Annual professional dance festival draws talent from around the country to Tempe Center for the Arts, ASU

More than two dozen top American choreographers and filmmakers will present their newest works at Breaking Ground 2013, CONDER/dance’s annual showcase of top dance and dance film work from Jan. 25-26 at Tempe Center for the Arts and Jan. 24 at ASU.

A media opportunity will be available with many of these world-class dancers at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 25. Call Kris Baxter-Ging at 480 250-5198 to make arrangements.


“This is our sixth year,” said company founder Carley Conder. “We are seeing a real connection between the films we feature and our live dance offerings. We adhere closely to a format emphasizing work that is not just contemporary, but also intensely, creatively innovative.”


Kicking off with a student showcase on Jan. 24 at Arizona State University’s Margaret Gisolo Studio Theater and continuing with two different professional programs Jan. 25- 26 at Tempe Center for the Arts, Breaking Ground will present a dazzling array of premieres from some of Arizona and America’s most fiercely fresh contemporary choreographers and filmmakers.


Here are the preview videos from 7 different choreographers: Eric Handman Jennifer Chin Joshua L. Peugh Jenny Showalter Delisa Myles Kaleena Franks Kris Pourzal


Besides Vias de Vuelo, an achingly lovely film by Mexican filmmaker Alfredo Salomon, the festival will screen the Israeli film, Love Song, by Simon Birman. Both are beautiful expressions of love, courage and loss.


The festival will also have strong and extraordinary work from choreographers and dancers such as New York artist Colleen Thomas, California artist Keith Johnson, Dallas-based artist Joshua L. Peugh, Jerome artist Delisa Myles, among others.


“It is exciting to bring such talented artists to Tempe, and it is even more exciting to be presenting talented Arizona artists alongside them,” Conder said.


Performance art, highly technical pure movement, multimedia collaborations and site specific work are all included in Breaking Ground 2013.


The selected dance works and films have been grouped in sets, including NEXT, featuring student work on Thursday, Jan. 24 at ASU’s Margaret Gisolo Studio Theater, and NOW I and NOW II on Jan. 25-26, featuring professional work at Tempe Center for the Arts.

Tickets for Breaking Ground 2013 are available from Tempe Center for the Arts, 480 350-2822, More information about Breaking Ground 2013 and CONDER/dance is available at or 480 570-3263.


About the Tempe Center for the Arts: 

The Tempe Center for the Arts on the shores of Tempe Town Lake is home to more than 700 events and performances annually. With its 600-seat theater, 200-seat studio, Lakeside Room, art gallery, lounge, board room and rooftop patio, it is Arizona’s best intimate setting for special events, performances and visual art.

Tempe Events this Week – Hamilton Sterling and Michael Ondaatje

Tempe Weekly Events: November 5-11, 2012:

We can thank Arizona State University (ASU) for illuminating us on any number of subjects by way of the many renowned speakers it brings to Tempe. This week we can thank ASU twice for bringing Michael Ondaatje and Hamilton Sterling to us. Both events are free and open to the public.

Sterling Hamilton is an ASU School of Music alumnus (class of 1980). He is a sound effects editor and designer for major motion pictures. He’ll join Kwang-Wu Kim, Dean and Director of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, November 8, 5-6 p.m. at ASU’s Katzin Concert Hall. They’ll engage in an intimate conversation that will explore Sterling’s experiences working in Hollywood, his transition from trained musician to cinematic sound designer, and the process of creating soundscapes for film. Hamilton has worked on seventy-four feature films, including Best in Show, The Dark Knight, The Tree of Life and There Will Be Blood.

Then hustle on over to the Tempe Center for the arts to hear Michael Ondaatje, who will be speaking at 7 p.m. Ondaatje is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian novelist and one of the world’s foremost writers. Although he is best known as a novelist, Ondaatje’s work also encompasses poetry, memoir and film. His best-selling novel The English Patient was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Publisher’s Weekly proclaimed his 2011 novel, The Cat’s Table, “best novel since The English Patient.” He is in Tempe as a  speaker in the ASU Virginia G.  Piper School of Creative Writing’s Distinguished Author Series.

Those are just two of the outstanding arts, culture and entertainment events you can enjoy in Tempe this week. View a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information.


ariZoni Awards tickets go on sale at TCA

TEMPE, Ariz. – Tickets for The 22nd Annual ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence Ceremony will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Tuesday through the Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) Box Office, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway.

The ceremony, produced in association with Childsplay, is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Sept. 17. A youth ceremony is set for 5:30 p.m.

Tickets to the youth ceremony are $19, adult ceremony $21, a ticket for both ceremonies $35 (service and convenience fees apply). Early bird group pricing is available through Sept. 3.

For tickets to this and other events, visit the box office in person, order online at or call 480/350-2TCA (2822).

Tempe This Week – Tempe Improv Presents Just for Laughs

This Thursday, The Tempe Improv will host Just for Laughs, which will give area comics an opportunity to audition for the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in July.  Winners of this event may go on to the next round in New York or Los Angeles and compete to be in the New Faces Showcase. As of today three of the dozen or so area comedians slated to perform are from Tempe. The Montreal festival is attended by scouts and promoters who are looking for new talent. So, plan on heading to the Tempe Improv for some great laughs while supporting our local comics in their efforts to make it to the big-time.

In addition to some great comedy, there’s a lot more going on in Tempe this week, including live music, theatre, dance, comedy, poetry readings and art exhibits.  View a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information.



What’s Happening in Tempe This Week – Eliane Elias

It’s a great week for live music in Tempe, especially jazz. Local jazz favorites Renee Patrick and Beth Lederman can be seen and heard at Dave’s Electric Brew Pub this Wednesday.  Over the weekend, the Tempe Center for the Arts will feature the always popular Nicole Pesce and the sultry voiced Brazilian pianist/singer/composer/arranger Eliane Elias.  Two more local favorites, jazz guitarist Pete Pancrazi and blues legend Hans Olsen will be in fine form at Tempe Marketplace on Friday.

If jazz isn’t your thing, not to worry. You’ll find plenty of good old rock and roll, classical, steel drum and world music emanating from many of Tempe’s nightspots and venues.  Check out this roster and be sure to view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information.

Tickets become available for Childsplay’s “Color of Stars”

TEMPE, Ariz. – Tickets for Childsplay’s world premiere of a touching story about life in America during World War II go on sale at 10 a.m. on March 26 through the Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) Box Office, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway.
“The Color of Stars” is scheduled for 4 p.m., April 22 (preview) & 28; 1 and 4 p.m., May 5, 12, 19 and 26; 1 p.m., April 29 and May 6, 13, 20 and 27 in the TCA Theater.

Adult ticket prices range from $20-$25 and child/senior tickets range from $15-$20, not including fees. Discounts for purchases of 10 or more tickets are available.

About the performance
Travel back in time with Allie on her quest to learn more about her grandfather. It’s the 1940s and young Eddie is living in rural Maine while his father is fighting overseas. As the townspeople struggle with the issues of patriotism, suspicion of foreigners and doing the right thing, families are split and allegiances challenged. Eddie soon finds himself in the middle of a crisis and the decisions he makes shape the rest of his life. Recommended for age eight and older.


For tickets to these and other events, visit the box office in person, order online at or call 480/350-2TCA (2822).

What’s Happening in Tempe This Week – The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

It’s the final week to see Stray Cat Theatre’s production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Those of you who love the edgier side of theater won’t want to miss this hypothetical story of the court case and fate of Judas Escariot. The setting is a courtroom in Purgatory where lawyers take testimonies from a host of famous witnesses through the ages, including Mother Teresa, Caiaphas, Saint Monica, and Sigmund Freud. The devil also makes an apperance, played to satanic perfection by Damon Dering, better known as the Artistic Director of Nearly Naked Theatre. For more about the play, read this excellent review by theatre critic Kerry Lengel.

View a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information.

What’s Happening in Tempe this Week – WICKED Returns to ASU

WICKED is back by popular demand at ASU Gammage, February 15-March 11. The musical takes place before Dorothy from Kansas arrives in Oz.  It’s told from the perspective of the witches of the Land of Oz: Elphaba, the misunderstood girl with emerald-green skin, and Glinda, the beautiful, ambitious and popular blonde. The story follows the friendship that evolves between the two as they grow to become the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good.

Since opening in 2003, WICKED has won 35 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony® Awards. The New York Times named WICKED the defining musical of the decade and Entertainment Weekly called it “the best musical of the decade.”   I saw WICKED when it was at ASU Gammage in 2009 and it exceeded my expectations 100 fold. I loved everything about it from the lush production to the beautiful music to its moving, but never maudlin message. In 2009 it broke box office records at ASU Gammage and sold out in record time. So, don’t wait to get your tickets or you might miss out.

The arts and entertainment scene in Tempe is wicked good in every way in the week ahead. Check out this line-up, get off your couch and enjoy some of what’s happening in Tempe this week.



What’s Happening in Tempe This Week – The Tempe Improv

If laughter is the best medicine, then Tempe has a medicine chest full of cures this week at the Improv. On Wednesday, the Class Clowns Comedy Showcase will highlight the best in local talent. This popular event is a mix of seasoned comics who are well on their way and newbies to the stand-up scene. On Thursday, Shang will bring his political and explosive humor to the Improv’s stage. The week ends with Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong fame teaming up with his wife Shelby to perform the type of humor that made them famous during their Cheech & Chong days. View a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information.


What’s Happening in Tempe This Week – Menahem Pressler with the AU Chamber Orchestra

Chamber music aficionados are in for a huge treat this Friday when Menahem Pressler, founding member of and pianist for the renowned Beaux Arts Trio, performs with the ASU Chamber Orchestra at ASU Gammage. Since 1946, when his illustrious career began, Menahem Pressler has been performing with the world’s great orchestras. Equally regarded as a teacher, he has taught on the faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music for almost 60 years.At 86 he continues to captivate audiences performing solo and chamber music recitals to great critical acclaim while maintaining a dedicated and robust teaching career.

Jazz lovers will find much to love this week at Dave’s Electric Brew Pub, The Tempe Marketplace, Tempe History Museum  and Desert Botanical Garden.  View a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information.