March 23, 2010
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
SRU's Kaleidoscope features diverse arts entertainment
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's April 14-25 Kaleidoscope Arts Festival will plant a large flag for the arts and multiculturalism. Dynamic programming with an international focus will be offered, including Caribbean, Native American, African, Brazilian and Japanese performance art. Music and dance concerts, student theatre, a Children's Day program and a life-size Kaleidoscope sculpture will enhance the sensory experience for attendees of all ages.
Parking is free, as are many of the events, including the April 17 Children's Day featuring a performance by the YouTube sensation "Pop Rocks." More than 100 SRU students majoring in music, dance and theatre will perform during the festival.
"Kaleidoscope has something for everyone, but this year we wanted to promote cultural diversity," said Melissa Teodoro, assistant professor of dance and festival director. "Many of our students and community don't have the means or opportunity to travel abroad. Kaleidoscope is the next best thing after traveling and receiving first-hand knowledge from a foreign country."
The festival's opening celebration, from 4-7:30 p.m. April 14, will feature music, dance and activities on the Quad in between the gazebo and Advanced Technology and Science Hall. The bands Wine and Spirit, Papa Steve and the Happy Little Balls of Shots of Jack will perform. The Afro-Colombian Dance Ensemble will participate as well. An outdoor dinner of culturally diverse flavors will be free for SRU students with a meal plan and $6 for the public.
Kevin Locke, a Native-American storyteller and one of the world's preeminent players of the indigenous Northern Plains flute, will perform at 8 p.m. April 14 in SRU's Pearl K. Stoner Instructional Building Dance Studio. Locke, whose Lakota name is Tokeya Inajin, will also perform the hoop-dance, an ancient acrobatic dance that involves 28 hoops. Locke said he received the traditions of his ancestors from his mother, uncle and other elders. The event is free.
The diverse spectrum of Latin American musical styles will be displayed when Latin Fiesta performs at 8 p.m. April 15 in SRU's Swope Recital Hall. The Philadelphia-based ensemble has been recognized as a pioneer of crossover concerts. The group will shift from hot salsa tunes to a classical Latin and baroque works. Be prepared to get up from your seat for an Afro-Cuban conga line. Tickets are $3.
The Wacongo African Dance Company from the Democratic Republic of Congo will perform the ancestral songs and dances of central Africa at 8 p.m. April 22. Founded in 1998, the company tours the world to introduce people to the essence of traditional central African dancing and drumming. The group explores music from 400 ethic groups. Tickets are $3.
In a return engagement, the Taiko Drummers from Japan will perform at 8 p.m. April 16 in Swope Recital Hall. Drummers Ryo Shiobara and Takumi Kato are seasoned performers of several types of traditional Japanese music. Aside from drums, they will play the shamisen, a three-stringed instrument. Shiobara has won many Taiko competitions in his 22-year career, including the Tokyo International Competition. Tickets are $3.
The Nego Gato Afro-Brazilian Music and Dance Ensemble will perform at 7:30 p.m. April 20 in Swope Recital Hall. This ensemble brings the living history of Africans taken to Brazil during the slave-trade period. The group performs music and dance that has survived for more than 500 years. Tickets are $3.
Children's Day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 17 on the lawn of the Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center, will feature music, dance, arts and crafts, balloon sculptures and food. Rock Dance Company will perform at 11:30 a.m, followed by the Slippery Rock University Ensemble at noon, children's classical Indian dance at 12:30 p.m. and children's theatre presented by SRU students at 1 p.m. The Pop Rocks will perform at 3 p.m.
Kaleidoscope will also offer presentations by two international poets, Ekiwah Alder-Belendez of Mexico and Valzhyna Mort of Belarus. Adler-Belendez was born with cerebral palsy but has not allowed his disability to get in the way of his poetry. His first volume of poetry, I am, was published when he as 12. Alder-Belendez will appear at 7:30 p.m. April 19 in Eisenberg Auditorium. The event is free.
Mort's work shows a sense of urgency and vitality as she covers the universal themes of love, lust and loneliness. The New Yorker said she writes "with almost alarming vociferousness." She will appear with Alder-Belendez.
New to the festival is a large, purple Kaleidoscope sculpture that students and visitors will be able to walk through to experience what it feels like to be inside a tunnel of mirrors. It will be displayed in the Bailey Library Reference Room throughout the festival.
Gary Cacchione, director of Dovetail Gallery in Erie, designed the sculpture. He works with large wood constructions and often incorporates mirrors into his work.
"Whenever I see a kaleidoscope, I always think it would be cool to be inside one. That's exactly what this is," said Heather Hertel, SRU art instructor. "People will be able to walk through it, take pictures, whatever. It's going to be really neat."
SRU's College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts launched Kaleidoscope in 2002 to bring quality, low-cost arts entertainment to the region. For the complete schedule of events and ticket information, click on http://kaleidoscope.sru.edu.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.