Mr. Hopkins' neighborhood

by Michael A> Posey | 1/7/97 6:00am

Student performances, drama, and dance will all converge this semester at the Hopkins Center of Performing Arts as officials there hastily ready themselves for another incredible semester of exclusive premieres and inspired student productions.

This is the first season organized by the Hop's new Director of Programming Margaret Lawrence, and as sales and sold-out performances indicate, things are as exciting as ever. Headliners on this year's marquee like last fall's Joshua Redman Band and this term's performances of "Tharp!" and Mummenschanz feature top-notch artists who are giants in their respective artistic fields.

The first artist playing at the Hop this season is Josh Kornbluth, who will present a parody of the Ivy League with the world of mathematics as his backdrop. His show, titled "Mathematics of Change," will run this weekend for two days at the Moore Theater.

Unlike many other performances playing at the Hop this term, tickets are still available for these shows. Kornbluth will also lead an informal discussion after each of his performances.

Dance is the emphasis of the Hop's next two performers. Experimental and daring, both artists are world-renowned for their innovation and creativity.

The Swiss-based mime trio Mummenschanz presents its last national tour. An ensemble which is not afraid to experiment with their craft and often perform with such props as giant hands, tubes, and electrical outlets, Mummenschanz is group with over 25 years of experience.

Playing in the Moore Theater, the Mummenschanz performance is currently sold out.

Twyla Tharp, an influential choreographer with 30 years in the business, presents her daring and impressive opus in January. The program, "Tharp!," will feature three new works by the artist and her 14-member troupe. A segment of her program "Heroes" will make use of a recently commissioned score by Phillip Glass, who draws on the influence of David Bowie.

The Chicago Tribune said of Tharp, "In her amazing ability to tap into the very core of the American spirit through dance, Twyla Tharp stands unchallenged as the supreme choreographer of her time."

Camellia Johnson, the winner of the 1993 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, will be featured as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day campus festivities. The highlight of her program is a rendition of poems by Langston Hughes which was scored musically by Ricky Ian Gordon.

Jerry Zaks '67 will be on hand to introduce a screening of his first film, "Marvin's Room," featuring Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton. The event is slated for January 24.

Sally Pinkas, the Hopkins Center pianist-in-residence will present the world premiere of Daniel Pinkham's "Preludes for Piano - Book II" on Thursday, Jan. 30.

The last performance of January is the Mingus Big Band, a 14-member band directed by Sue Mingus, the widow of jazz legend and composer Charles Mingus.

February 11 is the date for the Ladysmith Black Mambazo performance. The performance, which has been sold out for months, features a riveting 10-man a capella chorus. The South African group is presented in coordination with Black History Month events.

The end of the term brings with it a series of student performance. The Dartmouth Department of Drama mainstage production this term is "Private Lives," a play written by Noel Coward. Paul Gaffney, drama department chair, will direct.

The Dartmouth College Symphony Orchestra will present an anniversary tribute to musical greats Schubert and Brahms and the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir will present their spiritually-themed concert on February 22 in Rollins Chapel.

Tickets for some events are very limited, and some shows although sold- out, may have occasional openings by way of cancellations or bad weather.

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