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Artists Series to open with Mystical Arts of Tibet

RELEASED: Aug. 15, 2011

Drepung Loseling Monastery singers
Tibet's Drepung Loseling
Monastery singers

EAU CLAIRE —The Artists Series of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will open its 2011-12 season with a week of activities centered around the Sept. 15 concert by the famed multiphonic singers of Tibet's Drepung Loseling Monastery. Their performance, titled "Sacred Music Sacred Dance for World Healing," will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.

The Mystical Arts of Tibet is a world tour co-produced by Richard Gere Productions and Drepung Loseling Institute, the Atlanta-based North American seat of the monastery. The tours are endorsed by the Dalai Lama as a means of raising international awareness of the endangered Tibetan culture, which today leads a fragile existence in the exiled refugee communities in India and Nepal.

The Tibetan monks chant in deep, resonant voices using a technique in which each person holds three notes simultaneously. Dressed in rich brocaded silk, the lamas play sacred music on traditional instruments such as 10-foot-long dung-chen horns, drums, bells, cymbals and gyaling horns. In masks and colorful costumes they present the Dance of the Sacred Snow Lion and other temple dances performed for thousands of years in Tibet.

During their UW-Eau Claire visit the monks of Drepung Loseling will also create a mandala sand painting, a cosmogram used for reconsecrating the earth and healing its inhabitants. The opening ceremony will begin Sept. 12 at noon in the Skylight Lounge of Davies Center and continue until the closing ceremony at noon Sept. 16. A one-hour program on the symbolism of the sand mandala will be presented Sept. 14 at noon in Davies Theatre. These programs are free and open to all.

The Mystical Arts of Tibet is the first of eight Artists Series presentations comprising the season. The lineup for the rest of the season is as follows:

  • Holland Wind Players; Oct. 24, Gantner Concert Hall, Haas Fine Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. Led by conductor Jeroen Weierink, this internationally acclaimed ensemble comprises principal players from the famed Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Orchestra.

  • Rhythmic Circus, "Feet Don't Fail Me Now!"; Nov. 14, Zorn Arena, 7:30 p.m.  Rhythmic Circus has quickly risen from an underground percussive-dance phenomenon to an innovative performance company that transforms tap shoes into instruments of rhythm. The company plays off a wide array of musical genres from Minneapolis funk to salsa, showcasing hard-hitting tap, high-spirited humor and finger-snapping tunes.
  • Cashore Marionettes, "Life in Motion"; Feb. 7, Schofield Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. Marionette constructor and artist Joseph Cashore presents his collection of masterworks. Characters of depth, integrity and humanity are portrayed in a series of scenes taken from everyday life, set to music by Beethoven, Vivaldi, Strauss and Copland. The result is a powerful, entertaining, surprising, theatrically satisfying, one-of-a-kind evening for adults and young adults.

  • Core Ensemble, "Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance"; Feb. 16, Schofield Auditorium, 7:30 p.m. This innovative show that marries theater and chamber music celebrates the music and poetry of the Harlem Renaissance era in New York City. The performance features music by jazz greats Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonius Monk and Charles Mingus.

  • Atlantic Brass Quintet; March 13, Gantner Concert Hall, Haas Fine Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. Widely acclaimed as one of the world's finest brass ensembles, the Atlantic Brass Quintet performs a unique repertory spanning Dufay, Gesualdo and Bach; Babbitt, Ellington and Zappa; and ethnic music from the streets of Brazil, Cuba, the Balkans and New Orleans.

  • Viver Brasil, "Feet on the Ground"; April 18, Zorn Arena, 7:30 p.m. Viver Brasil takes audiences on an inspiring cultural journey through Brazil, with a dazzling program of African orixás (deities), ceremonial celebrations, the Brazilian martial arts dance of capoeira and carnaval. The performance showcases exhilarating Afro-Brazilian traditional and contemporary dance, stunning costumes and spirited percussion and vocals.

  • Amelia Piano Trio; May 10, Gantner Concert Hall, Haas Fine Arts Center, 7:30 p.m. Violinist Isaac Stern became a mentor to the Amelia Piano Trio after hearing the group at his master class at Carnegie Hall in 2000. The trio won the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming the next year. Their Artists Series concert includes music by Haydn, Beethoven and Shostakovich.

Ticket sales begin Aug. 28. Season subscription information is available at the Service Center in the east lobby of Davies Center, 715-836-3727. Subscription packages include "The Works" package at a 25 percent discount or a build-your-own-season package of six or more tickets to Artists Series and Forum events at a 20 percent discount.

Tickets for individual Artists Series events are $17 for the public; $15 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff; and $7 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Student tickets are half price, $3.50, until the day of the event. On the day of the event, students must pay the full student ticket price.

Patrons also may charge their tickets to Discover, MasterCard or Visa when they purchase online or order by phone. Call 715-836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free 800-949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all online and telephone charge orders.

The Artists Series is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the state of Wisconsin and by Visit Eau Claire ... The Unexpected Wisconsin. The performance by Rhythmic Circus has received additional support from the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art; with additional contributions from the Wisconsin Arts Board, General Mills Foundation and Land O'Lakes Foundation. Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support.

The Artists Series is funded by the students of UW-Eau Claire and administered by the Activities, Involvement and Leadership office of the University Centers.

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JS/DW

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