Arts news Thursday, Oct. 13

Posted Oct. 11, 2011, at 4:52 p.m.

The Studio Series

BANGOR — Wish you could see your favorite Robinson Ballet pieces again? The Studio Series is your chance. The show at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, will draw from Robinson Ballet’s 34 years of choreography to recreate two one-hour evening performances. Audience members can expect to see some of their RBC favorites return from recent pieces and vintage choreography.

Performed in the Union Street Brick Church, the Studio Series will allow the audience to mingle while enjoying desserts and coffee before and after the performance. Seating is limited. Tables for eight can be reserved, as well. Tickets are $15. Call 990-3140 for reservations or pay online at http://www.robinsonballet.org/moreevents.html.

The Studio Series will present:

• “Messin’ Around.“ Have fun “Messin’ Around” to the music of Ray Charles in this jazz piece by Stevie Dunham. Originally performed in 2005, “Messin’ Around” is a classic American jazz dance showcasing familiar social dances such as the Charleston and the Jitterbug combined with elements of traditional jazz and modern dance. This nostalgic piece brings a smile to the face and leaves the toes a-tappin’.

• “Fiesta-Fiesta,” choreographed by Maureen Robinson, is a ballet of excerpts from the full-length ballet “Don Quixote,” with music composed by Leon Minkus. It takes place in the village square of a small Spanish town. The action centers on main characters Kitri, the daughter of the local innkeeper; and her sweetheart, the barber Basilio. The villagers meet for an evening of festivities dancing in small groups and together. There is much flirting and jealousy caused by a Gypsy and the other young women of the town, resulting in a lovers’ quarrel. But amends are made and the evening ends with all dancing merrily.

Popular singers lecture

BANGOR — Michael Paul Lund will present a talk on “The Great American Popular Singers” at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, in the Lecture Hall at Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St.

He will discuss Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole and Ella Fitzgerald; Capitol and Decca Records; and the music, lyrics and arrangements from the period. His genuine love for the music comes across as he talks about the “art of these great singers” produced during the Tin Pan Alley era.

Lund served in the U.S. Navy, where his singing skills won him a 1967 Talent Contest, putting him on television and launching his career in the music industry. After recitals in Carnegie Recital Hall, the French Embassy in New York and other venues, Lund moved into music production writing lyrics, music criticism and biographical liner notes.

He started Serendipity Recordings, a company devoted to music of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. Lund hosts a radio program, “Music and Entertainment News with Michael Paul Lund”; and guest stars on WGBH radio in Boston with Ron Della Chiesa. For information, call at 947-8336 or visit http://www.bpl.lib.me.us.

‘A Tribute to Balanchine’

BANGOR — Bangor Ballet will present “A Tribute to Balanchine” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Husson University’s Gracie Theatre. Bangor Ballet dancers will be joined by dancers from the Portland-based Maine State Ballet for this unique collaboration between the two dance companies.

Artistic Director Ivy Clear-Forrest of Bangor Ballet and Artistic Director Linda MacArthur Miele of Maine State Ballet were both students of George Balanchine and made their professional debuts with his New York City Ballet.

Miele remained with the NYC Ballet and Forrest joined the Joffrey Ballet while both were attending New York’s Professional Children’s School and living in the same apartment building.

Now, as master teachers, they have brought their professional training and experience to Maine. For the Nov. 5 program, each will contribute original choreography which demonstrates the style and technique they learned from Balanchine.

George Balanchine is regarded as the foremost contemporary choreographer in the ballet world and is a “major artistic figure of the 20th century [who] revolutionized the look of classical ballet. Taking classicism as his base, he heightened, quickened, expanded, streamlined, and even inverted the fundamentals of the 400-year-old language of academic dance. This had an inestimable influence on the growth of dance in America,” according to the George Balanchine Foundation.

Balanchine was born in 1904 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He came to the United States in 1933 and, with Lincoln Kirstein, dreamed of creating a ballet company in America and an American academy of ballet to rival the schools in Europe. Together they founded the School of American Ballet in 1934 and the New York City Ballet in 1948.

Balanchine served as artistic director and principal choreographer for the New York City Ballet until his death in 1983. The School of American Ballet continues to train dancers for the New York City Ballet as well as dance companies worldwide. Bangor Ballet dancer August Eaton has studied at the School of American Ballet the past two summers.

Balanchine created more than 400 ballets in his lifetime. He also choreographed for films, operas, revues and musicals, including “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue” for the Broadway musical “On Your Toes” in 1936. Among his well-known ballets are “Firebird,” “Western Symphony,” “Agon,” “Stars and Stripes,” “Jewels,” “Stravinsky Violin Concerto,” “Symphony in C,” “Concerto Barocco,” “Orpheus,” “Tzigane,” “Prodigal Son,” “Apollo” and “Serenade.”

Tickets for “A Tribute to Balanchine” are $12 for adults, $8 for children and students, at Thomas School of Dance, Patrick’s Hallmark Shop in Bangor and Sherman’s Books and Stationery in Ellsworth, or call 945-3457.

For information, call 945-3457, email bangorballet@gmail.com or visit http://www.bangorballet.com.

The Great Depression

ORONO — Economic downturn. Property being seized. Available revenue declining. Sound familiar? These headlines from the Great Depression are eerily similar to what we are hearing today.

If you believe, as Pearl Buck stated, that “if you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday,” go to the Special Collections department at the University of Maine’s Fogler Library at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, when Richard Hollinger, head of Special Collections, gives a presentation titled “Maine Towns During the Great Depression.”

“The Great Depression constituted the greatest economic downturn in recent Maine history,” said Hollinger. “As the institutions primarily responsible for providing for the poor, town governments in Maine were on the front lines of efforts to cushion its impact. Federal programs and state assistance mitigated, but did not eliminate, their responsibility. At a time when tax revenues were dramatically down because residents could not pay them, the demands for assistance went up quickly.”

Hollinger’s presentation will explore the situation in different towns. He will discuss what resources were available, and how virtually all locations experienced the gap between available revenues and desperately needed resources. Some towns, he notes, seized large numbers of properties on which taxes were delinquent; others sold liens on unpaid taxes as a way of raising revenue; in other cases, unpaid taxes were written off. He will examine these diverse responses and how they have increasing relevance today as we struggle with the current financial crisis.

The event is free and open to all. Refreshments will be served. “Maine Towns During the Great Depression” is sponsored by the Fogler Library Friends.

Haiku anthology

BANGOR — Five of the authors in the new haiku anthology, “Scent of Pine, A Maine Haiku Anthology,” will give a reading at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, at Camden Public Library.

Bruce Ross, editor of the anthology, said, “This is the first comprehensive anthology of Maine haiku poets, including a number of seasoned, well-published haiku poets.”

Readers will be Bruce Ross, Hampden; Astrid Andreescu, Hampden; Kirsty Karkow, Waldoboro; Liga Jahnke, Friendship; Paul Gross, Madawaska; and possibly Tyler Pruett, Augusta.

The event will begin with a short introduction to haiku in the United States, Japan and the world, with a final focus on Maine and allusions to Thoreau’s visit to Maine. Next, haiku poets in the anthology will read their work and that of others who could not attend. There will be copies of the anthology available for purchase.

Bruce Ross earned a doctorate in comparative poetics from the University of Buffalo, New York. A humanities educator, he is a past president of the Haiku Society of America.

Ross has taught Japanese poetry and painting forms at Empire State College, Burlington College, the University of Vermont, the University of Alberta and the University of Maine. He has lectured on haiku in the United States, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Romania and Sweden. His original haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, haiga and collaborative renga appear in many haiku journals worldwide.

Haiku from Bruce Ross:

abandoned cabin

the windows light and dark

with the clouds

Haiku from Edward Reilly:

distant birdsong —

the old man lays down

his binoculars

Haiku from Kirsty Karkow:

returning geese

dawn rises over the rim

of my coffee cup

Boardwalk benefit

ORONO — A silent auction and potluck supper to benefit operation and maintenance of the Orono Bog Boardwalk will be held 5:30-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at the historic Birch Street School, now home to the Orono Senior Center. The facility is located just off Pine Street behind the Orono Public Library.

Ample free parking is available. Participants are asked to bring a dish to share and plan to bid on such items as a weekend getaway on the Maine coast, behind-the-scenes tours of area museums and labs, landscape consultations, antiques, original artworks and more. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

The Orono Bog Boardwalk has been in operation since 2003. Each year, more than 30,000 visitors enjoy a close look at this exceptional northern peatland, thanks to the 4,200-foot, wheelchair-accessible walkway maintained by a staff of dedicated volunteers.

Because it is made of natural materials and rests on the surface of the spongy, waterlogged bog, the boardwalk has undergone a weathering process during its years of operation. The volunteer maintenance crew continually monitors conditions, replacing boards, rails and other components as needed; removing fallen branches; and keeping the “floating” walkway level and safe.

They also provide rapid response to occasional incidents of vandalism, ensuring that nothing prevents area residents from enjoying access to this popular natural area. The costs of materials and upkeep are met through fundraising activities, including the silent auction and potluck supper.

Through spring, summer and fall, the views of flora and fauna at the bog are constantly changing. Some visitors opt to participate in guided tours and nature walks, which offer informative perspectives on the ecology of the bog; explore art and poetry; or delve into the history and geology of the site.

Other visitors prefer a self-guided approach, enjoying a brisk healthy pace or pausing to contemplate the bog’s beauty from one of the many benches and interpretive stations.

Specially arranged educational programs offer valuable learning experiences for school groups and other organizations. Leaders of these tours and programs are experts and volunteers who contribute their knowledge and enthusiasm to enhance visitors’ experience.

For more information about this event, the Orono Bog Boardwalk and its programs; or ways to support the operation of the boardwalk, contact jim.bird@umit.maine.edu, call 866-2578 or visit http:// www.oronobogwalk.org.

Art exhibit and sale: ‘Ten’

BANGOR — An exhibit titled “Ten,” featuring 10 new works apiece created specifically for this show by 10 artists, will be held 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at 73 Central St.

Each of the 100 pieces, 10 inches by 10 inches, will be for sale for $110, with 10 percent of sales going to the Bangor Museum and Center for History.

The exhibition and sale will be at 73 Central St., in the smaller room adjacent to where the museum’s Bangor Fire exhibit has been.

Attending the reception and sale that evening will be all 10 artists: Jean Deighan, June Grey, David Haskins, JoAnne Houlsen, John LeBlanc, Jeff Loxterkamp, Linda Packard, Kristborg Whitney, Diana Young and Annaliese Jakimedes.

Represented will be realistic landscapes, portraits, geometric abstracts and more — in watercolor, pastel, oil, acrylic and mixed media.

Included are a new series of Diana Young’s colorful and quirky scenes of downtown Bangor as well as portraits by Jeff Loxterkamp. Represented by Turtle Gallery in Deer Isle, Loxterkamp has a master of fine arts degree in studio art from the University of Iowa and has been cited in Maine Home + Design as an artist to watch.

The mix of artists includes those who are self-taught as those educated at institutions such as Rhode Island School of Design.

Historic home tour

SEARSPORT — The Searsport Historical Society will hold its annual Twilight Historic Home Tour 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14. The tour will feature five local homes: the Sea Captain’s Inn on Water Street, the Namhi and Sommer homes on West Main Street, the Whitten Home on Park Street, and the Fuller home on Howard Street. Tickets are $10 each at Left Bank Book Store and Searsport Antique Mall. Proceeds will benefit the Searsport Historical Society’s Barn Fund.

Potential magazine author

BREWER — Thomas Morelli wrote one of the 150-word life stories being considered for publication in an upcoming issue of Reader’s Digest magazine. Morelli’s story is available for viewing at facebook.com/ReadersDigest. Locals can show support by voting for Morelli’s story or any others they like online.

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