The "fine arts" take an eclectic, experimental turn at Bumbershoot 2012, with unusual programs from an "untuxed" Seattle Symphony and key talents at Seattle's Velocity Dance Center. There's also everything from kids' fare to burlesque during the Sept. 1-3 festival.
A little Piazzolla, a little Shostakovich — and a “Memo for Violin Solo and Portable Cassette Recorder”?
The Seattle Symphony’s “Symphony Untuxed” program at Bumbershoot, which showcases a group of musicians led by assistant conductor Stilian Kirov, promises to be eclectic in the extreme. Violinist Mikhail Shmidt will do the honors on “Memo” (by Dutch composer Michel van der Aa). As one of Seattle’s great contemporary-music champions (he’s a member of the Seattle Chamber Players), Shmidt should be well-suited to the task.
“Symphony Untuxed” also features works by J.S. Bach, Schnittke and Georgs Pelecis (his lovely jazzy “Flowering Jasmine” for vibraphone and strings), as well as a piece by local composer Ken Benshoof, “Timeless,” based on Gershwin’s “Embraceable You.” Catch them at 12:15 p.m. Sunday, Bagley Wright Theatre.
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“Maximum Velocity” offers a showcase of works by local choreographers with connections to Seattle’s Velocity Dance Center. Kate Wallich‘s piece, “Yacht Club,” should be of particular interest. It marks her first collaboration with Pacific Northwest Ballet dancer Andrew Bartee, who’ll be paired with dancer Erica Badgeley.
Zoe Scofield, a bewitching mover, has a new solo in the works. Amy O’Neal will do an excerpt from an upcoming work with a very long title, slicing and dicing classical dance and hip-hop. Markeith Wiley is also on the program.
Galumpha, a physical-comedy/acrobatics troupe from New York, does elaborately choreographed things with Velcro and other unlikely materials. Their family-friendly routines should have broad appeal to kids and adults alike.
Also appealing to youngsters: Youngershoot, happening between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Children’s Museum on all three days of the festival. Saturday and Sunday both feature dance attractions, with Joyas Mestizas, Northwest Tap Connection, Urvasi Indian Dance Ensemble and Au Lac Vovinum appearing in a multicultural lineup on Saturday, and Ocheami presenting their show “Africa Comes to You — Ghana Style” on Sunday.
Those wanting more adult entertainment should check out the burlesque act, The Atomic Bombshells, (8:30 p.m. Monday, Bagley Wright), or the gender-bending grotesqueries of Cherdonna and Lou. (8:30 p.m. Sunday Bagley Wright Theatre).
Also appearing under the “Performing Arts” rubric (maybe he’s going to dance or sing, as well as chatter?) is underground film legend John Waters. On Saturday night, he’ll be presenting “This Filthy World: Filthier & Dirtier,” in which he expounds on his obsessions with “true crime, exploitation films, fashion lunacy, the extremes of the art world, Catholicism, sexual deviancy and a love of reading.” 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Bagley Wright Theatre.
As usual, there will be oddball, unclassifiable entertainers strolling the Bumbershoot festival grounds, including an “Elvis Parade” involving 50-odd Elvis imitators (5 p.m. all three days) and Lovebomb Go-Go, a marching band that likes to break all musical-speed limits (1 p.m. all three days).
For schedules, see the pullout section in this issue.
Michael Upchurch: email@example.com