PEAK Series at The Kravis

Published on March 9th, 2015


Zap Mama

Zap Mama

The Kravis Center promises to bring an array of performers from across the world offering original hybrids of music, dance and performance for its Third Annual PEAK Series, starting this November. It’s appropriate that American dance group Diavolo open the series on Nov. 7 with their performance “Architecture in Motion,” which features dancers/acrobats dancing on and off unstable structures.  It recalls the famous quote “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” Several artists feature combinations you might be surprised to hear about.

W. Lee Bell, Senior Director of Programming notes Camille A. Brown & Dancers offer an activist form of dance, and Well Strung, a quartet of openly gay male classical musicians combine hits from Adele and Lady Gaga with Vivaldi, and they sing, too. Bell also notes his excitement of booking DakhaBrakha. “They’re a combination of Ukrainian folk melodies, which are beautiful. They’re similar to the Bulgarian women’s choir. It’s this hypnotic, mystical sound of upper registers. It’s beautiful, and this group incorporates that folkloric type language into a trance-like minimalist approach, so it’s this very unexpected sound.”

Diavolo_Photo Credit Ben Gibbs

Diavolo | Credit: Ben Gibbs

Bell notes the program is as much about putting on crowd-pleasing shows as a consciousness for outsider art. “The nature of the series is to provide a forum for contemporary work for ethnic diversity or gender issues for things that are current, artistic or innovative,” he says.

Education is also a big part of the series. Bell notes Well Strung does outreach work in the LGBT community. The program also allows students a chance to learn from masters. “A lot of these performers will be providing unique experiences for students that we’ll bus in, so we’re very thankful that they’re participating in that way. It’s just a way to engage the student population in a very inspirational way.”

Dakha Brakha

Dakha Brakha

Bell says attendance for the series jumped last year, and he has high hopes for this season’s offerings. He is not shy about hiding his own enthusiasm for the program. Referring to Zap Mama & Antibalas, he says, “They’re actually the group who opened for Fela!. That was the group playing as you walked in! That’s that group! I’m excited. We’re gonna put them in the outdoor amphitheater.”

The Third Annual PEAK Series kicks off at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts with Diavolo – Architecture in Motion, Friday, November 7th at 8:00 PM at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Concert Hall. For more information visit: Every ticket comes with a complimentary drink ticket, excluding Dreyfoos Hall shows.

~ Hans Morgenstern, The Independent Ethos  |