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Duke University Arts

Apr 22, 2013

CANE, a responsive environment dancework


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Presented by SLIPPAGE and Wideman-Davis Dance

Conceived and Directed by Thomas F. DeFrantz, Duke Professor of African and African American Studies, Dance, and Theater Studies.

Inspired by Jean Toomer's experimental 1923 text of the Harlem Renaissance, CANE explores memories of African American sharecropping held by a technologically-devised canefield.  Created by technologists, dancers, and visual artists, CANE suggests possibilities of shimmering mediated histories mixed in real-time via a specially-constructed responsive environment.

The sound environment for this work manipulated audio files from the Library of Congress archive of Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938.  Processed through Supercollider and Max to respond to their own recurrences, these voices of memory became actors to interact with the live performers and prepared soundscape for the work. A Wii-mote that interacted with Isadora software allows for the manipulation of visual materials in response to physical gestures by the audience engaged with the interface. 

SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology premiered CANE, a responsive environment dancework, at Sheafer Laboratory Theater on the Duke Campus on April 20, 2013.  Performances will continue through April 28, 2013.  Dates and times are 8pm on April, 24, 25, 26, 27; 2pm on April 27, 28.

More information on the performance can be found at

Purchase tickets at

Learn more about the Duke Dance Program at

Apr 19, 2013

A concert in honor of Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio


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On Friday, April 19, Duke University and UNC music students and faculty, including Terry Ellen Rhodes, soprano; Fred Raimi, cello; Jane Hawkins, piano (Chair Duke Music Department, and Professor of the Practice of Music) will present a concert in honor of Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio.  The performance will take place at 7pm in Bone Hall, Mary Duke Biddle Music Building on Duke University East Campus. A reception will follow the concert.  Free and open to the public. 

For more information see the Arts Journal story on Le Clézio's visit to Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill.

Apr 9, 2013

"Lear" by Young Jean Lee


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Don’t miss the final weekend of fiercely talented contemporary New York playwright Young Jean Lee’s freaky, postmodern take on Shakespeare’s greatest play, King Lear.  Directed by Jody McAuliffe, Theater Studies faculty.  As Lee describes her highly original version: “the kids are in the palace, they’ve just kicked the fathers out into the storm; they pretend they’re fine, then realize they’re not.” 

What:  Lear by Young Jean Lee

When:  April 11-13 at 8pm and April 14 at 2pm

Where:  Sheafer Theater, Bryan Center, West Campus 

How much:  $10 general admission; $5 students and sr. citizens

Get tickets at:; 919-684-4444
Get info at:

Follow the development of the play on tumblr at:      


Apr 3, 2013

Robert Ward (1917-2013)


Prof. Ward with Duke graduate student Amy Scurria, March 2012.
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The Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts joins with the Duke Music Department and the arts community in expressing our sadness at the passing of Professor Emeritus, Robert Ward.  A prolific composer, Robert Ward is perhaps best known for his operatic setting of The Crucible, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1962.  Over a long and distinguished life, his support of Duke, and especially the arts, will not be forgotten.

Duke Music Department and the News and Observer have more about his life and contributions to the music world and the arts community.

Apr 3, 2013

A High-Tech Look at Ancient Civilizations


Duke's Maurizio Forte with prospective students in Duke's "DIVE," - the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment.
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New Duke professor Maurizio Forte uses high-tech wizardry to re-imagine aged civilizations.

Mar 26, 2013

Nobel laureate JMG Le Clézio explores ‘interculturality’ at UNC and Duke


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Nobel Laureate Jean Marie Gustave Le Clézio and Mauritian cultural scholar and activist Dr. Issa Asgarally will discuss “Interculturality and the Arts” April 17-19 at a series of events at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. Le Clézio and Asgarally jointly established the Foundation for Interculturality and Peace as a way to promote dialogue across cultural and geographical barriers through the arts and humanities, community engagement and educational curricula.

Both men will be at UNC’s Sonja Haynes Stone Center on April 17 for readings and book-signing (10-11:30 am), roundtable discussions (2-4:30 pm) and the keynote address (6:30-7:30 pm). On April 18 (2-4pm) they will be at Duke's Franklin Humanities Institute for roundtable discussions and readings. On April 19, Duke and UNC music faculty will co-host a 7pm concert in their honor at the Mary Duke Biddle Music Building on Duke's East Campus. Le Clézio and Asgarally will also visit faculty and students at East Chapel Hill High School.

See the event web page for a detailed schedule and further information, or download the flyer.

Le Clézio is the author of more than 50 books of cultural history and fiction. His ancestors are of French and Mauritian origin, and he has lived in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. He won his first literary prize, Le Prix Renaudot, when he was 23 years old for Le Procès Verbal (The Interrogation). During the 1960s and 1970s, he lived in Mexico while studying and translating ancient Aztec texts.  He spent four years in Panama living with the Embera-Wounaan tribes of the Darièn forests. Upon his return to France, he devoted his research to the pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican world. In 1980, he was awarded the Paul Morand prize from L’Académie Française for his novel, Desert. A Nobel Prize in Literature followed in 2008.

Issa Asgarally is a native of Mauritius, an island with great ethnic and cultural diversity. He is a professor of linguistics at the Mauritius Institute of Education. He also edits the island’s literary magazine, Italiques, contributes regularly to the daily newspaper, L’Express, and hosts the monthly literary television program, Passerelles. He has published 11 books and essays on literature, culture, history and media.

Information Contacts for News Media: Martha van der Drift, Ph.D. Candidate at UNC Romance Languages, 919.599.3796., or Dee Reid, Director of Communications at UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, 919.843.6339;

Sponsored by Duke University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


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