The Hope College Great Performance Series (GPS) for 2007-08 is set to build on its history as a community tradition of more than 30 years. Providing top international talent at West Michigan prices, the Great Performance Series offers everything from dance to jazz to classical music during the academic year.
The season will open on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 14-15, with Koresh Dance Company performing at 7:30 p.m. in the DeWittCenter main theatre. Israeli born and raised, Ronan Koresh is taking the training of his youth into the future of dance with his Philadelphia-based company, a physical company which combines a variety of dance styles into accessible and highly regarded performances. "When Koresh Dance Company performs, audiences leap to their feet," "Dance Magazine" has said.
On Thursday, Oct. 25, the legendary Vienna Boys Choir will return to Dimnent Memorial Chapel at 7:30 p.m. after a sellout performance in 2004. For more than 500 years the choir has set the standard for vocal excellence. Since its 2004 appearance at Hope, the choir has reclaimed its original name and is under a new director, returning the group to its roots. "The Vienna Choir Boys have definitely reconquered their reputation as an artistic institution of the highest order," stated "Die Presse" from Vienna.
Chamber musicians of the highest caliber combine to create Concertante, a string sextet based in New York performing on Friday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. Their performances combine the work of the masters along with contemporary works. The group's HopeCollege program will include works by Strauss, Schoenberg and Tchaikovsky. A recent performance had "The Oregonian" claim that "the fantastically talented Concertante proved...that the future of classical music is in fine hands."
On Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m. the Hot Club of San Francisco will bring its multi-media, gypsy jazz performance to Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The Hot Club is modeled after the legendary Parisian band of the 1930s featuring guitarist Django Reinhardt. The modern version recreates that smoky, jazz sound of Paris while continuing to move forward. The club's performance at HopeCollege will also include 40 minutes of live accompaniment to four silent films rediscovered and premiered at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival with the ensemble's live and original film score. The "San Francisco Chronicle" called the group "one of the most cohesive and entertaining Gypsy swing bands in the United States."
The Harlem Quartet, a Sphinx Ensemble, is a young string quartet comprised of four first-place laureates of the prestigious Sphinx Competition held in Detroit each year to encourage Latino and Black string musicians. Wynton Marsalis has championed the group, which will be performing one of his works, along with a piece by Mozart, at Hope on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. The quartet's first recording will be released this fall.
The true story of Eugenia Ginzburg's life as a victim of the Stalinist purges is brought to life by playwright and actor Rebecca Schull when she performs "Journey Into the Whirlwind" on Thursday-Friday, March 27-28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre. Schull is a legendary character actor who recently appeared in two Academy-award nominated films. She is best known to television audiences as the slightly skewed Faye on the long-running comedy "Wings." The "Los Angeles Times" has called the play "An exceptional study in human vigilance and fortitude in the face of total absurdity," noting that "Schull makes us live Ginzburg's trauma by osmosis."
The performance by Koresh Dance Company is underwritten in part by the Padnos Foundation and the Hope College Office of Multicultural Life, and also supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the General Mills Foundation, Land O'Lakes Foundation, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
Season tickets are now available. Subscriptions are $58 for adults, $47 for senior citizens, and $125 for a family (no matter how many children). The subscriptions are such a savings that they are equivalent to seeing two shows for free.
Tickets for individual shows go on sale on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 10 a.m. Both individual tickets and season subscriptions are available at the ticket office in the DeVos Fieldhouse or by calling (616) 395-7890.
Following the Saturday, Sept. 1, ticket opening, the ticket office will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The ticket office is in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse, which is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets.
More information about the season may be obtained online by visiting www.hope.edu/gps.