Encore Vocal Arts with Aerial Dance 

A troupe of singers, musicians and aerial dancers delivered a thoroughly enjoyable, intriguing "nontraditional" performance of Carl Orff's 1937 cantata "Carmina Burana," based on Latin verses ranging from love and drinking songs to religious verses that were collected during the 13th century by wandering scholars. Artistic director Chris Ludwa spoke of the cantata as a personal quest, a striving to become integrated within oneself, with one's life and with society as a whole. The newly renovated Caleb Mills Auditorium was turned into a circus-like setting with a live band at the foot of the stage, a trapeze suspended center stage flanked by two sets of aerial drapery in turn flanked by two sets of risers upon which the chorus stood and/or sat. The staging created balance and counterbalance between text and music as the dancers and singers wearing costumes appropriate to character interrelated with each other and delved into the subtext, some moving to the tempo and some miming the words projected in English on each side of the auditorium. Aerial dancers were paired with the soloists in a seamless shadowing effect for what Ludwa described as "taking us out of the earth-bound frame into the air." A full house audience lustily applauded the hour-long program.

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Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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