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A new signature event
for the Creative Capital!
June 11-14, 2015
Discover the city center as
it comes to life with firsts
in arts, music and spectacle
Experience an extravaganza of
performances & installations
throughout the city
Save the date: June 11-14
2015 Providence International
Arts Festival
Coming next: World Premiere
Lostwax Multimedia Dance
Artistic Icons Series
at The Vets: Mummenschanz,
Philip Glass, & Noche Flamenca
connecting art with audiences
in Providence, Rhode Island
FirstWorks Arts-Learning
introduces Regina Carter
to Rhode Island music students
FirstWorks Arts-Learning
Jazz at Lincoln Center
connect students to The Jazz Age
Enrich the lives of children
Join our FirstWorks friends
with a pledge to our Annual Fund
Artistic integrity is off the charts!
select category

01/31/2014   7:30pm
The Vets - 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Savion Glover & Company

FirstWorks presents Savion Glover’s "STePz" – his newest exuberant celebration of tap dance to sound – and sound to dance. Since Savion Glover first exploded onto the stage with his Broadway smash hit "Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk", he has become one of the precious few artists to radically embody, redefine and expand their art form. In this production, Mr. Glover and his ensemble of dancers (TLHS) takes tap dance to new heights by fusing traditional music selections of the past with Glover’s self-proclaimed tap style and energy of the future.

"STePz" demonstrates Mr. Glover’s incredible ability to perform the complexities of jazz phrasing—both bass line and melody—as well as wild improvisations—structure and deconstruction—from departure to return. The FirstWorks audience will have the opportunity to experience the versatility and virtuoso of Savion Glover's genius as a tap dance superstar and witness the seemingly impossible: a continuous flow of percussive taps with the subtlest of moves.

buy tickets
$28-58 (incl. $3 restoration fee)

   "The greatest tap-dancer to ever lace up a pair of tap shoes."
—Gregory Hines

02/13/2014   7:30pm
Aurora (former Roots Cultural Center) - 276 Westminster St. Providence

Martha Redbone Roots Project
The Garden of Love-Songs of William Blake

Hailed as "Americana’s next superstar", Martha Redbone soulfully fuses her Cherokee, Choctaw and African-American heritage in a vibrant gumbo of funk and R&B. With her latest album, "The Garden of Love—Songs of William Blake", Redbone plunges her hands deep into both the fertile soil of timeless Appalachian roots music and the mystical and romantic poetry of the seminal, late-18th century British bard. This startlingly fresh album, produced by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founder, John McEuen, finds Redbone and Blake a remarkable match. Redbone sets Blake’s evocative words to the soundtrack of Appalachia: driving bluegrass, Piedmont blues, plaintive field hollers, stomp chants, and spirited gospel rave-ups.

Join the high lonesome of a front porch Sunday pickin’, with tales of youthful promise, lost innocence, wondrous beauty, deep sorrow, nurtured jealousy, and regained hope. Bear witness on the eve of St. Valentine’s Day as Redbone communes with her heritage, her ancestors, and her unlikely romantic muse with music filled with spellbinding stories of America’s past and promise.

   "Mixing honky tonk, bluegrass, gospel, and ballad, this is truly American music at its best"
-EDGE New York

02/21/2014  to  03/08/2014   
Venues throughout Providence - see full schedule

Widening the Circle
Intersections of art, science and community

FirstWorks and American Dance Legacy Initiative, in collaboration with Artists and Scientists as Partners, Brown University, and Mark Morris Dance Group, present an interdisciplinary program anchored by American Dance Legacy Initiative’s two-day Mini-Fest (Feb. 28 – Mar. 1) and FirstWorks’ presentation of an exhilarating evening of live music and dance with the Mark Morris Dance Group, one of the world’s leading dance companies, at The Vets on March 8th.

Also on Feb. 28-Mar. 1, Artists and Scientists as Partners will host a symposium on holistic, creative approaches that benefit people with Parkinson's disease and those on the Autism Spectrum. The symposium will include a panel, film screenings, and a lecture demonstration.

buy tickets
See schedule for list of free & ticketed events

   "Joy-it's not a quality you associate often with Parkinson's. And, yet, it is what you see here."
-PBS NewsHour

03/08/14   8:00pm
The Vets - 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence

Mark Morris Dance Group

The Mark Morris Dance Group, one of the world’s leading dance companies, joins FirstWorks for an exhilarating evening of live music and dance. Mark Morris is a master choreographer of endless invention still brilliantly sculpting his legacy. Hailed as the “Mozart of modern dance”, he is committed to live music as an integral part of the dance experience. This celebration of joyous creativity is highlighted by "Double" from Morris’ masterpiece, "Mozart Dances", set against rich visuals by British painter Howard Hodgkin and Morris, renowned as an intensely musical choreographer, conducting the Brown University Chorus to a glorious Bach motet.

Lead support: Brown University Creative Arts Council
In collaboration with: American Dance Legacy Initiative and Artists and Scientists as Partners

buy tickets
$38-68 (incl. $3 restoration fee)

   “Intensely musical, deceptively cerebral, insinuatingly sensual and fabulously funky.”
LA Times

04/10/2014   7pm
RISD Chace Center - Michael P. Metcalf Auditorium - 20 N. Main St. Providence

The Nervous Films
Film Screening with Janie Geiser

JANIE GEISER is an internationally recognized visual/theater artist and experimental filmmaker whose work is known for its strength of design and its investigation of the emotional power of inanimate objects. One of the pioneers of the renaissance of American avant-garde object performance, Geiser creates innovative, hypnotic works that merge puppetry, film/video and performance.

“Geiser’s... series of experimental films—'Ghost Algebra'
(2009), 'Kindless Villain' (2010), 'The Floor of the World' (2010) and 'Ricky' (2011)—weave textures of overlaid visual and aural elements haunted by lonely, frightened or sinister figures... Geiser brings collage to a new level, as a space traversed by cut-out silhouettes, purloined drawings and fragments of black-and-white films. The image trembles, is cropped, elusive, a forbidden sight snatched from darkness; the spectator is invited to trek though the suggested layers of meaning as through the intricate foliage of an
enchanted forest.”
—Bérénice Reynaud, Film at Redcat, Los Angeles

   "... as extravagantly beautiful as they are difficult, and as allusive as they are elusive."

04/12/2014   7:30pm
Brown University Granoff Center for the Creative Arts - 154 Angell St. Providence

Work-In-Progress Showing
Janie Geiser's "Fugitive Time"

"Fugitive Time" will be a multidisciplinary performance that integrates performed objects and puppetry with live-feed video manipulations of found, constructed, and collaged elements to form an integrated live “film-performance”. Using bunraku–inspired puppets, cutouts, shadow puppets, and video, "Fugitive Time" will explore the tension between the miniature and the magnified, the landscape and the body. Drawing from stories of Los Angeles city planning, Tb patient narratives, and medical illustrations, "Fugitive Time" centers on landscape and the body; both become the location of narrative, memory, erasure, history, and loss.


   Avant-garde object performance
FREE and open to the public

11/01/2013  to  11/02/2013   Fri. 7:30pm & Sat. matinée 4pm
Providence Performing Arts Center

Cirque Éloize

The FirstWorks season kicks off at PPAC with "Cirkopolis", a spectacular show by Montreal-based Cirque Éloize that transports performers – and spectators of all ages – between dream and reality in an uninterrupted stream of dazzling acrobatics, illusions, and imagery. "Cirkopolis" dives into a vibrant world, alive with video projections and an original musical score that push the boundaries of visual and audio innovation.

Performing within an inventive stage design, twelve acrobats and multidisciplinary artists rebel against monotony, reinvent themselves, and challenge the limits of an imposing factory-city of giant gears and dark portals. "Cirkopolis" unfolds scene by scene like an elemental universe with sculptural imagery: jugglers brave the space, a contortionist is lifted by her companions in a surge of inspiration, and aerial artists defy the height of the skyscrapers. Don’t miss seeing this one-of-a-kind company which has captivated audiences in 36 countries!

Cirque Éloize has partnered with Cirque du Soleil® for a long-term relationship based on common creative visions and international entertainment appeal.

buy tickets
$38-68 (incl. $3 restoration fee)

   “It's more than circus, it’s a reinvention…a new perspective. It wakes up all the senses, we walk out dazzled!”
—Le Soir Magazine (Belgium)

11/08/2013   8:00pm
RISD Auditorium - 17 Canal Walk, Providence

Kronos Quartet

A legendary force at the forefront of the performing arts, Kronos Quartet returns to Providence for a world-premiere piece commissioned through a bold partnership between FirstWorks and Community MusicWorks (CMW). This intimate and exhilarating performance celebrates spectacular virtuosity and some of the best music of our time created especially for Kronos. With a host of international composers including Laurie Anderson, Serbian wunderkind Aleksandra Vrebalov, and Canadian electronic trickster, John Oswald, the evening’s highlight is the first-ever performance of "A Voice Exclaiming", a musically bi-lingual piece by the internationally renowned Kareem Roustom for Kronos and the The Community MusicWorks Players.

Over four decades, Kronos has become one of the worlds most celebrated and influential ensembles. Having sold over 2.5 million records and with more than 3,000 performances, Kronos embraces a spirit of fearless exploration to tell the stories of new music like no other. Featuring David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola) and Sunny Yang (cello), Kronos are the only recipients of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians.

   “[An] all-terrain vehicle in contemporary culture.”
—The New Yorker


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