July 28--The Blind Boys of Alabama will kick off a Patten Performances series that also includes a production of Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" and a quintet that specializes in everything from Mozart to Radiohead.
The series, presented by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, kicks off Sept. 23 and concludes April 1 with a performance by vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris. In between will be shows featuring dance, theater and music.
"I'm pretty crazy about this season," says presenter Bob Boyer. "We had a very good season last year, and I think this might equal it."
The Patten Performances series began in 1980 as the Dorothy Patten Fine Arts Series in honor of one of Chattanooga's most famous performing artists. Patten appeared in more than 30 Broadway plays, numerous touring and summer stock productions and television shows. She also appeared in the movie "Botany Bay" with Alan Ladd and James Mason.
The Patten series always has been designed to showcase arts that might not otherwise be presented in Chattanooga, according to Boyer.
New this year will be two special general admission shows featuring performers Katie Trotta Sept. 14 and Lon Eldridge Jan. 11. These are in addition to the Pattern Performances series.
"I'm excited about these two shows and, if they do well, we'll add more," Boyer says. "These are designed to introduce new fans to something different. I'm hoping to spotlight local or regional acts. It's authentic American music."
All Patten Performance shows take place in the UTC Fine Arts Center at the corner of Vine and Palmetto streets.
--The Blind Boys of Alabama. Monday, Sept. 23. The Blind Boys of Alabama are known around the world for their gospel music. They've been honored with Grammy Awards and by the National Endowment for the Arts with a Lifetime Achievement Award, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and sung for two presidents in the White House.
--Aqueilla Theatre presents "Fahrenheit 451." Tuesday, Oct. 8. Considered to be fiction when it was published in 1953, Ray Bradbury's dystopian tale of a bleak future where literature and knowledge are on the edge of extinction has been discussed and dissected for decades, thanks to its focus on issues of censorship and how technology impacts society, issues that are affecting us today.
--Ballet Hispanico. Monday, Oct. 28. Works by Ballet Hispanico fuse Latin dance with classical and contemporary techniques created by some of today's most noted choreographers as well as emerging artists. The choreographers represent several countries, including Venezuela, Cuba, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. Since being founded in 1970, the company has offered more than 3,350 performances to audiences of more than 2 million throughout 11 countries.
--Sybarite5. Monday, Jan. 27. From Mozart to Radiohead, Sybarite5's sets are filled with eclectic and dynamic romps through the entire music world. The quintet's debut EP, "Disturb the Silence," featuring music by Radiohead and Argentinian tango composer Astor Piazzolla and two original works written for Sybarite5, was released in spring 2011 and quickly reached the Top 10 on Billboard's Classical Crossover chart.
--Koresh Dance. Tuesday, Feb. 25. Founded in 1991 by Israeli-born choreographer and artistic director Ronen (Roni) Koresh, the company is known for its engaging performances and technically superb dancers. It has performed around the world, presenting shows that feature explosive dances as well as passionate, moving and restrained pieces.
--The Acting Company and Guthrie Theatre presents Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead." Tuesday, March 18. Stoppard has personally given The Acting Company the rights to tour his landmark Tony Award-winning play about the misadventures and musings of two minor characters from William Shakespeare's "Hamlet." "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" is structured as the inverse of "Hamlet"; the title characters are the leads, not supporting players, and Hamlet himself has only a small part.
--Stefon Harris. Tuesday, April 1. The Los Angeles Times called vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris "one of the most important young artists in jazz." He has released seven albums as band leader, five as part of the Classical Jazz Quartet and played with such artists as Ry Cooder, Joe Henderson, Jason Moran and Joshua Redman. He also has performed at many of the world's most distinguished concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, The Kennedy Center, San Francisco's Herbst Theater and the Sydney Opera House.
Contact staff writer Barry Courter at bcourter@times freepress.com or at 423-757-6354.
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