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February 15, 2012

Mathew J. LeFebvre, costume/set designer featured on KTCA's "MN Original"

Costume/set designer and U of M theatre faculty member Mathew J. LeFebvre was featured this week in the Twin Cities Public Television series "MN Original" for his artistry in the theater. Using examples from his "home away from home" Penumbra Theater and The Guthrie Theater, the episode shows the depth of his craft and art. His most recent work with the production of A Christmas Carol resulted in the creation and fabrication of almost 200 different costumes. LeFebvre's demonstrates his approach to design for the theater, explaining his costumes are based on the idea of "characters reflected in their clothes". To learn more, click here to watch the full feature of MN Original.

Carl Flink, Dept. Chair, Creates Awe-Inspiring Dance Program at Cowles

Artistic director Carl Flink, whose "choreography occasionally induced gasps" (Star Tribune), and his company of Black Label Movement intertwined both athleticism and poetry in their program "Visceral", performed at the Cowles Center February 10-12. "Visceral" featured movements from A Modest Proposal, HIT, The Bleeding Heart, and the world premiere of Canary. The company drew inspiration for the action-packed dance program from a variety of sources including living cells of the human body and John Bohannon's research of energy, economy and dance. The choreography opened up a world of both daredevil aggression and a world of competing forces, while also showing the interconnectedness of everything. To read more about this high intensity concert click here to read Caroline Palmer's Star Tribune review.

Sommers' "Sorcerer's Apprentice" makes magic says Star Tribune

""The Sorcerer's Apprentice" has an air of Old World magic in Open Eye Figure Theatre's production," praises The Star Tribune. Michael Sommers, Open Eye Figure Theatre co-artistic director and U of M professor of theatre, presents a "mesmerizing tale of (a) young marionettes' grab for power" in his new 55 minute adaptation of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" which opened recently. To read Graydon Royce's review of February 15 in The Star Tribune click here.

February 14, 2012

Michael Sommer's Casts a Spell with Open Eye Theatre's "Sorcerer's Apprentice"

Michael Sommers, artistic director of the Open Eye Figure Theatre and U of M theatre professor, makes magic with a haunting marionette performance of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," complete with an original musical score played live. Most people know the story as Disney's "Fantasia", but Sommers utilizes a simpler approach to show off the intricate, mystical relationship between puppeteer and puppet rooted in this ancient art form. Drawn from Goethe's original 100-line poem, Sommers' adaptation skillfully crafted to fit his Open Eye performance space is a labor of love five years in the making. He creates a 50-minute transporting experience into the European marionette tradition. Now showing through March 4th at the Open Eye Figure Theatre. Note: special student pricing.
Click here to read full article entitled "Magic and Marionettes" by Tony Wagner in the Minnesota Daily, February 9th, 2012.

February 5, 2012

Feb 10-12, Carl Flink & Black Label Movement unveil new work at Cowles Center

Theatre Arts and Dance chair, Carl Flink and his Black Label Movement present "Visceral" at the Cowles Center, February 10-12. Hailed as "intense physicality with sophisticated structuring,"(Dance Magazine) BLM will present the world premiere of Flink's surreal new work, Canary and the Twin Cities premiere of HIT performed by Bryan Godbout, Megan McClellan, Eddie Oroyan, and Laura Selle Virtucio. The program includes a special live performance of BLM's viral Internet hit, A Modest Proposal. Interweaving science and art, this innovative piece, which features Science Magazine's correspondent John Bohannon brought audiences to their feet at last fall's T.E.D. gathering in Brussels,Belgium. Capping off the evening will be a solo work titled For She performed by Laura Selle Virtucio, A Duet for Wreck performed by Carl Flink and Emilie Plauche Flink , and the BLM classic This Bleeding Heart....
Tickets for performances: Friday, Feb 10, 8pm; Saturday, Feb 11, 8pm; Sunday, Feb 12, 7pm maybe purchased at www.thecowlescenter.org
The Cowles Center is located at 528 Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

February 1, 2012

Arthur Ballet 1924-2012

Arthur Ballet (1924-2012)

"It's hard to express how important Arthur Ballet was to the university and tens of thousands of its students, to the Guthrie and to the American theatre," according to Donald Schoenbaum, former managing director of the Guthrie.
"Professor Ballet was one of the almost legendary figures responsible for the growth of this department from the 1950s to the 1980s" said University of Minnesota Theatre Arts and Dance Department Chair Carl Flink. "He was a great advocate for the power of live theatre and film to the general public."
Professor Lance Brockman, former colleague, recalled "Ballet's Intro to Theatre classes introduced generations to live performance and it was his contribution that made the theatre scene in the Twin Cities so vital and important. His connections with the National Endowment for the Arts Theatre Program and the Office of Advance Drama Research (OADR) promoted and developed a generation of American playwrights."
Arthur Ballet died January 30, 2012. For additional information go to The Star Tribune.