Kick off summer with live arts and films that explore the human/nature conundrum
Across the globe, humans face enormous questions: how do we find balance in our relationship with Nature? How do we transform what has been a quest for dominance into a sustainable collaboration?
The Hopkins Center for the Art at Dartmouth College launches its second annual SHIFT festival, a 10-day suite of live, arts, film and discussions that explore the push and pull of that Human/Nature bond. Feel humans contend and at times cooperate with the forces of nature in a stage version of Moby-Dick, a spectacle of physical theater by Australian company Circa, and film screenings with special guests that probe the oceans and night skies. Wander among human percussionists interacting with nature world in Inuksuit; celebrate nature in song in a pop-up chorus. The schedule is a mix of free and ticketed events.
This year, SHIFT is bookended by concerts by Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles and Iris DeMent—artists who join past and present and speak to what it means to be an American in 2019. It also includes the Dartmouthpremiere of Dance Heginbotham, the acclaimed Brooklyn-based dance troupe led by John Heginbotham, director of the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble.
The performances in SHIFT will be enriched by a series of talks and master classes by Dartmouth scholars and visiting artists, who will unpeel various layers of how humans connect and impact the natural world. These include talks on energy, whaling, Melville and Americana music, as well as a discussion between Heginbotham and his collaborator, composer Tyondai Braxton.
Along with exploring big questions, SHIFT is also a great way to kick off summer in the Upper Valley, complementing the area’s wealth of opportunities to hike, bike, boat and otherwise enjoy the outdoors.
Tickets to SHIFT events go on sale to Hop members on Friday, April 26, and to the general public on Tuesday, April 30. SHIFT runs June 21 through 30 at locations in the Hop and on the Dartmouth campus. Tickets will be available at hop.dartmouth.edu or 603.646.2422.
Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles
Friday, June 21, 8 pm
Spaulding Auditorium, $42/32/22
“I believe that love will find a way,” sings Corey Henry. And he’ll make you believe, too.
With his supple voice, soulful songwriting and chops on the Hammond B-3 organ, Henry “serves up a sermon of soulful bliss” (Denver Post) of R&B, Afrobeat, gospel and jazz. Graced with Grammy awards for his work with Brooklyn’s Snarky Puppy and his own namesake band, Henry has been called one of the finest organ players of his generation.
Gare St. Lazare Players
Saturday, June 22, 8 pm
Sunday, June 23, 3 & 8 pm
The Moore Theater, $42/32/22
“For there is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men, ” Herman Melville wrote in Moby-Dick. Compressing the novel’s details, characters and gigantic themes into one riveting night of theater, veteran Irish actor reels us into the harsh world of 19th-century whale hunting. In this battle with nature, the humans are determined to win–but at what cost? This engrossing, one-man refresh of Melville’s 1851 novel is backed by 10-string fiddler Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh (of The Gloaming). An American literary anchor splashes on stage.
Public talks, 6:30 pm, Top of the Hop, free
June 22: Irving Institute director Elizabeth Wilson on the interconnected histories of energy and whaling
June 23: Professor Donald E. Pease’s acclaimed talk on Melville and the American Renaissance
A Portal to the Sky: Cinema and Space
Mon, Jun 24, 8 pm
Loew Auditorium, Free
Travel among the moon and stars with an evening of singular short films presented by Professors Jodie Mack and Dan Rockmore. Each film is an artistic celebration of the sky, space and worlds beyond, using real images as the source material.
Sing For the Earth
Tuesday, June 25, 8pm
Spaulding Auditorium, free
Come sing together in gratitude for earth’s abundant beauty! In this program, you are invited to reflect on the relationship between humans and nature as the group reads through diverse short choral works related to nature, led by Handel Society director Robert Duff.
Recommended for all singers 12 and up; sight-reading skills are helpful but not required.
Dance Heginbotham and Alarm Will Sound
Wednesday, June 26
The Moore Theater, $32/22
Eight-member Dance Heginbotham brings its celebrated athleticism, humor
and theatricality to live music by the 22-member new music band Alarm Will
Sound (“original, vivid, reckless”-Los Angeles Times). DH is led by John
Heginbotham, who also directs the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble and
choreographed the acclaimed remake of Oklahoma that just moved to
Broadway. The evening includes new Heginbotham choreography to
selections from AWS’s new CD Acoustica—unprecedented acoustic versions
of electronica—as well as his Hop-commissioned new choreography for
composer Tyondai Braxton’s chamber work Common Fate.
Heginbotham and Braxton discuss their collaboration, June 26, 6:30 pm, Top of the Hop, free
The International Ocean Film Tour
Thursday, June 27, 8 pm
Spaulding Auditorium, $15
Swim among seething schools of sharks, ride the waves with adventurers transforming the sport of surfing, or cruise the world’s oceans with some “anti-Ahab” activists–protecting, not hunting, whales. The subjects of these films inspire you with their ardor for the oceans and adventure. Eco-activist Henry Lystad (formerly MountainFilm Tour Director) introduces each movie with insider details and naturalist knowledge.
Humans by Circa
Friday and Saturday, June 28 & 29, 8 pm
Sunday, June 30, 3 pm
The Moore Theater, $47/37/22
Body, space, force and balance. In this heart-stopping nouveau cirque adventure that earned rave reviews on several continents, Australian circus artist/athletes test the limits of the human body. Forms fly through the air. Towers emerge and tumble. This virtuosic meditation on the body plays with the laws of physics, ratcheting up the tension between us and the space we move through.
Master class with Circa, Tuesday, June 25, details to come
Saturday, June 29, 3 pm
Outdoor location on Dartmouth campus TBA, free
Rain date: Sun, June 30 at 3 pm.
Wander through a landscape of instruments–conch shells, gongs, drums, glockenspiels and more–accompanied by the ambient sounds of nature. Named after the stone piles used by native people to orient themselves in Arctic spaces, Inuksuit was created by environmental composer John Luther Adams. This event will involve up to 99 professional and community musicians in an outdoor campus location. As they walk among the musicians, listeners shape their own experience, discovering the listening points that call out most to them. Directed by Dartmouth music lecturer Amy Garapic.
Saturday, June 29, 8 pm
Spaulding Auditorium, $42/32/22
Iris DeMent is a voice for an America seeking roots and meaning. As Cory Henry marries retro-funk with Afro-Futurism, so DeMent brings a modern sensibility to the timeless pentecostal gospel twang of her native Ozarks. Twenty-seven years after she pioneered what we now call “Americana” with her debut album Infamous Angel, she is still sharing powerful stories and shining a light into dark places.
Dartmouth musicologist Ted Levin discusses DeMent’s place in American music, June 29, 6 pm, Top of the Hop, free