Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Basiani on the Road: "California or Bust!"

Ensemble Basiani is ready to conquer the US in a 1917 Overland Touring Car, on display at the Henry Ford Museum
Basiani's tour continues and here's what the critics have had to say so far:

"The spirit, discipline, control and power of tone from Basiani is among the best Georgia has to offer, and the large crowd responded with multiple standing ovations."
--Clayton Parr, AnnArbor.com

"This troupe of 12 men with strong voices and amazing lung capacity launched into a near psychedelic groove of unusual harmonies, rhythmic intensity and sheer beauty. Singing without accompaniment, with the exception of either the panduri or chonguri, both long-necked lutes of ancient Greek origin, Ensemble Basiani flawlessly illustrated the diversity of the rich polyphonic vocal tradition of Georgia."
--Gayle Williams, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
"If you had told me that I would spend a Saturday afternoon listening to Georgian folk songs and chants and end up actually experiencing goose bumps, I would never have believed you." 
--Kay Kipling, Sarasota Magazine

It has been an amazing two weeks for Ensemble Basiani, as their first national tour of America has traced a path from Michigan, where University Musical Society (UMS) hosted their debut concert in Ann Arbor's St. Francis of Assisi Church, to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts' Foellinger Great Hall, and then a sunny weekend in Florida appearing at Sarasota's Historic Asolo Theater for the Ringling International Arts Festival and at Gainesville's University Auditorium for University of Florida Performing Arts. Audiences have been left awestruck, and it is clear already that this tour is a milestone event that people will be talking about for months, if not years, to come.
Basiani is presently being hosted at Dartmouth College by the Hopkins Center for the Arts, where they are participating in various residency activities and performing tomorrow night, October 17, at the Spaulding Auditorium. From there, the ensemble heads west to California, appearing in Berkeley under the auspices of Cal Performances and to Santa Barbara as part of the UCSB Arts & Lectures season this weekend. Ensemble Basiani's US tour will then conclude on October 27 when they perform as part of the White Light Festival, presented by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in New York City.
Don't miss this rare opportunity to experience Ensemble Basiani before they return home to Tbilisi!

Major support for Ensemble Basiani's US tour provided by the Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Friday, October 12, 2012

"An actor in vintage form in a play that is as soft as it is stark"

Los Angeles Times Review:

John Hurt is magnificent in Beckett's 'Krapp's Last Tape'

John Hurt eloquently stars in Samuel Beckett's 'Krapp's Last Tape' at Kirk Douglas Theatre in a production directed by Michael Colgan.
Photo Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times
Charles McNulty weighs in on Gate Theatre Dublin's production of Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape, starring John Hurt and directed by Michael Colgan, playing at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre through November 4 only.
With his shock of silver-gray hair, his face etched by time with the lean expressiveness of a Giacometti sculpture and his soulful eyes registering every fleeting hurt and happiness, John Hurt bears a striking resemblance to Samuel Beckett in the distinguished British actor's magnificent rendition of "Krapp's Last Tape" at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
For anyone needing a reminder that theater can be an art (and not just a scrappy entertainment), this beautifully mounted production of Beckett's play, directed by Michael Colgan of Dublin's Gate Theatre, is not to be missed. Full review here.
 Congratulations to everyone in Los Angeles and Dublin!