Movie, Dance or Symphony?

Article Published: Jul. 7, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Movie, Dance or Symphony?

Gerard Schwarz conducts the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra this Sunday as part of An Appalachian Summer Festival.

Photo submitted

If you are looking to take that someone special out on the town this week, ASU's An Appalachian Summer Festival might hold the key to a fantastic date.

Whether you prefer movies, live dancing or music, there is plenty to see at Appalachian State this week.

Mao's Last Dancer
If the latest round of summer blockbuster movies, such as "Transformers 3," has left you wishing for something a little more cerebral, Appalachian Summer's Film Series might have something for you.

On Thursday, July 7, the series will air the film "Mao's Last Dancer" at Farthing Auditorium. Admission is $8, and a pre-film talk starts at 8 p.m. and the film starts at 8:30 p.m.

"Mao's Last Dancer" tells the story of 11-year-old peasant villager Li Cunxin, who is chosen by Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy to study ballet in far-off Beijing. He trains for seven grueling years to become one of China's greatest dancers. His efforts win him the opportunity to dance in America, opening his eyes to a new love and the possibility of a dramatic defection from China.

This film is based on Cunxin's autobiography and was directed by Bruce Beresford. It is rated PG and runs 117 minutes.

Eastern Music Festival

The Eastern Music Festival annually brings some of the finest classical musicians to An Appalachian Summer and this year is no different. On Sunday, July 10, conductor Gerard Schwarz and the orchestra will perform with world-renowned violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.

The concert will take place at Farthing Auditorium, beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28 for adults, $16 for kids 6-16, $15 for ASU students and staff, and $5 for kids five and under.

During the program, the symphony orchestra will perform Richard Strauss' "Don Juan, Op. 20," Bruch's "Violin Concerto No. 1 in g minor, Op. 26," Shostakovich's "Symphony No. 5 in d minor, Op. 47," and a world premiere piece by Peter Boyer.

Salerno-Sonnenberg is best known for her exhilarating performances and as the music director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra. She has appeared on "60 Minutes" and "A&E's Artist of the Week with Elliot Forrest."

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is one of the country's preeminent touring contemporary dance companies. With its adventurous repertoire and broad appeal, it combines classical ballet with contemporary dance to create entertaining and engrossing stage shows.

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will perform at Farthing Auditorium on Thursday, July 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28 for adults, $16 for kids 6-16, $15 for ASU students and staff, and $5 for children five and under.

Considered by many to be one of the true success stories in American dance, ASFB has performed on such celebrated stages as the Joyce Theater in New York, the famed Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and in foreign venues in Canada, France, Italy and Guatemala.

For more information, or to order tickets to Appalachian Summer events, call (828) 262-4046 or visit

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