With so many clubs, teams and organizations on campus, it is easy for students to live in a Duke “bubble” and miss out on what the wider Durham community has to offer. To connect with not only the local community but also the global community in a meaningful way, look no further than Duke Performances’ Spring 2021 season. With a lineup of artists from around the world, Duke Performances brings original performances right to your home computer or classroom.
“We try to present a program that offers a breadth of experiences for the entire breadth of our audience in Durham,” said Bobby Asher, Director of Duke Performances. “The program is diverse in all aspects of genre and country and origin but also diverse in [terms of the] taste of the audience.”
This semester, instead of performing live in campus venues, artists will remotely record their own performances. So, an element of videography must be brought into the fold of each performance.
Asher mentioned that it was difficult, yet interesting to bring in a videographer, who he said is “simultaneously documenting and becoming part of the artistic product.” He added that while concert film is at times challenging to work with, it can give you a different and more intimate viewing of the performances. In this sense, the virtual environment could serve to enhance and expand our conception of the performing arts rather than hinder it.
In contrast to live in-person performances, these virtual performances will be available for ticket holders to view for as long as a day after the initial viewing time — an added bonus for those who anticipate being very busy this spring.
While the performances may be different than under normal circumstances, the virtual season is still a unique experience worth your while. If you’re still unsure, Asher emphasized that tickets are completely free for Duke students, courtesy of the office of the Provost and the Vice Provost of the Arts.
“I hope we bring some of that wonder and joy and beauty of live performance into [students’] lives,” Asher said. “We want every Duke student to have the opportunity to have creative and cultural experiences as part of their college experience.”
Duke Performances does not only strive to reach the Duke community, however. Asher stressed that the organization "serve[s] a multigenerational audience across Durham,” and acts as “an important bridge between our campus and the community.”
As such, Duke Performances participates in community outreach by providing programming to Durham K-12 schools and offering free public events through the “In Conversation” series. Asher also made sure to mention that Duke Performances will continue to offer virtual master classes to Duke students this spring.
Duke Performances has made a remarkable effort to put together a diverse and engaging schedule of artists as well as provide unique experiences in the performing arts, even during a pandemic, for this Spring 2021 season.
So, jump into conversations with the very artists who are on the docket this spring, take a master class or sit back and watch one or many performances.
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