmed by sound entertainment. So maybe a trip back to Chaplin’s world might be a good exercise for our “Modern Times.”

Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin KBE  (1889 – 1977) is often referred to as one of the most influential figures in the film industry. Chaplin’s 75 year history with the movie industry served both well. He had Movies in the late Victorian Era well into the 1970s.  
  

It amazing that this creation is so often singled out as his “best”. Sculptures from around the world shown above.  He started life in poverty and ended it in luxury and all of it done with his own hard work. Charlie received an honorary Academy Award “…for his incalculable contribution to the industry,” and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Paulette Goddard (1910 –1990) started out as a child fashion model, and performed in several Broadway plays as a Ziegfeld Girl. Paulette became a Paramount Studio star in the 1940s with a wide array of movies to her credit, but, again, the movie “Modern Times” tops the list of her most famous movies. And it was her first major role in movies.

The critics of the 1930s were very positive with the likes of Frank Nugent of The New York Times  writing…”'Modern Times' has still the same old Charlie, the lovable little fellow whose hands and feet and prankish eyebrows can beat an irresistible tattoo upon an audience's funny bone or hold it still, taut beneath the spell of human tragedy ...”


Also said of “Modern Times”: ”Time has not changed his genius. Variety called it "grand fun and sound entertainment."[7] Film Daily wrote, "Charlie Chaplin has scored on of his greatest triumphs. John Mosher of The New Yorker wrote that Chaplin ‘manufactures some superb laughs ...’  And finally Burns Mantle called the film "another hilariously rowdy success….”

Modern Times was deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress in 1989, and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. Fourteen years later, it was screened "out of competition" at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.


For such a famous movie to have little or no negative press is a great testament to the movie and a good reason to come and see it on the Big Screen at the Edge Center in Bigfork. You can see this movie free of charge.  Some appropriate snacks will be served courtesy ofJack and his wife/projectionist, Lynn.  Place: The Edge Center for the Arts, Bigfork. Date and time: Thursday April 14th at 6:30PM. It will be worth going out on a chilly Spring evening to a nice warm theater.





Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Henry Fonda in “The Grapes of Wrath” March Classic in Bigfork



.The 1940  film “The Grapes of Wrath” starred a young Henry Fonda and is regarded as one of the best movies set during the 1930’s depression era. The displaced Joads family lose their Oklahoma farm and head west looking for work, opportunities and a new life. The film portrays a part of American history that might have been buried in history books except for effort like this movie based on John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel of the same name. The film was one of the first 25 films selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Ironically, as bad as conditions were for the Joad family, the movie was still banned by Stalin because it showed how even the poorest Americans could afford a car. “The Grapes of Wrath” will be shown by Jack Nachbar at The Edge Center in Bigfork on March 10th at 6:30PM free of charge. The movie will be accompanied by Jack’s presentation providing a better understanding of the film at the time period of the picture.



Life in the “dust bowl” of the central US was challenging to say the least. Years without sufficient rain, combined with farming techniques that caused topsoil to erode in the winds, and bank foreclosures all combined with the 1930’s depression to make families, like the Joads, look for a life that could sustain their bare existence. All they wanted was work for the family and a better life. So they headed west towards California becoming part of a flood of migrant workers. California was supposed to be the land of “plenty,” but going west ended up being into a land of plenty of trouble for the Joads and hundreds of thousands of other people. This is the story of their arduous journey and the adventures and misadventures they encountered.


Three of the stars in this film were Henery Fonda as Tom Joad, Jane Darwell as Ma Joad,  and John Carradine as Jim Casy. The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won two for Best Supporting Actress by Jane Darwell and Best Director by John Ford. It was received very well by the critics of the time. Bosley Crowther, a New York Times critic of the period, when retiring, called it one of the best ever films ever made.


Henry Fonda loved his role as Tom Joad. He kept the hat he used in this movie for the rest of his life. Before he died, he passed it on to Jane Withers, who, as an 8 year old little girl, help Hank with stage fright with a little prayer before he went on stage.


Henry Jaynes “Hank” Fonda (1905 – 1982) was an American film and stage actor with a career spanning more than five decades. His numerous acting awards included an Oscar for best actor in “On Golden Pond." Through his more than half century in the industry Fonda had roles spanning comedy, drama, and some darker epics. Even with his almost six decades in the business, he still holds the record between Oscar nominations with this movie in 1940 and his last movie “On Golden Pond” in 1981.





Jane Darwell (1879 – 1967) had appearances in more than one hundred movies over her fifty year plus career, but is still best known for her portrayal as Ma Joad, the matriarch of the family.


John Ford could not embarrass or upset John Caradine and it is said it was a real irritation to Ford. Apparently the reason was simply that Carradine had a huge ego and considered himself a great actor and was not effected by anything the director hit him with.


 One Critic’s Opinion About the Movie

If you still need a little more coaxing to come out on a winter’s night to see this movie, consider what another critic said about the movie. A noted Time magazine editor said, while separating the movie from the novel, (which he did not particularly like) “But people who go to pictures for the sake of seeing pictures will see a great one. For The Grapes of Wrath is possibly the best picture ever made from a so-so book...Camera craft purged the picture of the editorial rash that blotched the Steinbeck book. It is the saga of an authentic U.S. farming family who lose their land. They wander, they suffer, but they endure. They are never quite defeated, and their survival is itself a triumph.”




So if you would like to see a 1940 drama classic come and see “The Grapes of Wrath” on the “Big Screen ” of the Edge Center in Bigfork. You can see this movie free of charge.  Some appropriate snacks will be served courtesy of Jack and his wife/projectionist, Lynn.  Place: The Edge Center for the Arts, Bigfork. Date and time: Thursday March 10th at 6:30PM. It will be worth going out in the cold to a nice warm theater.