Berkshire Weekend Cultural Preview, Mar 23-25, 2012

AUSTRALIAN CONTEMPORARY DANCE COMPANY COMING to MASS MOCA

Alisdair Macindoe and Marnie Palomares of Chunky Move in 'Connected' (photo Jeff Busby)

(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Australian contemporary dance company Chunky Move will perform its evening-length work, Connected, at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25, 2012, in a co-presentation by Jacob’s Pillow Dance. The appearance will mark a Berkshire farewell to company director Gideon Obarzanek, who will be succeeded as CEO and artistic director by internationally acclaimed Dutch choreographer Anouk van Dijk as of July 1, 2012.

Based in Melbourne, the company’s daring and innovative works have garnered fans around the world, with “strongly conceived and arrestingly choreographed and designed physical theatre” (The Times, U.K.). This performance will mark Chunky Move’s first Berkshire County engagement since its memorable appearance at 2007 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.

Connected is a collaborative dance work with choreography by Chunky Move founder Gideon Obarzanek and an integrated sculpture by California-based visual artist Reuben Margolin. The work animates the physical relationship between eleven dancers and a kinetic sculpture made of wood, recycled plastic, paper, and steel.

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SCHUMANN and BRAHMS PIANO QUARTETS to BE FEATURED

Arnaud Sussman (photo Richard Frank)

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The complex relationships among Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann will be explored on Saturday, March 24, 2012, at 6 p.m., at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, in Grand Piano Quartets: Schumann and Brahms, a Close Encounters With Music (CEWM) concert featuring pianist Lydia Artymiw in a program including Piano Quartets in E flat minor, Opus 47 (Robert Schumann) and G minor, Opus 25 (Johannes Brahms). Both works were premiered with the participation of Clara Schumann, guiding muse and one of the most distinguished pianists of her day.

Musicians performing with Artymiw include Arnaud Sussman, violin; Toby Appel, viola; and Yehuda Hanani, cello. The concert is part of CEWM’s 20th anniversary season.

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TOM PACHECO INAUGURATES SHEFFIELD HOUSE CONCERT SERIES

Tom Pacheco

(SHEFFIELD, Mass.) – Singer-songwriter Tom Pacheco inaugurates Peace of Mind House Concerts, a new house concert series on Saturday, March 24, 2012, at 8 p.m. Pacheco is a prolific songwriter who has lived and performed all over the world and whose songs have been recorded by Richie Havens, Jefferson Starship and the post-Last Waltz version of the Band. Marilyn Miller, of Hudson, N.Y., will warm up the crowd for Pacheco. The concert is preceded by a potluck dessert at 7 p.m.

Tom Pacheco currently lives in Woodstock, N.Y., and has played at the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington. Pacheco has written and will be submitting a song to the Guthrie Center in honor of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday, which is being marked this July.

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PROJECT NATIVE to PRESENT FREE ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL at TRIPLEX

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Project Native, a horticultural farm and wildlife sanctuary growing native plants in Southern Berkshire County, will present its 2nd annual Environmental Film Festival, Sunday, March 25, 2012, free to the public, at the newly all-digital Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington.

Films on a variety of topics, from 90-minute features to a series of short films for children, will be screened, including American Meat, The Clean Bin Project, The Economics of Happiness, On Coal River, and Urban Roots.

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ACOUSTIC MUSIC CONCERT at BARRINGTON STAGE FEATURES TOP INSTRUMENTAL TALENTS

Mark Cosgrove

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – The duo of John Kirk and Trish Miller and National Guitar Flatpicking Champion Mark Cosgrove headline an acoustic folk, bluegrass, and country music concert at Barrington Stage Company on Saturday, March 24, 2012, at 8pm, in a program to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Pittsfield, which is undergoing a major renovation. Tickets are $20 and available through Barrington Stage. For more information call 413.236.8888.

On fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo and tin whistle, John Kirk demonstrates a vast knowledge of musical traditions. He is also a composer, dancer and dance caller. Trish Miller has been teaching and performing Appalachian clogging since 1980. She plays guitar, banjo and a little ukulele. Trish is a dance caller and country-dance choreographer. Mark Cosgrove has won the U.S. National Flatpicking Guitar Championship in Winfield, Kansas, and also the Doc Watson Guitar Championship in Wilkesboro, N.C.

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BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA TO RETURN TO MAHAIWE

Blind Boys of Alabama, about 10 years ago

(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The Blind Boys of Alabama, who gave one of the most memorable performances ever seen at the Mahaiwe Theatre – or anywhere – when they performed there in 2002 under the auspices of Club Helsinki, return to the venue almost exactly a decade later on Sunday, March 25, 2012, at 7 p.m., to see if lightning can strike twice on the same concert stage.

The Blind Boys that will be performing on Sunday aren’t the same group that performed 10 years ago at the Mahaiwe. In the intervening years, founding member Jimmy Carter has taken over as lead vocalist of the ensemble, as he has watched as one by one his cofounders have either retired or died. In 2006, Clarence Fountain, the group’s former long-time lead vocalist and founding member limited his touring for health reasons. Founding member George Scott died on March 9, 2005, at the age of 75. Another founding member, Johnny Fields, died on November 12, 2009.

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