Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Stage

Stage planner: Acclaimed pianist Jeremy Denk, choreographer Victoria Marks perform

CHANGE OF PLANS: JEREMY DENK PLAYS MOZART

A late change by a star pianist has forced an abrupt change of course for this weekend's Florida Orchestra concert. The program, originally titled Jeremy Denk Plays Ravel, is now Jeremy Denk Plays Mozart's Concerto No. 20. A winner of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and a Musical America's Instrumentalist of the Year, Denk has played frequently at Carnegie Hall. He has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as a recent appearance at the BBC Proms musical festival with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

The orchestra learned of Denk's preferences late Friday, a week before the concert series was to open at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, spokeswoman Kelly Smith said. Denk's manager cited the celebrated pianist's busy schedule not allowing for adequate preparation time, and on Monday the orchestra's creative staff were scrambling to adjust.

The orchestra also will perform three single-movement, symphonic tone poems: Igor Stravinsky's Song of the Nightingale, based on a fable by Hans Christian Andersen; Antonín Dvorák's The Wood Dove, about a woman's grief after she poisoned her husband; and Richard Strauss' Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, which celebrates the trickster of German folklore. Karina Canellakis, a rising star and winner of the 2016 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, will conduct.

Concerts start 8 p.m. Friday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall. $15-$45. (727) 892-3337. floridaorchestra.org.

FLUID SITUATION: VICTORIA MARKS PERFORMANCE

Noted Los Angeles choreographer Victoria Marks, right, is premiering a new dance film and conducting workshops this weekend at Hillsborough Community College's Ybor campus.

Marks is a former Fulbright Scholar who for more than 20 years has taught choreography at the University of California at Los Angeles. The numerous themes in her work include mother-daughter relationships, veterans and people with disabilities.

She will present the United States premiere of Captiva, an 11-minute film by Marks, British cinematographer Margaret Williams and West African drum and dance choreographer Wilfried Souly. Shot on Captiva Island, the film is a delicate interplay of movement, videography and commentary. In it, Souly and Emory Cavin, a local teenager, meet as mutually suspicious strangers and move toward trust. Complicating and potentially destroying that journey is a nonhuman character — a drone — which grows from tadpole size to a devastating bird of prey.

The program also features performances by Souly and dancer and choreographer Alexx Shilling, both of Los Angeles. Works include Solar Duplex, which "works to capture the conventionally 'unchoreographable,'" and Tourette Floret, a loving story about compulsive action, as described on Marks' website. The HCC Dance Ensemble will contribute a work in progress and an untitled piece. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Mainstage Theatre, Hillsborough Community College, 2112 N 15th St., Ybor City. $10, students and staff free. (310) 493-8114.

Marks will also direct a "free and inclusive community workshop" with Moving Current Dance Collective, a Tampa troupe. The workshops run from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the school's dance studio, 1505 E Palm Ave., Tampa. Contact Cindy Hennessy at [email protected].

FRIGHT NIGHT: WAIT UNTIL DARK

Hat Trick Theatre, the resident theater company at Ruth Eckerd Hall, opens its season Thursday with the thriller Wait Until Dark, about a blind woman besieged by dangerous characters. Emily Belvo plays Susan Hendrix, who must outwit the intruders. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. It runs through Oct. 30 at Ruth Eckerd Hall's Murray Theatre, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $24. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

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