Where can students on a budget see high-quality cultural performance? On campus!
by Jissel Garcia
On the night of October 21, 2011, Aaron Davis Hall sprung to life as a crowd of hundredscelebrated Ailey II. The sold-out performance was held at the larger Marian Anderson Theater, which welcomed excited students, faculty, and the general public to take part in this anxiously awaited event.
Ailey II, the junior division of the famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, boasts a mixture of young talent coupled with astute choreography from some of the nation’s finest. With other high-end performances like these scheduled, CCNY aims to bring the arts and entertainment to its community.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring world-class fine and performing artists to campus at a very low cost to our students and our faculty and administration,” says CCNY President, Lisa S. Coico. “The Alvin Ailey II performance [this past] Friday, along with Paul Taylor II’s performance in the spring gives our students a chance to see some of the best of the best.”
Surely, Friday night made it clear that CCNY has upped the ante. Ailey II delivered three immaculate sets, Shards, The Legacy of Inheritance, and Reference Point, with each number seemingly telling a story that was both poised and fluid in movement.
Greg Shanck, the new managing director of Aaron Davis Hall, realizes the value that such events add to the college. “[Performances such as these] augment the cultural hub of this city, and they offer another reason to bring people to our campus,” he states. With a jam-packed brochure of upcoming events ranging from Lillias White in concert to a Ray Santos tribute which Shanck dubs as his “baby project,” it is easy to see the amount of planning and effort given to this new venture at Aaron Davis Hall.
“Our new president has a strong passion and belief in the performing and visual arts, and she believes it should be a part of everyone’s daily life. Therefore, City College has taken an active role in presenting more events like these,” said Shanck. “It really adds to the quality of life on campus. We made tickets affordable to students because we want them to come and enjoy themselves.”
The key seems to be our community partnerships with organizations such as Harlem Stage whom, at one point, used to manage Aaron Davis Hall. “We can’t do it alone,” confessed Shanck. “We have to engage other people, because it’s about being able to provide for our campus, community and beyond. It’s exciting.”
In the works are hopeful partnerships with the Apollo Theater and Alianza Dominicana, among others.
CCNY students say they are excited about the new performing arts agenda. “It’s flattering,” says Deena Morales, a CCNY sophomore. “All these big name schools always have things to boast about and here we are, in the heart of one of the most richly cultural communities in the city, and people aren’t aware of how enriching our curricular and creative programs are. It makes me proud.”
See, below, what’s coming up:
FALL 2011 SEASON OF PERFORMANCES – “ALL THAT’S CITY”
Lillias White in Concert – Come see Tony-winner Lillias White rock the house as she debuts in concert at Aaron Davis Hall.
Friday, November 4 @ 7pm, Marian Anderson Theater.
Tickets: Orchestra – $40; Balcony – $30; Students/Seniors – $25
Harlem Symphony Orchestra w/ Special Guest – Harlem Symphony Orchestra performs traditional symphonic works, music by African and African American composers, and features African American instrumental soloists.
Saturday, November 12 @ 2pm. Marian Anderson Theater.
Tickets: $25 General Admission
Langston Hughes Festival & Awards Ceremony Honoree and Guest Speaker Edwidge Danticat – City College honors award winning Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat with the prestigious Langston Hughes Medal.
Friday, November 18 @ 7pm. Marian Anderson Theater.
CCNY Department of Theatre & Speech Presents Full Monty – A musical comedy about a group of men trying to recover their self-esteem in hard economic times, and the women who stand beside them. Directed by faculty director Rob Barron.
December 1 @ 12:15pm
December 1, 2 and 3 @ 7pm
December 3 @ 2pm
Carmen Bradford & Melba Joyce Holiday Celebration – Renown mother and daughter vocal team will bring the house down with this CCNY debut duo presentation of jazz standards and holiday favorites.
Friday, December 16 @ 7pm. Theater B.
Tickets: Orchestra – $40; Balcony – $30; Students/Seniors – $20
Long Walk to Freedom – An intergenerational living-history program celebrates the power of an individual to make a difference. Public art and education project of Community Works.
Friday, January 6 – Friday, March 2, 2012. Aaron Davis Hall Gallery.
Dance: Through the African Diaspora – Fuses a variety of dance styles rooted in African Dance tradition.
Friday, February 24 @ 7pm. Marian Anderson Theater.
Tickets: $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
CCNY Celebrates Black History Month with Ben Vereen – CCNY and the Black Studies Program invite you to celebrate Black History Month with Broadway and film star Ben Vereen. Mr. Vereen will give a performance that highlights his multifaceted career as a dancer, singer and actor of stage and screen.
Monday, February 27 @ 7pm. Marian Anderson Theater.
Harlem Symphony Orchestra – Harlem Symphony Orchestra performs traditional symphonic works, music by African and African American composers, and features African American instrumental soloists.
Friday, March 2 @ 7pm. Marian Anderson Theater.
Tickets: $25 General Admission
CCNY Department of Theatre & Speech Presents London Cuckolds – A hilarious, bawdy Restoration comedy in which a street full of wives outwit their husbands and manage to have all the fun they want. Directed by faculty director David Willinger.
Thursday, March 15 @ 12:15pm
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 15, 16 & 17 @ 7pm
Saturday, March 17 @ 2pm
Theater B of Aaron Davis Hall
Women’s History Month 1st Annual ‘Celebrate Women in Arts & Culture’ Awards – Join CCNY in paying tribute to seven outstanding women who have made invaluable contributions to the world of Arts and Culture.
Friday, March 9 @ 7pm. Marian Anderson Theater.
Free – Contact Box Office for tickets
Paul Taylor 2
Thursday, April 26 @ 7pm. Marian Anderson Theater.
Tickets: Adults – $25; Students – $10
Family Arts Day – Family fun including mask making, puppets, sing-a-longs, face painting, clowning and much more fun for all ages! Hosted by The Graduate Program in Educational Theatre at CCNY. Please R.S.V.P. to email@example.com
Saturday, April 28 @ 10am-1pm. Aaron Davis Hall lobby and plaza.
CCNY Department of Theatre & Speech Presents Metamorphosis – What makes people change? It is usually the transformational power of love that causes all to evolve, and Metamorphosis proves this through beauty, poetry, humor, sensuality – a retelling of the classics with a fun, modern twist. Directed by faculty director Julio Matos.
Thursday, May 3 @ 12:15pm
Thursday, Friday & Saturday, May 3, 4 & 5 @ 7pm
Saturday, May 5 @ 2pm
Theater B in Aaron Davis Hall
Tribute to Ray Santos – CCNY pays tribute to Ray Santos, “El Maestro” of mambo. Evening will feature Eddie Palmeri, Paquito D’Rivera, La India and more. Hosted by David Diaz.
Monday, May 21 @ 7pm. Marian Anderson Theater.
Tickets: Orchestra – $40; Balcony – $35; CCNY Students – $25