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Great Performance Series Offers Range of Events

Posted July 28, 2004

HOLLAND – Hope College’s Great Performance Series announces another year filled with jazz, theatre, dance, and a range of classical music. A unique series offering a variety of cultural experiences, the series has been sponsoring performances for the family and connoisseur alike for over 30 years.

The season opens with a melding of traditional and contemporary Chinese dance with the Nai-Ni Chen Dance group on Wednesday-Thursday, Sept. 15-16, at 7:30 p.m. at the DeWitt Center main theatre. “The New York Times” has said that “water seems to flow through…Nai-Ni Chen Dance,” and “Dance Insider” magazine said that Nai-Ni Chen Dance “is the dance company to which to bring your non-dance friends.” Nai-Ni Chen bridges tradition and innovation in a show featuring the traditional “Dragon’s Tale,” and Chen’s stunning contemporary choreography.

The legendary Vienna Choir Boys bring 500 years of tradition to Dimnent Memorial Chapel on Thursday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m. The choir has enchanted millions with its unique charm and exceptionally beautiful singing, and the touring group is no exception. They “rightly deserve their reputation for presenting expertly disciplined musical performances, full of variety and charm,” reviewed the “Des Moines Register.”

Next, a new piano trio consisting of musical veterans visits Holland. The Brahms Piano Trio will present works by Brahms, Ravel, and others on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Dimnent Memorial Chapel. Featuring two members of the acclaimed St. Petersburg String Quartet, this Russian trio has been stunning audiences. “The Brahms Piano Trio made an impassioned Los Angeles area debut… melding seamlessly as an ensemble… rich, comfortable, noble, heroic, bold, intimate, prayerful, ineffable,” said “The Los Angeles Times.”

The second half of the series opens with Grammy-nominated St. Lawrence String Quartet on Wednesday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. This quartet has established itself as among the best in world-class chamber ensembles, and will perform works by Haydn and Ravel. The members of the quartet will then be joined by clarinetist Todd Palmer to perform a work written for them by leading composer, Osvaldo Golijov. “A sound that has just about everything one wants from a quartet,” has said “The New York Times.”

Her standing ovation at the 2001 Grammy Awards may have brought her more attention, but five-time Grammy-nominated jazz singer Nnenna Freelon has already established herself as one of the top vocalists around. Freelon will perform with her band on Friday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel, showcasing her range of jazz standards, Stevie Wonder covers, and gospel. Aretha Franklin says Freelon creates “very hip music,” and the “Los Angeles Times” has said that “Nnenna need not be heralded as the next Sarah or the next anyone. She is simply the now Nnenna, for whom comparisons are no longer necessary.”

The Great Performance Series ends with an unusual offering – a children’s theatre group that adults will like. Dynamo Theatre from Canada will bring its all-ages pleasing performance of “Me Me Me” to the Knickerbocker Theatre on Wednesday-Thursday, March 30-31, at 7:30 p.m. For more than 20 years this group, founded by actors with backgrounds in gymnastics, mime, and theatre, has been showcasing its “acrobatic theatre.” The Connecticut Record-Journal” has said, “For traditional actors, words are of primary importance. For Dynamo actors, movement is the key.”

More information about the series can be found at www.hope.edu/gps, or by calling (616) 395-6996. Season subscriptions are $55 for regular admission and $45 for senior citizens, a savings of nearly 35 percent. Families can buy a coupon for $115, which saves a family of four nearly 45 percent. Individual tickets are $14 for regular admission, $12 for senior citizens, and $5 for children 18 and under, and go on sale at the DeWitt Center Box Office approximately one week prior to the performance.

The box office is located in the theatre lobby of the DeWitt Center and can be called at (616) 395-7890.

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