Afro-Cuban Dance Party features Senegalese Orchestra Baobab
ANN ARBOR – The University Musical Society (UMS) presents an Afro-Cuban Dance Party featuring the Senegalese club band Orchestra Baobab at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center on Saturday, April 17. The fifth UMS dance party to be held at EMU’s Convocation Center, Orchestra Baobab provides a contagious Afro-Cuban rhythm that has been the talk of Ann Arbor since their appearance at the 2003 Summer Festival. The venue will be transformed from a sports arena to a nightclub setting where thousands of people can easily fit on the main floor to dance the night away.
Orchestra Baobab was formed in Dakar, Senegal in 1970 when a group of Senegalese government ministers that included Adrien Senghor, Ousmane Diagne and Dame Drame, decided to create an intimate club where they could meet with their friends. They took over the premises in the basement of 144 Rue Jules Ferry, a stone’s throw from Independence Square and the Presidential Palace, and fashioned its walls and ceilings to resemble the ubiquitous Baobab tree, known among other things for its longevity and the shade of its branches. They called it the Baobab Club. This elegant night club was meant to be a meeting place for politicians, intelligentsia, and wealthy businessmen, so the band needed to have a certain chic. The club owners poached six musicians from their rival clubs, and Orchestra Baobab was born.
Latin music had been popular in Senegal since the 1940s when visiting sailors brought Cuban records through the port of Dakar. By the late 1950s Senegal and neighboring countries, including Guinea and Mali, were seeking independence from colonial rule and growing political links with Cuba served to reinforce the interest in Cuban music. But it was the intriguingly cool mix of Latin pachanga, salsa, cha cha cha and African music that became the great strength of Orchestra Baobab.
The University Musical Society was founded in 1879 and presents its 125th season in 03/04. One of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, UMS serves diverse audiences through multidisciplinary performing arts programs in presentation, creation, and education. With a program steeped in music, dance, and theater, UMS hosts approximately 75 performances and 150 free educational activities each season.
FIA offers art classes for young people and adults
FLINT – The Flint Institute of Arts is offering classes for home-schooled children on Monday afternoons beginning April 19 through May 24. In “Our Pets,” from 10 to 11 a.m., children ages 5-7 learn how to draw, paint and create sculptures of their favorite animals. In “Art of the Impressionists,” from 11:30 am to 1 p.m., children ages 8-12 learn about the artwork of the Impressionists as they make impressionist artworks of their own. Class fees are $40 for FIA members or $51 for non-members.
The FIA is also offering art and art history courses for adults. “Subjects in Art History” begins Tuesday, April 27 and runs through May 25, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. This class explores the history of art through intimate and enjoyable lectures and discussions that cover a different artistic subject matter each week. The cost of the class is $34 for FIA members and $43 for non-members.
May brings ‘Cutting Edge Contemporary Dance’ to Windsor
WINDSOR – The HNM Dance Company and Capitol Theatre present “Idea,” a cutting edge contemporary dance featuring two unique Canadian premieres by Detroit Dance Collective, plus four outstanding works, including the anticipated world premiere of “Septet,” by HNM Dance Company.
Photography ’04 Exhibition winners announced
FERNDALE – Lawrence Street Gallery, host of “Exposures: Photography ’04 – 8th Annual Competition and Exhibit,” announced the winners of its highly competitive, juried art exhibition at its opening reception on April 2.
This year’s show includes 81 pieces, which were chosen from a total of 220 entries submitted from around the state. The juror was Linda Soberman, adjunct professor at Center for Creative Studies and Henry Ford Community College.
The exhibit continues through April 30.
The winners were as follows: Best of Show: Robert Bartley, West Bloomfield, “Lady of Lartigue 2,” digital montage; 1st Place – Color: Karen Voltz, Dearborn, “Twenty Three,” color print; 1st Place – Black & White: Patricia Izzo, Wyandotte, “Hi-Ho Silver – Away,” black & white; 1st Place – Digital: Kelly Rosebrock, Royal Oak, “709-0298” and “543-9628,” digital inkjet prints; 1st Place – Alternative: Lisa Harteau, Ferndale, “Bowl,” emulsion on cloth; Howell Conference & Nature Center Award: Krysti Spence, Hamtramick, “Untitled #2,” silver print.
Ten Honorable Mentions were also awarded: Liz Blackwell of Detroit, Linda Cole of Ann Arbor, Rana Dick of Clinton Township, David Dominic, Jr. of Ferndale, Meghan East of Grosse Pointe Park, Thomas Frank of Detroit, Rebecca Marie Gizicki of Detroit, Colin Griffin of Oak Park, Patricia Izzo of Wyandotte and Nicole Stockwell of Waterford.