posted August 12, 2013

Great Performance Series Announces Season

The Hope College Great Performance Series (GPS) is returning for the 2013-14 season with a range of cultural events highlighting the best in dance, music and theatre.

From the unique movements of Ballet X to the sounds of the three-time Grammy winning “eighth blackbird,” the series features a range of events suitable for anyone and everyone to experience.

The season will open on Thursday-Friday, Sept. 19-20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre with Ballet X, a Philadelphia-based contemporary ballet company that pushes the boundaries of classical ballet by combining experimentation with rigorous technique. “The New York Times” has called the company “especially refreshing.”

On Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m., the Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble (CALJE) will bring its dynamic sound to Dimnent Memorial Chapel. CALJE incorporates a range of styles, including Argentinean Tango, Dominican Meringue, Puerto Rican Bomba y Plena, and more. “Allaboutjazz.com” has called the 10-piece ensemble, “marvelously entertaining.”

A premier piano trio (piano, cello, and violin), Trio Solisti, will perform on Friday, Nov. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The classical ensemble was called “the most exciting piano trio in America” by “The New Yorker Magazine,” and has drawn praise from various newspapers, including “The New York Times” (“consistently brilliant”) and “The Washington Post” (“unrelenting passion and zealous abandon in a transcendent performance”).

The second half of the season will open on Friday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel, when the three-time Grammy winning contemporary classical ensemble “eighth blackbird” will perform. The sextet, which won its most recent Grammy this year, aims to convince audiences that contemporary music is not for just a select few. The “L.A. Times” has called the group “super-musicians,” while the “BBC, London” reviewed a recent performance by saying that the members of the sextet “play like musicians possessed…  they take wing, soaring on an upthrust of precision-tooled virtuosity.”

Aquila Theatre will return to the series in February with its unique take on great drama.  The company will present Ray Bradbury’s own dramatic version of his novel, “Fahrenheit 451,” on Tuesday, Feb. 18, and Shakespeare’s comedy, “Twelfth Night,” on Wednesday, Feb. 19.  A favorite of GPS audiences, Aquila Theatre has been called “unmistakable fun” by the “Los Angeles Times,” and described as “a classically trained, modernly hip troupe” by “The New York Times.” Both performances will be in the Knickerbocker Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

The season will close with upbeat Irish band, Cherish the Ladies, with a Thursday, March 27, 7:30 p.m. performance at the Knickerbocker Theatre. The all-female band has broken stereotypes and become the most sought after Irish-American Celtic ensemble. Combining instrumental performance, vocals and step dancing, the group presents all facets of Irish culture in humorous and entertaining package. “It is simply impossible to imagine an audience that wouldn’t enjoy what they do,” “The Boston Globe” has said.

Season tickets are now available. Season subscriptions are $65 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 go on sale on Monday, Aug. 26, and are $18 for regular admission, $13 for senior citizens, and $6 for children 18 and under. 

Tickets are available at the ticket offices in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse (222 Fairbanks Ave.) and the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.).  Both offices are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890.

More information about the season may be obtained online by visiting www.hope.edu/gps/.