Modern dance, mystery theater and string music – Daily Press

Williamsburg — William & Mary’s Dance Department offers its annual “Evening of Dance” March 31-April 3 in the Kimball Theater. This event is always interesting because it’s choreographed and danced by student members of the Orchesis Modern Dance Group, which is mentored by the faculty. The imagination the students bring to the dance never fails to impress, nor the fine dancing seen in carrying out those imaginative concepts.

For this performance, eight works will be presented which are, as usual, different, exploratory, intellectual and widely varied in subject. Here, you’ll see dance about murder at a dinner party, neurons dancing through the stages of sleep, decisions about society and acceptance of new ideas, Roman gladiators, mathematical sequencing of numbers, control of fear and a student’s journey through four years at W&M.

Performances are 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday and 2 pm Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for students/children. W&M students may also be free: contact the box office for details. For tickets and more information, visit boxoffice@wm.edu or call 757-221-2674.

The Players have another entertaining production coming up March 31-April 16. Nothing is quite so much fun as an Agatha Christie mystery, thus plenty of laughs should be in store with “Something’s Afoot,” a satirical spoof on mysteries. Generally, it’s about 10 people are stranded in a 1936 English country house during a thunderstorm. One by one, they’re picked off by deadly devious means. Bodies start accumulating, causing survivors to madly seek out the culprit. It’s murderously good fun.

In information provided by co-director Jacqueline Kiduff, the play is somewhat based on “Ten Little Indians — And Then There Were None.” According to Kiduff, who shares directing responsibilities with Lisa Velardi, “everyone is invited to join the fun as Miss Tweed, the amateur sleuth, sets out to solve the crimes … but the butler didn’t do it.” Shows are 8 pm Thursday and Friday and 2 pm and 8 pm Saturday. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for students/children and are available at the door or online at williamsburgplayers.org or by calling 229-0431.

The highly successful Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg closes it season on April 5 with the internationally-acclaimed Formosa Quartet. The quartet was formed in 2002 by four Taiwanese-descended string players on tour in Taiwan. It favors Taiwanese music and culture and new, contemporary music, while embracing standard classical works and even jazz. While the program hasn’t yet been released, advance hints from the Formosa indicate a “colorful evening of folk music; transcribed jazz; and birdsong, trains and blues.

In looking at Formosa’s current touring repertory, there are familiar and not so familiar listed. Among the known names are Dvorak, Mozart, Sibelius, Ives and Beethoven. Among the others are Dana Wilson, American composer, jazz pianist and teacher; Clancy Newman, cellist and composer whose listed “Pop-Unpopped” is a series of gymnastic caprices based on pop songs, for cello; and Derrick Skye, who, in addition to his classical studies, has studied West African music, Persian and Balkan music theory and Hindustani music. Should be interesting.

The Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center’s Spring Members’ Co-op Show opened to the public March 9 and will run through April 22.

According to Janis Wood, WCAC president, “… this is only the second on-site co-op show we’ve held since the beginning of the opportunity pandemic, and we’re excited that our members will have this to exhibit multiple pieces of their work.” The exhibit will feature individual spaces for each artist to display their products and enhance viewers’ appreciation of the variety and styles of art on display.

The show features nine emerging and established WCAC member artists, photographers and artisans, representing multiple mediums. Also for enjoyment is a members’ exhibit called, “Art Inspired by Song,” along with the Artisan Corner’s new works in fiber art, jewelry, ceramics and other unique 3-D artwork.

WCAC is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm The center’s “Blue Building” is located at 110 Westover Ave. All artwork is for sale.

As an interesting side note, one of WCAC’s co-op artists, Sherrie Payne, had one of her pieces featured on CBS Sunday Morning on March 6. A piece made of glass and driftwood, her artwork resembles the CBS Sunday show sunburst logo and closes the video clip. Her piece is on display at WCAC. To see it, visit www.cbsnews.com/video/sea-glass-how-trash-becomes-a-treasure/?intcid=CNM-00-10abd1h#x

The Ewell Concert Series continues with two upcoming events, “Rev. Cora Harvey Armstrong and The Harvey Family” and “District 5 Quintet.”

On March 30, the Cora Harvey Armstrong/Harvey Family event takes place in the Williamsburg Regional Library Theater at 7 pm

Richmond-born gospel singer, songwriter and recording artist Cora Harvey Armstrong grew up in a household that listened to Mahalia Jackson and the Clara Ward Singers, where gospel music thrived. And, worthy of adding, she’s been playing piano for 60 years. Starting out as a singer in church choirs, she progressed into music study at Virginia State University, where she also directed the VSU Gospel Chorale in addition to serving as minister of music for four decades at the First Mount Olive Baptist Church in Newtown, King and Queen County.

Collaborating with her two sisters and three nieces, the gospel group, The Harvey Family, has been a popular feature at folk and gospel festivals across the country. Armstrong is a licensed and ordained minister, has toured Italy and Japan, has portrayed Mahalia Jackson and has, with her sisters, starred in a musical written about them when they sang with their mother, “Those Harvey Girls,” which played at Colonial Heights ‘ Swift Creed Mill Theatre. Should be a lively affair.

It’s open and free to the public.

District 5 Quintet, which appears in the university’s Ewell Recital Hall at 5 pm on April 3, will be quite the opposite in sound and spirit. It’s also a chance to hear the rarity of a wind quintet in the area where chamber music tends to be relegated to standard string ensembles.

Washington, DC-based District 5 has a solid reputation for new music and transcriptions while also including a healthy dose of classical types. In fact, the quintet’s debut album offers the complete listing of Chopin’s Preludes, transcribed by David Pylar, senior music specialist at the Library of Congress. They have won considerable recognition and have performed at prestigious venues throughout DC The quintet also shares its musical know-how with young, aspiring chamber musicians through educational programs in and around the DC area. A sampling of their programs usually includes contemporary and classical names both familiar and cutting edge.

The 5 pm concert is open to the public.

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