The Hope College Great Performance Series returns for the 2012-13 season with a range of cultural events highlighting the best in dance, music and theatre.
From the explosive movements of Rennie Harris PureMovement to the sounds of the nine-time Grammy-winning Emerson String Quartet, the series features a range of events suitable for anyone and everyone to experience.
The season will open on Friday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at Dimnent Memorial Chapel with the DePue Brothers Band, a group of classically trained musicians with bluegrass roots. Two members of the legendary DePue family, along with colleagues from the Philadelphia Orchestra, merge such diverse musical genres as classical, bluegrass, Americana and folk.
On Thursday-Friday, Oct. 11-12, at 7:30 p.m., the Knickerbocker Theatre will host the premiere hip-hop dance company in the world. Rennie Harris PureMovement has brought hip-hop onto the main stage and travelled throughout the world, including as official ambassadors for the United States. In a society where hip-hop is often portrayed as a violent, undisciplined counterculture, Rennie Harris turns these conceptions around and expands the boundaries of hip-hop. “The New York Times” has said, “[Rennie Harris] knows how to move bodies in space, how to layer his phrases and, above all, how to make dancers look good.”
The Eldar Djangirov Trio will bring a young jazz pianist steeped in the classics to Dimnent Memorial Chapel on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. Known to his fans simply as “Eldar,” Djangirov was signed to Sony Classical at the age of 17. Already known for his prodigious pyrotechnics and knowledge of the bebop tradition, Djangirov has since worked with a “who’s who” of jazz legends, including Dr. Billy Taylor, Dave Brubeck, Michael Brecker and Wynton Marsalis. “Downbeat Magazine” has said that “His command of his instrument is beyond staggering.”
The series will resume in 2013 on Friday, Jan. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Dimnent Memorial Chapel with the Suspicious Cheese Lords. Despite their group’s humorous name, the a capella male singers actually specialize in early choral music while also seeking out many forgotten works. “The Washington Post” reviewed a recent performance by noting that the ensemble “sang with an ensemble precision and a sensitivity to the music’s varied styles…a mind-expanding experience.”
On Tuesday-Wednesday, Feb. 19-20, at 7:30 p.m., the series will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s classic novel with the L.A. Theatre Works unique live radio performance of “Pride and Prejudice” at the Knickerbocker Theatre. The group’s hybrid use of technology keeps this venerable art form thriving. Through the years, the distinguished company of actors has included John Lithgow, Hilary Swank, Anne Heche, Ed Asner, Paul Giamatti, Neil Patrick Harris and Laurence Fishburne. One of the performances will be recorded and broadcast on a local public radio station at a later date. “L.A. Theatre Works is a national theatrical treasure,” “The Philadelphia Inquirer” has said.
The season will close on Tuesday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m. at Dimnent Memorial Chapel with the Emerson String Quartet. Across three decades, the ensemble’s achievements have included nine Grammy awards, more than 30 acclaimed recordings since 1987, three Gramophone Awards and the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. “The Times” of London has said that “with musicians like this there must be some hope for humanity.”
Individual and season tickets are now available. Season subscriptions are $63 for adults, $50 for senior citizens, and $140 for a family (no matter how many children). The subscriptions are such a savings that they are equivalent to seeing two shows for free. Individual tickets are $18 for regular admission, $13 for senior citizens, and $6 for children 18 and under. Both individual tickets and season subscriptions are available at the Hope College ticket office or by calling (616) 395-7890.
The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse, at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets.
More information about the season may be obtained online by visiting www.hope.edu/gps/.