Press Releases

Arts & Ideas announces three cornerstone premieres and celebrations for Festival 2013

December 19, 2012

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The Festival is excited to announce three cornerstone events for Festival 2013:

  • Bristol Old Vic & Handspring Puppet Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: a new collaboration from the Tony Award-winning team behind Broadway's War Horse
  • Shantala Shivalingappa: the U.S. premiere of a new dance, co-commissioned by the International Festival of Arts & Ideas
  • Kronos Quartet with special guest Wu Man: A FREE performance on the New Haven Green, celebrating the ensemble's 40th Anniversary

ABOUT THE EVENTS

Tickets for all events go on sale to the general public on April 15. Festival Members can purchase premium tickets for A Midsummer Night's Dream beginning on February 1:

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BRISTOL OLD VIC & HANDSPRING PUPPET COMPANY: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

  • By William Shakespeare
  • Directed by Tom Mooris
  • designed by Vicki Mortimer
  • A Bristol Old Vic production in association with Handspring Puppet Company
  • Co-commissioned by Spoleto Festival USA
  • June 15 to 23, 2013 – University Theatre, 222 York Street (ticketed)

A new collaboration from the team behind the Tony Award-winning, Broadway & West End smash, WAR HORSE

Shakespeare’s inexhaustible A Midsummer Night’s Dream unfurls in a new adaption interweaving the lives of lovers, actors, friends, foes, and fairies. This is a Dream about love, lust, survival, and song, where a belief in the mystical presence of fairies isn’t mere superstition, but encoded in the routines of a community living on the edge of viability. This is a future primitive world, a hard world, a world of survival and instinct; a world in which, thanks to the magic of Handspring Puppet Company, all objects are granted the right to life.

The production will premiere in the United Kingdom this February before traveling to the United States in the spring. The 12-performance engagement at the Festival will be one of only two American dates on the production’s premiere tour, and the only engagement in the Greater New York area. The production appears at Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina from late May to June.

FESTIVAL MEMBERS HAVE EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO PREMIUM TICKETS NOW! Join the Festival as a Member for a host of benefits, including early access to premium tickets for A Midsummer Night's Dream, VIP access on the New Haven Green, and more. Click here for Membership information, or call (203) 498-3704.

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SHANTALA SHIVALINGAPPA - NEW KUCHIPUDI SOLO

  • US premiere
  • Co-commissioned by the International Festival of Arts & Ideas
  • June 26 to 28, 2013 – Theater at the Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School, 177 College Street (ticketed)

A classical Indian dancer whose artistic curiosity has spanned contemporary and traditional forms, Shantala Shivalingappa is widely acclaimed for her vivid, brilliantly musical performances. Shivalingappa specializes in the South Indian dance form of Kuchipudi—a centuries-old tradition that has been carefully handed down from generation to generation—and she has also made an imprint working with Western artists such as Pina Bausch and Peter Brook. Said the New York Times: “It’s tempting … to call Ms. Shivalingappa divinely gifted.”

The Festival is proud to present the U.S. premiere of Shivalingappa’s new Kuchipudi solo, co-commissioned by the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, and additional European partners. The new piece acknowledges the wide-ranging influences on her life’s work, from the traditions of her Kuchipudi master to her contemporary adventures in Europe and the United States. Through dance and storytelling—both integral elements of the Kuchipudi form—she reflects on art and tradition, using a combination of traditional heritage forms and contemporary choreography, performed to live music by four Indian musicians.

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KRONOS QUARTET, WITH SPECIAL GUEST WU MAN

  • Launching the Quartet's 40th Anniversary Season
  • June 22, 2013 – New Haven Green (FREE)

For 40 years, the Kronos Quartet—David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello)—has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time. The Grammy Award-winning quartet has commissioned over 750 works and arrangements for string quartet, and in 2011, Kronos became the only recipients of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians. The quartet has a commitment to new music in a diverse range of genres, spanning contemporary classical music, Mexican folk, experimental, pre-classical early music, film scores, jazz, and tango.

Kronos’ Festival performance launches the quartet’s 40th Anniversary season, and will include special guest Wu Man, the much-admired Chinese pipa player. Wu Man was recently named Musical America’s 2012 Instrumentalist of the Year.

The program will feature several works commissioned and created specially for the Kronos Quartet, and will be performed in a free concert on the New Haven Green.

RELEASE

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT—The International Festival of Arts & Ideas today announces three cornerstone events for its 18th annual festival, taking place from June 15 to 29, 2013. International in scope and scale, the events represent the Festival’s prized qualities of creativity, artistry, and big ideas on the global stage.

Said the Festival’s Executive Director, Mary Lou Aleskie: “We are so excited about these events that we just couldn’t wait until the spring to share them. These wonderful artists represent the very best and most exciting work happening in the world today: Beauty, excitement, and serious fun return to the Festival once again.”

Opening the Festival on the first weekend is a new collaboration from the Tony Award-winning team behind the Broadway/West End hit War Horse. Bristol Old Vic, with director Tom Morris, and South African ensemble Handspring Puppet Company will create a new production of Shakespeare’s enduring classic, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The production premieres at Bristol Old Vic in the United Kingdom this February, before traveling to the United States in the spring. The 12-performance engagement at the Festival will be one of only two American dates on the production’s premiere tour, and the only engagement in the Greater New York area.

During the second week of the Festival, acclaimed Indian classical dancer Shantala Shivalingappa will perform the US premiere of a new work co-commissioned by the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. The piece will explore Shivalingappa’s wide-ranging influences as a classical Indian dancer working in the West, from her Kuchipudi traditions to experiences working with a wide range of contemporary artists. The performance will include live music from four Indian musicians.

On the middle weekend of the Festival, celebrated new-music ensemble Kronos Quartet launches its 40th Anniversary Season with a free-for-everyone concert on the New Haven Green, featuring special guest Wu Man. The Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet has commissioned over 750 works and arrangements for string quartet, and in 2011 became the only recipients of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians. Wu Man is a Chinese pipa player who was recently named Musical America’s 2012 Instrumentalist of the Year. A frequent collaborator with the Kronos Quartet, Wu Man also regularly collaborates with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, who were headliners at Festival 2011. Kronos Quartet’s performance will feature works specially commissioned and created for the Quartet.

Festival 2013 is presented with major support from the State of Connecticut, as well as marquee sponsors Yale University, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, First Niagara Bank, and AT&T.

More details about performance times, ticket prices, and special events with the artists will be released at a later date. The complete schedule for Festival 2013 will be announced on March 26 at a special Festival preview event. Premium tickets for A Midsummer Night’s Dream go on sale to Festival Members only on February 1. All Festival events go on sale to the general public on April 15, with a Member presale from March 26.

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ARTS & IDEAS

The International Festival of Arts & Ideas is a 15-day festival of performing arts, lectures, and conversations that celebrates the greatest artists and thinkers from around the world. Each June, the Festival takes over the theaters, open spaces, and courtyards of New Haven, Connecticut with performances and dialogues that tickle the senses, engage the mind, and inspire the soul.

More than 80% of Festival programs are completely free to the public, including events that feature some of the most prestigious jazz, classical, dance, and theater artists in the world. In 2012, the Festival achieved an economic impact of $25 million with an overall attendance of 143,637. The Festival’s programs have an impact throughout the year, including engagement and educational programming such as the Festival Fellowship Program for underserved youth, and the Visionary Leadership Award held in autumn of each year.

The International Festival of Arts & Ideas was established in 1996 by Anne Tyler Calabresi, Jean M. Handley and Roslyn Milstein Meyer. The founders envisioned an annual celebration in New Haven - a small city rich with diversity and steeped in strong cultural and educational traditions - distinguished from established arts festivals by its fusion of arts and ideas events. Their aim was to gather world-class artists and pre-eminent thinkers from around the globe, showcasing the city and the state as a major arts destination.

Festival 2013 is presented with major support from the State of Connecticut, as well as marquee sponsors Yale University, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, First Niagara Bank, and AT&T.

For more information about the Festival and its programs, go to www.artidea.org.