Indiana State University Newsroom

Upcoming Performing Arts Series features dance, magic and music

September 22, 2010

Indiana State University's 2010-2011 Performing Arts Series offers a diverse lineup of programs filled with dance, drama, magic and music.

The season begins Oct. 12 with The Kenya Safari Acrobats.

The troupe of highly-trained athletes will take the stage in Tilson Auditorium for an evening of jaw-dropping acts and antics and a truly unique cultural experience. The group members learned acrobatics as children on the beaches of Kenya, as a means to break free from an impoverished country.

Now they serve as artistic ambassadors as they travel the globe, entertaining and inspiring audiences of all ages. They have performed in Mexico, Canada, Japan and the United States, playing for audiences at the Super Bowl and at the White House, Disney, Six Flags and for MGM Entertainment.

The Kenya Safari Acrobats perform a non-stop ride of gravity-defying human pyramids, balancing, tumbling, limbo dancing, hurling through hoops and breathtaking contortions, all while clapping to a joyful Benga beat.

A classic novel will be brought to life Nov. 6 when the National Players perform "The Scarlet Letter."

Set in 1666, the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel tells the story of Hester Prynne, who lives in the Massachusetts Bay Colony with her only child. Scorned by her adulterous history, Hester bears the punishment of a scarlet "A" emblazoned on her chest. Just beyond Hester's daily cloud creeps her husband, long believed dead, waiting to seek his revenge on Hester as well as the father of her child. A kiss, the scarlet letter and the punishing scaffold brings Hawthorne's masterpiece to life.

"Jingle Bell Rock" will usher in the holiday season Dec. 9 with an upbeat contemporary spin on the classic yuletide revue.

The band Santa's Rockin' Helpers accompany a talented cast of seven singers and dancers taking you through more than 32 contemporary and classic Christmas tunes in a holiday show for the whole family.

The program includes holiday classics such as "Sleigh Ride," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" and "I'll Be Home For Christmas," along with rockin' versions of "Let It Snow" and, of course, "Jingle Bell Rock." You'll also be entertained by hilarious parodies of "It's A Wonderful Life" and Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."

Pianist Alpin Hong will fill Tilson Auditorium with music during a performance on Jan. 19, 2011.

Hong's ability to connect to people of all ages, experiences, and backgrounds distinguishes him and shapes his evolving performance style. His extensive classical training, matched with his background in skateboarding, snowboarding, martial arts and video games forms a creative force unmatched in its youthful vivacity and boundless energy.
A native of Michigan, Hong made his orchestral debut with the Kalamazoo Symphony at age 10. He moved to Los Angeles soon after and garnered competition victories at a young age with wins at the 1989 Stravinsky Piano Competition, the 1993 Southwestern Youth Music Festival Competition and the 1994 Los Angeles Spotlight Awards. He was the winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition in 2001. He earned his master's degree at The Juilliard School.

On Feb. 14, 2011, The Spencers will mix drama, comedy, romance and suspense with illusion.

Described by critics as "Modern day Houdinis," The Spencers have redefined the art of illusion and the stereotype of the traditional magician and assistant.

For the duo, magic is no longer merely about baffling the audience by doing something seemingly impossible. Their brand of magic is about drama, spectacle, interaction, danger and personality.

People have been known to levitate, walk through walls, vanish, and reappear. And be prepared to experience the magic yourself because the Spencers don't want you to just sit in your seat and watch - they want the audience to participate!

The Spencers are the only artists in history to be named Performing Arts Entertainers of the Year for six consecutive years and have twice been named America's Best Entertainers.

The season wraps up March 24, 2011, with Dance Kaleidoscope, Indiana's premier professional contemporary dance company.

Since its founding in 1972, Dance Kaleidoscope consistently brings the finest quality dance performances to diverse audiences of all ages, mixed with a strong emphasis on arts education.

Dance Kaleidoscope grew out of an educational program with Young Audiences of Indiana, the local chapter of the national arts organization that supports arts in education. Through its educational programs, the company has performed in hundreds of schools throughout Indiana and the nation. A compelling aspect for Dance Kaleidoscope's education programs is its firm belief that the art of dance is an important tool for children's education.

All Performing Arts Series events will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Tilson Auditorium.

Season tickets are $75. ISU students are admitted free with a valid student ID and are invited to participate in a punch card program. Tickets are available at the Hulman Center Ticket Office or by calling 1-877-ISU-TIXS.

Contact: Jennifer Cook, Hulman Center, 812-237-3770
Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, 812-237-3783 or