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Redfern Season Offers Dynamic Jazz, Theater, and Dance

KEENE, N.H., 7/14/10 - Dynamic performances in jazz music, family theatre, and modern dance are among the many events scheduled during the 2010-11 season at the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond at Keene State College. The season runs the gamut from influential performers at the top of their game to emerging artists earning the attention of national audiences.

It’s a season that promises to show how the arts sustain us with exciting performances and new ideas, said Redfern Arts Center Director William Menezes. The public is invited to a Season Preview on Thursday, September 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Redfern lobby. Short presentations about the season lineup and video clips of performers will be followed by refreshments. Admission is free.

The Tierney Sutton Band opens the season with a high-powered jazz concert on Wednesday, October 6, at 7:30 p.m. The Tierney Sutton Band is recognized for its extraordinary collaborations and improvisation, bonded together with what Variety describes as “an uncanny display of spirit and unity.” In its 15 years together, the band has been reinventing jazz standards and creating original music.

Aquila Theatre Company stages A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of Shakespeare’s well loved comedies, with a school performance on Monday, October 25, at 9:30 a.m. and an evening performance on Tuesday, October 26, at 7:30 p.m. This magical piece of theater follows four young lovers as they wander through an enchanted forest of mischievous fairies. The New Yorker writes that Aquila Theatre Company’s imaginative interpretation of this complex farce is “beautifully spoken, dramatically revealing, and crystalline in effect.”

Blue Heron Renaissance Choir provides a beautiful evening of song from a widely misunderstood period of music on Wednesday, November 3, at 7:30 p.m. The 14-member choir creates a sound that the Boston Globe describes as “extraordinary … sensually rich, yet balanced and incandescent.” Blue Heron’s repertoire encompasses early English music, 15th-century Franco- Flemish polyphony, Spanish music, and English sacred music of the 16th century.

In the new year, Sandglass Theater and physical comedian Bob Berky present “Richard 3.5: Light Ruminations On Murder” on Friday, January 28. Shakespeare’s tragedy of Richard III is set as a cabaret in which King Richard III dances and sings his way through 11 murders. As each character meets its end, Richard’s accomplice forms miniature wax puppets of them from giant candles set around the stage. Richard finds that each puppet cannot be so easily destroyed.

The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), one of the nation’s most progressive dance companies since its inception 40 years ago, performs on Tuesday, February 15. Moving effortlessly from neoclassical to modern styles, the company’s dance repertory is packed with power, exuberance, and diversity. Dance Magazine says, “Philadanco’s dancers are a miracle of skill and energy.”

Another modern dance troupe, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, kicks off the 2011 American College Dance Festival at Keene State on Wednesday, March 9. The Village Voice describes the witty, young New York choreographer Monica Bill Barnes as “grabby with space, springy, vibrant with life … but teetering on edges we don’t even know exist.” Monica Bill Barnes joins the ranks of incredible dance artists who are poised for national acclaim and perform at the Redfern early in their careers.

Christopher O’Riley, an acclaimed concert pianist and the affable NPR host of From the Top, performs a concert that juxtaposes different musical styles on Wednesday, February 23. O’Riley stretches classical piano far beyond its traditional boundaries with a program that includes pop artists like Radiohead, Nick Drake, and Elliott Smith, along with works by Ravel, Scriabin, and Shostakovich. The Washington Post says “O’Riley played so delicately that he seemingly left no fingerprints on the keys, yet his melodies sung out with sweet clarity,”

Mango Blue rounds out the season with a concert of Afro-Latin and world music on Wednesday, March 23. Mango Blue’s songs are celebratory, socially conscious, and totally danceable. “Mango Blue is a band that defies categorization. Its music, like Latin America itself, is an eclectic mix of musical influences,” states a WGBH television reviewer.

The Redfern’s season is made possible through the generosity of Northeast Delta Dental, C&S; Wholesale Grocers, the Kingsbury Fund, Markem-Imaje, Peerless Insurance Group, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tickets and a season brochure are available by phone or online. Call the box office at 603-358-2168 or visit

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