Live! at Williams performing arts series to kick off Oct. 2 with ‘1984’

BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University’s Live! at Williams performing arts series is kicking of its 2007-08 season Oct. 2 with George Orwell’s “1984.”

Adapted by Tim Robbins’ Actor’s Gang, “1894” is a classic cautionary tale that creates a reality eerily close to the current post 9/11 world. True to the original text, issues of personal freedom, accountability and perpetual war against unseen enemies are explored. In addition to the performance, an exhibit, lectures and classroom activities are planned.

In its fifth season, other presentations within the performing arts series include Celtic group Boys of the Lough, dance troupe Jump Rhythm Jazz Project and Andean musicians Andes Manta.

Boys of the Lough are set to perform on the G. Mennen Williams stage Nov. 30. Highly respected internationally, and well-known locally, the Boys of the Lough are making their 60th tour of the United States. The group has an uncompromising approach to Irish and Scottish music highlighted by the natural tones of acoustic instrumentation, complex melodies and compelling dance rhythms.

Jump Rhythm Jazz Project will appear Feb. 9 and is a company of rhythmically exuberant dancers that celebrate the timeless core of all jazz performance – dancing and singing in swinging, high-energy bursts of body rhythms to the beat-driven sounds of syncopated music. Since its founding by artistic director Billy Siegenfeld in 1990, the company has thrilled audiences and students nationally and internationally with its rich blend of percussive musicality and emotion-charged dance theater.

Playing more than 35 traditional instruments, Andes Manta, set to perform April 19, brings the Andean universe to North American audiences. Andean music is one of the few authentic prehistoric culture forms to survive the 500 years of European occupation of South America. The music of Andes Manta is a joyous celebration of daily life. Songs mark the blessing of a house, the birth of a child, and the cycles of planting and harvesting. From Carnegie Hall to the Discovery Channel, from the National Cathedral to Lincoln Center and in hundreds of schools and universities, their powerful and moving performance has played to standing ovation after standing ovation.

Season tickets for Live! at Williams are available and support live performing arts at Ferris. Adult season tickets are $64, a 10 percent savings over advance single ticket prices, and nearly 30 percent less than purchasing tickets at the door. Student season tickets are $32 (college students with ID and everyone under 18 years of age). All seats are reserved. Special fall and spring semester tickets are also available. Call the Williams Auditorium Ticket Office at (231) 591-5600 Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Live! at Williams is a program of G. Mennen Williams Auditorium and the Humanities department in the College of Arts and Sciences at Ferris. Presentations also are supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the General Mills Foundation, Land O’Lakes Foundation, and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

21 August, 2007