Live Music, Family Programs Return to the DIA With Performance by Ballet Folklórico de Detroit

The Detroit Institute of Arts has announced that in-person music and family programming will return to the museum on October 23.

The return will be kicked off by a sold-out performance from Ballet Folklórico de Detroit, a community group dedicated to preserve Mexican culture and traditions through dance. The performance is part of the DIA’s commemoration of el Día de Muertos, or Day of Dead. All events are free. Registration is required and available on each event page on the museum’s website. All events will be held in the Detroit Film Theatre Auditorium at this time.

All programming attendees will be required to show proof of full vaccination and masks are required for all attendees. Children under 12 who cannot be vaccinated may attend screenings with a fully vaccinated adult and must wear a mask. Capacity for programs will be limited to 30% to allow for audience distance.

A full list of guidelines and precautions in available on the DIA website. Highlights of the returning programs include: Family Programming Ballet Folklórico de Detroit – Saturday, October 23 at 2 p.m. SOLD OUT Travel across the varied and beautiful regions of Mexico with Ballet Folklórico de Detroit, a Detroit-based community group of passionate dancers who dedicate their time and talent to preserve Mexican culture and traditions through dance. With each style of dress, music and footwork showcased in every performance, these dancers hope to delight and ignite a spark of interest and respect of Mexican culture. National Marionette Theatre – Hansel and Gretel – Saturday, November 13 at 2 p.m.

The story of Hansel and Gretel has captured audiences’ imaginations for generations. National Marionette Theatre’s adaptation of this classic tale brings the Grimm brothers’ story to life with exquisitely crafted marionettes, scrolling scenery, and the beautiful music of Engelbert Humperdinck. Audiences of all ages will cheer on this brother-and-sister team as they navigate the dark woods, outsmart the witch, and finally get reunited with their family. Gems: The World’s Wisdom Stories – 2 p.m. Wednesday, December 29 & Thursday, December 30.

For nearly three decades, Doug Berky has brought classic solo physical theater to stages all over the world. Using the illusion of the mime, the antics of the clown, and the transformation of his own handmade, original and exquisite masks, Doug inspires both laughter and reflection.

In Gems, Doug Berky presents stories from around the world by weaving together many art forms into a full stage, large mask theater production with clever and creative costuming. Featuring stories from ancient Greece’s Aesop’s Fables as well as folklore and mythology from Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Native American peoples. Puppet Performance: Dirty Gerts – Saturday, January 22 at 2 p.m.

Gorgeous puppetry pops up on the DIA stage with Puppetkabob’s latest pop-up creation: Dirty Gerts, a show about growing pains made entirely out of re-purposed paper products! Come on get happy with middle schooler Carol Lee Bell – as she finds the fold to fitting in – and discovers the best way is to not fit at all! Get the whole family together for a groovy blend of historical fiction, 60s pop culture puppets, and colorful confetti at this one-of-a-kind show for families.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE Wendell Harrison: Ambiguous Reality – Friday, November 5 at 7 p.m. Wendell Harrison, saxophonist, clarinetist, composer and Pamela Wise, a composer and pianist were recently awarded a prestigious grant from New Music USA to compose a new piece entitled Ambiguous Reality, reflecting the historical events that happened in 2020 both personal and pandemic-related. This new exciting composition includes a stellar 12-piece ensemble with five brass instruments; tuba, trombone, french horn, flugle horn, trumpet with rhythm section; directed by Wendell Harrison who also plays tenor saxophone and clarinet with Pamela Wise featured on piano. We Insist! Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite – Friday, December 3 at 7 p.m. Composer and drummer Max Roach and lyricist Oscar Brown began developing the Freedom Now Suite in 1959, culminating in the release of the album We Insist!

Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite and a 1963 performance on the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation. This performance will be presented live in the Detroit Film Theatre and features Naima Shambourger on vocals, saxophonist Mike Monford, bassist Marion Hayden and an All-Star group of jazz musicians. Presented in conjunction with the DIA special exhibition Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite on view through January 16, 2022.

Sinta Quartet – Friday, November 19 at 7 p.m. Sinta Quartet’s repertoire is diverse, ranging from commissions by today’s emerging composers to standards from the saxophone quartet literature to transcriptions by master composers such as Dvořák, Schubert, and Shostakovich. In 2019, they released their debut recording, Collider, featuring new works for saxophone quartet.

Michigan Philharmonic: Miniature Masterpieces – Friday, January 21 at 7 p.m. Miniature Masterpieces come in all shapes and sizes and for this performance the Michigan Philharmonic presents mandolinist/composer Brad Phillips and the debut of his composition for Mandolin and Strings (2021). Also included are Alexander Borodin’s In the Steppes of Central Asia (1880), Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for Mandolin in C Major RV425 (1725), Ruth Crawford Seeger’s Music for Small Orchestra (1926) and Henry Cowell’s Persian Set (1957).

Ellen Rowe: Momentum – Portraits of Women in Music – Friday, January 28 at 7 p.m. With Momentum – Portraits of Women in Music, Ellen Rowe has assembled a program of original music rendered by eight amazing women jazz musicians and written for women— specifically to honor those female trailblazers in various fields that have inspired her, including jazz, politics, social justice, environmental advocacy, and sports. Advanced registration is required for all events.

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