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Saturday, May 18
The Indiana Daily Student

arts

Soul Revue to present final concert

Members of the IU Soul Revue perform in "Seeing is Believing," the 2006 Potpourri of Arts in the African American Tradition November 4, 2006 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.  Founded in 1974, the Soul Revue is the oldest of the three performing groups of the African American Arts Institute.

The African American Arts Institute ensemble, IU Soul Revue, will present its final concert of the year at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

The theme of the concert is “Sessions in Love” and will feature a storyline based on love with African-American R&B, soul, funk, contemporary urban popular music, dance and dialogue woven in.

“We go right for the story of love and make it visible,” said director Nathanael Fareed Mahluli. “You’ll see what happens in the game of love between the various people who are in relationships. Those relationships evolve on stage.”

This concert is different from past performances because of the incorporation of a plot and storyline, junior and singer Cheryl Nwokah said. The group tried to make the performance more of a production instead of just singing songs because they want to make the evening more engaging and easy to follow.

Soul Revue was founded in 1971 and was the first ensemble at the African American Arts Institute, which now also includes the African American Dance Company and the African American Choral Ensemble. Each ensemble is offered as a class and is joined by an audition.

Soul Revue is more than just a performing ensemble and a class; senior Terrilyn Dennie said the ensemble is like a family.

“If you’re a part of the Soul Revue, you become really close-knit,” she said. “We have this extraordinary thing in common, which is music. We are expressing it, and it binds us together. Our personalities just click.”

She added that she loves her fellow members and would do anything for them.
Dennie said although the ensemble is challenging and tedious at times, it’s worth all the stress. Learning artists’ biographies inspires her, and she enjoys reading about the backgrounds of the pieces the ensemble learns.

Nwokah joined the ensemble her freshman year out of curiosity for a different genre and has been singing with the group ever since. She said learning the music aurally challenges the musicians to work outside of class, but also gives a sense of free musical expression.

“We learn everything by ear,” she said. “It gives us more freedom to play around with notes and putting our own spin on the music. We have freedom to learn the music and make it our own.”

Nwokah said performing is her favorite part of the ensemble. Once the group is on stage, it’s a completely different dynamic. This spring it has performed in Indianapolis, Bloomington City Hall and as far away as New York.

But this Saturday will be the best performance of the year, said Mahluli.

“It all comes to fruition here in this concert,” he said. “We want the audience to walk away more in love with themselves, their partners and the people around them.”

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