UC Berkeley Web Feature
Guangzhou Ballet Ensemble of China, East Asian collections at the C.V. Starr Library, Angela Davis, Dan Zanes, "Continuous City"
Coming attractions for fall 2007: Celebration of new East Asian Library prominent in landscape of events4 September 2007
BERKELEY – Conferences and a bloom of events inspired by the dedication of the new C.V. Starr East Asian Library and Chang-Lin Tien Center for East Asian Studies highlight the fall calendar at UC Berkeley. Scholars, dance and opera enthusiasts are in for a rare treat.
On Oct. 18 and 19, "Over a Hundred Years of Collecting: The History of East Asian Collections in North America" will draw scholars and librarians from over 20 institutions. A gala performance by the Guangzhou Ballet Ensemble of China will dazzle conference goers and Cal Performance devotees alike. In addition, an academic conference on Peking Opera, 20th-century Chinese dramatic arts, and the life of opera legend Mei Lanfang will be presented by Cal Performances, the Institute of East Asian Studies, the Berkeley China Initiative, and the Center for Chinese Studies. The UC Berkeley Art Museum will bring us closer to home, with work grounded as much in American culture as Asian culture, with the exhibit "One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now," accompanied by poetry, talks, and demonstrations.
(M. J. Hardy photo)
The immense diversity of the campus will be showcased throughout the semester with events including a dance card featuring the Joffrey Ballet, Mark Morris, and a tribute to Twyla Tharp; UC Santa Cruz professor Angela Davis's examination of the notion of reforming the "prison industrial complex"; University of Chicago music professor Martha Feldman's lecture series on the Italian castrato as an index of European cultural transformation; and software activist Richard Stallman's cautionary lecture on why we should care about corporate copyright enforcement.
The following is a highly subjective shortlist, chosen with help from staff across campus, of events likely to be of general interest. Details may change, and events will be added, so visit the Critic's Choice website daily to stay informed. (Please notify us of any corrections/updates.)
The Guangzhou Ballet Ensemble of China will present its full-length production of "Mei Lanfang," an inspired work based on the life of the legendary Peking Opera performer who shaped the art of Chinese theater for generations. "Mei Lanfang" has been praised internationally for its elaborate sets and costumes as well as its captivating score and innovative choreography (Friday-Saturday, Oct. 19-20, 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 21, 3 p.m. Zellerbach Hall). The companion colloquium "Mei Lanfang, Peking Opera, and the Chinese Aesthetic" will introduce the themes of Peking Opera, 20th-century Chinese dramatic arts, and the life of Mei Lanfang (1894-1961) (Friday Oct. 19, 1 p.m., Institute of East Asian Studies). See the Cal Performances and Institute of East Asian Studies websites for details.
Other conferences surrounding the dedication of the new East Asian Library include "Text, Translation, and Transmission," being held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Numata Chair program at the Center for Buddhist Studies (Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 18-20, 9:30 a.m., Toll Room, Alumni House). See the East Asian Library website for the full list of conferences.
The Berkeley Art Museum presents the contemporary Asian American perspective with the exhibit "One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now," featuring more than thirty works by seventeen artists, most of whom were born after 1970 or who grew up in the United States during that decade (Sept. 19-Dec. 23). In conjunction with the exhibition, a nine-part film series looks at several generations of Asian American moving-image artists such as Jon Moritsugu, Shu Lea Cheang, Gregg Araki, and Gina Lim. "One Way or Another" will include a wide array of public programs that explore the question of Asian American identity today. These include an interdisciplinary panel featuring several of the artists featured in the exhibition ( Sunday, Sept. 23, 3 p.m.); a talk and demonstration by artist Binh Danh (Sunday, Sept. 30, 2 p.m.); a reading by young Asian American poets (Sunday, Oct. 21, 3 p.m.); a panel discussion focusing on Asian American identity and Asian adoption in the United States (Sunday, Nov. 11, 3 p.m.); and a performance by artist Patty Chang (Thursday, Nov. 15, 6 p.m.).
Cal Performances transports us to Japan for Bunraku—The National Puppet Theatre of Japan (Saturday, Oct. 13, 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 14, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). Japan's centuries-old form of puppet theater combines three distinct and highly refined artistic disciplines: joruri, or ballad narration, shamisen instrumental music, and ningyo tsukai, or the art of puppet manipulation. Controversial German choregrapher Pina Bausch, returns to Cal Performances with performances of the poetic "Ten Chi," created in Japan in 2004 (Friday-Saturday, Nov. 16-17, 8 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 18, 7 p.m., Zellerbach Hall).
Cal Performances' rich array of dance programs this season include the West coast debut of Mark Morris's "Mozart Dances" (Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 20-22, 8 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 23, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). Set to two Mozart piano concertos—No. 11 in F (K. 413) and No. 27 in B-flat (K. 595)—flanking his Sonata in D for Two Pianos (K. 448), and danced against a backdrop of visuals by Howard Hodgkin, it has already been deemed the equal in choreography of Morris's " L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato." A focus on the work of choreographer Twyla Tharp begins with, the Joffrey Ballet's performance of "Deuce Coupe," set to music by the Beach Boys (Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 4-6, 8 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 6, 2 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). The Tharp salute continues with the Miami City Ballet performing "Nine Sinatra Songs," set to music sung by Ol' Blue Eyes himself (Friday-Saturday, Oct. 26-27, 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 28, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). As part of Cal Performances' three-pronged tribute, American Ballet Theatre will perform Tharp's "Baker's Dozen," set to music by Willie "The Lion" Smith (Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 7-10, 8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 11, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). The perennial favorite Mark Morris's "The Hard Nut" returns (Dec. 14-23, Zellerbach Hall). See the Cal Performances websites for details and more dance programs.
(Anna Williams photo)
To honor professor and composer Jorge Liderman on his 50th birthday, Cal Performances brings together some of Liderman's favorite collaborators, including Cuarteto Latinoamericano, classical guitarist David Tanenbaum, and virtuoso Brazilian pianist Sonia Rubinsky (Sunday, Nov. 18, 3 p.m., Hertz Hall)."Dan Zanes & Friends" satisfies kids and their hipster parents alike, and are performing (Saturday, Nov. 24, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 25, 3 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). Chicago jazz vocalist and pianist Patricia Barber, whose most recent release is "Mythologies," a series of character portraits drawn from the timeless stories of Ovid's "Metamorphoses," will perform with her ensemble (Saturday, Sept. 29, 8 p.m., Wheeler Auditorium). Mariza performs fado, the evocative blues that originated in the brothels and taverns of Lisbon (Tuesday, Oct. 23, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). With "Do You Know What It Means?" Irvin Mayfield and the 16-member New Orleans Jazz Orchestra paint a musical portrait of the Big Easy (Saturday, Nov. 3, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). Cellist Yo-Yo Ma (Thursday, Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m., Zellerbach Hall) and the Takács quartet (Sunday, Dec. 2, 3 p.m., Hertz Hall) return to Cal Performances to sellout crowds, but you can put yourself on the Cal Performances notification list to purchase tickets that may become available due to last-minute returns.
Other musical events around campus include the University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Milnes, presenting three evening programs: Rachmaninoff, Symphonic Dances (Friday-Saturday, Sept. 28-29); Beethoven Symphony (No. 7) (Friday-Saturday, Oct. 26-27); and Bruckner Symphony (No. 6) (Friday-Saturday, Dec. 7-8, 8 p.m.; all performances are at Hertz Hall). Martha Feldman, professor of music, University of Chicago, will present a series of lectures exploring the phenomenon of castration and grooming of Italian boys to be proficient high-voiced singers for chapels, salons, and theaters during the years 1560-1913, in "The Castrato in Nature" (beginning Monday, Sept. 17, 8 p.m., Hertz Hall). See the Department of Music's website for details.
Theater and new media
Through a residency with the Arts Research Center, members of a New York-based performance and media company led by artistic director Marianne Weems, along with students from the departments of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, Art Practice, School of Information, and College of Environmental Design, will develop and present excerpts from a work-in-progress, "Continuous City" (Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 5, 6, 12, and 13, 8 p.m. and Sundays, Oct. 7 and 14, 2 p.m., Zellerbach Playhouse). Berkeley Center for New Media, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Townsend Center, the Consortium for the Arts, and Film Studies will jointly present a one-day symposium on new media and its relationship to existing arts and disciplines, "ParaSite New Media Symposium" (Friday, Oct. 26, 9 a.m., 142 Dwinelle Hall). Acclaimed Canadian director/playwright Robert Lepage will reflect on performance, culture, and new directions for traditional art forms in a conversation with comparative literature professor Anthony Cascardi, "Performing Past and Present" (Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m. Berkeley Art Museum). See the Arts Research Center website for more programs on art, technology, and culture.
(Tom Slocum photo)
Cal Performances' Strictly Speaking series includes two notable authors this fall. Presented in association with the College of Letters & Science's On the Same Page program, Garry Wills, one of today's most prominent cultural historians and a Pulitzer Prize winner, will discuss his book "Lincoln at Gettysburg" (Wednesday, Sept. 26, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall). Azar Nafisi, best known as the author of "Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books," will explore her belief in the "Republic of the Imagination—a country worth building, a state with a future, a place where we can truly know freedom" (Wednesday, Dec. 5, 8 p.m., Zellerbach Hall).
Hosted by Robert Hass and university librarian Thomas Leonard, the Lunch Poems kickoff features distinguished faculty and staff from a wide range of disciplines introducing and reading a favorite poem (Thursday, Sept. 6, 12:10 p.m., Morrison Library). The monthly series includes Amiri Baraka, revolutionary poet, playwright, activist and recognized founder of the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s (Thursday, Nov. 1, 12:10 p.m., Morrison Library).
Politics, human rights, and war
Another powerful voice of the 1960s, Angela Davis, social activist and professor of history of consciousness and of feminist studies at UC Santa Cruz, will draw on both her own experiences and extensive research to challenge audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons in the Mario Savio memorial lecture, "From Jim Crow to Guantanamo: Prisons, Democracy and Empire" (Thursday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m., Pauley Ballroom, Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center).
The Human Rights Center and the Center for Southeast Asia Studies present a panel discussion on how decades of repressive rule, civil war, and poor governance have contributed to the spread of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases in Burma in "The Gathering Storm: Infectious Diseases and Human Rights in Burma" (Thursday, Oct. 25, 4 p.m., 315 Wheeler Hall). Human rights worldwide will be examined at the "2007 Summer Human Rights Fellows Conference," where twelve human rights fellows will present the results of their fieldwork (Thursday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m., 315 Wheeler Hall). As part of the Townsend Center for the Humanities "Forum on the Humanities and the Public World," Lynn Hunt, professor of history at UCLA, will trace the origins of human rights in France, Great Britain and the United States in the 18th century in "Inventing Human Rights" (Friday, Oct. 5, 2 p.m. 220 Stephens Hall).
Former Marine turned "Al Jazeera" reporter Josh Rushing blends his riveting personal story with innovative ideas about how to win the war on terror in "Mission Al Jazeera" (Thursday, Sept. 27, 5 p.m., 340 Stephens Hall). Peter Maass will discuss the difficulties reporters confront as they cover war crimes in the world’s conflict zones "In the Shadow of Armies: From Iraq to Bosnia, the Tactics and Perils of Reporting on War Crimes" (Wednesday, Nov. 7, 4 p.m., North Gate Hall Library).
The conference "Cities and Fundamentalisms," presented by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, will take an interdisciplinary approach to exploring the intellectual and practical challenges posed by fundamentalist groups, movements, and organizations and how they impact the urban landscape (Friday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m., Wurster Auditorium).
Three lectures look at politics and war closer to home. Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima, will examine the U.S. government's war on terror detention policies and procedures in the Jefferson Memorial Lecture, "The War on Terror and the Rule of Law" (Monday, Sept. 17, 4:10 p.m. Lipman Room, 8th floor, Barrows Hall). Richard Freeman, Harvard economics professor, questions the effectiveness of one person/one vote in the age of globalization in "The Challenge of Inequality and Global Capitalism to U.S. Democracy" (Tuesday, Oct. 30, 4:10 p.m., Lipman Room, 8th floor, Barrows Hall). The Institute of International Studies is sponsoring a panel of three leading military strategists who will discuss "Strategic Options for U.S. Policy" (Monday, Nov. 5, 4 p.m., Lipman Room, 8th floor, Barrows Hall).
More events of note
A trio of lectures will explore the urban landscape. Paul Groth will examine a hundred years of change in everyday shop fronts — the kind you might find in almost any Bay Area neighborhood or downtown retail area — and what those changes reveal about retail investment, sales strategies, and American consumerism in "Bodies and Storefronts: Orchestrating Dances of Desire" (Wednesday, Sept. 5, 1 p.m., 315A Wurster Hall). Todd Gilens will look at several clusters of urban activity: corporate and individual expressions, contrasts of nature and culture, and everyday theatricality in "Endangered Species" (Wednesday, Sept. 12, 1 p.m., 315A Wurster Hall). Margaret Crawford will discuss the theory and practice of "Everyday Urbanism" (Wednesday, Sept. 19, 1 p.m., 315A Wurster Hall).
Jay Keasling, chemistry engineering professor, will describe recent advances in synthetic biology for the production of anti-malarial drugs and transportation fuels and Dan Kammen, energy and society professor, will explore the history of fossil fuels and the exciting changes taking place with solar, wind, hydrogen, and other "renewable" energy sources, technologies and systems, followed by a panel discussion,"In Service to Society: Energy & Health" (Saturday, Oct. 13, 9 a.m., 105 Stanley Hall). See the College of Engineering's website for details.
Civil engineering professor Perry McCarty discusses how methane gas from wastewater treatment might be collected and used as a biofuel, which would decrease methane emissions and our need for fossil fuels, in "Climate Change Implications of Waste Treatment" (Tuesday, Nov. 13, 5:30 p.m.,112 Wurster Hall). See the Water Resources Center Archives website for details and more water resources events.
David Montgomery, University of Washington earth sciences professor and an award-winning leader in the study of geomorphology (the evolution of landscapes), will read from and talk about "Dirt: The Erosion of Civilization," his latest book which suggests a relationship between civilizations and the state of our soil (Sunday, Nov. 4, 1 p.m., UC Botanical Garden).
The School of Information's lecture series begins with Richard Stallman, a founder of the free software movement, presenting "Copyright vs. Community in the Age of Computer Networks” (Wednesday, Sept. 12, 4 p.m., South Hall). Mitch Kapor, chair of the Open Source Applications Foundation and founder of Lotus Development Corporation, speaks about the personal computer, the Internet, and virtual worlds in the lecture series “Disruptive Innovations I Have Known and Loved" (Wednesdays, Oct. 3, Nov. 14, and Nov. 28, 4 p.m. South Hall). Carl Malamud, president and CEO of Public.Resource.Org, explains the principles of the public domain with particular emphasis on the works of government in “(Re-)Defining the Public Domain" (Wednesday, Oct. 17, 4 p.m., South Hall).
A public lecture and book signing accompany the opening of Jason Eskenazi's "A Fairytale of the Soviet Monolith," an exhibit of black-and-white photographs depicting the former Soviet Union (Thursday, Sept. 27, 6 p.m. 105 North Gate Hall). The Graduate School of Journalism also presents a film screening, book signing, and conversation with Danny Lyon, master photojournalist and filmmaker, known for his work documenting the U.S. civil rights movement (Sunday, Oct. 21, 3:30 p.m., 105 North Gate Hall).
Investigate the origins of music and musical sounds in all species in the Lawrence Hall of Science exhibit "Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life" (opening Saturday, Oct. 6).
The UC Choral Ensembles perform their "West Coast A Cappella Showcase" (Friday-Saturday, Oct. 16-17, 8 p.m., Wheeler Auditorium). They also provide holiday entertainment with a "Halloween Show" (Sunday, Oct. 28, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., 155 Dwinelle) and a "Holiday Concert" (Sunday, Dec. 9, 8 p.m., Hertz Hall). Consult the Student Musical Activities website for the full schedule of concerts.
Last year, Cal's 27 varsity sports teams ranked ninth nationally in overall excellence in the Directors' Cup standings. For lovers of sports, Cal teams provide an embarrassment of riches. Cal starts the Pac-10 volleyball season hosting Stanford, 2006 NCAA runner-up (Friday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m., Haas Pavilion). Cal football looks for the first victory over USC Trojans since the 2003 overtime win (Saturday, Nov. 10, 5 p.m., Memorial Stadium). Cal and USC also battle in a rematch of the 2006 national water polo title game (Saturday, Nov. 10, 1:30 p.m., Spieker Aquatics Complex). See the Cal Bears website for the full athletics schedule.
SUPERB presents "Ratatouille" star Patton Oswalt in "Comedians of Comedy with Patton Oswalt" (Tuesday, Oct. 2, Zellerbach Hall).
The Lawrence Hall of Science celebrates Halloween with a mystery for junior sleuths in "Who Stole Bunnicula's Halloween Carrot Treats?"(Saturday, Oct. 27, 6:30 p.m.). Lifelong residents of the Arctic and Antarctica and leading polar researchers will discuss what it is like to live and work in below-freezing temperatures, in "Stories from a Changing Planet" (Sunday, Oct. 28, 2 p.m.).
The UC Botanical Garden provides Halloween fun and holiday cheer. Join storytellers Jean Ellisen and Bobbie Kinkead for a parade, stories and songs, and mask-making in "Spooky Stories in the Redwood Grove" (Sunday, Oct. 28, 1 p.m.). Savor "The Flavor Origins of Chocolate with John Scharffenberger" (Sunday, Dec. 2, 2 p.m.). Learn the secrets of making herbal gifts from your very own garden. Join herbalist Annabella DeMattei to create an infused oil, bathing and culinary salt mixture, and a winter tea mixture in "Creating Herbal Bounty" (Wednesday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m.).