Bharata natyam combines music, dance from India

Bringing a 200-year-old performance tradition to Bates College, Aniruddha Knight performs a concert of bharata natyam, a combined practice of music, dance and drama from southern India, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, 70 Campus Ave.

The event is free and open to the public. For information, call 786-6135 or e-mail [email protected]

Knight performs bharata natyam in the family style of his grandmother, the famous dancer T. Balasaraswati. His concerts follow a format established early in the 19th century in the Royal Court of Thanjavur, where his ancestors were distinguished performers.

The narrative and abstract dance of this tradition is presented within an intricate framework of rhythmic and melodic composition and improvisation. Knight’s own dancing reveals a mastery of technique and improvisational skill that are trademarks of his family’s hereditary style.

Knight will be accompanied by a live musical ensemble composed of his father, Douglas Knight, on mridangam (drum), flutist T.R. Moorthy and vocalists Usha Sivakumar and Vidya Sankaranarayanan. 

Two new members join board of L/A Arts

L/A Arts has added two board members: Kate Casparius and Marnie Coleman.

Casparius lives in Greene and is business manager of Maine Public Broadcasting Network. She has a strong background in finances and management and will serve as treasurer of the board.

Coleman lives in Auburn and is listings manager and a licensed Realtor with Jan Jacques and Co. at Keller Williams Realty Mid Maine, as well as past president of the board of directors of the Androscoggin Land Trust.


Tom Hall, Lissa Hunter to talk about their work

Artists Tom Hall and Lissa Hunter will discuss their work at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at June Fitzpatrick Gallery at Maine College of Art, 522 Congress St. Hall and Hunter are showing their work at the gallery through Sept. 25 in an exhibition titled “Old Friends/New Work.”

Singers invited to audition for Longfellow celebration

The Longfellow Chorus, an independent nonprofit community chorus and professional orchestra dedicated to performing choral settings of the poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, announces a call for community choral singers to participate in the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 204th Birthday Choral Festival, February 25-27, 2011, in the First Parish Church in Portland, Longfellow’s boyhood church.

The focus of the 2011 choral events will be rare back-to-back performances of two monumental cantata settings of Longfellow’s “The Golden Legend” (1851) — “The Bells of Strasbourg Cathedral” (1874) by Franz Liszt and “The Golden Legend” (1886) by Arthur Sullivan — plus the two winning cantata entries in our Longfellow Chorus International Composers Competition.

Auditions will be by appointment between 1 and 5 p.m. Oct. 3 and Oct. 17 in the First Parish, 425 Congress St. For details, visit www.longfellowchorus.com/Audition.html or contact Charles Kaufmann, director, at 232-8920 or [email protected]

Tour of India will explore native jewelry, culture

Jonathan Wahl, director of the Jewelry Center at the 92nd Street Y in New York, will lead a small tour to explore India in January, and Dana Sawyer of Maine College of Art and Stephani Briggs, a fine jeweler from Portland, will act as guides.

The tour is Jan. 5-15.

Sawyer will explore Indian culture and history, and Briggs will share her knowledge of Indian jewelry and crafts. The trip is limited to 10 people. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or [email protected]


Two awarded fellowships to continue media studies

Sally Levi of Bristol and Dean Merrill of Portland are the 2010 recipients of the Jane Morrison Film Fellowship, awarded by the Maine Community Foundation.

A graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., Levi has taught at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport since 2008. She has served as writer, director and/or producer on a number of documentary films, including “Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor” for PBS/Nova and “Design Revolution” sponsored by MIT, both 2009. Levi will use the Morrison fellowship to attend the Film and Media Producing program at Lund University in Sweden.

Merrill graduated from Maine College of Art and now runs Apogee Creative Studio. He has worked as a multimedia designer for several companies, most recently L.L. Bean, Amayzing Design and MECA. He will be taking classes at either the Maine Media College or the New York Film Academy with support from the Morrison fund.

The Maine Arts Commission manages the review process for the Morrison Memorial Film Fund, which was established in 1988 in memory of filmmaker Jane Morrison. Previous winners include Joseph Brunette, Lance Edmands, Nikolai Fox and Cecily Pingree.

Applications for next year’s fellowship must be postmarked by Jan. 14. Go to www.mainearts.maine.gov for guidelines. Each applicant must speak with Kerstin Gilg, media arts and performing arts associate at the Maine Arts Commission at 287-2726 before applying. Preference is given to Maine residents.


Maine Maritime Museum will be free on Museum Day

On Saturday, Maine Maritime Museum will participate in the sixth annual Museum Day, providing free admission to visitors who present a Museum Day ticket, available from www.smithsonian.com/museumday. The annual event, coordinated by Smithsonian Magazine, celebrates the world’s dynamic heritage and cultural life with more than 1,300 institutions nationwide participating.

Visitors who present an official pass will be given free admission for two people to any one participating museum and cultural venue.

Listings and links to participating museums can be found at the URL above.


‘Hardscrabble Harvest’ to represent Maine at festival

The Dahlov Ipcar children’s book “Hardscrabble Harvest” has been selected to represent Maine at the 2010 National Book Festival on Saturday in Washington, D.C. The book, which tells a tale about the ongoing struggle between a farm family and the mischievous animals that plunder their fields, was selected for this honor by the Harriet P. Henry Center for the Book at the Maine Humanities Council.

The National Book Festival, held on the National Mall, is sponsored by the Library of Congress. Each year, the Maine Humanities Council, which will have a booth at the festival’s popular Pavilion of the States, chooses one representative Maine book for the event to promote reading and to assist others in learning about the state.

“Hardscrabble Harvest” is among five formerly out-of-print Ipcar books reissued by Maine-based Islandport Press in the last two years.

Ipcar, 92, has written and illustrated more than 30 children’s books and is also a renowned artist.


Author Andre Dubus III is first UMF visiting writer

The University of Maine at Farmington’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program presents best-selling author Andre Dubus III as the first writer in its fall 2010-11 Visiting Writers Series. Dubus will read from his work at 7:30 p.m., Thursday in The Landing in the UMF Olsen Student Center. The reading is free and open to the public and will be followed by a signing by the author.

Dubus’ novels include “House of Sand and Fog,” “The Garden of Last Days” and “Bluesman.” He has a collection of short fiction called “The Cage Keeper and Other Stories” and will be releasing his memoir, “Townie,” in February 2011.

His best-selling novel “House of Sand and Fog” was a finalist for fiction for the National Book Award and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Booksense Book of the Year award.

Dubus teaches at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and also has taught writing at Harvard University, Tufts University and Emerson College. He is a member of PEN American Center and has been a panelist for the National Book Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Gorham mom one of 3 finalists in nationwide essay contest

Corinne Altham hopes her way with words will help her family win a trip to Disney World in California. The Gorham mother of two is one of three finalists nationwide in the Pillsbury My Sweet Sunday Moment Contest.

Altham was chosen from a field of more than 4,000 contestants, who submitted essays to Pillsbury detailing why they love Sundays. In her essay, Altham, who teaches in South Portland, wrote about how her children rarely see their dad during the summer, because he is the head golf pro at Gorham Country Club.

“I wrote about Sundays during the winter when we all huddle up together,” Altham said.

This past Friday, a television crew traveled to the Altham home and filmed Corinne, her husband, Richard, and her children Julia, 5, and Jackson, 2.

On Sept. 23, the video will be posted to www.pillsbury.com/sweetsunday along with videos of the two other finalist families. Site visitors will have until Oct. 9 to vote for their favorite video, and the family with the most votes will win an all expenses paid trip to Anaheim, Calif., including tickets to local theme parks.