7 top February events to put on your calendar
Don't miss these dances, exhibits and more
As the name suggests, Madison Ballet’s “bare” promises ballet in its purest form in this mixed repertory work, taking place Feb. 3 and 4 in Bartell Theatre’s 200-seat Drury Stage. View pieces by up-and-coming choreographers Jin-Wen Yu from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s dance program and New York-based Jacqueline Stewart, who has staged works with the ballet in the past. “This is probably our most experimental show of the year,” says Gretchen Bourg, Madison Ballet’s general manager. “‘Bare’ implies it’s raw and unexpected. And for us, that’s fun. Our dancers push themselves and the choreographers push themselves as well.” In other words, don’t expect your typical “tutu and tiara” show, says Bourg. “[This performance] is about concept instead of a real storyline. It’s really movement married to music.”
This folk/bluegrass trio originally from Oshkosh has toured heavily in the Midwest and nationwide. This month the trio stops by the Majestic Theatre to play modern folk classics. Frontwoman and songwriter Sarah Vos is backed up by Peter Raboin on mandolin and guitar and Daniel Wolff on double bass. The group has already played at the Majestic three times, and co-owner Matt Gerding says “We love the band and have a strong connection with them … we really enjoy supporting Wisconsin-bred music.”
Do Ho Suh
Feb. 11-May 14
Our daily surroundings–kitchens, bathrooms and hallways–don’t often provoke much thought. But they will in Do Ho Suh’s dreamlike structures on display at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Visitors can wander through a full-scale installation of Suh’s New York City apartment/studio and view the artist’s other works, which can be seen as playful yet a bit melancholy as the artist examines the concept of home. “His work exposes how the places you live … become a part of you and how you carry those with you throughout life,” says MMoCA’s director of communications Erika Monroe-Kane.
“Prelude to a Kiss”
In celebration of Strollers’ 60th season, the company cherry-picked four productions from its archives to bring back this season–including this classic comedy that the company covered for the first time in 1992. Director Erin Baal is taking an “absurdist comedy” approach to this story that finds a man and woman meeting and falling in love quickly and are then thrown for a loop when the wife swaps souls with an older wedding guest at their nuptials. “It’s a quirky, interesting story–it makes you want to seize the moment,” says Baal.
Work by Ariel Wood
At Drunk Lunch, owner Alyssa Taylor likes to showcase women artists who are on the rise. Such is the case with recent University of Wisconsin-Madison fine arts graduate Ariel Wood and her show this month. Wood’s paintings and sculpture/installation pieces use domestic items (bedding and pillows) and have a soft, yet raw quality, and examine concepts of relationships, solitude and companionship–and how they all fit together.
“Charlie Parker’s Yardbird”
Feb. 10 & 12
In this opera set in New York City in 1955, the body of saxophone great Charlie Parker lies in the morgue waiting to be claimed. But before it is, he returns in spirit to Birdland, a jazz club, to compose one last masterpiece. What follows is a snappy, spirited performance that is one notch short of a world premiere–Madison Opera is only the second company to perform “Yardbird” with its jazz-inspired score.
Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra fans will enjoy a trio of works in the third installation of the Masterworks series. Fifteen-year-old guest artist and WCO 2015 young artist competition winner Julian Rhee will kick off the evening, performing as a soloist in Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major. Then actor James DeVita will narrate Stravinsky’s “A Soldier’s Tale,” about a solider who sells his soul to the devil. Haydn’s Symphony No. 102 in B-flat Major will round out the evening–which sounds perfect for a midwinter escape, no?
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