Australia's Strange Fruit to perform outdoors on IU campus, downtown Bloomington
The Australia-based performing arts group Strange Fruit will make its Bloomington debut Sept. 22 with the first two of six outdoor performances of "The Three Belles," a work that celebrates the beauty of strong female performers dancing in unison.
The three-day Strange Fruit visit is made possible by a partnership between Indiana University and the Bloomington community that includes the Department of Theatre and Drama, Lotus World Music and Arts Festival and IU Auditorium.
The members of the group, which formed in 1994 in Melbourne, Australia, will perform while wearing colorful ruffled dresses while atop 14-foot polls that bend and sway along with the dancers' movements. The performers will also conduct a workshop for students from the Department of Theatre and Drama.
The following Strange Fruit performances are free and open to the public:
- Thursday, Sept. 22; IU Art Museum lawn, 12:25 p.m. and 2:10 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 23; IU Art Museum lawn, 2:10 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.
- Saturday, Sept. 24; downtown Bloomington, 8:20 p.m. and 10:05 p.m.
"We are thrilled that Strange Fruit will be coming to IU to give both public performances and conduct workshops for our students," said Johnathan Michaelson, chair of IU's Department of Theatre and Drama. "The work this company does is remarkable and likely nothing that our students or Bloomington audiences have experienced. Movement skills are an extremely important part of any actor's training, and the ability for students to work with Strange Fruit in a workshop setting will be an outstanding opportunity." The department is also pleased to parter with the community in arranging for Strange Fruit to perform during Bloomington's annual Lotus Festival, he said.
"As the Lotus Festival is one of the absolute highlights in Bloomington's annual artistic calendar, it's fitting to bring these remarkable performance artists to share their unique, awe-inspiring performance," said Doug Booher, director of IU Auditorium. "It's an honor to assist Lotus in enhancing the experiences that festivalgoers and the campus community will have during the weekend's celebration world of music and art."
Strange Fruit has performed in 50 countries at more than 450 international festivals. It has been awarded Australia's National Myer Performing Arts Award; the Silver Trophy at the Daidogei World Cup (Japan) in 1999 and 2000; the 2003 Premio Del Publico, in Valladolid, Spain; and the Governor of Victoria Export Award in 2006. The company was first seen in North America in 2000 at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas in New Haven and at the Taste of Chicago festival. Since then, Strange Fruit has been presented by the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Reno's Artown, Mexico's Chihuahua Festival and Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival, among many others. "The Three Belles" premiered at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in 2004.
For more information regarding Strange Fruit and the group's Bloomington performances, visit IUauditorium.com.