From country swing to Broadway music, IU Southeastís Ogle Center season includes a mix of events
DJ Spooky will bring his thought-provoking multimedia presentations to IU Southeast's Paul W. Ogle Cultural and Community Center tonight (Oct. 2) and Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Spooky (Paul D. Miller) will explore the hidden connections between collage-based aesthetics and what he likes to call the "politics of perception" on Oct. 2. The next night, Miller will examine issues in Antarctica with his new work "Terra Nova: Simfonia Antarctica." His large-scale multimedia performance work is an acoustic portrait of a rapidly changing continent. The "Antarctic Suite" transforms his first-person encounter with the harsh, dynamic landscape into multimedia portraits with music composed from the different geographies that make up the land mass.
The shows are just two of the dozens of events planned for the 2008-09 Ogle Center season, which Kyle Ridout, manager of the Ogle Center, recently announced. Miller's show is part of the Common Experience theme "Greening of Earth: Whose Responsibility?" at IU Southeast. This year's series is a mix of bluegrass, Broadway, country swing and brass, which Ridout calls a unique series in the state of Indiana.
"It is about as all-American as you can get," Ridout says. "The Different Drummer Series will have some barn-burning action onstage when we host the Dan Tyminski Band, Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway, The Time Jumpers and The Synergy Brass. We've got a strong classical presence this season with performers from Russia, China and Hungary as part of our Discover Series."
Ridout says arranging a season is a challenge, and hundreds of hours are dedicated to the process. He recently returned from a programming conference in Kansas City where more than 1,000 attendees gathered to begin putting together their performances for the 2009-2010 season.
"There are many forces at work pulling you in many directions," Ridout says. "Considerations of what your audiences prefer, attracting new audiences, serving both internal and external communities, diversity and education of genres, and the ever-present requirement of finding that 'surprise artist' that delights, is ever present. Through discussions with artist managers, seeing actual showcase performances, and months of continued research, I am able to begin piecing together a mix of shows and series that entertain, educate and sometimes even stretch our patrons' imaginations."
The Ogle Center hosts a children's series that includes more than 50 performances, attracting schoolchildren from the Kentuckiana region. This year, the students can see live performances of dance, music, theater and storytelling in an actual performance venue. For the first time in the Ogle Center's 13-year history, a visual artist in residence will teach more than 5,000 children how to draw.
"The logistics of doing this are daunting, but we plan on having 5,000 works of art created and taken home by fledgling artists," Ridout says. "Indiana University Southeast is dedicated to delivering arts and arts activities to the school children of our area. Being able to offer these seats free to our future arts patrons is a testament to the generosity of our sponsors. Without the continued support of our corporate partners, community foundations and individuals as well as our chancellor and campus community, we could not offer this one-of-a-kind program to teachers in our schools."
Since its inception, the Ogle Center has made a significant impact through the Chase Children's Series, serving more than 66,000 school children in Indiana and Kentucky. Reservations are required, but all Chase Children's Series shows are free. The series has become a driving force in helping schools provide cultural enrichment activities for youth.
The season is centered on four popular series:
- The Different Drummer Series is an assembly of musical talent from around the world. The series kicks off with the Dan Tyminski Band, best known for "A Man of Constant Sorrow" from the movie O, Brother, Where Art Thou?, followed by the Synergy Brass, acclaimed for "a veritable fireworks display of outstanding showmanship' (Door Concerts , Inc.). The Nashville group Time Jumpers is third in the series. It comprises a powerhouse of musicians often seen at the Grand Ole Opry and on PBS. The series culminates with the stage presentation of Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway, featuring stars of Broadway shows.
- The New Discovery Series will showcase a remarkable trio of performances featuring gifted musicians from around the world. First up is Hungarian pianist Erno Fehťr, followed by Ran Jai, a striking pianist from China, and, finally, Russian violinist Mikhail Simonyan.
- Student Convocation performances were added this year and are also available to the public. There are two performances of The Second City, famous for the many "Saturday Night Live" stars who got their start as Second City performers. DJ Spooky/Paul D. Miller will perform his "Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antarctica" and lecture on rhythm science as part of the "Common Experience." Environmentalists, artists, social scientists or anyone interested those areas will find his performance and lecture especially intriguing.
- The Chase Children's Series is now in its 13th year of offering area school children free opportunities to see live performances. Children from throughout Kentuckiana will have the opportunity to experience seven different shows with a total of 60 performances. The Chase Children's Series matinee performances are presented at 10 a.m. and noon as a community service for young students and their teachers.
Subscriptions and single tickets are now on sale. Teachers can contact the Ogle Center to make arrangements to bring their students to a performance. For tickets to Ogle Center performances, contact Ticket Master at 502-361-0066. For subscriptions to a series, to be added to the center's e-mail list, or for more information on the Chase Children's Series or other events, call the Ogle Center Ticket Office at 812-941-2526. The ticket office is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m.