October Events at UMS

Artists from US, Brazil, South Africa, Russia, and Japan  Perform at UMS in October

Two Theater Productions Bring Special Focus to the Challenges Facing Immigrants

Brazillian Dance Company Grupo Corpo
Sat, Oct 5 - Sun, Oct 6 at Power Center

South African Theater Company Isango Ensemble in The Magic Flute and A Man of Good Hope
Wed, Oct 16 - Sun, Oct 20 at Power Center

Fri, Oct 18 at Hill Auditorium

Japanese Butoh Dance Company Sankai Juku
Fri, Oct 25 - Sat, Oct 26 at Power Center

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Returns with Copland's Appalachian Spring
Fri, Oct 11 at Rackham Auditorium

Chick Corea Brings Trio with Bassist Christian McBride, Drummer Brian Blade
Sat, Oct 19 at Hill Auditorium

Director Katie Mitchell's New Theater Piece, Zauberland, Receives its US Première with Soprano Julia Bullock
Thu, Oct 24 - Fri, Oct 25 at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

Read on for more details about these events.

Contact Mallory Shea for additional information or to request interviews with UMS touring artists or staff. Press images are always available at, or they can be downloaded by clicking the respective "Press Photos" buttons below.

Mallory Shea

Grupo Corpo
Bach & Gira
Grupo Corpo

Paulo Pederneiras, artistic director
Rodrigo Pederneiras, choreographer

Saturday, October 5 // 8 pm
Sunday, October 6 // 4 pm
Power Center

The Brazillian Dance company Grupo Corpo was founded in 1975 as a family enterprise by brothers Paulo and Rodrigo Pederneiras, who lead the group as choreographer and artistic director respectively. The company seamlessly blends elements of ballet, modern dance, samba, and Afro‐Brazilian tradition to create a sensual, distinctively Brazilian style of movement. The ensemble makes its third UMS appearance with Bach and Gira, two wildly different works that showcase the 21-member group’s extraordinary range.

In Gira, Rodrigo Pederneiras constructs a powerful glossary of gestures of praise, inspired by Afro-Brazilian religious rituals and set to music by the Brazilian fusion group Méta Méta.

In Bach, the baroque world of Johann Sebastian Bach is made modern in a score by Marco Antônio Guimarães, with dancers in brilliant shades of gold, regal blue, and black dropping from a set of enormous organ pipes.

Both Bach and Gira will be presented as a double-billing in a single program each evening.


You Can Dance: Brazilian Movement
Sat, Oct 5 // 1:35-2:50 pm // Ann Arbor YMCA (400 W Washington St)
Explore the diversity of movements infused with Brazilian dance styles from past to present. No dance training or experience necessary, and all levels, ages 13 and up, are welcome. Free, but first come, first served until studio reaches capacity. Sign-up begins at 12:50 pm. Picture ID required at registration.

Post-Performance Artist Q&A
Sat, Oct 5
Must have a performance ticket to attend.

UMS 101: Grupo Corpo
Sun, Oct 6 // Power Center
Class begins at 2 pm, performance begins at 4 pm
Registration fee with ticket: $49
Registration fee for workshop only:

Explore the diversity of influences that inspired Brazilian choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras’s two works for Grupo Corpo (Bach and Gira). How does Bach’s baroque music fuse with contemporary Brazilian dance? How do Afro-Brazilian religious rituals provide inspiration for choreographed movements?

Funded in part by: Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Endowment Fund
Media Partner: Michigan Radio 91.7 FM

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Copland's Appalachian Spring
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Friday, October 11 // 8 pm
Rackham Auditorium

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS), is one of eleven constituents of the largest performing arts complex in the world, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. CMS is known for the extraordinary quality of its performances and its programming, and for setting the benchmark for chamber music worldwide. This concert, performed by 13 CMS members, celebrates the intrepid American spirit by featuring two pairs of composers that shaped the course of American music.

Harry T. Burleigh was Dvořák’s star student at the National Conservatory in New York. A talented African-American composer and singer, he introduced the Czech composer to American spirituals and was in turn encouraged by Dvořák to perform African- American folk music.

Two generations later, Copland and Bernstein drew on Dvořák’s game-changing vision to conceive their own American sound that conveys the wonder and awe of open spaces and endless possibilities.

Southland Sketches
Quintet for Two Violins, Two Violas, and Cello in E-flat Major, Op. 97
Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
Appalachian Spring (Ballet for Martha)


Pre-Performance Talk: "Composing America's Sound" by Mark Clague
Fri, Oct 11 // 7 pm
U-M Associate Dean at the School of Music, Theatre & Dance
and Associate Professor Mark Clague (Musicology) leads a discussion of how the pieces on the CMS program construct a sonic American identity.

Patron Sponsors: Maurice and Linda Binkow and Jim Toy

Media Partner: WGTE 91.3 FM

The Lehman Trilogy
HD Broadcast: National Theatre, London
The Lehman Trilogy

By Stefano Massini, adapted by Ben Power
Directed by Sam Mendes

Sunday, October 13 // 7 pm
Michigan Theater

Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes directs Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley, and Ben Miles in this co-production of the National Theatre and Neal Street Productions.

On a cold September morning in 1844, a young man from Bavaria stands on a New York dockside. Dreaming of a new life in a new world, he is joined by his two brothers. An American epic begins. 163 years later, the firm they establish — Lehman Brothers — spectacularly collapses into bankruptcy and triggers the largest financial crisis in history.

Co-presented with the Michigan Theater.

Isango Ensemble
Isango Ensemble

Mark Dornford-May, co-founder and artistic director
Pauline Malefane, co-founder and music director

Wednesday-Sunday, October 16-20
Power Center

Isango Ensemble is a South African theater company that draws its artists from the townships surrounding Cape Town. Isango’s stage productions re-imagine classics from the Western theater canon, finding a new context for the stories within a South African township setting and creating inventive work relevant to the heritage of the nation. For their UMS debut, they present three performances of The Magic Flute and two performances of South African playwright Jonny Steinberg’s A Man of Good Hope. Both productions are performed in English.

In addition to the performances, Isango will visit Flint, MI to work with local artists, as well as participate in classroom visits at the University of Michigan.

The Magic Flute
Based on the opera by W.A. Mozart
Wed 10/16 and Thu 10/17 at 7:30 pm

Sat 10/19 at 8 pm

The Magic Flute features Mozart’s score transcribed for an orchestra of marimbas and powerful percussion. The production was presented for a season in London's West End, where it won an Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival. It also received the Globes de Cristal for Best Opera Production following a sold-out season at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Isango fuses the original story of Mozart's famous opera with a Tsonga folktale that also features a magic flute, as well as themes of good vs. evil and love.

A Man of Good Hope
Based on the book by Jonny Steinberg
Fri 10/18 at 8 pm

Sat 10/20 at 4 pm

An adaptation of Jonny Steinberg’s riveting book, A Man of Good Hope tells the true story of one refugee’s epic quest across Africa through roof-lifting songs and dance accompanied on the marimba.Asad Abdullah, a young Somai refugee, flees his country's civil war only to find himself in a new, violent reality in South Africa. A Man of Good Hope chronicles one man's life alongside charged contemporary issues human trafficking, migration, poverty, xenophobia in a clear-eyed portrait of resilience amid the challenges of displacement.


Pre-Performance Talks by Naomi André
Thu, Oct 17 // 6:30 pm
Fri, Oct 18 // 7 pm

U-M Associate Professor Naomi André (Women's Studies and Afroamerican and African Studies) and author of Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement, provides insight into Isango's approach to theater.

Post-Performance Artist Q&A

Wed, Oct 16 & Fri, Oct 18
Must have a performance ticket to attend.

School Day Performances
Thu, Oct 17 & Fri Oct 18 // 11 am
Power Center

Isango Ensemble will perform two School Day Performances of The Magic Flute for students in grades 3–12. Teachers will receive UMS learning guides to facilitate meaningful connections between the performance and classroom curriculum. Pre-and post-show workshops, designed to actively explore the art form and themes that students will encounter during the performance, will be offered. Sponsored by the Prudence and Amnon Rosenthal K-12 Education Endowment Fund.

Presenting Sponsor: Michigan Medicine
Supporting Sponsors: Herbert S. and Carol L. Amster Endowment Fund and Masco Corporation Foundation
Funded in part by: Wallace Endowment Fund

Denis Matsuev
Denis Matsuev, piano

Friday, October 18 // 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

Since his triumph at the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998, Denis Matsuev has become a virtuoso in the grandest of Russian pianistic tradition and has quickly established himself as one of the most prominent pianists of his generation.

As one of Russia’s pre-eminent musicians and a prominent public figure, Denis Matsuev is a member of The Presidential Council for Culture and Arts and was the official ambassador for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which he opened with a globally broadcast performance on Moscow’s Red Square. Mr. Matsuev is also artistic director of the Rachmaninoff Foundation in Switzerland, and curates and directs his own prestigious concert series "Denis Matsuev Invites" at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.

Matsuev performs his third recital and makes his sixth Hill Auditorium appearance since his 2010 UMS debut with a program of virtuosic works by Liszt and Tchaikovsky.

Sonata in b minor, S. 178
Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S. 514
Dumka in c minor, Op. 59
Grand Piano Sonata in G Major, Op. 37

Patron Sponsor: Catherine S. Arcure Endowment Fund
Media Partners: WRCJ 90.9 FM and WGTE 91.3 FM

Chick Corea Trilogy
Chick Corea Trilogy

with Christian McBride, bass and Brian Blade, drums

Saturday, October 19 // 8 pm
Hill Auditorium

Chick Corea brings together bass powerhouse Christian McBride and drum master Brian Blade with this trio that earned two Grammy Awards for the recording from their first outing in 2014.

Corea, who began playing with the genre-shattering bands of Miles Davis in the late 1960s and early ’70s has moved from straight-ahead to avant garde, bebop to jazz-rock fusion, and children’s songs to symphonic works, all while racking up 64 Grammy nominations and 22 wins.

Christian McBride is a six-time Grammy award-winning bassist, composer, and educator. Drummer extraordinaire Brian Blade, who has collaborated with Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Wayne Shorter, Seal, Bill Frisell, and Emmylou Harris, completes the rhythm section. The two artists were previously the rhythmic backbone in Corea’s Five Peace Band, which performed in Hill Auditorium in 2009.

Presenting Sponsors: Elaine and Peter Schweitzer
Supporting Sponsor: Retirement Income Solutions
Patron Sponsors: Keith and Alison Dickey and Dody Viola
Funded in part by: JazzNet Endowment Fund

Media Partners: WEMU 89.1 FM, WRCJ 90.9 FM, WDET 101.9 FM, and Ann Arbor's 107one

US Première!
Zauberland (Magic Land)
An Encounter with Schumann’s Dichterliebe

Music by Robert Schumann and Bernard Foccroulle
Texts by Heinrich Heine and Martin Crimp
Stage direction by Katie Mitchell
Julia Bullock, soprano
Cédric Tiberghien, piano
with Ben Clifford, Natasha Kafka, David Rawlins, and Raphael Zari

Thursday, October 24 // 7:30 pm
Friday, October 25 // 8 pm
Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre

Originally a sequence in a manuscript of 20 songs, Schumann's Dichterliebe sets the poems of Heinrich Heine to music. Four of those songs were cut before publication to make the famous cycle of 16 that is currently known. While scholars have argued that this was an aesthetic decision by the composer, no contemporary evidence exists as to why Schumann made these cuts.

In this impressionistic new theater piece, Bernard Foccroulle has added new compositions to the romantic cycle, setting texts by the English playwright Martin Crimp. The story follows a young woman who is five months pregnant and forced to leave Syria and make the long journey to live in Germany. She leaves behind her husband and family in war-torn Aleppo and settles in Cologne, where she gives birth to a daughter and continues her career as a professional opera singer. On the eve of her husband's death, she has a strange dream where singing a concert of Schuman’s Dichterliebe is mixed up with the trauma of her journey from Syria and her life in Aleppo before the war.

This production contains adult themes.


Post-Performance Artist Q&A
Thu, Oct 24
Must have a performance ticket to attend.

Lead Presenting Sponsor: Renegade Venture Fund, established by the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation
Presenting Sponsor: Maurice and Linda Binkow Vocal and Chamber Arts Endowment Fund
Patron Sponsor: Ilene Forsyth Theater Endowment Fund

Media Partner: Metro Times

Sankai Juku
Meguri: Teeming Sea, Tranquil Land
Sankai Juku

Ushio Amagatsu, director, choreographer, and designer

Friday, October 25 // 8 pm
Saturday, October 26 // 8 pm
Power Center

Over the course of the past 40 years, the work of Ushio Amagatsu and Sankai Juku has become known worldwide for elegance, refinement, technical precision, and emotional depth. His contemporary Butoh creations are sublime visual spectacles and deeply moving theatrical experiences.

Butoh first appeared in Japan after World War II and is often defined by its playful and grotesque imagery, taboo topics, and absurd environments. Traditionally performed in white body makeup with slow, hyper‐controlled, mesmerizing motion, Butoh represents a "dialogue with gravity" to Amagatsu, whereas most dance forms revel in the escape from gravity. It plays with the perception of time and space by slowing down the experience — the dance equivalent of haiku, only longer.

Amagatsu's 2015 work, Meguri: Teeming Sea, Tranquil Land, is an exquisite poetic meditation on the passage of time as symbolized by the ebb and flow of water and the seasonal transformation of the earth, set against an upstage relief of sea lily fossil images.

Supporting Sponsor: Level X Talent


You Can Dance: Sankai Juku
Sat, Oct 26 // 1:35-2:50 pm // Ann Arbor YMCA (400 W Washington St)
Dancers from Sankai Juku will lead an exploration of the company's movement style. No dance training or experience necessary, and all levels, ages 13 and up, are welcome. Free, but first come, first served until studio reaches capacity. Sign-up begins at 12:50 pm. Picture ID required at registration.

2014 National Medal of Arts recipient

University Musical Society
Burton Memorial Tower
881 N University Ave
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1011
United States