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CHAMPAIGN – Acclaimed director and University of Illinois graduate Ang Lee is one of the highlights of the 10th annual Ebertfest at the Virginia Theatre in downtown Champaign.
The film festival, hosted by noted film critic, Urbana native and UI grad Roger Ebert, takes place April 23 to 27. Other guests scheduled to appear at the festival, with films hand-picked by Ebert, include director Paul Schrader, actor Joey Pantoliano, a return performance by the Alloy Orchestra, director William Forsyth, actress Christine Lahti, actress Aida Turturro, choreographer Tricia Brouk and more.
URBANA – After taking his audience on a musical tour of his hometown of New Orleans on Tuesday evening at Krannert Center, Irvin Mayfield Jr. took some concertgoers on a "quick tour" of his Elysian Trumpet.
With a no-nonsense guard from the Orleans Parish sheriff's department standing next to him, the musician pointed out the many decorative features on his instrument, which he commissioned in memory of Hurricane Katrina victims, among them his own father, whose body was found along Elysian Fields Boulevard.
With his right hand, he grips her left arm as both fall through the sky. In "Come Join Us," the man and woman smile as they look up, the ground seemingly a mile below them.
In the unpeopled "Civic in Motion," a silver Honda Civic appears to make a fast turn before an urban backdrop – a scene from an action movie or maybe television commercial.
URBANA – Ian Gindes used to be pretty shy about playing the piano, which is not a good thing if you want to be a concert pianist.
Dozens of performances later, the University of Illinois graduate student – and second lieutenant in the Army National Guard – is starting to feel ready for the concert hall.
DANVILLE – When Danville native Katie Marlatt returns home Friday, she will be bringing members of a choir from the Wayside Christian Mission in Louisville, Ky., where she works.
While Marlatt has sung with Doc Ashton and the Root Canals a number of times locally, she will perform with the Down By the Wayside Singers at 7 p.m. Friday at St. James United Methodist Church, 504 N. Vermilion St.
URBANA – When she was a member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Catherine Cabeen had to meet and overcome myriad challenges.
Now one of the greatest has come after she's left the company.
URBANA – Mark Roberts returns Feb. 3 and 4 to Urbana to hold auditions for two of his plays to be presented this summer at the Station Theatre.
General auditions will take place 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday at 120 W. Main St., downtown Urbana (use the back entrance at 121 Goose Alley). Callbacks and cold readings take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 4, with read-throughs set for 7 to 10 p.m. Feb. 5.
URBANA – Climbing PoeTree arts activists Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman will be artists-in-residence today through Thursday at Unit One/Allen Hall on the University of Illinois campus.
With roots in Haiti and Colombia, Garcia and Penniman live in Brooklyn and travel the globe on a mission to overcome destruction with creativity. They have worked with other poets such as Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Danny Glover, The Last Poets, and Dead Prez; led workshops in institutions from Cornell University to Riker's Island; and painted murals on walls from the Bronx to Santiago, Toronto to Jamaica.
URBANA – For choreographer and University of Illinois dance Professor Tere O'Connor, creating a dance is not about expressing his own "style." It's about processing things that happen in the moment and that take on their own life.
"I look at it almost as an abstract documentary form, born of a moment I'm in or the world is in but that doesn't necessarily depict that," he said. "It generally produces thought; it doesn't define a specific thought.
DANVILLE – The Danville Symphony Orchestra will hold its annual Gail and Harry Adams Young Artists Competition at 1 p.m. Sunday at St. James United Methodist Church, 504 N. Vermilion St.
The competition began in 1971 in order to provide area youth the opportunity to compete on their chosen instrument against their peers.