Skip navigation

Flynn Center Blog

Ana Moura: The Heart and Soul of Fado

By Lorraine Ryan, Burlington Writers Workshop

A review of fado singer Ana Moura, who performed on the MainStage Saturday, April 29.

A little over a week ago I had never heard of the Portuguese music called fado or Ana Moura, one of the most popular and highly acclaimed singers of this genre. So I read about the music and the woman while listening to Moura on internet radio and soon felt I possessed a pretty good handle on both.

I was wrong.

Ana Moura is a presence and thus should be seen and listened to on stage. There just is no substitution. Moura glided on stage wearing a black gown that shimmered and hugged and she looked every bit the star that she is. Her voice—voluminous, sensual and mournful—permeated the theater to grab and tug at our souls. She sang looking down, her hair cascading to cover half her face, and her body in profile to the audience, almost as if her words were too heavy, too sorrowful to be shared openly. Her body had its own language, hips swaying, arms that reached out and occasionally a stamp of her foot as if to accentuate her words.

Ana changed the tone a few songs into her set when she faced the theater and smiled. “Good evening, Burlington!” she said amidst cheers and broke into an upbeat number that begged us to dance or clap along.

Photo_Moura_300CMYK-1448903711

Like many contemporary fado singers, Moura often sings outside the box, daring to incorporate newer sounds. Many of the songs sung tonight were from her last album, which was produced by Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Herbie Hancock) who assisted her in diversifying her music. Her accompanying band was extraordinary with the traditional acoustic fado trio, keyboard and drums. For some of the traditional and mournful songs she used just one guitarist, usually the Portuguese guitar player. When Ana left the stage briefly we were fantastically entertained by the band, each member giving us a solo performance.

Moura returned in the second half of the concert shimmering in white this time and continued to mesmerize. One of her last numbers was the haunting Lilac Wine, most famously sung by Nina Simone and Jeff Buckley.

“Lilac wine is sweet and heady, like my love. Lilac wine, I feel unsteady, like my love,” she sang sweetly but so sadly. Ana dedicated the song to her friend and ardent fan, the late Prince. She pointed to the lilac branch on the screen behind her and told us she’d photographed this very close to his home. “This loss that we’ve all shared,” she said. “It’s been very, very hard these last days.”

“I made wine from the lilac tree. Put my heart in its recipe,” she’d sung.

Ana Moura’s heart and indeed, her soul are entwined in every note and the listener walks away touched and unsteady.

Posted in Burlington Writers Workshop, MainStage, Review | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Music of Strangers

by John R. Killacky, Flynn Center Executive Director

A preview of a benefit screening for VSO/VYO/Flynn Partnership: The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Thursday, June 2, 2016 at 7:00 PM, Palace 9 Cinemas: 10 Fayette Drive, South Burlington, VT. Get tickets at FlynnTix.org.

In 2000, acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma brought more than 50 musicians from around the world to the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts to explore commonalities across diverse cultural traditions and inspire creative collaboration. Instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists, and storytellers from countries along the Silk Road, the ancient trade route linking Asia, Africa, and Europe, gathered. After 10 days of intensive workshops, 16 new works debuted.

Since then, Yo-Yo Ma has formalized the Silk Road Project with annual tours featuring an ever-changing lineup of master artists. So far, more than 80 works and six albums have been commissioned and performed by the Silk Road Ensemble, a testament to Ma’s belief that “the intersection of cultures is where new things emerge.”

Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom) joined the caravan in 2013 and has created an emotionally rich and textured documentary on Ma’s expansive vision of cultural exchange. Blending performance footage, personal narratives, and archival film, The Music of Strangers demonstrates the role of art during this time of political unrest and upheaval as the cameras follow a small group of the ensemble members coming from China, Iran, Syria, and Spain as they journey to Jordan, Turkey, Spain, and all over the United States.

Some of the traditional musicians are refugees from their home countries, including Iranian Kayhan Kalhor, master of the kamancheh (or Persian spiked fiddle) and clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, from Syria. Particularly poignant is Azmeh’s visit to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan where he conducts workshops with the children living in squalid conditions. “They think there isn’t time for music,” he says. “That’s when most people need music. People need at least one moment of happiness.”

Most affirming is the glorious footage of virtuosic cellist Ma jamming with clarinetists and banjo players alongside masters of the Arabic oud, Chinese pipa, Galician gaita bagpipe, and Persian fiddle, celebrating their common humanity. Ma’s wondrous trans-cultural experiment with the Silk Road Project not only preserves endangered musical traditions, but, equally as important, inspires hope in our fragile and fragmented  world. The uplifting power of music is never more evident than in The Music of Strangers.

A024_C028_0906BN

Note: This preview screening benefits the Flynn’s ongoing “Link Up” partnership with Vermont Youth Orchestra, Vermont Symphony Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute, aiming to celebrate the magic of orchestral music and inspire schoolchildren to raise their musical voices. Participating schools receive free recorders for each student, and a simple curriculum to prepare children for the highly-interactive concert at the Flynn, wherein VSO and VYO musicians play side by side, and students in the audience play along with the recorders from their seats.  Please join us!

Posted in Film, Preview | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Navigating the Emotional Spectrum

By Josh McDonald, Burlington Writers Workshop

A review of the Maria Schneider Orchestra’s April 20 performance on the MainStage, which featured the premiere of Bluebird, a new work co-commissioned by the Flynn.

As she prepared to premier her new commissioned work Bluebird, Maria Schneider shared how the title came out of her collaboration with David Bowie. One of the ideas he’d had was for a song he called Bluebird. It eventually took on a completely different name, but that original title stuck with Schneider. And when she began working on this commission for the Flynn Center, she noticed that the yard outside the house she was staying at was filled with bluebirds.

And thus did this bright, cheerful new work gain its title. The song brings to mind the age-old notion of “the bluebird of happiness,” as Frank Kimbrough’s piano twitters and hops and flits its way through the orchestra’s vivid harmonies.

Schneider_Maria_3c-2703b-1

This was followed in stark contrast by another commissioned work—this one for the Library of Congress—which she also attributed in part to her collaboration with Bowie. As they worked together on Bowie’s Sue (Or a Season in Crime), she says, he kept pushing her to “go darker, go darker.” And this darkness found its way into Data Lords, her instrumental meditation on a world in which our art, our music, even our personal information, is routinely mined and stored and sold by Google and its ilk.

These two pieces, coming around the middle of Schneider’s Flynn Center concert, define the light and the dark, and set the two ends of the emotional spectrum her music covers. The rest of the concert shows the range and subtleties she brings to her compositions. On stage she comes across as a natural storyteller. She has a natural warmth and humor as she introduces each piece, speaking about her inspiration, the sensations, the spark that led her to that particular song. From there the music picks up her themes and paints a deep, rich soundscape.

Her The Thompson Fields (the title track of her latest album), which she describes as a return to her Minnesota hometown, has a Coplandesque feel about it as a folksy, American-roots style guitar solo sets the foundation upon which the rest of the orchestra can build its grand, sweeping, and somewhat melancholy vision of a memory of home. And A Potter’s Song, written as a memorial to trumpet player Laurie Frink, weaves together the joys of a good life with the ache of a lost friend into a moving and haunting tribute.

A highlight of the performance was her song Arbiters of Evolution. Inspired by videos of the elaborate and flamboyant mating displays of birds-of-paradise, she presented a rousing, energetic piece designed to let her musicians and featured soloists really strut their stuff. For an evening of music that ran the full spectrum of emotional hues, this bright and vivid number was a perfect send-off.

Posted in Burlington Writers Workshop, MainStage, Review | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ballet: For Our Human and Animal Selves

By Colleen Ovelman, Burlington Writers Workshop

A preview of Alonzo King LINES Ballet, performing Wednesday, May 4 on the Flynn MainStage at 7:30. More information and tickets are available online at FlynnTix.org.

Lately, I’ve found myself reading war stories and poetry and ruminating on what it is to be human. I’ve been thinking about grief and how only music and art can cut into the center of it and hold it the way it needs to be held.

Then yesterday, I saw the first golden shoots of forsythia, that most bright and brief harbinger of spring, and I instantly felt human and alive in a way that I hadn’t for some cold, foggy days.

Ballet is like that too. A connection to what makes us human. From the line of the outturned toe to the far reaches of the finger tip, there is a coiling tension between form and collapse, between beauty and pain. It is the mirage of the effortless impossible that reminds us of the mundane impossible that we somehow plow through each day. Sadness and sorrow and stress, and dishes and bills and laundry and schedules, and joy and absurdity and the very weight of gravity upon us. It is a dance. Navigating, pirouetting, sashaying around others. Together. Apart. Together.

Alonzo King, artistic director of the San Francisco contemporary ballet company LINES, skews the boundaries of traditional ballet by incorporating cultural traditions, movements, music, and styles outside the lineage of Western ballet. In their upcoming work at the Flynn Center, LINES Ballet will perform Biophony with sound design and music by Bernie Krause and Richard Blackford. The soundscape includes recordings from nature. Whale songs. Tree frogs chirping. In a way, this performance is poised to remind us not just that we are human, but that we are animal as well. Think Darwin and the evolution of species.


quinnbwhartonGS8A5752

I was working on biology homework with one of my teenagers this weekend. We were looking at the bone structure of bat wings and whale fins and human arms and hands. Phalanges and metacarpals. The same pattern in the wing, in the fin, in the hand, adapted over time for flying and swimming and port de bras (or chopping wood or hunting or carrying babies/lifting lovers or dancers high above one’s head). The same bones, stretched over time, to meet the needs of their bodies.

We share eighty percent of our DNA with whales, that dancing double helix of our animal nature. Of our needs and desires. A spinning double helix, like the sinews, the tendons and ligaments in the ankle that hold the outturned foot and spin all the way up to the hip joint. Like soutenus across the floor. Like turning gracefully in the cold dark sea.

I am reminded of the final lines of Carrie Fountain’s poem “Late Summer,”

“Because for some lucky animals

the space between the body

and what it wants

is all there is.”

As Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet performs Biophony on May 4 at the Flynn, let us linger in that space between the body and what it wants. Let us feel what it is to be both human and animal.

Posted in Burlington Writers Workshop, dance, MainStage, Preview | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ana Moura: Destiny’s Voice

By Lorraine Ryan, Burlington Writers Workshop

A preview of Ana Moura’s Friday, April 29 performance on the Flynn MainStage. Tickets and information are available online via FlynnTix.

Sold out performances are typical for Portugal’s wildly popular fado singer Ana Moura and her future appears to be moving only upwards in a genre of music that is dominated by women. Fado (sometimes explained as Portugal’s answer to the blues) means “fate” and fate certainly brought this sensual singer to the pinnacle of success.

“We have this saying in Portugal: you have to be born a fado singer, it’s not something you just learn,” Moura said.

Born in 1979 into a family of musicians where everybody sang and any family reunion would end up in a celebration in the form of music, Ana’s voice turned into song by age four. At six, she sang fado in public for the first time.

“Things in my life just happen,” she said.

Fate indeed was a constant companion in Ana’s life, but at a young age, she already knew the foundation she needed to build her life in music. At 14, she enrolled in Academia dos Amadores de Musica in Lisbon, starting her first band with some high school friends. Although she had shelved fado for the music of her peers, rock and mainstream pop, her voice soon developed a natural fado tone. Eventually, fado found its way back into her repertoire.

Photo_Moura_300CMYK-1448903711

At 16, her recording career officially began when a well-known producer heard her audition and chose her to record a pop-rock album which was never finished or released. But here is where destiny stepped in and “guided” Ana to a Carcavelos bar where she sang a fado song. She so impressed the fadistas that invitations to sing at fado houses began tumbling in and led her to a Lisbon fado house, Senhor Vinho, where she ended up meeting the guitarist and composer Jorge Fernando, who later produced Moura’s debut album in 2003.

Staying with the traditional essence of fado, which has been around for nearly two centuries, the album was enthusiastically accepted by both the public and critics alike. Her second album, Aconteceu, released in 2004, showcased Moura’s ability to blend traditional fado with her personal contemporary expression.

“We all have one thing in common, and that is the desire to renew the fado,” Moura said. “This curiosity of young people for the fado is all very recent, and I think it can best be explained by this new approach to an old music that all of us have adopted.”

Moura’s intangible quality—her passion and soul, vital to fado and other emotional musical styles—was recognized by other musicians. In 2007 she was invited to record two songs with The Rolling Stones, “No Expectations” (now treated as a classic pained fado lament) and “Brown Sugar” for the Rolling Stones Project Vol.2. She caught the attention of the late iconic musician Prince, who’d found her music on the internet, traveled to Paris to see her, and then invited her to come and improvise with his band in Minneapolis.

Ana Moura’s vocal presence personifies the passionate credo of Fado music: low-pitched sensuality and emotional depth. It pierces the soul and the audience is hers.

Posted in Burlington Writers Workshop, MainStage, Preview | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alonzo King: Transfigured Beauty

By John Killacky, Executive Director of the Flynn Center

A preview of Alonzo King LINES Ballet, performing Wednesday, May 4 on the Flynn MainStage at 7:30. More information and tickets are available here

Alonzo King is an anomaly, an outlier in the ballet world: African-American and based in San Francisco, with a truly multicultural company of exquisite dancers. Against all odds, his artistry flourished.

He has created prolific dances for his own company, LINES Ballet, since 1982. The ensemble regularly tours nationally and in Europe. His dances are also in the repertories of Swedish Royal Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet, Ballet Bejart, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Hong Kong Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

His choreography, grounded in a rigorous classical technique, challenges dancers to careen wildly off-center with legs akimbo; other times they round and spiral into the floor—unfamiliar terrain for balletomanes. Sharp, jagged jabs punctuate the stage space, juxtaposed with a softness and organic lyricism.

quinnbwhartonGS8A5855

There is a profound humanism in Alonzo’s work as he collaborates with composers, musicians, and visual artists from around the world. While I ran Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco, we received a grant for Alonzo to travel to the Ituri Rain Forest in the Central African Republic. What resulted was an astoundingly resplendent work, People of the Forest (2001), integrating the petite Baka musicians and dancers with his long-limbed dancers.

Another project, Long River High Sky (2007), seamlessly featured his statuesque balletic dancers alongside the deeply-grounded martial arts trained Shaolin Monks from China. Both these works could have been egregious cultural appropriation if in the hands of a lesser artist. He welcomed these African and Chinese artists in as collaborators, and together they developed movement patterns authentic to all.

Alonzo’s musical tastes are quite eclectic—commissioning scores from Pharaoh Sanders, Hamza al Din, Jason Morn, and Zakir Hussain, but also choreographing to Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Bach, and Handel with Mickey Hart and Etta James thrown in. Last fall, I was in San Francisco and saw the world-premiere of The Propelled Heart, his new work with rock singer Lisa Fisher (who sang on the Flynn’s Mainstage in September). It was a thrilling evening of sensual kineticism and vocal pyrotechnics.

For the upcoming performance on May 4, LINES Ballet performs Biophony with sound design and music by Bernie Krause and Richard Blackford. Pioneering soundscape artist Krause records and archives the sounds of creatures and environments world-wide, creating what he calls “biophonies.” These sonic environments promise to encapsulate and enhance the flawless technique of Alonzo’s virtuosic dancers in an evening of transfigured beauty. Augmenting the program is Concerto for Two Violins with music by Bach and Men’s Quintet with music by Edgar Meyer and Pharoah Sanders.

Posted in dance, Preview | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Weaving a New Cultural Tapestry

By John Killacky, Executive Director of the Flynn Center

This commentary first aired on Vermont Public Radio and was later published on VTDigger.

One-third of the children in Burlington and Winooski public schools are students of color, including new Americans who are English language learners. With the demographics in our region shifting so dramatically, government agencies, educational institutions, businesses and nonprofits are grappling with inadequate cultural competency in trying to serve these myriad populations.

Wednesday, the Flynn Center, along with Burlington City Arts, the Vermont Arts Council and the Vermont Community Foundation, is hosting a forum in Burlington called New Community Visions with Americans for the Arts. The initiative’s goal is to explore the role that arts play in pursuing a healthy, vibrant and cohesive community, and how individuals, arts institutions and support organizations can help achieve that.

Participants from seven states will discuss ways to harness the transformative power of the arts. This is one of eight meetings across the country Americans for the Arts is convening. I’m glad Vermonters’ perspectives are part of the national dialogue, as we have much to contribute to and learn from other regions.

The arts have a long history of bringing people together — increasing understandings across disparate and historically unequal groups, and supporting the agency of underrepresented individuals to create, maintain and share their own stories. Our community’s continued resiliency depends on the melding of all new traditions among us. This can only make our rich cultural tapestry even bolder.

Advocates for the arts know that artistic endeavors alone won’t resolve the biases and privileges that drive inequality. But we also know the arts can be instrumental in developing the empathy necessary to understand and truly listen across our differences. Through the arts, we get to know ourselves, and others, most profoundly.

Artists and arts organizations are an important resource in the path to building stronger connections. Opportunities for more even-footed conversations between groups lead to insight and a shared sense of community. Inclusion of multicultural voices becomes an asset that differentiates, galvanizes, and revitalizes neighborhoods.

All across Vermont, evidence abounds of the catalytic effect of the arts. In Burlington alone, consider the civic, socio-economic, and soul-nurturing impact of the Vermont Young Playwrights Festival, South End Art Hop, Discover Jazz Festival, and many other events that bring thousands of people together. Connections are made and boundaries are blurred in ways that would not happen without this deep engagement in and celebration of the arts.

Posted in FlynnArts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daring-do and Slapstick, Too

by Cynthia Close, the Burlington Writers Workshop

A review of the Peking Acrobats, who performed on the Flynn MainStage, Friday, April 15. The show was presented in association with the Office of the Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs through the UVM President’s Initiative for Diversity

It’s not easy being the tail end of a two-person lion costume, but the perfectly synchronized duos that bounced and danced their way into the packed Flynn Theater on Friday night made it look both joyful and effortless.

The Lion Dance was the opening act of the Peking Acrobats, setting the tone mixing traditional Chinese culture with humor, skill and strength that charmed both adults and kids throughout the evening. This version of the dance was representative of the Northern Chinese Lion. The costumes looked a bit like giant Pekingese, or Fu Dogs, with their large wooden heads, animated mouths, shaggy red, orange, and yellow-haired bodies, representing both male lions (with red bows on their heads) and female lions (with green bows). The adult lions were the ones in the two-person costumes, balancing precariously on a very large sphere, followed by two young “lions” that seemed to tumble out magically from the bodies of the larger beasts. The action started here and did not let up as one mesmerizing act led to the next throughout the evening.

Dragon Dance- Ent. WSO is holding a media call for the Peking Acrobats Winnipeg, MB - April 23, 2014 - The spectacular Peking Acrobats will astonish concertgoers as they flip, fly and tumble through the air when they join the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) for three unbelievable performances of Peking Acrobats Encore! From Friday, April 25 to Sunday April 27 as part of the WSO Air Canada Pops Series. The Peking Acrobats wowed concertgoers when they performed with the WSO during the 2010/2011 season, and they are bringing their show back to the Centennial Concert Hall with musical accompaniment by the WSO. The Peking Acrobats set the world record for human chair stacking on Fox's Guinness Book Primetime where they amazed audiences with their talents by successfully balancing six people on top of six chairs, 21 feet in the air, while holding a handstand, APRIL 25 2014 / KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Each member of this acrobatic team demonstrated confidence in the strength and flexibility of the human body that few of us have put to the test. There was also an interesting division of labor between the male and female performers, a sort of “yin-yang” effect, although here the women were not “dark.” Instead, they were most often dressed in white opalescent leotards with spangles, while the male performers combined demonstrations of muscular power and daring-do with slapstick comedy.

Both the male and female acrobats performed without any guide wires or safety nets, which emphasized the potential risk, countered by that self-assured confidence they had in their abilities to defy gravity. There were times when I found it difficult to look, particularly in the chair balancing act where a bare-chested male performer kept climbing higher and higher as one straight-backed chair was added to the next until he stood atop a stack that reached almost to the ceiling of the theater. He proceeded to balance on one hand, then the other, while both legs kept pivoting in the air over his head. I had a feeling of vertigo sweep over me and was relieved when he started to dismantle the pile of chairs as he deftly made his way back to terra firma.

Most of the female acts combined the grace and form of ballet with the intricate twisting of contortionists. Their movements were slow and deliberative, allowing the audience to appreciate the extent to which the human anatomy can be stretched and remain beautiful while balanced on a very fine edge. The final three acts engaged the whole troupe, male and female performers all supporting each other, producing aesthetic structures, like the Human Pyramid and the precarious motion of the Bicycle Pagoda. There was a jubilant camaraderie between the Peking Acrobats and an appreciative audience that had us all standing and clapping together at the final curtain. While some children may have been inspired to explore the world of acrobatics by this experience, I for one will not be trying what I saw on stage at home.

Posted in Burlington Writers Workshop, MainStage, Review | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unfathomable Articulation

By Ana Hernandez, Burlington Writers Workshop

A review of Brazilian dance troupe Companhia Urbana de Dança, who performed on the MainStage Thursday, April 14.

“What did you write?” Kim asked as the lights for intermission went up. I had been scribbling in the near-dark through the first half of the performance by Companhia Urbana da Dança, a tense, pulsing composition called ID:Entidades.

“I keep thinking, if that were me, all it would say is—‘Wow! Wow. Wow!’”

“I know, right? It’s probably full of ‘Fast. Now, really fast. So, so beautiful! How?’ and brilliant insight like that. I really feel the lack of the language for this,” I responded.

But even if I could list the movements—cross-body leads, enchuflas, natural turns, and the like—and describe and evaluate the execution of each; or identify and narrate the arc of a dance composition, that doesn’t tell why the audience was there, why we stayed, what kept us rapt, or what moves their work into performance art, making the experience so different from watching other good dancers last New Year’s Eve, or on the sidewalk in New York, or in music videos.

It could be the sheer breadth of their repertoire—even I could see that the Companhia dancers drew deeply from modern dance, break dancing, samba, ballet, and more. Kim noted Vermont’s strong yoga culture was very present in the audience as, when dancers drew up into complex twisting arm balances and then exited in very un-yogic flips, crashes, and jumps, they gasped, collectively.

Or it could be that, through the processes of recognition, we are drawn onto the stage. A quickened energy rippled through the audience during the second half, Na Pista, an expansive, high-energy dance party, at the Michael Jackson references—the moonwalk, the knee-high side-kicks across the body, the zombie crowd choreography from Thriller—the vogue-ing, a fantastical dance-off version of musical chairs, the guttural invitation from David Bowie (“let’s dance”), and that bold, sexy, brash energy you get when you are young, strong, and at a really great party. So, perhaps we felt a kinship with the Companhia or even that there was something of ourselves actually in the dancers, the composition, the production—we were, just a bit, Companhia members.

208285921051fc6bcb376fb

And it must be, of course, the dancers’ extraordinary skill and prowess, the things that, if you are lucky to catch them in life, even fleetingly, are simply gorgeous. I still see, in my mind’s eye, the unfathomable articulation and range of one dancer’s sinewy, serpentine movement; his torso could curve through a deep s-shape in any direction, and he would elongate the movement and thrill by following through in his arms. Or the near-freeze in time as the one woman in the Companhia reached up through her right arm, further and further, infinitesimally so far that she had to lean to find more space, and drew down like that last drop of syrup into a one-armed backbend.

And the thrill of the creative, slipping seamlessly from these brief solos into a muscular, percussive, funk-driven choreography or a whirling sprint with flips and leaps around the stage. Moving through pairings, changing groupings, and ensembles, the dancers exhaled a generative, emotional, vital chemistry.

But more than that, I hope more important than what the Companhia gave to or elicited in their audience—I believe we saw their unfettered, unadulterated talent and discipline. And so, I also believe, we wanted to acknowledge, and give them something in return to mark our respect. We gave what we could—full attention, bursts of applause and yelps and whistles when it seemed appropriate, as we could not bear to break neither their nor our own concentration, a desire to connect and say “thank you” so great that a lot of us ducked down to continue smiling and waving and clapping and cheering the dancers on as the final curtain dropped, peering at them through the diminishing band between curtain and stage, as they bowed, smiled, blew kisses, and dropped to the floor, and the last notes and beats faded.

Posted in Burlington Writers Workshop, dance, MainStage, Review | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Jazzmaster

By Josh McDonald, Burlington Writers Workshop

A preview of the Maria Schneider Orchestra, who perform Wednesday, April 20 on the MainStage. Get tickets here.
Schneider_Maria_3b-1785a-1

It’s been said that jazz is whatever you want it to be. I’m not sure I entirely believe that, but the legacy of Maria Schneider makes a good case for the idea. A modern jazz master, composer, and big-band leader, hailed as “the most important woman in jazz,” she is not confined by strictures of genre. In recent years she has won Grammy Awards not only for her jazz recordings but also for classical chamber music, with her 2013 album Winter Morning Walks, and for collaboration with the late David Bowie.

In addition to her impressive musical career, Schneider is a pioneer in the crowd-funding artistic business model. Her company, ArtistShare, is an innovator in alternative funding and distribution. Her 2004 album Concert in the Garden marked the first time a recording sold exclusively online won a Grammy, and the first fully fan-funded album to win the award.

Now she is bringing her 22-piece orchestra to Burlington to perform a new composition co-commissioned by the Flynn Center. It’s an exciting opportunity for local audiences to be present at the premier of a work by one of the most original and innovative voices in contemporary jazz.

Posted in Burlington Writers Workshop, MainStage, Preview | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts seeks to comply with the web site accessibility standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Our web site represents a good-faith effort to comply with those standards.

Vermont website design, graphic design, and web hosting provided by Vermont Design Works

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts

Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
153 Main Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401
Tickets: 802-863-5966, voice/relay calls welcome
Administrative Offices: 802-652-4500 (P) 802-863-8788 (F)
Contact Us