Brian Jose, director of University of Florida Performing Arts (UFPA), recently announced the 2016-17 season, featuring more than 40 events from September through April. Jose said the celebration of UFPA’s 25th anniversary season is a reflection of both UFPA’s storied past and its future.
“We have worked hard to bring you a season filled with artists you’ve grown to love over the past quarter of a century,” Jose said, “while also scheduling performers that are emblematic of where I will take the program into the future.”
Representing the program’s past 25 years are artists Itzhak Perlman (March 11), RIVERDANCE (Jan. 17 – 19), Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Feb. 21) and The Capitol Steps (Nov. 7).
Joining this renowned lineup are first-timers Naturally 7 (Nov. 16), Manual Cinema’s Ada/Ava, which was recently nominated for a Drama Desk Award (March 22), and Ifrikya Spirit (Oct. 19).
“It makes me so happy when an artist can make our big world feel a little bit smaller. Ifrikya Spirit does just that,” Jose said.
Jose asks audience members to trust him when it comes to classical musicians/high-spirited comedians Igudesman & Joo, performing Nov. 4 at University Auditorium. “These guys are big-time funny! My sides hurt after I saw Igudesman & Joo, and yours will as well.”
Opening the season is Dorrance Dance (Sept. 9), which, “is the perfect season opener,” according to Jose. “I love the way Michelle Dorrance reimagines the art of tap.”
Recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant, Michelle Dorrance draws from her experience with STOMP to change the look, feel and sound of traditional tap dance. Since the floor on which her dancers perform can change the dynamic of the performance, Dorrance Dance has designed a custom floor with which it can travel. More than 200 individual panels are assembled on-site, providing the rich sound and tone we associate with tap dance.
Jose is dedicated to finding new work that will continue to sustain Gainesville’s artistic and cultural offerings that “punch above its weight.”
“Dorrance Dance is indicative of UFPA’s future programming – artists who are at the top of their game, redefining their art forms,” he said.
Tickets for the 2016-17 Season go on sale Saturday, July 23, beginning at 10 a.m.