Peak Performances Fall 2009 Season

Peak Performances at Montclair just released its fall season info.  Includes work from David Gordon, Jerome Savary and much more. Full line-up after the jump and/or visit http://www.peakperfs.org…

SHANGHAI QUARTET
SEPTEMBER 12 @ 8pm

Well-known champions of new and classical Western and Asian music, the Shanghai Quartet, Ensemble-in-Residence at Montclair State University, turns to Western classics for its September 12 performance at the Alexander Kasser Theater. Featured are Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 95; Dvo?ák’s String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96; and Brahms’s Sextet No. 2 in G Major, Op.36, for which they will be joined by violist Kazuhide Isomura and cellist Clive Greensmith, both members of the Tokyo String Quartet.

AMERICAN PREMIERE
JÉRÔME SAVARY’S “LOOKING FOR JOSEPHINE”
SEPTEMBER 17-20, 24-27
On one hand, “Looking for Josephine” is a wildly over-the-top, splashy revue tribute to the glamorous Afro-American song and dance goddess Josephine Baker, who fled to Paris in 1924 for the fame and fortune she could not achieve in her own country. Conceived and directed by Jérôme Savary, the hit show, which has been playing to sold-out houses throughout Europe, is also a dramatic conceit. Savary’s alter ego travels to post-Katrina New Orleans in search of a woman to play Josephine Baker, and in doing so Savary weaves the history of black American music—classic jazz, boogie-woogie and blues—before and after the devastating hurricane.

PUBLIC DISCUSSION
DIRECTOR, WRITER AND TEACHER: ROBERT BRUSTEIN
SEPTEMBER 30 @ 7pm

“The Four Horsemen of the Anti-Culture,” a talk by Robert Brustein takes place on September 30. In it, Brustein, founding director of both the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard, discusses his observations on the decline of culture in American life.

MARINO FORMENTI
“KURTÁG’S GHOSTS”
OCTOBER 3 @ 8pm

The virtuoso Italian pianist Marino Formenti presents an evening of music entitled “Kurtág’s Ghosts,” 70 short pieces of music selected by Formenti as a musical homage to the 20th century Hungarian composer. In it, Formenti seamlessly integrates Kurtág’s “miniatures” with shorts from the composer’s musical idols including Bach, Boulez, Schumann, Stockhausen, Ligeti and Machaut. His playing locates the connections between the works so that the six centuries of music flow in an unbroken stream of sound.

EAST COAST PREMIERE
MARGARET JENKINS DANCE COMPANY AND GUANGDONG MODERN DANCE COMPANY “OTHER SUNS (A TRILOGY)”
OCTOBER 15-18
Marking the first collaboration between an American and Chinese modern dance company, “Other Suns (A Trilogy),” resulted from multiple transpacific trips by San Francisco’s Margaret Jenkins Dance Company and Guangdong Modern Dance Company. The work, which explores symmetry in a world rapidly losing its sense of balance, placed unique collaborative demands on each company, most especially the Chinese dancers who are not accustomed to making creative contributions to the development of a work. Jenkins and Guangdong’s Deputy Director Liu Qi direct the choreography. Its original score by American composer Paul Dresher and additional music by Chinese composer Bun-Ching Lam will be played live by the Paul Dresher Ensemble. The design work is by Alexander V. Nichols.

FEUFOLLET AND CEDRIC WATSON & BIJOU CREOLE
OCTOBER 24 @ 8pm

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole and Feufollet, two Lafayette, LA-based bands known for their astonishing magnetic energy, join forces on October 24 to celebrate the vitality of Creole and Cajun music. Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Cedric Watson, a 2009 Grammy Award-nominee who heads Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, plays Creole fiddle and accordion, and is the band’s songwriter. Feufollet, formed in 1995 by the then eight-year-old accordionist/singer Chris Stafford and eleven-year-old fiddler Chris Segura, rapidly became one of the most sought-after Cajun bands in the Creole and Cajun area surrounding Lafayette.

PAUL O’DETTE, LUTE
MUSIC BY RENAISSANCE COMPOSER JOHN DOWLAND
OCTOBER 25 @ 3pm

Multi-Grammy Award nominee Paul O’Dette will perform an afternoon of Renaissance lute music that celebrates one of England’s greatest composers, John Dowland. Often compared to Shakespeare because of its profound range of emotional expression, Dowland’s work ranges from the dark and melancholy to the witty sparkle of music made for dancing. O’Dette’s complete command of the instrument brings new life to the music.

EAST COAST PREMIERE
DAVID GORDON’S MUSICAL THEATER PRODUCTION
“UNCIVIL WARS: MOVING W/BRECHT & EISLER”
NOVEMBER 5-8

Based on Bertolt Brecht’s 1931 play “The Roundheads and the Pointheads,” (translated from the German by Village Voice theater critic Michael Feingold), under David Gordon’s direction “UNCIVIL WARS: MOVING W/BRECHT & EISLER” becomes a wildly imagined 21st century parable about war, culture, economics and immigration. The multi-tasking performers, who sing, dance and act include some of the brightest stars of the downtown stage: John Kelly, alternating as the Mother Superior and Madam; Valda Setterfield as Bertolt Brecht and Judge; Charlotte Cohn as Nana Callas/ Mrs. Calla/ Isabella De Guzman; Davis Duffield as Vice Viceroy/ Hat Knocker/ Farmer Lopez/ Nun; Norma Fire as Tobacconist/ Abbess/ Mrs. Lopez/ Lawyer; Gina Leishman as the play’s composer Hanns Eisler; David Skeist as Farmer Callas/ Hat Knocker/ Nun.

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