Ovations! Series Announced at Westsylvania Festival

Posted on 5/26/2017 1:21:02 PM

The Lively Arts at IUP announced its 2017–18 Ovations! season from the stage during Saturday’s Westsylvania Jazz and Blues Festival. The Festival was held in downtown Indiana on Saturday, May 27, 2017.

Hank Knerr, executive director of the Lively Arts, announced the season that includes Broadway musicals, contemporary dance, jazz and classical music, theater, and world music.

Pablo Sáinz VillegasThe season kicks off on September 26 with Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas. Known for the passion he puts in every performance, he has played on some of the world’s most notable stages from Carnegie Hall in New York to the Berlin Philharmonie and was praised by the New York Times for his “virtuosic playing characterized by irresistible exuberance.”

Jersey BoysAlways of great interest are the two Broadway musicals that will be presented. Both are Tony winners for Best Musical of their respective seasons, and both will be visiting Indiana for the first time. On October 12, the Lively Arts will present, in partnership with the Park Inn by Radisson in Indiana, the blockbuster hit Jersey Boys.

Near the end of the season on April 17, 2018, another hit stomps onto the Fisher stage with the huge-hearted and high-heeled musical comedy hit Kinky Boots.

Another highlight and serving as the season’s grand finale is “Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen.” This season’s Wilfred E. Helwig Distinguished Artist, Vereen has made his mark as an award-winning singer, actor, and dancer on stage, screen, and television. He may be best known for his Tony and Drama Desk award-winning performance in Bob Fosse’s Pippinas as well as his role as Chicken George in the ground-breaking series Roots.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will make a triumphant return as Manfred Honeck steps up to the podium to conduct, among other works, Beethoven’s masterwork, the “Eroica” Symphony. That concert will be held in Fisher Auditorium on Monday, October 30.

Several jazz and jazz fusion concerts will also be presented. On November 8, Black Violin performs, mixing jazz, hip-hop, funk, and classical. Then, on December 3, the Hot Sardines brings their swing style jazz to combine with the IUP Jazz Ensemble with a mix of standards, new works, and a few tunes for the holidays.

On February 22, the jazz fusion and contemporary ensemble ETHEL joins with Native American flutist Robert Mirabal for a collaborative work titled “The River.” Then, on April 5, Haya Band makes their U.S. debut performance with their Migration Concert. The U.S. tour comes after sold out concerts all over their home country, China, and joins traditional Mongolian folk music and techniques with a decidedly modern jazz and rock sound.

In the area of dance, Kun-Yang Lin Dancers will perform on October 17. These superbly precise dancers combined with highly inventive choreography resonates within the soul, taking each viewer on a journey of self-discovery. Part of their program will include a piece with selected members of the IUP Dance Theater.

Les Ballets Trockaderos de Monte CarloOn February 5, the ever-popular Les Ballets Trockaderos de Monte Carlo will grace the stage with their hilarious and technically superb brand of ballet. Comprised of all men, the troupe expertly performs en pointe in toe shoes and tutus galore, channeling the humor of Milton Berle, Dame Edna, and Ru Paul combined with the elegance of the world’s finest ballet dancers.

Completing the variety of the season are classical musicians Jacob Shaw on March 9 and Lise de la Salle on March 20. Shaw is an award-winning cellist who has performed across Europe, Asia, and North America. He has created the concept of “Radical Classic,” an alternate movement to build a diverse and new generation of classical music fans.

Lise de la SalleThrough her international concert appearances and award-winning recordings, Steinway Artist Lise de la Salle has established a reputation as one of today's most exciting young artists. Her playing inspired a Washington Post critic to write, “For much of the concert, the audience had to remember to breathe...the exhilaration didn’t let up for a second...”

Subscription order forms will be sent to donors and past subscribers mid-June. Brochures with order forms will be sent and available early July with subscriptions available through mid-September. Single tickets will go on sale Tuesday, August 29. To be added to the Lively Arts mailing lists, e-mail lively-arts@iup.edu or call 724-357-ARTS (2787). 

The Ovations! series is funded, in part, by donations through the Premiere Club, business sponsorships, grants, and the IUP Student Cooperative Association. The Lively Arts, a program of the College of Fine Arts, presents nearly 200 performances, programs, and exhibits annually.