Misty Copeland re-creates famous Edgar Degas paintings

Published: Saturday, February 13, 2016 @ 3:57 AM
Updated: Saturday, February 13, 2016 @ 5:04 AM

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Misty Copeland, who became the first African-American woman to be named a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre last year, has already established herself as a legend.

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Now the 33-year-old is re-creating the beauty of ballet in another art form. The March issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine will feature the ballerina in photos reminiscent of works of 19th century French artist Edgar Degas.   

In high-end fashions by designers like Oscar de la Renta and Alexander McQueen, Copeland posed to capture scenes from Degas' famous portraits and sculptures like "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen," "The Star" and "Green Dancer."

"I definitely feel like I can see myself in that sculpture—she just seems content but also reserved," Copeland told Harper's Bazaar about posing for "Little Dancer." "I was really shy and introverted at that age. I don't even have an image in my head of what I remember a ballerina being or existing before I took a ballet class. Ballet was just the one thing that brought me to life."

The photo shoot celebrates "Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty," an exhibition that will debut at the New York Museum of Modern Art in March. 

Read more here.

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Imagine Dragons, Kendrick Lamar, Fall Out Boy make Music Midtown 2018 lineup

Published: Monday, June 11, 2018 @ 5:18 PM

Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, performs during the second day of Lollapalooza Chile 2018. Imagine Dragons is one of the acts performing at Music Midtown 2018. (Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images)
Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images
Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, performs during the second day of Lollapalooza Chile 2018. Imagine Dragons is one of the acts performing at Music Midtown 2018. (Photo by Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images)(Marcelo Hernandez/Getty Images)

Five years ago, Imagine Dragons was on the cusp of arena stardom when the pop rock band played the secondary stage at Music Midtown.

“(Drummer) Daniel Platzman told me the reason he became a drummer was because his uncle took him to Music Midtown when he was in school years ago,” Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, which produces the annual city concert, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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This fall, Imagine Dragons graduates to headliner status for the 2018 edition of the two-day music festival, along with fellow marquee names Kendrick Lamar, Fall Out Boy and Post Malone.

Joining the frontline four acts on four stages are Khalid, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Gucci Mane, Janelle Monáe, Portugal, The Man, The Revivalists, Foster the People, Kacey Musgraves, Sylvan Esso, BØRNS, First Aid Kit, Billie Eilish, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Bazzi, AWOLNATION, Chromeo, Butch Walker, Maggie Rogers, K.Flay, ARIZONA, Twin Shadow, Robert DeLong, lovelytheband, SAINt JHN, Two Feet, Black Pistol Fire, SiR, The Aces, Mattiel, Arthur Buck, Yuno and Berklee College of Music.

“The lineup reflects the audience,” Conlon said. “There’s a central thrust toward a young crowd.”

Tickets for the festival, which takes place Sept. 15-16 in Piedmont Park, where it has resided since returning in 2011, will go on sale at 10 a.m. June 15 at MusicMidtown.com

Two-day general admission prices are $135 plus fees and taxes. Prices will increase as the event gets closer.

Two-day VIP tickets, which includes dedicated entrances, VIP lounge access, preferred stage viewing areas, complimentary food, beer and wine and air-conditioned restrooms, are $600 plus fees and taxes. Two-day Super VIP tickets, which includes all of the VIP amenities plus air-conditioned luxury lounge access and seating, premium open bar, gourmet catered food and golf cart transportation between the Meadow stages, are $1,250 plus fees and taxes. 

“You have to compare prices to any of today’s shows,” Conlon said. “A $150 ticket is the average price to see one act, and this is still the biggest music festival in Georgia.”

Last year’s Music Midtown, which spotlighted Bruno Mars, Future, Blink-182 and Mumford & Sons, attracted more than 70,000 fans each day. 

The layout of the event will remain the same. A few tweaks are expected to the food selection, including more vegan and gluten-free options.

“I think we’ve got a really good during-the-day up-and-coming lineup,” Conlon said. “It’s a good mix.”

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Why this Broadway star is coming to town and how you can see her

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 10:12 AM

Three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker will sing the Golden Age of Broadway and more Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Loft Theatre. She will also participate in a master class and interview Friday, Feb. 23 in the Festival Playhouse of the Creative Arts Center at Wright State University. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY LAURA MARIE DUNCAN
Three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker will sing the Golden Age of Broadway and more Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Loft Theatre. She will also participate in a master class and interview Friday, Feb. 23 in the Festival Playhouse of the Creative Arts Center at Wright State University. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY LAURA MARIE DUNCAN

Three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker, one of Broadway’s signature sopranos, sings the Golden Age of Broadway and more Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Loft Theatre as a benefit fundraiser for the Human Race Theatre Company.

Sponsored by the Musical Theatre Initiative at Wright State University, the Race’s residency partner, the eclectic concert interweaves classics of the American Songbook written by Golden Age legends such as Jerome Kern, Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim, and Rodgers and Hammerstein with modern tunes from today’s songwriters including Joseph Thalken, Luker’s accompanist and composer of the musicals “Was” and “Harold and Maude” which both received Midwest premieres at the Human Race.

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“We are thrilled to continue our tradition of bringing the ‘Best of Broadway’ to Dayton,” said Human Race Artistic Director Kevin Moore. “Rebecca Luker has thrilled me numerous times on the Broadway stage, and what an honor to have her perform for our Loft audiences. This concert/fundraiser helps to support a variety of special projects at the Human Race, making education and community engagement possible. Plus, we are able to collaborate with Joe Deer at Wright State University in providing a master class with Ms. Luker and Mr. Thalken for the musical theatre students.”

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“The concert will be a wonderful mix of old and new songs that’ll make you laugh and make you cry,” said Luker, 56, who grew up admiring musical theatre while raised singing church hymns in her native Birmingham, Alabama. “I’ve always believed one of my purposes in life is to sing and interpret this kind of music. It just speaks to me. The level of writing astounds me. The Golden Age really produced brilliant music from Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and many others. But it’s also true that contemporary composers, such as my accompanist Joe Thalken, are carrying on the tradition, the sensibility, of Kern, Gershwin, Cole Porter and others. They’re bringing the style of classical and contemporary together in their own special way and it’s so exciting. But I hope the audience comes away from the concert having felt as if they’ve had a journey through our wonderful musical theatre history from way back when until today. I want the audience to have a completely satisfying experience.”

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In addition to receiving Tony nominations for her luminous portrayals of Magnolia in “Show Boat,” Marian Paroo in “The Music Man” and Winifred Banks in “Mary Poppins,” Luker says she is proud to have been given opportunities that notably stretched and challenged her beyond the expected. In particular, she ranks her portrayals of Claudia in “Nine,” the Fairy Godmother in “Cinderella” and Helen Bechdel in “Fun Home” among her fondest and most challenging performances.

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“I often enjoy bringing a bit of myself to any role that I do,” she remarked. “When I did ‘Nine,’ I had to speak Italian and be someone I’m completely not, which I love doing. When I was the Fairy Godmother in ‘Cinderella,’ I was moving into the point of my career when I was doing more character roles and that was so much fun. ‘Fun Home’ was a great experience because it was a contemporary musical, which I rarely do, and I loved the score as well. I had the time of my life doing ‘Fun Home.’ But there are still roles I haven’t done that I would love to do. I still haven’t played Anna in ‘The King and I’ and I would love to do plays, particularly Shakespeare. It would also be great to do operas or operettas.”

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Luker, who resides in New York City with her husband, six-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein, is specifically looking forward to spending time encouraging and advising WSU’s musical theatre students. She hopes her words of wisdom will resonate.

“It’s important to have as many acting experiences as you can in order for you to decide which direction you ultimately want to go,” she said. “Only you know what you can do with your talent. I’ll also help the students communicate a song. It sounds easy but it’s hard. It’s important to make songs personal, to believe it with all your heart. And in doing so, the audience is going to believe it with all their heart. It’s always important to let your authentic self shine through.”

Want to go?

WHAT: Rebecca Luker at Wright State

WHERE: Festival Playhouse of WSU’s Creative Arts Center, 3640 Col. Glenn Hwy., Fairborn

WHEN: 10-11:30 a.m. Friday (master class with students); 1-2:30 p.m. Friday (interview with Joe Deer)

FYI: Both sessions are free and open to the public.

WHAT: “Broadway’s Rebecca Luker: One Night Only”

WHERE: Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday

COST: $65 (regular admission) and $140 (VIP level). VIP level tickets include a pre-show event with heavy hors d/oeuvres, wine and cheese, reserved premium seating, and a post-show reception with Luker. The price includes a $35 tax deductible gift to the Human Race.

TICKETS: Call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630 or visit ticketcenterstage.com or humanracetheatre.org.

FYI: More information about Luker, including performance clips, can be found at rebeccaluker.com

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Last chance to see this Art Nouveau exhibit in Dayton

Published: Saturday, December 30, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Alphonse Mucha was a Czechoslovakian artist and a leader of the Art Nouveau movement.

Courtesy of Dayton Art Institute and the Dhawan Collection.
Alphonse Mucha was a Czechoslovakian artist and a leader of the Art Nouveau movement. Courtesy of Dayton Art Institute and the Dhawan Collection.(HANDOUT)

It’s the perfect weekend for indoor fun.

It’s also your last chance to see this special exhibition at the Dayton Art Institute.

The exhibit “Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau” will be on view through Dec. 31. This is the only Midwest stop for the exhibit.

Drawn from one of the finest private collections of Mucha’s work in the United States, this exhibition features 75 works by the celebrated Czech master, whose varied, expressive, and seductive imagery helped form and later shape the aesthetics of French Art Nouveau at the turn of the 20th century.

A traveling exhibit, “Art Nouveau designs of Alphonse Mucha,” will come to the Dayton Art Institute in September. Photo credit: Alphonse Mucha, JOB.(Staff Writer)

We asked Katherine Ryckman Siegwarth, the Dayton Art Institute’s Kettering Assistant Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, to tell us more about an artist she’s admired since childhood.

Q: Who was Alphonse Mucha?

Siegwarth: Mucha was a Czechoslovakian artist who lived from 1860 to 1939 and became known for a distinctive style that established him as a leader of the Art Nouveau movement. His work ranged from paintings, posters and advertisements to jewelry, carpet and wallpaper designs. Mucha’s works frequently featured beautiful young women in flowing, vaguely Neoclassical-looking robes, often surrounded by lush flowers which sometimes formed halos behind their heads. In contrast with contemporary poster-makers he used pale pastel colors.

Q: What is Art Nouveau and how does one recognize it?

Siegwarth: Art Nouveau was a visual, decorative and architectural art style popular from the late 1880’s until the First World War when the Art Deco style gained popularity. Art Nouveau can be recognized by its highly-stylized forms inspired by natural elements. You’ll see a lot of long, curving plants and other sinuous line details. And within the visual arts, you will note beautiful women, or femme fatales, with long, flowing hair and seductive glances — a trademark style of Alphonse Mucha.

Mucha was also interested in spiritualism and Masonic philosophy. He later became a Grand Master of the Freemasons of Czechoslovakia which also influenced many of his later designs. At that point in his career he was trying to elevate the meaning and influence of his designs — no longer seductive women, but figures who represented virtrues such as “truth” and “peace.” There are other symbols within designs that are associated with the Freemasons. Some of the works towards the end of our exhibit demonstrate this change.

Q: What materials did Mucha use in his art?

Siegwarth: As a principal designer for advertisements as well as book and journal illustrations, Mucha made a significant number of lithographs. There were several advancements in printing and color lithography techniques during his time, making it an exciting medium for experimentation.

Mucha’s lithographs reflect the rich texture of modern life in Paris at the turn of the century — this is the opulent Belle Époque and fin-de-siècle. His subject matter ranges from biscuits, perfumes and liqueurs to exhibitions and expositions locations. He also did publicity for leading theatrical celebrities of the era.

Mucho’s advertisement presented actress Sarah Bernhardt in her feature role and was wildly popular. CREDIT: Alphonse Mucha, color lithograph on paper mounted on linen, 1895. Courtesy of Dayton Art Institute and the Dhawan Collection.(Staff Writer)

Q: How is he best known?

Siegwarth: Mucha is perhaps best known for the “Slav Epic,” his series of twenty monumental paintings depicting Czech and Slovak history. He was an ardent supporter of Czech independence and gifted this series of paintings in 1928 to Czechoslovakia on the 10th anniversary of its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Also, in 1919, he designed the first Czech bank notes, which will be on view in the exhibition.

Q: What would you hope visitors take away from the exhibition?

Siegwarth: With any exhibition, I hope visitors are able to see how the artworks on view were influenced by the time and events surrounding its creation, but also how the visual arts in turn influenced the world around it.

This exhibition is a great example of that. Mucha created singular works that shaped an artistic style, changed advertising campaign strategies, while also showed audiences today the opulent world of turn of the twentieth century Paris.

But most importantly, I wish for visitors to have fun!


What: “Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau, ” an exhibit featuring 75 works from the Dhawan Collection  

When: Through Dec. 31, 2017 

Where: Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton 

Admission: $14 adults; $11 seniors (60+), students (18+ w/ID), active military and groups (10 or more); $6 youth (ages 7-17); and free for children (ages 6 & under) and members.


  • Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
  • Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. 
  • Fridays/Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
  • Sundays, Noon - 5:00 p.m. (including Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve) 
  • Closed Mondays & Tuesdays

More info: Visit daytonartinstitute.org/mucha. Use the hashtag #MuchaDAI to join the conversation on social media.

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Local girl performing in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 12:45 PM

Lily Nevers of Springboro will be singing and dancing on Thanksgiving Day in the 91st annual Parade.

An 11-year-old Springboro girl should be singing and dancing in front of the Macy’s department store in New York City on Thursday during the 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Lily Nevers said Tuesday during a break from rehearsals in New York for a performance of Irving Berlin’s “This Is A Great Country” during the iconic parade, typically seen by 3.5 million live spectators and more than 50 million viewers.

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Nevers, a 6th grader at Incarnation Catholic School in Centerville, is one of 128 kids from 104 cities picked by the Camp Broadway theatre-arts enrichment company for this year’s production.

“I’m very excited for the parade,” she said. “I’m so happy to be part of it this year.”

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The Camp Broadway cast is made up of children 9 to 16 years old, representing immediate family members of active duty military personnel, veterans, reservists, wounded warriors and fallen heroes from all branches of United States Armed Forces. They are to march with the parade and perform on Herald Square in front of the store.

Lily is the daughter of David and Lesley Nevers. David Nevers retired little more than a year ago after 21 ½ years in the United States Marine Corps.

Lily has performed at the Town Hall Theatre in Centerville and aspires to a career on Broadway. The family submitted a video audition of her singing “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” doing the dance moves in the Thanksgiving Day show and a head shot.

The family learned early last month she had been selected.

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“I was just over the moon for her,” Lesley Nevers said. “It’s her dream. She’s been walking on air.”

Mother and daughter also managed to find time to shop along Time Square and catch a Broadway show.

“It’s really important to live in the moment,” Lily added. “I’m really honored to have this opportunity.”

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