The IU Auditorium will continue its 2016-17 season with 12 distinct programs throughout the spring semester.
Each of these events appeals to a different demographic, and all come together as a celebration of cultural diversity, auditorium managing Director Maria Talbert said in an email. This goal is by no means new for the auditorium.
“When IU Auditorium was founded by Herman B Wells, it was his vision that the Auditorium would serve as a community gathering place,” Talbert said. “A place where people, through the performing arts, could celebrate and experience the diverse set of thoughts, beliefs and cultures that make up our world.”
The standard auditorium season includes shows such as musical “Mamma Mia!” and the Singing Hoosiers Spring Concert.
However, there will also be notable performances from Shaolin Warriors and the Dance Theatre of Harlem, as well as a lecture from celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Through a venue like the auditorium, Talbert said IU is able to attract global attractions.
“By presenting a wide array of events, we not only appeal to a wider range of our constituents but also provide the opportunity for people to experience something to which they otherwise might never be exposed,” Talbert said.
There will be a number of debut events coming to the auditorium this semester, Talbert said. It was announced through a press release Tuesday morning New York contemporary dance company Gallim Dance will have a performance at the auditorium March 3.
Talbert said the auditorium will be one of only a handful of venues to show the new revival of the Tony Award-winning musical “Into the Woods.” Because of its critical and mass appraisal, this production of “Into the Woods” is one Talbert recommends audiences to see.
On top of that, there will be concert performances from Luke Bryan and Buddy Guy. While both prominent artists, they work in niche genres that add to the diversity of cultures to the semester.
Despite all of these significantly popular events, Talbert said “Mamma Mia” is actually the show that is drawing together the largest crowd. However, she said this came as no surprise to her.
“As this is their tour’s farewell year, and given that this feel-good event has nearly sold out on its past engagements, we wanted to ensure Bloomington fans would have the chance see it one last time,” Talbert said.
On Jan. 19, the Cleveland Orchestra will perform at the auditorium.
The Dance Theatre of Harlem will perform Jan. 28. In addition to their performances, Talbert said the groups will be presenting lectures, demonstrations, workshops and masterclasses for IU students.
While the aforementioned groups may not be as popular as other performances this semester, Talbert said she believes they will draw in their own crowds of attendees.
“Audiences definitely get a full-scale experience and world-class artistry at all of the events we present,” Talbert said. “While it is true that some events create more of a buzz on their own, our events that are not as widely-known are frequently extremely prestigious in their field, as is the case for The Cleveland Orchestra and Dance Theatre of Harlem.”
While she acknowledges the talent of the performers, Talbert said the reason behind the auditorium’s success is the people willing to attend the events, as well as the staff and volunteers that provides service to these attendees.
“I think the magic of the Auditorium comes from the people,” Talbert said. “A person might visit us for the first time because of a particular artist we are hosting, but they return because we provide such an incredible personal experience – one that sets us apart from other venues.”
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The group will make its way to Bloomington for a show at 9 p.m. tonight.