Rhode Island
Performance Festival
September 29 to November 3, 2006
FirstWorksProv Brings the World Class Streb Dance
to Down City
Streb Dance in Wild Blue Yonder

PROVIDENCE, R.I., September 08, 2006 – From September 29 through November 3, FirstWorksProv, Providence's fall arts festival, parades a wealth of new performances through town, from powerhouse dance ensembles and exotic Cambodian shadow puppetry to edgy monologues, jaw-dropping extravaganzas, and more.

Dance afficiandos are salivating over the chance to see Wild Blue Yonder by world famous choreographer Elizabeth Streb. Here's a description... "POW! It's ballet in a mosh pit. THUMP! Boot camp under the big top. WHAM! Smash-mouth football on a tumble mat. Traditional dance takes heavy collateral damage as STREB declares all-out war on gravity in this award-winning, ready-for-primetime show. Powerful bodies fly, carom and splat in an artfully dangerous, action-packed program of extreme sports meets slapstick gymnastics. The audience's hearts stay in their throats as the dancers move with breathtaking precision around, through and against various contraptions-and each other. The soundtrack? The performers' own grunts, commands and slamming bodies. WHEW! There's nary a dull sensory moment in STREB's viscerally exhausting, high-energy fusion of physical expressions. Let the action begin."

Other performances which feature dance include The Story of the Dog, a collaboration between Sandglass Theater and Sovanna Phum of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The performance examines the effect of war on private lives. The Story of the Dog combines performers from both companies and integrates Sandglass' puppetry with traditional Cambodian shadow puppets, dance, and music.

Dan Buttterworth and his Marionettes
The Aurea Ensemble and Dan Butterworth Marionettes present Faust - a gripping story of longing, deception, and a deal with the Devil is brought to life by dancing marionettes and music drawn from sacred, contemporary, and folk traditions.

Kevin Locke is part Lakota Indian (Hunkpapa Band of Lakota Sioux) and part Anishinabe. The Kevin Locke Native Dance Ensemble will perform The Drum Is the Thunder, the Flute Is the Wind. Hoop Dances, Feather Dances, and indigenous Northern Plains music celebrate Native culture in this dramatic performance by Kevin Locke and his troupe of master dancers and musicians.

FirstWorksProv is a festival of firsts, with four weekends of premiere performances and innovative collaborations. A visit to www.firstworksprov.org will provide details about the full roster of festival performances, but one notable highlight is The Story of the Dog, the culmination of three years' of cultural combustion between the artists from Vermont's Sandglass Theater and Cambodia's Sovanna Phum Company. Their October 13 RISD Auditorium performance is one of only a handful of performances scheduled in the United States.

For a grand finale, the regionally renowned Providence Singers team up with arguably the world's most famous chamber ensemble, Kronos Quartet on November 3 for their glorious celebration of the cosmos, Sun Rings.

"The FirstWorksProv Festival offers performances of a quality that would otherwise require a drive to Boston or New York," says Lynne McCormack, director of the Department of Art, Culture, and Tourism. "The festival supports and reinforces Providence's enduring tradition of innovation and creativity by presenting internationally recognized artists to infuse the local arts economy with thought provoking works."

FirstWorksProv Festival tickets are now on sale. Already-reasonable ticket prices get even better this year with several new festival passes, including a $130 option that includes VIP seats to all performances. And at $75 a ticket, there's the fabulous November 3 Kronos Quartet spectacular (you also get VIP seating) and FirstWorksProv Finale Party, sponsored by Providence Monthly, with champagne, desserts, live music, and an appearance by Kronos Quartet.

Founded in 2004, FirstWorks is a non-profit organization dedicated to artistic excellence, affordable programming, and community outreach through its two festivals, FirstWorksKids and FirstWorksProv. This year's FirstWorksProv Festival will feature programming from September 29 to November 3, with highlights including STREB's gravity-defying Wild Blue Yonder and Kronos Quartet's epic Sun Rings. More information about FirstWorks, its festivals, and related hotel packages, can be found at www.firstworksprov.org or by calling 401-421-4278.

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First Works 2006 Schedule

Artist's Websites
Mike Daisey
Kronos Quartet
Sandglass Theater
Kevin Locke Dance
Butterworth Productions

Dancing troupe's energy is boundless

Seattle Times' theater critic, Misha Berson 2005 review of Streb's Wild Blue Yonder
Open For Dancing!

Open for Dancing – 5 days of activities and the opportunity to dance in site specific work by choreographers Michael Bolger, Andrea Haenggi or Joanna Haigood. Participants rehearse 3 days at a unique Newport site for weekend performances while audiences travel from site to site by trolley. "A joyous project " – 2002 choreographer Myrna Packer.

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