Category: Arts

Spring Awakening


Spring-Awakening-Ware-Brockmeier.jpgUniversity Theatre winds up its season with the Broadway musical "Spring Awakening':

[T]he sexually charged rock musical "Spring Awakening," composed by Duncan Sheik with book and lyrics by Steven Sater, on April 10-12 and 15-18 at 8 p.m. with matinees April 13 and 19 at 2:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Theatre.

The production is directed by Richard Garner, co-founder and artistic director of Georgia Shakespeare.

A recent hit on Broadway, "Spring Awakening" adapts German playwright Frank Wedekind's "1891 Spring Awakening: A Children's Tragedy," which was a commentary on the era's climate of sexual repression.

Garner calls Wedekind's work "a landmark play in the history of modern drama that gave us a pained look into the confused youth who had to make their way through a claustrophobic world that denied them a satisfactory understanding of the storm that was raging within their own adolescent bodies."

University Theatre and the department of theatre and film studies announced that the Grammy and Tony award-winning composer Duncan Sheik will be present for the performances and host a Q & A on Friday April 11 after the 8 pm show. A great opportunity to interact with and hear directly from one of the artistic forces behind the musical - a strong way to end up the season, and one that sums up University Theatre's commitment to audience, our students and the community.

Image: Senior theatre major Ashley Ware of Dacula plays the part of Wendla in the University Theatre performance of "Spring Awakening" along with senior theatre and English major Connor Brockmeier of Woodstock as Melchior. (Credit: Kristyn Nucci/UGA)

African American Choral Ensemble: 25 Years


A special concert upcoming:

The University of Georgia African American Choral Ensemble will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a reunion concert April 12 at 7 p.m. in Hodgson Concert Hall. The performance is free and open to the public.


"There is a lot to celebrate at this concert," said Gregory Broughton, the ensemble's director and associate professor of music in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. "Some outstanding leaders and musicians have come out of this group."

UGA students originally founded the African American Choral Ensemble in 1972 as the Pamoja Singers, named after a Swahili word for "together." Two years later, the program spawned the Pamoja Dance Company, a student organization that celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

Our campus and university has come a long way in terms of building a diverse student body over the last quarter century. There remains a long way to go to open up more opportunities across a broader spectrum of Georgia and American society for people of color, of various religious faiths, of different sexual orientations. But it what we do and who we are as a country, and nowhere is this more telling than our arts traditions, established as well as new. The African American Choral Ensemble is a great tradition at UGA and we are proud to celebrate this wonderful anniversary.

Jed Perl lecture April 1 in LDSOA


Perl black and whiteOne of the great American art writers is on campus this week for a lecture in the school of art on Tuesday April 1 at 5:30 p.m in room S151: Jed Perl

A former contributing editor at Vogue, Perl has written on contemporary art for a variety of publications including Harper's, The Atlantic, Salmagundi, The Yale Review and The New York Times Book Review. He is the author of New Art City: Manhattan at Mid-Century, which was a 2005 New York Times Notable Book, and Antoine's Alphabet: Watteau and His World. Perl currently is working on the first full-length biography of the sculptor Alexander Calder.
He is the recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Academy in Rome and the Leon Levy Biography Center at the City University of New York.

Perl takes on a variety of cultural malefactors in his books and essays, from critiques of the annual art fairs around the world, to the demise of the Detroit Institute of Arts to the developing synonymous relationship between "art market" and "art world."

"(A)nybody who begins to speak about the importance of high culture in a democratic society or who wants to make some critical distinctions between high culture and popular culture, is likely to be met by skeptical looks, as if there were something unacceptable about even the possibility of such a discussion," Perl writes in the introduction to Magicians and Charlatans: Essays on Art and Culture.

University Theatre: The Bakkhai


Bakkhai with studentsUniversity Theatre is in session throughout this weekend with a contemporary take on the ancient Greek classic tragedy "The Bakkhai" by Euripides, translated by Robert Bagg:

Performances will be in the Cellar Theatre March 25-30 at 8 p.m. with a 2:30 p.m. matinee March 30.

Tickets are $12, or $7 for students, and can be purchased at, by phone at 706-542-4400, in-person at the Performing Arts Center or Tate Center box office, or at the door before the show.

The original production of "The Bakkhai" in the fifth century B.C. combined drama, dance and music to honor the god Dionysos. The UGA production is directed by Marla Carlson, associate professor in the department of theatre and film studies.

New Orleans-born percussionist and composer Louis Romanos has created an original score for this production, and Carlson has taken on the role of choreographer in addition to that of director.

"Movement structures are developed through rehearsal, with considerable room left for improvisation even within the performance," Carlson said. "Like Dionysos, their rhythms move us as embodied individuals and draw us into a collective response regardless of our rational thought processes."

The ancient is modern this weekend in the Fine Arts Building. Make your plans to attend a performance.

Protect Athens Music Conference 2014



Just before Spring Break, students, academics, nonprofit organizers and Athens-area musicians had an opportunity to listen to a set of discussions at the annual Protect Athens Music (PAM) Conference, presented by the UGA Sports and Entertainment Law Society. Discussions on earning money as a musician in the digital world, obtaining health insurance and health care as a musician, and a survey of the local music landscape made for an interesting afternoon this year. The event showcased the unique presence of artists and academics in Athens who hope to help this town not just be known as a “music town” but as a “music business town.” The conference featured many UGA-related panel members including David Barbe, director of the UGA Music Business Program; David Lowery, of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker and a UGA music business lecturer; and Jeremy Wheatley, a longtime local drummer, songwriter and academic advisor for the UGA Honors Program.

This year’s conference was organized by Michelle Davis, a UGA alum (ABJ ’05) and former Flagpole music editor now turned University of Georgia law school student. We caught up with her to ask her more about her background, her path to her career choice and what this year’s conference was all about.  Find a link to this year’s conference blog and video of the discussions below.

Q: You organized this conference. Where did your background interest in music and law come from?

A: I've worked in the music industry in various capacities for about 10 years. I am just a huge fan of music—much of that love was instilled in me my by dad who played in rock bands for many years. While in college I interned with radio station 99X in Atlanta, spent a summer with Warner Bros. Records, and interned with publicist Michelle Roche. After college I started my own music PR firm, representing mostly Athens and Atlanta bands. My first full-time job was with Ticket Alternative, where I worked as a marketing coordinator, setting up box offices for venues and promoters. I then moved back to Athens where I served as music editor of Flagpole Magazine for three years before going to law school. That's the short version of my resume, but the main point is that through all these experiences I've always strived to be an advocate for artists. After seeing so many bands' careers cut short by bad contracts and bad management, I felt like I could have a greater impact as an attorney. I'm particularly fascinated by the intersection of law and technology, and my goal is to help artists navigate the ever-evolving digital marketplace.

Q: Why did you get involved in organizing the conference?

A: I was first invited to be a panelist with PAM in its first year. I was the [music] editor of Flagpole Magazine at the time, and I spoke about promotion and publicity. The event itself started as a student project under David Barbe's direction in the Music Business Program, but they joined forces with the law school student group UGA Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS). I wrote about PAM's second conference for Flagpole, at which point I already knew I had plans to go to law school. When I started law school in 2012, I knew right away I wanted to be part of SELS, as entertainment law is my passion. I assisted in putting on the event as a 1L, and then I ran for the office of VP of SELS in my second year, allowing me to take the position of chair of PAM. I am a huge supporter of any event/organization that serves to bridge the gap between town and gown. I think it's essential for the music scene to integrate with the University and vice versa, because the two can support each other.

Q: Why is it important to hold a conference on the topic? What is the value of having UGA be a part of the discussion of the Athens music scene?

A: The music industry is increasingly complex, and there is a not a lot of transparency as to how things work. Unfortunately, all too often artists are left out of the conversation entirely when it comes to debates about fair pay, copyright and technology.  I spent an entire semester studying nothing but the music industry as an extern with the Future of Music Coalition in [Washington]  D.C. last fall, and even I still don't understand all the intricacies of this industry. That's a lot of pressure to put on a creator— to expect a musician to know not only his/her craft but the way this incredibly convoluted system works. So, that's why it's important to bring artists together with the experts—lawyers, managers, academics and experienced artists—to discuss the issues that affect artists' livelihood.

Additionally, my goal is that PAM will serve to put a new spotlight on Athens as not only a music town but a music business town. This year we covered three pressing issues: making money online ("Demystifying Digital Revenue Stream"), getting health care coverage, and brainstorming ways to help our local music community grow more sustainable and successful. A cross-community dialog like this helps us share ideas and move things forward. UGA can provide some of the financial backing to make these things happen, as well as access to some of the experts and academics that we rely on for guidance. For students like me who are interested in working in the entertainment industry, events like this are integral to our education. If we want to learn to work in the field, than there is no better place to start than the music scene right in our backyard.


Want to see video footage of this year's conference? Visit


--Jessica Luton


Patel Professorship: Zakir Hussain


Zakir-Hussain- tablaThe 2014 Gordhan L. and Virginia B. "Jinx" Patel Distinguished Visiting Professor in Indian Musical Arts in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music brings what may be the world's best tabla player to campus on April 2:

UGA Ballet 20th anniversary performance


UGABalletMark your calendar for a special night of ballet March 22:

The special concert, featuring both classical and contemporary ballet works performed by current company members with special appearances by ensemble alumni, will be in the New Dance Theatre in the Dance Building located on Sanford Drive.

Four pas de deux (dance for two) will be performed during the event: the classic "Aurora's Wedding" pas de deux from Act III of "Sleeping Beauty;" the famous pas de deux from Don Quixote performed by alumna Kristin Grubbs and her partner Samuel Chester, both with the Carolina Ballet Theatre; the virtuosic Russian pas de deux "Spring Waters;" and an original work "Awakened," created by alumnus John Streit.

A ballet program that began in 1994 seems quite young by any standard; its persistence over that time period, however, seems like a great feat. Congratulations to the UGA Ballet program and the department of dance, and best wishes on your continued success providing these refined artistic opportunities for our students (and audiences).

Image: UGA students Amanda Rostin of Cumming and Kalela Massey of Atlanta and alumna Kristin Grubbs of Greenville, S.C., rehearse a scene from the UGA Ballet Ensemble's 20th anniversary performance.

LDSOA professor Hwangbo in Huffington Post


Hwangbo_Huff PostImi Hwangbo, a professor in the Lamar Dodd School of Art, currently has a show on view at the Pavel Zoubok Gallery on West 26th Street in New York City.  Ridley Howard, a painter in New York, is an alumnus of the Lamar Dodd School of Art, interviewed Hwango for the Arts Page of the Huffington Post.  "Portals:  Interview with Imi Hwangbo" by Ridley Howard is a fascinating discussion of her three-dimensional drawings in cut paper.

RH: Some works in this New York show are based on traditional Korean wrapping cloths. Can you talk about how you became interested in that as a subject?

IH: I've always been attracted to the aesthetics of traditional Korean decorative art. Pojagi are functional, four-cornered cloths that are tied in bundles to carry domestic objects. As artworks, they are embroidered drawings on fabric. They are often decorated with patterns and imagery that convey Korean folk beliefs, with plants and animals that offer protection from harm, and express desires for wealth, longevity and fertility.

I wanted to work from these patterns, and stay faithful to the notion of a decorative object that is alluring to the eye and highly crafted over its entire surface. I also like the notion of decoration as a visualization of desire -- as a gesture that covers a surface, repetitively and obsessively, with an iconography of desire.

RH: From what little research I've done, certain eras of Pojagi almost look like op-art and early modernist painting. Do you see your work as a means of subversion? Or is it more reverential?

IH: Pojagi patterns can have specific meanings within that particular cultural tradition. But at the same time, they can embody strategies that are recognizable in modernist painting. I like the notion of women artists in traditional Korea, inventing a modernist aesthetic with scraps of fabric. Their names are lost to history, so their identities can only be guessed through their inventiveness and craft. I'm drawn to the contradiction of that anonymity and the intimacy of the handwork. So perhaps you could consider it an homage.

Read the full interview. Great job, Howard and Hwangbo.

Image: Diviner (detail), 66" x 28" x 3", archival ink on hand-cut mylar, 2010

2nd Thursday to feature UGA Symphony Orchestra


UGASO on stageBecause of spring break, the March 2nd Thursday Concert in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music will be performed on March 6 at 8 p.m. in Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall at the UGA Performing Arts Center. The concert, featuring the UGA Symphony Orchestra performing Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 in E major, is not to be missed:

Trained as an organist, Bruckner’s works are noted for their powerful and grand style, using the full scope of the orchestra to evoke the sound of his primary instrument. Thursday’s performance marks the first time the UGASO and conductor Mark Cedel have performed one of Bruckner’s symphonies at UGA. To commemorate the occasion, musicology Professor David Haas will present a special pre-concert lecture on the composer and his seventh symphony at 7:15 in the Performing Arts Center.

The concert will also feature Joseph Haydn’s Oboe Concerto in C major with UGA oboe professor Reid Messich.

Reid Messich joined the Hodgson School faculty in 2010, and holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and Florida State University. He has performed extensively throughout the United States and Japan, often under the direction of such conductors Christoph von Dohnanyi, Christoph Eschenbach, Otto-Werner Mueller, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Simon Rattle, and Mstislav Rostropovich. He is a current member of the Georgia Woodwind Quintet.

Proceeds from these concert support scholarships in the Hodgson School. Get your tickets here and come out and enjoy some great music.

Image: The UGA Symphony Orchestra from 2011 - old photo but with some of our very favorite student musicians.

Dancing about the Universe


Interdiciplinarity has long been a buzzword in higher education - and all the while it's been much more than that. Bringing expertise from different disciplines together allows to researchers, scientists and artists to reach far deeper into wide-ranging questions and phenomena than they might alone. Just because a term gains currency doesn't disallow its essential truth.

Similarly, the departments of dance, physics and astronomy, and theatre and film studies have developed a collaboration that represents so much more than the sum of its extraordinary parts:



DAAP Stellar and the Dream Chasers! 2014 featuring performances by CORE Concert Dance Company, Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 26-March 1, at 8 p.m. in the New Dance Theatre.

A large-scale collaboration by Franklin College units, the show will feature aerial, dance, film animation and spoken passages delivered by "morphed alien scientist" DAAP Stellar, a fictional composite based on UGA expertise. Ten UGA physics and astronomy professors will expound ideas reflecting leading-edge scientific research including astrophysics and black holes (Loris Magnani); elementary particles (Kanzo Nakayama); spin waves (Uwe Happek); galactic clouds (Robin Shelton); quantum levitation and superconductivity (Heinz-Bernd Schüttler); nanotechnology (Yiping Zhao); molecular dynamics (David Landau); electromagnetic spectrum (William Dennis); extra solar planets (Inseok Song); and "the search for truth in the universe" (Richard Meltzer).

Film, dance and science... a great example of working together by our very creative and motivated faculty. See you there. Tickets.