Critic's Notebook: June is bustin' out all over

"They hucka the bejeebers"


  • Courtesy Galatea Project
  • SUIT YOURSELF: The Galatea Project uses a wireless electromyography smart suit that captures a dancer's muscle movement, brain waves and heart rate, allowing the performer to influence the lighting and sound. The performance this weekend at Atlanta's Skwirlhaus venue is just one of the many offerings this unusually busy June.

Summer is usually a quiet, restful time on the Atlanta arts scene, but apparently no one got the memo this year. As summer is kicking into high gear in the city, so are the arts. Here's a sampling of what I mean, a few shows and events that will be especially worth catching this weekend:

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  • Courtesy Harlem Fine Arts Show
  • Leroy Campbell, Accomplishments.

A newly revamped National Black Arts Festival kicks off with its first big event, an opening reception and benefit for the Harlem Fine Arts Show, an exhibition of works by African-American artists from around the country. For the past five years, HFAS has showcased emerging and established artists in an annual exhibition at Harlem's historic Riverside Church. This is the first year that the show has gone on the road, and the event space at 200 Peachtree Street (the former Davison's downtown department store at the corner of Peachtree and Ellis) will be one of its first stops. The ticketed reception is tonight, with the exhibition running all weekend, through June 29. For more information, visit the NBAF.

Famed Atlanta gallerist Fay Gold has a new exhibition opening this weekend. Titled The World According to Consumerism, the group show curated by Susan Knippenberg will present the work of ten emerging Atlanta artists riffing on the theme of consumerism. The opening reception is tonight, from 6-9 p.m., at the Westside Cultural Arts Center, and the show runs through July 28. Also opening this weekend is Whitespace gallery's exhibition of new work by Nashville-based artist Adrienne Outlaw.

Dancers usually respond to music, basing their movement on what they hear. But what if a dance could be created the other way around? Could a dancer's movement somehow create the soundscape? That's the idea behind the sound suit created for the dance performance Galatea. Built by a team led by musician, engineer, and artist C.D. Howe, the project consists of a wireless electromyography smart suit that "allows for compositional influence over sound and light through a dancers movement." Viewers can take a look for themselves when the suit is worn by dancer and choreographer Samantha Tankersley during a performance of Galatea at Skwirlhaus, a unique outdoor venue for contemporary dance in an oak-shaded backyard in Atlanta's Kirkwood neighborhood. Performances are Fri. and Sat., June 27-28, at 327 Sisson Ave., at 9 p.m. For more information, visit Skwirlhaus.

The Lucky Penny ends its week-long residency at the black box theater at Emory's Schwartz Center with a showcase in that space on Sat., June 28, at 5 p.m. I was lucky enough to catch visiting artists Kelly Bond and Melissa Krodman who performed their creepy, funny, whip-smart work Colony at the beginning of the residency last week. The two singular sensations will be presenting and discussing new work alongside the other artists who participated in the residency at the showcase on Saturday. There will also be a sneak preview of the Lucky Penny's upcoming work Dearly Departures, which premieres in late July.

The Atlanta Symphony performs a free concert in Piedmont Park tonight, and if you didn't manage to get tickets (they're all gone now, sorry), you might check out something on a smaller scale: contemporary chamber music from Chamber Cartel at the Goat Farm Arts Center on Sat., June 28, at 8 p.m. With guest artist, soprano Stephanie Aston, the group will perform major works of the 21st century: "Tongues" by Jason Eckardt and "The Brightest Form of Absence" by Hans Thomalla. "Tongues," while sung is vacant of words and instead deconstructs language as an exercise in phonetics ... Hans Thomalla's "The Brightest Form of Absence" is a 30-minute tour de force for a 13-person ensemble, incorporating an electronic track and videos as a part of the composition. The suggested donation is $10.


  • Courtesy Saints of an Unnamed Country
  • MANY MOONS: "The Emperor and the Moon" will be performed this weekend at the Big House on Ponce.

I'm intrigued by the sound of the new play The Emperor and the Moon, which will be performed at the Big House on Ponce (368 Ponce de Leon Ave.) by the theater company Saints of an Unnamed Country, tonight thru Sunday, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door. The group creates original plays combining poetry, wooden masks, folk music, and ancient mythology. The new play tells the story of an emperor "haunted by a recurring dream as he decays in his throne room." For more info, visit the Big House on Ponce.

Summer is a great time for the movies, and there are a couple cinema events that are of special interest this weekend. The Royal Opera House will re-broadcast its production of La Traviata starring Renée Fleming and Joseph Calleja at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema on Sat., June 28, at 11 a.m. Britain's National Theatre will re-broadcast its production of the theatrical version of the bestselling novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Landmark at 11 a.m. on Sun., June 29. Also not to be missed at the movies this weekend is a screening of The Wizard of Oz at the [http://ev10.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventList?groupCode=WIZ&linkID=fta&shopperContext=&caller=&appCode=#utma=193113138.2036713630.1398464235.1403628976.1403646096.3&utmb=193113138.2.10.1403646096&utmc=193113138&utmx=-&utmz=193113138.1403646096.3.3.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=wizard of oz fox theater atlanta&utmv=-&__utmk=25229949|Fox Theater] at 2 p.m. on Sunday. If that leaves you in mood for more wizard, it will be worth the trip down to Serenbe Playhouse to check out their outdoor theatrical production of Oz, performed runway-style on a long Yellow Brick Road in the woods.