Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


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Ballet Arkansas kicks off 2014-15 with VISIONS

BA_VISIONS_600x300ad_25july2014Ballet Arkansas kicks off the season tonight with their first annual Visions Choreographic Competition.  It will take place in the CALS Ron Robinson Theater in the River Market at 7:00 pm.

Thirty-six emerging choreographers from around the country competed for five spots in this competition. The winner will receive a commission to create a complete new work on Ballet Arkansas’s company dancers for their 2015 spring show.

The five choreographers  selected for the competition are:

  • Sayoko Knode,  former principal dancer with Idaho Dance Theatre;
  • Jerry Opdenaker, former principal dancer for ballet companies such as Milwaukee Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and Ballet Florida;
  • Brandon Ragland, dancer with the Louisville Ballet;
  • Christopher Stuart dancer with Nashville Ballet;
  • Hilary Fullmer Wolfley who graduated in 2013 from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Ballet.

The five pieces will be judged by Adam Sklute, Artistic Director of Ballet West, Rhythm McCarthy with UALR’s Theatre and Dance Program, former Ballet Arkansas Principal Dancer Michael Tidwell with the Tidwell Project and the audience will be the fourth judge.

“I am very pleased with the talent level of our five guest choreographers” said Artistic Director, Michael Bearden “Their abilities in collaboration with our beautiful dancers will make for an evening you won’t want to miss.”


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One Acts this weekend at Community Theatre of Little Rock

ctlrWhen the Community Theatre of Little Rock was founded in the 1950s, it was common for groups such as it to perform evenings of One Act plays.

Returning to these roots, this weekend the CTLR presents an evening of four one act plays.

The lineup is

“The Actor’s Nightmare” by Christopher Durang.  In it George is mistaken for an actor’s understudy and forced to perform a show he doesn’t know. The cast is David Monteith as George Spelvin, Francesca Bee as Meg, Brooke Ballew as Sarah Siddons, Jessica Allis as Ellen Terry and Peyton Hooks as Henry Irving.

In “Private Wars” by James McLure, three recovering soldiers try to figure out where their lives go from here.  The cast is Jerry Woods, John Timaues and Courtney Williams.

Noel Coward’s “Ways and Means” examines what happens when an heiress and her gambling husband, plagued with debt and shame, are inadvertently saved by a disgraced chauffeur. The cast includes Susan Troillet, Harold Dean, Tracy Speed, Michael Harmon, Jessica Allis, Jerry Woods and Courtney Williams.

In “30 Minutes to Charlie” by Nick Zagone, Kline and Reid hit are forced to visit the Emergency Room while trying to get to the meeting of a lifetime. The cast features Jon Martin, Peyton Hooks, Tracy Speed and Skye Sebring.

Performances are at 7:30 tonight (August 22) and tomorrow (August 23) and at 2:30 on Sunday, August 24.  The CTLR now performs at the new Studio Theatre.


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An Evening of Art – Extended Hours and a Lecture at the Arkansas Arts Center Tonight

 

arkartsWatch and learn as artist Victor Ekpuk talks about creating a wall-sized, ephemeral drawing in paint markers, inspired by Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from his Ninth Symphony. This is the first time that Ekpuk will draw from music. Like most wall drawings in museums, Ekpuk’s Ode to Joy will be destroyed at the end of the exhibition. The ephemeral nature of the work adds to the intensity of experience while it is on the wall. Ekpuk’s drawings, whether on paper or on walls, make their way around the world through photography and the internet. In this way, they are shared with audiences scattered in both space and time.

Location: Lecture Hall Fees: Free for members, $10 for non-members.

Reservations at Best Impressions available at 501-907-5946. -


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New Works and Old Favorites are part of the Ballet Arkansas 2014-2015 season

BalletArkWhile most people know Ballet Arkansas for its long tradition of The Nutcracker, the organization is so much more and this season’s line up truly demonstrates that.” Artistic Director Michael Bearden, a former Principal Dancer with Ballet West in Salt Lake City, is delighted to announce that, for the first time, an Arkansas dance company has been authorized by the George Balanchine Trust to perform a piece from his extensive, world renown collection of works. “By authorizing Ballet Arkansas to perform one of its works, the George Balanchine Trust has put a stamp of approval on the growth our company has made. This is a huge honor and accomplishment!”

Ballet Arkansas will present three productions this season, starting off with their first annual Visions  Choreographic Competition to be held in the CALS Ron Robinson Theater in the River Market on August 23rd at 7:00 pm. Thirty-six emerging choreographers from around the country competed for five spots in this competition. The winner will receive a commission to create a complete new work on Ballet Arkansas’s company dancers for their 2015 spring show. The five choreographers  selected for the competition are: Sayoko Knode,  former principal dancer with Idaho Dance Theatre; Jerry Opdenaker, former principal dancer for ballet companies such as Milwaukee Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Kansas City Ballet and Ballet Florida; Brandon Ragland, dancer with the Louisville Ballet; Christopher Stuart dancer with Nashville Ballet; and Hilary Fullmer Wolfley who graduated in 2013 from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Ballet. The five pieces will be judged by Adam Sklute, Artistic Director of Ballet West, Rhythm McCarthy with UALR’s Theatre and Dance Program, former Ballet Arkansas Principal Dancer Michael Tidwell with the Tidwell Project and the audience will be the fourth judge.

“I am very pleased with the talent level of our five guest choreographers” said Artistic Director, Michael Bearden “Their abilities in collaboration with our beautiful dancers will make for an evening you won’t want to miss.”

In December, Ballet Arkansas joins forces with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra to present the annual holiday ballet, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center.  With music provided by the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, a cast of 200+ youth and adult dancers from the central Arkansas area, professional guest artists, Ballet Arkansas company members and Youth Division, The Nutcracker will continue its tradition as a holiday must-see. The Nutcracker performance week includes student matinees for statewide school groups on December 11 & 12, along with the four public performances on December 12, 13 and 14th.  The Nutcracker Tea at the Capital Hotel provides a wonderful complement to the performances.

In April, Ballet Arkansas will present its mixed rep show  titled Who Cares? after the production’s finale piece. Dancers will be performing the concert version of Balanchine’s Who Cares? set to music by George Gershwin on the stage of the Arkansas Repertory Theatre in downtown Little Rock April 17-19, 2015, with student matinees scheduled for April 16 and 17 for statewide school  groups.  The concert will also feature the expanded winning choreography from the Visions competition, an excerpt from Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, Raymonda, and a new piece by former Hubbard Street dancer Greg Sample, who will be expanding one of his existing works.

Ballet Arkansas’ performances in the 2014-2015 Season will also include an appearance at the ACANSA Arts Festival on September 28th at Wildwood Performing Arts Center, a joint collaboration with the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra and Ballet Arkansas’s Youth Division at the Albert Pike Scottish Rite Temple November 14 & 15, a Master Class Series featuring Ballet Arkansas’ guest artists offering classes which can be attended by the general public, a gala in the spring of 2015, a  state-wide touring program and a Student Matinee program, including student matinees at tour sites  around the state.


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Tonight at Tales from the South – Summer Athlete Series featuring Master Bao Ngo at the Oyster Bar

talesfromthesouthEach Tuesday, Tales from the South features stories about life in the South told by the people who experienced them.  Tonight’s theme is “Well, Not Exactly.”

Tonight, Tales from the South takes place at the Oyster Bar.

As part of the Summer Athletes Series, tonight’s featured guest is Master Bao Ngo.

Live music is by the Salty Dogs and blues guitarist Mark Simpson.

“Tales From the South” is a radio show created and produced by Paula Martin Morell, who is also the show’s host. The show is taped live on Tuesday. The night is a cross between a house concert and a reading/show, with incredible food and great company. Tickets must be purchased before the show, as shows are usually standing-room only.

“Tales from the South” is a showcase of writers reading their own true stories. While the show itself is unrehearsed, the literary memoirs have been worked on for weeks leading up to the readings. Stories range from funny to touching, from everyday occurrences to life-altering tragedies.

Dinner is served from 5pm to 7pm, the show starts at 7pm.  Admission is $10.

You MUST purchase your ticket before the show.

Previous episodes of “Tales from the South” air on KUAR Public Radio on Thursdays at 7pm.  This program will air on September 4.


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QQA’S Rhea Roberts receives Historic Real Estate Development Professional certification

Orhearn August 11, 2014, Executive Director of the Quapaw Quarter Association Rhea Roberts received certification as a Historic Real Estate Development Finance Professional (HHDFP) from the National Development Council (NDC).  HHDFP Certification is a professional credential given to individuals who successfully complete NDC’s intensive historic real estate development finance training series.  The training provides individuals working in the field of housing development with instruction in housing development finance, rental housing development finance including problem solving and deal structuring, and the creation and implementation of development programs.

The two HHDFP Certification Program courses were five days in length and concluded with an exam.  Upon successful completion of the courses, the candidate is awarded HHDFP Certification.

The National Development council was established in 1969 and is a non-profit organization specializing in economic and housing development training and technical assistance for community development.  NDC has provided training to over 60,000 professionals working in the fields of economic and housing development.  Participants come from diverse backgrounds including city and state governments, public agencies, community-based organizations, professional organizations and banks.

Rhea Roberts has served as Executive Director of the Quapaw Quarter Association since August 2010.  The QQA’s mission is to promote the preservation of Little Rock’s architectural heritage through advocacy, marketing and education.  Incorporated in 1968, the QQA grew out of an effort to identify and protect significant historic structures in Little Rock during the urban renewal projects of the early 1960s.  Throughout its existence, the QQA has been a driving force behind preservation in Greater Little Rock.

 


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Sundays in the Library with Hillary (Starting in September)

READSunday can now be one more fun day with extended library hours at the Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center, 4800 West 10th Street.  Beginning September 7, the Children’s Library’s operating hours will include Sundays from 1-5 p.m.

The interior of the Children’s Library includes a computer lab with fourteen computers, teaching kitchen, large activity area, individual and group study rooms, theater, and community room in addition to a collection of more than 21,000 books, DVDs, and CDs.   The grounds are on a six-acre site which includes a greenhouse and teaching garden, walking paths, and an amphitheater. The surroundings reflect the topography of Arkansas’s ecosystems, from the native hardwood trees in the highlands to vegetation of the wetland areas, which are both planted and original to the site.

The Children’s Library hours are Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. The Main Library, 100 Rock Street, is also open on Sundays from 1-5 p.m.

The Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center is one of fourteen CALS branches serving Pulaski and Perry counties. For more information, call 978-3870 or visit www.cals.org.

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