Weis Center new season features nearly 40 professional performances

LEWISBURG — The 2018-19 season at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University will include nearly 40 professional performances — including world music from Egypt, Spain, Africa, China, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, Denmark and Sweden. It will also include classical music, modern dance from two acclaimed companies, world dance from India and Spain, Americana and folk, jazz, and family-friendly performances. Ten performances are free.

Performances begin in late August and continue through May; all performances are at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

The season will kick-off with a free outdoor concert on the Weis Center Plaza by Banda Magda on Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. The ensemble seamlessly moves from South American rhythms with jazz improvisation, to mid-century classics and even tunes sung in six languages.

Highlights of the season include:

For the first time, the Weis Center will offer a series of two National Geographic Live multimedia experiences: Egyptologist Kara Cooney on Aug. 30 and ocean photographer Brian Skerry on Feb. 19.

Expanding on the Egypt theme, the Weis Center will offer two artists who are on tour through Center Stage, a State Department initiative. First, an oud master from Egypt, Mohamed Abozekry with his ensemble Karkade on Sept. 14 and then Egyptian vocalist Dina Elwedidi on Sept. 27.

David Power and Willie Kelly’s Irish music comes to the Weis Center Atrium in a free performance on September 6 followed up by Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato and her quartet on Oct. 11, then Nordic folk ensemble Dreamers’ Circus will round out the season on Apr. 13.

Other offerings from around the world: Sounds of China will blend the ancient with the modern by combining time-honored Chinese music with modern arrangements on Feb. 7 and Anda Union will bring Mongolian throat singing to the stage on Apr. 5. Koto visionary Yumi Kurosawa teams up with world-renowned tabla player Anubrata Chatterjee on Feb. 10 at 2 p.m.

World dance from India takes the stage when Nrityagram Dance Ensemble visits Central PA with their new performance Samhara on Oct. 18.

On Feb. 28, world dance from Spain takes the stage. Farruquito, heir to the most renowned Gypsy flamenco dynasty, is the greatest flamenco dancer of this new century, according to The New York Times.

Jazz lovers will enjoy stunning vocalists Charenee Wade on Jan. 23 and Rene Marie on Feb. 21, who borrows various elements of folk, R&B and even classical and country to create a captivating hybrid style. Finally, audiences will move along to the infectious grooves of Michael Mwenso and the Shakes on Apr. 9 in a free performance in the Atrium.

Theatre Re will present a poignant and moving performance called “The Nature of Forgetting” on Oct. 25 about Tom, a middle-aged father struggling in the early stages of dementia. The Weis Center will offer community resources about Alzheimer’s and dementia in the days leading up to this performance.

Americana offerings will include Red Molly on Sept. 19, Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives on Nov. 1 and Kaia Kater on Nov. 14.

Family discovery offerings include the return of Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia as they present The Rainbow Fish on Nov. 3 at 11 a.m., plus Imago Theatre’s production of Frogz on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. with a schools matinee the following day at 10 a.m., Mexican folk music by Sonia De Los Santos on Feb. 18 at 2 p.m., Underneath a Magical Moon on Apr. 13 with performances at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and finally a series of interactive performances called Panda’s Home will end the season on May 11 with performances at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. For the first time ever, the Weis Center will offer a sensory-friendly performance of Panda’s Home on May 10 at 6 p.m.

Classical aficionados will enjoy Jasper String Quartet on Mar. 3, St. Olaf Orchestra with violinist Sarah Chang on Jan. 31, Les Violons du Roy featuring acclaimed countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo on Oct. 14 at 2 p.m., Orpheus Chamber Orchestra featuring a mandolin and accordion duo on Nov. 3, Aizuri Quartet with a new project called “Intricate Machines” on Mar. 31 at 2 p.m. and Lorelei Ensemble returns on Apr. 11 to join forces with members of the Bucknell University Choirs to present James Kallembach’s new oratorio about Antigone.

The spectacular and colorful two-time Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir returns to North America with Songs of the Free on November 30, a very special program celebrating Nelson Mandela.

The Weis Center will also present four performances downtown at the Campus Theatre, including East African retro pop artists Alsarah and the Nubatones on Nov. 7 and a multimedia performance with folk musician Jenny Scheinman called “Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait” on Mar. 6.

Two cutting-edge modern dance ensembles will also be featured Parsons Dance on Jan. 18 and Ririe-Woodbury Dance on Mar. 23.