The Austin Chronicle


By Robert Faires, April 9, 2004, Arts

Hay Day

Everyone deserves a homecoming like this one: a few dozen friends and admirers gathered around you with food and drink, singing your praises. What everyone deserves, choreographer and dancer Deborah Hay got at UT's Harry Ransom Center on March 31. The Austin Arts Hall of Famer, home following a two-month residency in New York City, where she choreographed and premiered a dance titled The Match ("Articulations," Arts, Feb. 20), was the guest of honor at a reception hosted by the French Consulate in Houston and the France-UT Institute for Interdisciplinary Study. The occasion was the translation of the 2004 Deborah Hay Dance Company newsletter into French, a project funded by the French Consulate in Houston to introduce Hay to French audiences here and abroad. Joël Savary, the consulate's cultural attaché, explained why this was important to him in a speech in the HRC's Prothro Theater, citing his personal regard for Hay and the way her "intellect and creativity have forever changed the face of modern dance." Also testifying to Hay's impact on the art was Ann Daly, dance critic and faculty member in the UT Department of Theatre & Dance. After thanking Hay "for being such an inspiration for so long," Daly read from her new book, When Writing Becomes Gesture, in which she describes Hay's approach to dance and ways of working. That nicely set up the speech by Rino Pizzi, organizer of the newsletter translation project, which included a video clip from The Match as performed in New York. The snippet was made all the more exciting by the news that Hay will bring the dance, performed by the original company, to Austin next January. It's a while to wait, but in the meantime Hay will present a performance lecture at the Ransom Center on Wednesday, May 12.

Doyle Bramhall Does Theatre?

Yep, Austin music legend Doyle Bramhall is joining the cast of Ain't Nothing but the Blues this week. The Zachary Scott Theatre Center production, which features renditions of gospel, soul, and, you guessed it, blues from Texas, the Delta, and Chicago, had to open a few weeks ago without Bramhall, but he's on board for the rest of the run, through May 9, singing four songs: "Change It," "House Is Rockin'," "Shape I'm In," and "Dimples."

Music lovers, also note that there's a new Patsy Cline at Zach starting this week. Cher Lair takes over for Jessica Welch and joins Marijane Vandivier, the show's second Louise Seger, in Always ... Patsy Cline, now showing on Zach's Whisenhunt Arena Stage.

Phases and Stages

The Easter Bunny is dropping off a very special gift for Arts Center Stage this weekend: the new design for the Long Center for the Performing Arts! The organization plans to show off the plans by TeamHaas and Zeidler Partnership on Monday, April 12, 11:30am, inside Palmer Auditorium, and the public is invited. Also promised is an announcement of recent major gifts and music by the Greencards. For more information, call 482-0800.

Just 100 Off

What a difference a century makes. In my plug for the Budjanova Quartet's Bach birthday concert, I claimed that Johann Sebastian was turning 419, when in fact he was turning only 319. My apologies to Herr Bach and all the Bachs – and anyone else who may have been offended.

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