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Arts Previews

  • Alexandra Ripp is the new director of the Five College Dance Program. Submitted photo

  • Work by sculptor Judith Abraham is on view this month in a shared exhibit at Forbes Library in Northampton. Image courtesy Forbes Library


Thursday, April 11, 2019
Five College Danceappoints new director

Dr. Alexandra Ripp, from Carolina Performing Arts (CPA) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been appointed the new director of the Five College Dance Program.

Ripp’s appointment to Five College Dance, made up of the dance departments and programs from Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, comes as the program celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Dr. Ripp is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Carolina Performing Arts at UNC and earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama. Dr. Ripp also started a residency program and performance festival called The Commons at CPA that debuts in May of 2019; in addition to her dance work, she is a lecturer in American Studies at UNC.

A mix of arts atForbes Library

Hosmer Gallery at Forbes Library this month features the work of sculptor Judith Abraham, doll maker/mixed-media artist Anne Krauss and painter Ann McNeal. The show runs through April 29.

Abraham, also a mixed-media artist, has been inspired by her love for animals, creating sculptures of wax and bronze. Her pieces of horses, cows and other animals reflect the time she spends “in fields and barns getting to know her models,” according to press notes.

Krauss, of Amherst, who also runs a counseling practice that specializes in work with artists, writers, and musicians, creates large dolls and puppets made of found objects, clay, fabric and encaustic wax. 

In her paintings, McNeal, a former Hampshire College biology professor, has depicted the Grand Canyon not from its rim but from inside the canyon, where walls of ancient, layered rock soar high above. The images were inspired by two rafting trips the artist took down the Colorado River, according to press notes.  

New music series comes to Easthampton

Laudable Productions of Easthampton has launched a new monthly music series, the “Planetary Party,” celebrating sounds from around the world.

The series, held at New City Brewery in Easthampton, continues Friday, April 19 with The Saturators, a New York City party band that refers to its mixing of genres as “wet music.” The band blends hip hop, afrobeat, reggae and more. The Saturators will be joined by Deejay Theory.

Other bands to perform in upcoming months include Los Mirios (Peru) on May 16 and Vox Sambou (Haiti/Sao Paolo/Montreal) on June 7.

Organizers say the series will be curated in a similar style to the popular World Music Collider series, the goal being to bring a variety of diverse music to the Valley. Ticket prices range from $10 to $20; the series is produced with help from Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee. More information is available at laudableproductions.com.