Art informs, inspires and transforms people and always has served as a powerful bridge to unite people. Appreciating art is a gift that is merely enhanced when seen in person.
According to ARTS San Antonio (ARTS SA), a local nonprofit organization, seeing and appreciating an artist who has devoted countless hours practicing their craft and shining their skills enriches the lives of everyone in a community. Since 1992, ARTS SA has brought that gift to the Alamo City by bringing international, national, regional, and local artists and performers to the community for all to enjoy and appreciate.
In addition to bringing world-class acts to town, ARTS SA provides school-aged children hands on, acclaimed arts education curriculum through ARtsTEach. Annually, ARTS SA visits 167 elementary schools and serves more than 3,400 students in Bexar County and neighboring areas.
In years prior, ARTS SA has brought a diverse blend of classical, exotic and contemporary dance and musical numbers. Notable examples include acclaimed trumpet players Arturo Sandoval and Wynton Marsalis, The Royal Ballet Covent Garden, California-based mariachi ensemble Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, actor William Shatner, The Paul Taylor Dance Company, amongst many more. SA ARTS has announced 16 mew performances for 2015-2016 season, with a something for everyone.
All ARTS SA present performances in San Antonio’s finest venues, including the Majestic Theatre, Lila Cockrell Theatre, the Jo Long Theatre of the Carver Community Cultural Center, the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre and Laurie Auditorium at Trinity University. All shows are listed below with their location. Tickets begin at $29 and shows begin at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Some shows may not be available for purchase until later on in the year. For additional information please call 210-226-2891.
Don Quixote Sahrdaya Foundation, Sept. 13
Hailing from Chennai, India, Sahrdaya Foundation is taking on an adaptation of a classic tale and adding a twist: Anticipate a modern Don Quixote. The performance will provide multiple art forms: dance, music, poetry and theatre to tell a timeless story in a present-day stance. The show is at the Charlene McCombs Empire Theatre.
This production was performed for the Beijing Olympic games in 2008 and includes traditional circus acts like trapeze, hula hooping and lasso. The National Circus and Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China 2015 tour of North America will feature “Peking Dreams,” which features other circus and acrobatic acts such as hat juggling, diving through rings, bicycle trickeries, feet juggling with umbrellas, grand martial arts, and gymnastics. This show is at the Majestic Theatre.
Adios! Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, Oct. 16
When a team of seasoned Cuban musicians Omara Portuondo, Eliades Ochoa, Guajiro Mirabal, Barbarito Torres, Jesus ‘Aguaje’ Ramos released their only studio album in 1997, they never anticipated such international success. Since then, the group has toured internationally and will take one final tour in 2014-15 with a series of concerts celebrating the ensemble’s journey as ambassadors for Cuban music. This show is at the Laurie Auditorium.
Ballet Hispano Carmen Maquia, Oct. 22
Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s “CARMEN.maquia” takes Georges Bizet’s iconic opera “Carmen” and antes the intensity. The physically charged and sensual choreography fuses contemporary dance with nods to the Spanish paso doble and flamenco. Set designs by Luis Crespo and minimalist black-and-white costumes by fashion designer David Delfin evoke the paintings of Pablo Picasso. Highly original and full of elaborate partnering, “CARMEN.maquia” is a bold and electrifying reimagining of this the tragic opera. This show is at the Lila Cockrell Theatre.
Brad Mehldau Trio, Nov. 4
Considered a renowned jazz pianist, Brad Mehldau was awarded the Montreal International Jazz Festival for “jazz artists who have made significant artistic and innovative contributions to the genre.” The five-time grammy nominee will perform original compositions at the Aztec Theatre.
Imago Theatre Zoo Zoo, Nov. 8
Described as Cirque Du Soleil-evoking acrobatics mixed with Mummenschanz-like mime. Zoo Zoo features penguins playing musical chairs, a cat trapped in a giant paper bag, hippos with insomnia, anteaters as waiters and a madcap revue of illusion, comedy and fun that has inspired audiences nationwide. This show is at the Aztec Theatre.
Charles Yang, Nov. 10
Juilliard graduate Charles Yang began his violin studies with his mom in Austin and has since studied with world-renowned pedagogues Kurt Sassmanshaus, Paul Kantor, Brian Lewis and Glenn Dicterow. On June 9, 2005, the Mayor of Austin presented Yang with his own “Charles Yang Day.” Yang has been a frequent guest on the Emmy Award winning PBS show “From the Top,” and has also been heard on National Public Radio in Washington, DC and Boston. He will be performing at the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall.
Mejia Ballet’s Nutcracker, Dec. 18-20
Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, “The Nutcracker” is the most widely attended ballet in America. This production of “The Nutcracker” is choreographed and directed by the founder of Mejia Ballet International, Paul Mejia, a well-known name in ballet. Mejia is a former principal dancer under George Balanchine at New York City Ballet. Opening night (Friday, Dec. 18) happens at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday performances include a 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m showings at the Lila Cockrell Theatre. Individual tickets are currently unavailable for purchase, but will be after Nov. 10.
**For more information on these performances, join SA Art’s emailing list for updates on purchase availability at Info@ArtsSA.org.**
Yamato Drummers, Feb. 9
Founded in 1992 by Masa Ogawa, in Nara, Japan. Yamato travels internationally with Japan’s traditional Wadaiko drums, putting their very souls into the unusual instruments, whose sound stirs the hearts of people everywhere. The ensemble will be performing at the Majestic Theatre.
Los Angeles based band Los Lobos became a hit with their debut album, “Just Another Band From East L.A.” Los Lobos isn’t “just another” anything, but rather a band that has consistently evolved artistically while never losing sight of their humble roots. They will be performing at Majestic Theatre accompanied by Ballet Folklorico Mexicano, a prestigious dance ensemble that dates back to the ’60s.
The Royal Marine musicians are regarded as the most versatile in the military musical world. Most are required to play a string and wind instrument. Formed in 1642, the ensemble has visited North America and captivated audiences since 1872 with their stunning appearance and musical prowess. They will be performing at the Lila Cockrell Theatre.
Vadym Kholodenko, March 8
This Ukranian pianist has captured the attention of jury, audience, and critics alike for powerful, exhilarating performances that “showed the guts of a true super artist.” He further demonstrated his craft with a cadenza in Mozart’s Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467 — which he composed himself on the plane from Moscow to the competition. Since then, Kholodenko has continued to build an international reputation for interpretations that are “impeccable, tasteful and vibrant.” Kholodenko will be performing at the Ruth Taylor Recital Hall at Trinity University.
Mr. and Mrs. Dream, March 22
Mr. and Mrs. Dream is a production from esteemed choreography couple, Marie-Claude Pietragalla and Julien Derouault. Based on the writings of the absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco, the duo used themes from his plays to create a piece of modern dance. It’s a virtual reality phenomenon that combines 3-D technology with dance. The duet will perform at the Aztec Theatre.
Mark Twain Tonight! Hal Holbrook, March 24
Recreating the one-man show he starred in on Broadway, Hal Holbrook portrays Mark Twain as a 70-year old humorist who skewers politicians, newspapermen and so-called patriots in this 90-minute monologue at Trinity Universities’ Laurie Auditorium.
Pedal Punk Cirque Mechanica, April 1
This isn’t your average circus. Cirque Mechanics combines traditional circus disciplines with new elements to tell a “real world” story with theatricality. The design and exploration of innovative mechanical apparatus and the relationship between performer and machines seen on stage truly make Cirque Mechanics stand out. The performance is at the Majestic Theatre.
Considered the most accomplished guitar duo alive, these Brazilian brothers pick up instantly on the other’s cues. The two, along with Sergio’s daughter Clarice – a talented composer, bassist and vocalist in her own right – work together as a family. The trio reinvents music and give it a distinctly Brazilian flavor. They will be performing at the Charline McCombs Empire Theatre.
For additional information on performances or to reserve seats, visit www.artssa.org or call 210-226-2891.
*Featured/top image: “Don Quixote” by Sahrdaya Foundation will be presented by ARTS San Antonio. Courtesy photo.