Local Holiday Events Abound

If you’re looking for a respite from holiday shopping, Rochester is offering several opportunities to enjoy live performances and events beginning at the end of November and lasting throughout the month of December. Here are a few. For more events go to http://eventful.com/rochester/events/december.

Karen Barber and Linda Taggart, members of Striking Strings Hammered Dulcimer Ensemble, will be performing in the Central Library – Arts, Music and Recreation Division, 2nd floor Bausch and Lomb Public Library Building. Stop by and watch, ask questions, and enjoy the beautiful sounds of this fascinating traditional instrument from 1-3 PM.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol returns to the Geva Theatre Center on Friday, November 23. Guy Paul reprises his role as Ebenezer Scrooge and Jim Poulos portrays Bob Cratchit in Mark Cuddy’s adaptation of the classic. The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Shows continue through Dec. 23. Call (585) 232-4382 or go to gevatheatre.org.

The Rochester Folk Art Guild’s Holiday Festival of Crafts, featuring pottery, wooden furniture and turnings, weaving, toys, hand-blown glass Christmas ornaments, rugs and more by guild artisans is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at The Harley School in Brighton. Admission is $2. For details, go to folkartguild.org.

Garth Fagan Dance returns on Tuesday, November 27 to the Nazareth College Arts Center in Pittsford. The acclaimed contemporary dance company will showcase selections from its more than four decades of performances as well as a new piece that includes choreography by Garth Fagan and music by Wynton Marsalis. Shows begin 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27; 8 p.m. Nov. 28 to 30; 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 1; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2. Tickets are $40 to $55. Call (585) 389-2170 or go to artscenter.naz.edu.

Tony Award-winning musical Memphis, set in the 1950s about a white DJ who falls in love with an up-and-coming black club singer, opens Tuesday at Rochester’s Auditorium Theatre. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 27 to 29; 8 p.m. Nov. 30; 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 1; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2. Tickets ($27.50 to $67.50) are available by calling (800) 745-3000 or online at ticketmaster.com.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker 20th Anniversary production overflows with a spectacular new “Dove of Peace” performed by 2 dancers, Christmas tree that grows to 7 stories tall, 40 top Russian dancers, falling snow, charming silk puppets, 200 lavish costumes, and 9 hand-painted backdrops all set to Tchaikovsky’s complete score. Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker – 20 years of soaring holiday spirit! Wednesday, December 5 at 7:30 pm at the Auditorium Theatre. For tickets click here.

This Thanksgiving weekend, do something truly special with your family: join the Rochester City Ballet and the RPO, along with the Bach Children’s Chorus, for Rochester’s only full-length, live-music performance of an enchanting classic, The Nutcracker. It’s a dazzling, heartwarming spectacle that will leave all ages delighted—a brilliant start to the holiday season.  Nov. 23-25, Kodak Hall. For more holiday family concerts click here.

Vivaldi’s timeless classic, The Four Seasons will be performed December 13 and 15 by the RPO’s concertmaster, Juliana Athayde. For more, call (585) 454-2100 or go to rpo.org.

The Holiday Laser Show, featuring popular holiday songs choreographed with dancing laser light against a starry background, can be viewed at 11 a.m., 4:30, 7 and 8 p.m. Nov. 24; and 3 p.m. Nov. 25 at the Rochester Museum & Science Center’s Strasenburgh Planetarium. Admission is $7 ($6 for seniors, students with ID and ages 3-18). Go to rmsc.org.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be performing their acclaimed rock opera, “The Lost Christmas Eve” live at the Blue Cross Arena on Wednesday, December 5 at 7:30 PM. The Lost Christmas Eve is the fourth album by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

More Fire Glass Holiday Show and Sale includes glass blowing demonstrations and displays. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and Dec. 1 and 2. Admission is free. Call (585) 242-0450 or go online to morefireglass.com.

New Dance Books

Soloists ignited the modern dance movement and have been a source of its constant renewal. Pioneering dancers such as Loïe Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, and Maud Allan embodied the abstraction and individuality of the larger modernist movement while making astounding contributions to their art. Nevertheless, solo dancers have received far less attention in the literature than have performers and choreographers associated with large companies.

In On Stage Alone, editors Claudia Gitelman and Barbara Palfy take an international approach to the solo dance performance. The essays in this standout volume broaden the dance canon by bringing to light modern dance soloists from Europe, Asia, and the Americas who have shaped significant, sustained careers by performing full programs of their own choreography.

Featuring in-depth examinations of the work of artists such as Michio Ito, Daniel Nagrin, Ann Carlson, and many others,On Stage Alonereveals the many contributions made by daring solo dancers from the dawn of the twentieth century through today. In doing so, it explores many important statements these soloists made regarding topics such as freedom, personal space, individuality, and gender in the modern era.

The Dance Bible is a book for beginners who have the passion to dance but are unsure how to transform their creative impulse into a career.

  • Advises readers on modern dance, jazz, ballet, contemporary, non-western forms, and even street dance
  • Describes and discuses training regimes and fundamental dance techniques
  • Offers suggestions on how to develop one’s own unique style of expression
  • Dancers get advice on physical conditioning and learning to care for their body, on and off the stage

Finally, the author offers detailed advice on how beginning dancers can effectively market their talent, maximize income, and sustain a successful career in the highly competitive world of dance.

In Hermes Pan: The Man Who Danced with Fred Astaire, Pan emerges as a man in full, an artist inseparable from his works. He was a choreographer deeply interested in his dancers’ personalities, and his dances became his way of embracing and understanding the outside world. Though his time in a Trappist monastery proved to him that he was more suited to choreography than to life as a monk, Pan remained a deeply devout Roman Catholic throughout his creative life, a person firmly convinced of the powers of prayer. While he was rarely to be seen without several beautiful women at his side, it was no secret that Pan was homosexual and even had a life partner. As Pan worked at the nexus of the cinema industry’s creative circles during the golden age of the film musical, this book traces not only Pan’s personal life but also the history of the Hollywood musical itself. It is a study of Pan, who emerges here as a benevolent perfectionist, and equally of the stars, composers, and directors with whom he worked, from Astaire and Rogers to Betty Grable, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Bob Fosse, George Gershwin, Samuel Goldwyn, and countless other luminaries of American popular entertainment.

Rochester’s Fringe Festival September 19-23, 2012

Welcome to the Fringe

Five days. Dozens of shows. All on display throughout Rochester. It’s a festival the likes of which Rochester has never seen before. A spectacular celebration of the performing and visual arts in the heart of Rochester’s East End, featuring world-renowned performers as well as up-and-comers.

The First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival

The Rochester Fringe Festival is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that connects venues, performers, artists, educational institutions and the audience. We give artists and performers the freedom to stage their own work and venues to decide their own programming. The Fringe was pioneered by several of Rochester’s premier cultural institutions, including Geva Theatre Center, the George Eastman House and Garth Fagan Dance, as well as up-and-coming groups like PUSH Physical Theatre and Method Machine. Our Board of Directors includes representatives from the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, University of Rochester, Eastman School of Music, RIT, Center for Youth, Boylan Code LLC, and Mengel Metzger Barr. Additionally, numerous colleges, government representatives, museums, galleries and philanthropic organizations have joined in enthusiastic support of Rochester’s first fringe festival.


In 1947, eight theatre groups turned up – uninvited – to perform at the newly established Edinburgh International Festival. The groups performed at venues they arranged themselves. The following year, Scottish journalist Robert Kemp coined the term “fringe festival” to describe these renegade performers. Today, there are more than 200 fringe festivals worldwide, with approximately 20 existing within the United States. Each fringe festival is a creative and economic engine for its host communities. For example, last year the Edinburgh Fringe saw 41,689 performances of 2,542 shows in 258 venues lasting the entire month of August. It grosses over $100 million annually for the Scottish economy.

Dance Festival Hosted by Local College

Today Nazareth College Arts Center will host their 3rd Annual Dance Festival. For the first time since its beginning, the Festival will partner with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra lead by Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik. The RPO will survey American dance music, featuring guest dancers from the West Coast.

The Festival will feature performances by two-time 2011 Bessie Award winner Beth Gill, Chicago’s acclaimed Luna Negra Dance Theater, Buffalo’s wildly popular, “organically athletic,” LehrerDance, the dynamic contemporary dance company, FuturPointe Dance, and will end with a tour-DE-force performance by the iconic Martha Graham Dance Company. For ticket information visit the College’s website at http://artscenter.naz.edu/dance-festival

The Festival will also offer many free classes and activities such as Master Classes, Community Dances, Outdoor Performances and Choreographer conversations. The Festival organizers are hoping to top last year’s participation of 6,000 festival goers.