Classroom in the Courtyard

Pre-Performance Lectures by Faculty & Staff


Upcoming Lectures

Flamenco Dance: What Are the Dancers Actually Doing?
Professor Dan Glickman, Department of Dance, College of the Canyons

Dan GlickmanPrior to the performance of Gala Flamenca
Friday, March 14th at 6:30 p.m.
Kurland Hall (in the Valley Performing Arts Complex behind the Ticket Office)

Have you ever watched flamenco dance without really grasping what the dancers were doing and why? Or wondered what the difference is between traditional and modern flamenco? Flamenco dance instructor, Daniel Glickman, will present an informative and dynamic lecture and presentation of the techniques and rhythms of flamenco dance. Try a few flamenco moves yourself during an engaging discussion and demonstration of this inspiring dance form and bring your own "duende" (flamenco spirit) to the Gala Flamenca performance afterwards.

Professor Glickman is originally from San Francisco where he began studying flamenco from the Artistic Director of Theater Flamenco in San Francisco, Miguel Santos. He has also studied with Cruz Luna, La Tania, Carlos Rodriguez, Angel Rojas, and Eva Yerbabuena. He has taught flamenco dance at the University of San Francisco, Los Angeles City College, and College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita.


Nat King Cole: What Makes Him Music Royalty?
Professor Gary Fukushima, Department of Music, CSUN

Gary FukushimaPrior to the performance of Ramsey Lewis & John Pizzarelli
Saturday, April 26th at 6:30 p.m.
Kurland Hall (in the Valley Performing Arts Complex behind the Ticket Office)

In his pre-concert lecture (with piano demonstrations), Professor Gary Fukushima will discuss Nat Cole's "unforgettable" career that ran from  classical pianist, to jazz singer, to pop sensation and finally to easy listening master, with hits like "Straighten Up And Fly Right" for Capitol Records, which was inspired by one of his father's sermons.  A PBS special noted, "The story of his life is a study in success in the face of adversity and the triumph of talent over the ignorance of prejudice."  Join us to learn about his style, history, talent and why two of American’s best musicians, John Pizzarelli and Ramsey Lewis have selected Nat King Cole for their VPAC concert this evening.


Ballroom and Beyond: Breaking the Boundaries
Professors Joanne DiVito and Jacqueline Eusanio, Department of Kinesiology, CSUN

Joanne DiVito

Jacqueline Eusanio

Prior to the performance of Ballroom with a Twist

Saturday, May 17th at 6:30 p.m.
Kurland Hall (in the Valley Performing Arts Complex behind the Ticket Office)

Come and join us for a pre-show peek at the sensational and exciting world of ballroom dance. Professors Joanne DiVito and Jacqueline Eusanio will guide you through the history and development of both ballroom dance and Broadway. They will show you how ballroom is different from, yet related to, other styles of dance. Discover how Louis van Amstel has brilliantly blended the best of ballroom, Broadway, ballet, jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop into a sizzling spectacle of dance, song, and glitz that electrifies and delights.


Past Lectures

Murray Perahia: 40 Glorious Years with 88 Keys
Professor Ed Francis, Department of Music, CSUN

Edward FrancisPrior to the performance of Murray Perahia
Thursday, February 27th at 6:00 p.m.
Valley Performing Arts Center – Loge Level

In the more than 40 years he has been performing on the concert stage, American pianist Murray Perahia has become one of the most sought-after and cherished pianists of our time, performing in all of the major international music centers and with every leading orchestra. Tonight, we will examine the reasons for his remarkable success as a conductor and Grammy-award winning musician. Audience members will learn about his history, unique style, and what to listen for as he plays his beautiful collection of Bach, Beethoven Schumann and Chopin.


Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life
Anthony Cantrell, Ph.D., Valley Performing Arts Center

Anthony CantrellPrior to the performance of Chita Rivera
Saturday, January 25th at 6:30 p.m.
Kurland Hall (in the Valley Performing Arts Complex behind the Ticket Office)

Join us for an engaging and retrospective pre-show discussion about the legendary career of Chita Rivera.  Ms. Rivera has won two Tony awards, the Kennedy Center Honors award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama.  Her long and amazing career from a teenager at the American School of Ballet to Broadway icon exemplifies what it means to be an American artist.  Come and hear why Chita Rivera has been accurately described as "the electricity that lights up Broadway."

Dr. Cantrell is currently the Director of Arts Education at the Valley Performing Arts Center.  The Arts Education program endeavors to provide students with an arts education experience that will inspire the next generation of artists, patrons, and advocates.  Previously, Cantrell was the Co-Chair of the Drama Academy at CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts, a school he helped to found in 2005.  He has also taught university theatre classes at the University of Michigan where he received his doctoral degree in Theatre.  Surviving the winters of Ann Arbor, this Valley-native is honored to work at the VPAC and continue to serve the rich cultural life of the San Fernando Valley.


Magical Moments in Musical Theatre
Professor Janet Miller, Department of Theatre

Janet MillerPrior to the Performance of Brian Stokes Mitchell
Saturday, December 7th at 6:30 p.m.
Kurland Hall

Professor Janet Miller's pre-concert talk and tap will guide you through unforgettable musical theatre moments inspired by Brian Stokes Mitchell and his illustrious career on Broadway and beyond.

 


Modern Dance: What Moves the Movement?
Dr. Paula Thomson, Department of Kinesiology

Paula ThompsonPrior to the Performance of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company
Saturday, November 23rd at 6:30 p.m.
Kurland Hall

Dr. Paula Thomson, accompanied by a group of professional dancers, will explore some of the elements, themes and movement vocabulary of modern dance in an effort to enhance audience appreciation of the spectacular dancing Lar Lubovitch Dance Company will display.


New Orleans Jazz from the Roots to New Cross-Genre Sounds
Professor Gary Fukushima, Department of Music

Gary FukushimaPrior to the Performance of Jon Batiste and Stay Human
Friday, October 18th at 6:30 p.m.

Courtyard Theatre

Professor Gary Fukushima will take concert-goers on a trip to New Orleans, with stops in all the spots where this uniquely American music form developed, grew, flourished and continues to evolve.