Three Rivers Arts Festival lays out dance, art offerings |
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Kaylin Horgan with Greer Reed Dance performs at a press conference announcing the details of the 2014 Three RIvers Arts Festival Friday May 9, 2014 at the Trust Arts Education Center's Peirce Studio downtown.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust estimates 400,000 people will attend the 55th Annual Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival.

So, the Trust’s staff has packed the 10-day festival running June 6 to 15, at Point State Park, Downtown, with a diverse schedule of music, visual arts, dance and drama to make sure everyone has a good time.

”It has been our challenge to present a program that provides something for everyone, whether you are new to the arts or a longtime aficionado,” says Veronica Corpuz, director of festival management and special projects for the Trust and the arts festival.

In February, the Trust revealed the free musical-performance headliners, which include a solo performance by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy (June 6), bluegrass artists Sam Bush and Trampled By Turtles (June 7 and 8) and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (June 9).

Even more entertainment was announced at a press conference May 9.

World premieres

Festival attendees can also look forward to three theatrical world premieres from area artists:

• “Complaints ‘n’ ‘at” (running daily) by multimedia artist Christiane D, who is creating Pittsburgh’s Inaugural Complaint Choir that will recruit local professionals and other vocalists to sing Pittsburghers’ complaints.

• “Pneumatica” (June 13 to 15), Squonk Opera’s new, multisensory, air-powered outdoor performance spectacle that’s part science demonstration, part street theater and part social game.

• “OjO” (June 6 to 8 and 13 to 15), an immersive theater experience created by Bricolage Production Company that connects artists and audience in a participatory adventure.

Dance, dance, dance

The Peirce Studio at 805 Liberty Ave. becomes Dance Central; performancesare offered in a variety of dance styles.

• “Boomerang” (June 7) recognizes the body as an evolving repository for both physical and psychological life. Dancers Kora Radella, Matty Davis and Adrian Galvin have been called the “punk Mozarts of dance.”

• “We Sing the Body Electric” (June 8) is a new collaboration by Shana Simmons Dance and The Electric Laboratory Chamber Orchestra. It features four dancers and 14 musicians who use orchestral and electronic instruments, words and movement in a piece that evolves from calm to agitation.

• Alba Flamenca (June 14) dancers perform works rooted in the tradition of flamenco, while using their bodies and minds to tell personal stories.

• “Suite Stevie” (June 15). Reed Dance celebrates the music of Stevie Wonder.

Visual art

Festival visitors will be able to view the work of more than 400 artists displayed in the Artist Market, as part of the Juried Visual Art Exhibition or in galleries and open spaces throughout the Cultural District. Of special note are three pieces of public art:

• “Before I Die” by Candy Chang, an artist, designer and urban planner whose global art project invites people to reflect on their lives and share their aspirations

• “No Limits” by Alexandre Arrechea, a Cuban-born artist who will be represented by four 20-foot-tall sculptures representing iconic Manhattan buildings

• “People’s Clothing Archive and Library Initiative Number 1: o:ne:ka” by Edith Abeyta, a large-scale assemblage of donated T-shirts attached to a wooden frameworks that forms the Seneca Indian word for water

Two other artists will have solo exhibits:

• “The China Express” by Carlan Tapp, a black-and-white photography exhibit that showcases 40 digital images Tapp took on a 1,200-mile train journey to document the effect of coal mining at open-pit mines in Wyoming and to towns and Indian reservations in the Pacific Northwest.

• “Portraits of Air” by Susan Goethel Campbell, which documents the invisible element of air with an installation created from photos and mixed media, including more than 100 air filters distributed throughout the Pittsburgh area.

The artworks are part of the festival’s theme that focuses on connections between the creative arts and environmental sustainability, not just through art installations but a hands-on, open-ended art activity for children, such as “Reuse-aPalooza!” that uses reclaimed materials.

“We want festivalgoers to explore and consider the intersection of art and the environment because our actions directly impact our world,” Corpuz says.


Alice T. Carter is the theater critic for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7808, [email protected] or via Twitter @ATCarter_Trib

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