Scots roots revivalists Old Blind Dogs open a Performing Arts Series that makes lemonade out of renovations

Posted September 11th, 2008 at 3:21 pm.

How do you run a Performing Arts Series without a theater? After more than two decades of presenting stellar dance, theater, and music performances in historic Goodhart Hall, the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series faces this challenge as Goodhart undergoes much-needed renovations until fall 2009.

“I wanted to take advantage of this season to highlight artists whose work is designed for nontraditional and intimate settings,” says Lisa Kraus, coordinator of the series. “Some don’t even make work for regular theaters, like Kate Watson-Wallace. Her show CAR takes place outside in a parking lot. Four viewers at a time will be in a car with the performers! We also have Miro Dance Theatre doing Self-Portrait in a circular living room designed by the famous architect Louis Kahn. I think our subscribers and patrons are going to be thrilled to see performance in little-known spaces at Bryn Mawr.”

The season opens next Friday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m., when  Old Blind Dogs bring their unique mix of Celtic folk, rock, and world music to Thomas Great Hall.

Old Blind Dogs are at the forefront of the roots revival that has reawakened and revolutionized Scottish folk music. Their ballads, airs, and infectious dance tunes combine ancient musical traditions with strains of rock, reggae, and sounds of the Middle East. Four on the Floor, the band’s latest CD, won the Indie Acoustic Award for Best Celtic CD of 2007. The Dogs’ distinctive arrangements put the sounds of their native Scotland firmly on the world music map.

Named “Folk Band of the Year” at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2004 and 2007, Old Blind Dogs are unusual amongst Scottish folk groups in that it represents the folk tradition of the northeast of Scotland. Their repertoire includes many ballads from this area, often sung in the Doric dialect of Aberdeen and the surrounding area.

Singer Jim Malcolm was named Songwriter of the Year in 2004, and in 2001 the UK’s Association of Independent Music selected The Old Blind Dogs album Fit? as a finalist for the Celtic Album of the Year award. The Los Angeles Times applauds the group for bringing “freshness and color to acoustic music steeped in centuries of Scottish folklore and history.”

Tickets to individual events in the Performing Arts Series are free for Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore students, faculty, and staff; $18 for the general public;$15 for seniors;  $10 for students of other schools; and $5 for children 12 and under. Subscription packages offer discounts, mix-and-match ticket flexibility, and priority seating. For tickets, call the Office for the Arts at 610-526-5210.

Later events in the series:

Kate Watson-Wallace /Anonymous Bodies
, a movement-based installation in and around a moving car.
Friday, Oct. 24 at 7, 7:40, 8:20, 9, 9:40, and10:20 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 and 9 p.m.
Athletics Parking Lot, next to the Ward Building (see campus map at Ward is building number nine.

Great Small Works
Toy theater—colossal events of miniature proportions.
Friday, Dec. 5, at 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Thomas Great Hall

Ballet X and Miro Dance Theatre
Simultaneous contemporary ballet performances in two locations, one a modernist architectural landmark. Audience members switch venues at intermission to view both.
Friday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Thomas Great Hall and Erdman Hall Living Room

Modigliani String Quartet
A young French ensemble heralded for “stunning technical expertise” ( Le Progrès).
Friday, March 20 at 8 p.m.
Thomas Great Hall

For full season info:

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