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Turtle Island Quartet. dance theater plan world premiere performance in Potsdam

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POTSDAM - Community Performance Series is set to present a weekend of arts innovation, as two world-renowned ensembles join forces for a world premiere blending live musical performance and dance, followed by an exploration of Jimi Hendrix’s music — by a string quartet.

Luna Negra Dance Theater will collaborate with the Turtle Island Quartet for a world-premiere performance at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.

The Turtle Island Quartet will then perform their “Have You Ever Been...?” program celebrating the music of Jimi Hendrix, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2 in Crane’s Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall. The pre-concert lecture for this event features a member of the quartet, and will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Jan. 31 performance will feature a world-premiere piece by Spanish choreographer Fernando Hernando Magadan, with an encore performance on Feb. 1. Magadan’s newest work will be accompanied by live music by the Turtle Island Quartet. Additional dance pieces will include “The Naked Ape,” also choreographed by Magadan, and “18+1,” which was choreographed by Luna Negra Artistic Director Gustavo Ramírez Sansano.

Founded in 1999 by Cuban-born dancer and choreographer Eduardo Vilaro, the Luna Negra Dance Company celebrates the rich Latino culture and is well known for its exceptional choreography, intensive educational programs and electrifying performances. Based in Chicago, Luna Negra calls the Harris Theater in Millennium Park home and has become an integral part of Chicago’s cultural community. The company has toured both across the U.S. and around the globe. According to the Boston Globe, “the troupe’s nine members dance as if it’s the last night on Earth.”

The Turtle Island Quartet’s Feb. 2 performance of “Have You Ever Been...?” will feature the ensemble’s arrangements of works by legendary guitarist, songwriter and performer Jimi Hendrix. The program will also feature compositions reflective of and inspired by Hendrix’s music, including Turtle Island Quartet founder David Balakrishnan’s new composition, “Tree of Life.”

The two-time Grammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet is known to be one of the most influential driving forces behind bold new trends in chamber music for strings. Created in 1985, the group combines classical quartet esthetic with contemporary American musical styles, while remaining true to both forms. Unparalleled cellist Yo-Yo Ma has proclaimed Turtle Island Quartet to be “a unified voice that truly breaks new ground - authentic and passionate - a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today.”

Tickets for the Luna Negra Dance Theater performances are $20 and $25 for adults, with discounts for seniors and students. Tickets for the Turtle Island Quartet performance are $18 to $30 for adults, with discounts for seniors and students.

A 15 percent discount is offered to those wishing to attend both performances; contact the CPS Box Office directly to receive this discount.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the CPS Box Office, located in the lobby of Snell Theater on the SUNY Potsdam campus, or at Northern Music & Video in downtown Potsdam. Tickets may also be purchased by calling (315) 267-2277 or visiting www.cpspotsdam.org.

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