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Vertical dancers, street faire highlight Festival of Arts


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The most ambitious Festival of the Arts yet bursts onto – and even off – the Sacramento State campus this spring with dancers performing on the sides of buildings, a new arts street faire in downtown Sacramento, plus the traditional Family Sunday Funday, and all the attractions that make up the University’s Arts Experience.

Image "Nicky" with his puppeteers Josh Sahagun and Dana Johnson, in Avenue Q. (Sacramento State/Craig Koscho)

This year’s festival ( runs April 8-12 and features a dance performance along the outside walls of the University Library by BANDALOOP, a company that is reimagining dance and changing perspectives. A pioneer in vertical performance, BANDALOOP ( seamlessly weaves dynamic physicality, intricate choreography and the art of climbing to turn the dance floor on its side. Under the artistic direction of Amelia Rudolph, the group has performed worldwide on skyscrapers, bridges, historical sites and cliffs.

For the festival, they will perform for the reception on Friday, April 10, between 5 and 8 p.m., and during Family Sunday Funday, April 12, at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.

The festival kicks off Wednesday, April 8, with the opening of Avenue Q ( at the University Theatre. The award-winning musical comedy is best described as an adult version of Sesame Street, where grownups and puppets meet the harsh realities of life in songs such as “What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?” Sac State’s production runs through April 19 and features puppets created by the director, Art Grueneberger; it is for mature audiences.

That day also includes panel presentations at The WELL and the Library Gallery annex, as well as a presentation about the recent visit to Sac State by a group of Buddhist monks.

U-Create! is an exciting new feature this year – an evening street faire in downtown Sacramento on Seventh Street between S Street and Rice Alley. That portion of the street will be closed from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 9. Students and faculty will team up for exhibits, music, performances and interactive projects. Student projects also will be featured during that time at the Verge Center for the Arts, Axis Gallery, Beatnik Studios and Insight Coffee Roasters.

The official reception for the Festival of the Arts will be held 5-8 p.m. Friday, April 10, at the University Library Gallery. The event also celebrates the works on display by local artist Clay Vorhes and includes the BANDALOOP performance.

Also that day, “World War I in Art, Culture and Politics” will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Union Lobby Suite and include a poster presentation and reception to commemorate the centennial of the war.

And there’s the Faculty and Friends and Alumni Gala ( at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall – part of the New Millennium series of concerts.

Image Melisa Visaya Cervantes, left, Philip Flickinger and Christine Crooks-Nguyen, from Dancers Investigation Group, are part of this year’s “Dance Sampler.” (Tony Nguyen)

Saturday features Dance Sampler ( at 2 and 7 p.m. at Solano Hall Dancespace; Piano Series guest Agustin Anievas at the Music Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. (; and a 6 p.m. screening in the University Union, Hinde Auditorium, of A Long List of Things, a video memoir by John Sanborn about his 40th high school reunion that includes Sac State Dean of Undergraduate Studies Sheree Meyer and music by her husband, David Meyer.

The festival concludes April 12 with our popular Family Sunday Funday, a free day filled with activities and entertainment for the entire family running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. across half the campus.

BANDALOOP will perform again at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m.; an interactive musical parade will be held at 12:45; children and adults will be able to make their own clay creation with Muddy Hands; and Sac State’s Opera Theatre will present an encore performance of “The Cat That Walked by Himself,” a short operetta with music and dialogue based on a Rudyard Kipling tale.

There will be plenty of eats provided by food trucks from SactoMoFo and ample free parking in Parking Structure II. (

This is just a partial list of arts events taking place during the five-day festival. For a complete lineup with times and exact locations, or more information, visit the festival website or call (916) 278-7669. For media assistance, call the University’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. – Craig Koscho