Hopkins Center Announces Its New Season

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The public is invited to a free Season Launch Party on Monday, July 9, at the Hop.

In Barber Shop Chronicle, African immigrants find a sense of home.
In Barber Shop Chronicle, African immigrants find a sense of home. (Photo courtesy of the Hopkins Center for the Arts) 

The Hopkins Center for the Arts today announces the 2018-19 season of artists making music, theater, dance, film, and multimedia work that grapples with vital issues of the day and showcases fresh artistic voices. Tickets go on sale to the general public Tuesday, July 17.

The public is invited to a free Season Launch Party on Monday, July 9. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium, where Hop programmers, staff, and collaborators will share the artistic context and video excerpts for the season’s shows. The party begins at 6:30 p.m., with free food, drink,  and live music on the Hop’s Cafe Patio. The event is free and open to the public.

The season starts with Ragamala Dance Company making its Hop debut, merging Indian dance, live music, and large-scale projections, and the season ends with the Hop’s production of an orchestral work inspired by Dartmouth’s famed Orozco murals. Over nine months and more than 25 live performances, audiences will hear acclaimed musicians from the Latin world, West Africa, classical music, and jazz; see theater taking them inside the minds and times of Frederick Douglass, Joan of Arc, and Jane Goodall, and the international culture of the black barber shop; and witness intense collaborations between dancers and live musicians, both visiting and resident Hop ensembles.

“We take seriously the responsibility of being a ‘base camp to the world,’ offering a window onto cultures and perspectives from around the globe,” says Hop Director Mary Lou Aleskie. “And we want to create not just a series of great experiences, but experiences that build on one another and share common themes.”

One such theme is the global diaspora, as people throughout the world leave home and seek welcome elsewhere. Ragamala Dance Company (Sept. 18 and 19) sank roots in Minnesota, where the company explores and evolves the Bharatanatyam dance form. In Barber Shop Chronicles (Jan. 17-19), African immigrants find a sense of home in a lively community institution. The Africa they have left comes through in a performance by singer-songwriter and political activist Youssou Ndour (Oct. 23). In addition, West African balafonist Mamadou Diabate performs with his group, Percussion Mania (Nov. 7), and is on campus through the fall while co-teaching with Dartmouth musicologist Theodore Levin, the Arthur R. Virgin Professor of Music.

Following are more highlights of the upcoming season. The entire lineup is available on the Hop’s website.

Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble (Oct. 5) draws attention to the vast, continuously hybridizing music of Latin America and the Caribbean. “Indigenous Rising: An Evening of NextGen Native Artists” (Jan.30) is guest curated by Andre Bouchard (of Kootenai and Ojibwe descent). The evening will showcase music, poetry and theater by indigenous artists speaking for people displaced and disenfranchised within their own homeland.

The 100th anniversary of the birth of American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein is commemorated this fall by the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra and Dartmouth’s new homegrown opera program, the Dartmouth Opera Laboratory, led by DSO conductor Filippo Ciabatti.

Hop resident artists and ensembles are collaborating with each other in new ways. On the heels of its successful collaboration with the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra this past May, the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble this year involves the Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble for its spring concerts (May 24 and 25). The Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra shares the stage with Hop pianist-in-residence Sally Pinkas (Feb. 23). The orchestra, the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble and the Dartmouth Opera Laboratory all devote their fall programs to celebrating the centennial of the great American composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein. In Sojourners (Nov. 2-11), the Department of Theater tells a story of African diaspora that echoes conversations heard in Barber Shop Chronicles.

The Hop invites people of all ages, experiences and creative interests to engage with inquisitive minds and adventuresome spirits in this season’s works, and to join in the conversations  through post-performance discussions, master classes, workshops and participatory opportunities. “The openness and curiosity that our audiences bring, students and community members, are the final ingredients that will make this season all it can be,” Aleskie says.

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