Don’t miss Visions and Voices’s annual kickoff event—an arts extravaganza featuring music, dance, theatre and spoken word! The event will also include a welcome by USC Provost Elizabeth Garrett. Attendees will receive free Visions and Voices T-shirts and bags!
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Admission is free and open to USC students only. Line up and get a wristband at the event check-in on Trousdale Parkway in front of Bovard Auditorium. Wristbands, shirts and bags will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 4:45 p.m. Arrive early! Reception to follow.
USC Visions and Voices’s annual arts extravaganza will kick off the new season with music, dance, theatre and spoken word. World-renowned DJs Urban Assault (aka Faust and Shortee) will amp up the crowd with an electrifying pre-show. The high-energy evening continues with Lula Washington Dance Theatre, whose blend of African, ballet and street dance is irresistibly inspiring. Consider life afresh via socially conscious spoken word by Rudy Francisco, Javon Johnson and Terisa Tinei Siagatonu. The virtuosic playing of classical guitarist Vladimir Gorbach will find a fascinating counterpoint in an uproarious performance by the insightful theatre artist Adelina Anthony. And don’t miss the catchy alternative pop of Carlton at a lively post-show reception. The event will also include a welcome by USC Provost Elizabeth Garrett and a presentation by USC cinematic arts professor Tara McPherson. Plus, attendees will receive free Visions and Voices T-shirts and bags!
About the Artists:
Adelina Anthony is a critically acclaimed two-spirited Xicana lesbian writer, actor, director, producer and artist-teacher. In a career spanning two decades and counting, she has twice been nominated for the prestigious Alpert Award in the Arts. Her solo tryptich, Las Hociconas: Three Locas with Big Mouths and Even Bigger Brains, was a 2014 Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her play The Beast of Times premiered at the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center last year, and has just been published by Kórima Press. She is also a filmmaker and a co-founder of AdeRisa productions. For SPARK!, Anthony will perform from Mama’s Boi, part of her in-progress La Malcriada series. In Mama’s Boi, a boi from South Central confronts what it means to survive the things your graduate-student girlfriend happens to be learning about race, gender, class, sexuality and immigration in school. (Official website, Facebook, Twitter)
Carlton is a three-piece alternative-pop trio known for catchy pop songs and energetic live performances. Originally from Washington, D.C., they are now based in the Los Angeles area. Their debut EP, Stretching, is available now on iTunes. (Facebook, iTunes)
Rudy Francisco is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable names in spoken-word poetry. Combining social critique, introspection, honesty and humor, he uses personal narratives to discuss race, class, gender and religion. The 2009 National Underground Poetry Slam Champion, the 2010 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion and an NAACP Image Award nominee, Francisco is as committed to his community as he is to his own poetry, cultivating young poets through coaching and workshops, and co-hosting the largest poetry venue in San Diego. (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)
Internationally acclaimed classical guitarist Vladimir Gorbach has captivated audiences and won competitions across Europe, Australia, the United States and his native country of Russia. He is the first international artist fellow in music at the USC Thornton School of Music. (Official website, Facebook)
The Los Angeles Times said of poet Javon Johnson, “From subject matter to wordplay to delivery, he is working it out! It's hard not to have good times while watching him have a good time on stage.” An award-winning spoken-word/slam poet, Johnson merges race and gender theory with comedy, lyricism and rhyme schemes. He has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, BET’s Lyric Café and TV One’s Verses and Flow. Johnson co-wrote Showtime’s basketball documentary, Crossover, in collaboration with the NBA and Nike. He tours with Fiveology, a collective of spoken-word poets; blogs for the Huffington Post; and serves on the board of Say Word, an organization that mentors teenagers and promotes creative self-expression through spoken-word poetry in Los Angeles. Johnson was formerly a postdoctoral fellow in the department of American studies and ethnicity at USC, and a program manager at the California African American Museum. He is currently an assistant professor of performance and communication studies at San Francisco State University. (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)
Terisa Tinei Siagatonu is a queer Samoan poet, spoken-word artist and arts educator. She has performed in venues ranging from San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre to the White House, and is a member of the Da Poetry Lounge/Hollywood Slam Team. In addition to performing, she is a community activist and organizer, working with groups such as One Love Oceana, Youth Speaks Inc., the Samoan Community Development Center of San Francisco and EPIC. Siagatonu was a proud recipient of President Obama’s Champions of Change Award. (Twitter)
Urban Assault (aka Faust and Shortee) have been a powerhouse in the DJ/production world for almost twenty years, electrifying audiences on a global scale. Specializing in the grimy beats and filthy bass lines of dubstep, drum and bass, drumstep, glitch hop and electro house, this dynamic duo awes crowds with live four-turntable DJ trick sets scratched to perfection. Ranked as one of the top five turntablists in the world by SPIN magazine, Faust released the first turntablist album in history, the critically lauded Man or Myth, and continues to push the boundaries of production today. Shortee is one of the most diverse, technically skilled female DJs in the world, described as “The World’s Premier Female DJ” by the Grammy Foundation and named “Queen of the Scratch World” by DJ Times. Faust and Shortee were both featured in the award-winning documentary Scratch. (Official Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Founded in 1980 in South Los Angeles to provide a creative outlet for inner-city dance artists, the Lula Washington Dance Theatre is known for powerful, high-energy choreography that blends contemporary dance with African dance, ballet, street dance and Katherine Dunham technique. The company has danced in major theatres across America and in Russia, China, Brazil, Germany, Mexico and Spain. They have a passionate commitment to education and community outreach, and founder Lula Washington, who choreographed the films Avatar and The Little Mermaid, won the National Education Association’s Carter G. Woodson Civil Rights Award for her school program, Reflections in Black. For SPARK!, the Lula Washington Dance Theatre will perform Love Is, a three-part dance that looks at the many sides of romantic love. Prepare to be lifted from your seat by a company the New York Times calls “rousing” and “infectiously enthusiastic”! (Official website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube)
Photo: (Lula Washington Dance Theatre) Lou Liguori PhotographyPhoto: (Vladimir Gorbach) Christian Hembach