Kelly-Strayhorn Theater plans a robust schedule for summer

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While some arts programs slow down for the summer, the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater is heating up its programming with "East Liberty LIVE!," a series of dance, music and theatrical acts running through late August.

The lineup is more robust this year and features selections for varied artistic tastes.

"The idea is to keep the theater as an option for people who are here in the summer," said executive director Janera Solomon. "We started the series as a way that audiences could come out and see some new work."

Much of the season will highlight works-in-progress most appropriate for connoisseurs of contemporary movement and art. It kicks off Friday with Rhode Island multimedia dance troupe Lostwax.

"If you find artists and art-making interesting, and you're curious about how people put ideas together, these showings are an opportunity to see how it works and be part of it," Ms. Solomon said. Many presenters will return during the 2012-13 season to mount the works in their finished forms.

Some other artists to share samples of their evolving repertoire will be idiosynCrazy from Philadelphia, New York-Ireland hybrid choreographer Luke Murphy, Philadelphia's Kate Watson-Wallace, Staycee Pearl dance project and Nora Chipaumire.

"The thing we've heard from many of the artists is they love our audiences because the audiences seem so engaged," Ms. Solomon said. "What's nice about those audiences is that they're less focused on whether they like the work or not but more curious about how it works and want to understand it."

The FAMILYtime portion of the summer series is geared toward theatergoers of all ages.

In July, Mama Kadiatou of the Balafon West African Dance Ensemble will stage a Cinderella-esque fairy tale set in a traditional African village in Guinea infused with cultural dancing and percussive rhythms. August FAMILYtime offerings will include "No Child," a piece by spoken word artist and social activist Reenah L. Golden about a young teaching artist's experiences at a Bronx high school, and "YOUTHMOVES," a showcase of local youth dance programs.

"Those are designed for our neighbors, people who can walk or bike [to the theater], and want to have a nice family night out seeing some interesting performance," Ms. Solomon said.

The Kelly-Strayhorn also will offer at the Alloy Studios in Friendship dance intensive workshops and open classes for children through adults in styles such as salsa, belly dancing and modern, among others.

For a full events schedule, ticket information and class listings, visit or 412-363-3000.

Programs not part of the FAMILYtime series may include adult content.


Sara Bauknecht:


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