Under the baton of conductor George Hanson, the TSO's string, brass, and wind ensembles will kick off the concert series with Stars of the Symphony, which showcases a glittering array of chamber gems that culminates in Handel's jubilant Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 12 in B minor. Marvelous Mozart celebrates the genius of Mozart in non-synthesized fashion with his instantly recognizable "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" before closing with the graceful complexity of Wolfgang Amadeus' Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, which he composed shortly after springing fully formed from his father's head. Schumann Romance focuses on the husband-and-wife team of Robert and Clara Schumann, particularly Robert's famous Overture, Scherzo & Finale, Op. 52 and piano concerto. Pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe will juxtapose Robert's energetic concerto with Clara's more playful, elegant Piano Trio in A Minor. The season closes with Virtuoso Violin & Haydn as concertmaster Aaron Boyd dazzle audiences with the soaring stringsmanship of Beethoven's Coriolan overture, Vieuxtemps' brilliant Violin Concerto, and Haydn's joyous 92nd Symphony (the Oxford).
Music & Dance Academy caters to a variety of learning styles with group classes, private lessons, ensembles, and master classes for students of all ages and experience levels. Dance lessons range from parent-and-child dances to coaching for wedding dances to lessons in styles such as ballroom, ballet, and hip-hop. Music lessons help kids and adults of all skill levels learn a variety of instruments, including guitar, piano, cello, clarinet, or music theory.
Trapezes, lyras, and slings dangle above the stage and classrooms at Zuzi!, a nonprofit organization with an affinity for the expressiveness of modern dance and the gracefulness of aerial maneuvers. The source of this passion rests within cofounder and artistic director Nanette Robinson—who is a certified Skinner Releasing Technique instructor—and radiates outward to talented teachers who lead dance classes ranging from aerial and ballet to funk. It also fills the studio’s troupe of performers who frequently pack Zuzi!’s 135-seat theater for seasonal performances, including an annual Winter Solstice Concert. Their mission also involves spreading the message of modern dance as far as possible, which is why they schedule an open aerial class during Friday happy hour and offer classes for kids as young as 4 years old.
In its second season, the Tucson Fringe Festival perpetuates its mission to "make the world more welcoming to artists," as its cofounders proudly proclaimed last year to Tucson Weekly. This year's five plays take the stage 15 times at two intimate venues for stories that skewer society, glimpse into the future, and blend drama with live music. Lethal Fairy Tales delves into American pathology in a journey soundtracked with original music by local musicians Fish Karma and the Love Generation. Playwright Joan O'Dwyer's Unreality Shows: Three Short Plays takes audiences through a triptych of bizarre situations, from a cancer support group to a dystopian matriarchy. Performers from diverse corners of the theater landscape also take on corporate culture in The Starter House, shamanic self-knowing in Numb, and the corruption inherent in big vaudeville in the musical celebration The Barely Free Baja Spectacular!.
Over the last three decades, dance guru Kathryn Ferguson has dedicated her career to practicing and teaching the art of belly dancing. First exposed to the form in Casablanca, Morocco, Kathryn continues to put her own spin on belly dancing’s traditional hip shakes and tummy undulations, releasing a series of instructional video tapes and leading classes in her Tucson studio. These Egyptian- and Lebanese-style belly-dancing classes accommodate beginning and intermediate dancers looking to get in shape or shake up the annual family-reunion talent show. The studio's bright yellow walls create an upbeat environment, and full-length mirrors allow them to check for proper form and keep tabs on emerging six packs. In addition to teaching classes at Xanadu Dance Studio, Kathryn also helms the Xanadu Dancers Troupe, which performs regularly at dance- and music-focused events such as the Mediterranean Nights gala.
Founded in 1842, Zoppé Family Circus draws on old-world Italy’s circus tradition, amazing audiences of all ages with story-driven feats of clowning, acrobatics, and animal training in an intimate 500-seat tent. The performance, which Coast Views magazine lauds as “pure tradition, pure artistry and pure delight!” stars Nino the clown and a supporting cast of acrobats, equestrians, and capering canines, whose training allows them to simultaneously fetch newspapers and shred shoes. Live musicians play rousing tunes as fire-breathers blow flames, gymnasts contort, juggling pins fly, and equestrians leap effortlessly onto horseback. Acrobats twirl on towering trapezes and costumed clowns interact with and offer unwanted makeup advice to the audience. Parking is plentiful, with spaces available across the street for $3 a car.