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THE ARTS: Blood on the Fields, Share in the dance, At the Mondavi

By Dave Jones on February 2, 2007 in University

BLOOD ON THE FIELDS: The Memorial Union Art Gallery announced an exhibit in celebration of Black History Month.

Fifteen paintings by Milton Bowens comprise the exhibit titled Blood on the Fields: A Lasting Impression of an American Story, described as a poetic look at plantation life and slavery and its role in inner cities and ghettos across America today. The exhibit is set to run from Feb. 8 through March 2; a reception is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 28.

The installation is loosely based on Wynton Marsalis' oratorio Blood on the Fields, a work for which Marsalis received the Pulitzer Prize for music.

The exhibit is presented by Campus Unions in association with the Department of African-American and African Studies and Black Family Week.

In conjunction with the show, Bowens is scheduled to deliver a lecture, "Thinking Out Loud," about the power of art and fine art as the last line of defense for freedom of speech. The lecture, free and open to the public, is scheduled from 12:10 to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 22, in the art gallery.

Bowens also plans a collage workshop, "Text Messaging," to teach alternative ways of expressing thoughts, concerns, political and social awareness, and understanding the true power of communication. The work-shop, set for Feb. 28, is for students only; contact the gallery for more information.

SHARE IN THE DANCE: The Department of Theatre and Dance is inviting the public to share in a dance program called Share, featuring works about space and time and alter egos and a solar eclipse, sort of.

Share is set to open with a preview performance at 8 p.m. Feb. 15, with subsequent performances set for 8 p.m. Feb. 16 and 17, and Feb. 22-24, and 2 p.m. Feb. 25, in the Studio Theatre at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. The theatre and dance department advised that the program contains partial nudity.

A news release describes the program as a genre-defying collaboration of the arts of theatre, dance, music, circus, design, video and performance. The choreographers are master of fine arts candidates.

In Hilary Bryan's Ego Alter, 12 performers -- dancers, actors, singers -- are possessed by 144 altered egos, "weaving sound and spatial harmonics with character development to reveal a kaleidoscope of inner selves that cycle through space."

Keith Hennessy's work is titled Sol niger, Latin for "black sun," referring to a solar eclipse. Hennessy and the contemporary circus company Circo Zero "create an intimate spectacle that attempts to unravel what he describes as the 'darkness of our times.'" The news release describes the program as "an investigation of current political realities through aerial circus, contemporary dance and experimental performance," with text, music and video.


Spanish Harlem Orchestra -- Authentic salsa music. 8 p.m. Feb. 9, Jackson Hall. Preperformance lecture by Steve Roach, director of Jazz Studies at California State University, Sacramento, 7 p.m., AGR Room, Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center.

Los Lobos and Taj Mahal -- Los Lobos has returned to its acoustic roots for this tour, En Vivo. Blues legend Taj Mahal is also on the bill. 8 p.m. Feb. 16, Jackson Hall.

Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,