Shape Shifters, South African Sounds and a Sitar on TITAS' 2011-2012 Schedule

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Gotta be honest, Bobsky over on Unfair Park and I (the newest blog editor on the block) have been Indian leg wrestling for some prime pieces of art and culture blog real estate, but today, well we've decided to divide and conquer some big announcements. Big announcements like the release of the Brinker International Forum and TITAS 2011-2012 Seasons, for which season subscriptions will be available May 25.

You can find Robert's take on Brinker right here. I have to say that it includes a Modern Family cast member appearance and I'd be lying if I said I didn't squeal my love for Ty Burrell to the room when I found out. 

Meantime, we got the goods on TITAS.

The venerable organization is kicking off the season with the ATTPAC with a man of Broadway and screens large and small, Brian Stokes Mitchell. Young movie-goers may know him from the new release Jumping the Broom, but the New York Times has already called him "The Last Leading Man."

The season continues with a schedule, as expected, half devoted to dance -- Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Pilobolus, American Ballet Theatre, Command Performance, DanceBrazil, and Diavolo will all be making an appearance. To be fair, Diavolo and Pilobolus include a fair amount of dramatic and gymnastic mind-boggle with their choreography.

In terms of dance, it's an impressive bill, though Dallas has certainly seen it's fair share of Pilobolus and Command Performance. No complaints, since they turn-out (pun intended) one helluva performance each and every.

DanceBrazil's mix of dance and capoeira is enthralling with the athleticism bridging boundaries right into a martial arts audience. ABT is always a hot ticket; die-hard ballet fans have principal Ethan Steifel's photo in their Trapper Keeper...or so we've heard. Who the principal dancers are for this performance is unclear, updates to come.

Continuing the trend Stokes Mitchell begins September 1, TITAS also has plenty of musical entertainment on the books with Los Lobos, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Anoushka Shankar (daughter of Ravi and sister of Dallas darling Norah Jones, for the unfamiliar) and jazz bird Madeleine Peyroux.

Los Lobos is a clear win in the Lone Star State, with their patented blend of Texas blues and Mexican folk. Hoping for a duet with Jones and Shankar? They've done it before, and there are Booker T. Washington students to inspire, people. But again, we'll just have to see. Keep it here for the latest.

The full schedule -- with dates -- as we received in the press release, is after the jump.

TITAS in Association with the AT&T Performing Arts Center 2011-2012 Series:

Brian Stokes Mitchell Winspear Opera House 8 p.m. September 1, 2011

Dubbed "The Last Leading Man" by the New York Times, Brian Stokes Mitchell has enjoyed a rich and varied career on Broadway, television and film, along with appearances in the great American concert halls. His musical versatility has kept him in demand by some of the country's finest conductors and orchestras. In 2006, he released his self-titled album as the inaugural artist on the newly-formed Playbill Records label. In addition to singing, Stokes produced the album and also wrote many of the arrangements and orchestrations. He continues to perform as both a soloist and a guest star at concerts throughout the United States. In May, he appeared in the film Jumping The Broom playing opposite Angela Bassett.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Winspear Opera House 8 p.m. September 10, 2011

This uniquely structured and multi-faceted organization, founded in 1990 by longtime Aspen resident Bebe Schweppe, is one of the largest, nationally recognized dance presenters in the country and presents the best in dance in Aspen and Santa Fe. Led by directors Tom Mossbrucker and Jean-Philippe Malaty, and heading into its second decade of activity, ASFB is a leader in the dance world in terms of repertoire and acquiring and commissioning work from top choreographers. Audiences locally, nationally, and internationally have embraced this thriving company on stages such as The Joyce Theater in New York City, the famed Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, The Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, The Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago, and in foreign venues including Canada, France, Italy, Greece and Guatemala. With its highly unique repertoire, ASFB is a kind of a gathering place for the finest dancers and choreographers in the world.

Los Lobos Winspear Opera House 8 p.m. September 13, 2011

After 34 years of making music, three-time Grammy winner Los Lobos continues to churn out inventive and inspiring music. Los Lobos was formed in 1974 by David Hidalgo, Conrad Lozano, Louie Prez and Cesar Rosas, four friends from Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. Though they started out as a rock 'n' roll band, they soon chose a more traditional Mexican acoustic style. In time, the band adopted music from Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B and blues, as well as the traditional Mexican songs from their roots. The band has won Grammys for its 1988 Spanish-language album, and for its contribution to the film Desperado. They also released a children's album in 1995, and have collaborated with artists such as Dave Alvin, Ruben Blades, Elvis Costello, Little Willie G, Mavis Staples, Richard Thompson, Bobby Womack and Tom Waits. Los Lobos will be a great way to celebrate Deiz y Seis.

Pilobolus Winspear Opera House 8 p.m. November 19, 2011

For almost 40 years, Pilobolus has been internationally recognized for its athletic and inventive exploration of artistic collaboration. The company, which consists of Pilabolus Dance Theatre, The Pilobolus Institute and Pilobolus Creative Services, has received many awards including the Berlin Critic's Prize, the Brandeis Award, the Scotsman Award for performances at the Edinburgh Festival, the New England Theatre Conference Prize, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts Award for Excellence and a 1997 Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in cultural programming. In June 2000, Pilobolus received the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement in choreography, and in 2004 the company was the subject of a feature profile on CBS' 60 Minutes. They also lent their creativity and inventiveness to the 2007 television broadcast of the 79th Academy Awards.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo Winspear Opera House 8 p.m. January 15, 2012

The intricate rhythms and stirring harmonies of Ladysmith Black Mambazo's South African sound have captivated audiences for more than 40 years. Led by Joseph Shabalala, the group's discography currently includes more than 50 recordings. Borrowing heavily from a traditional music called "isicathamiya," which was developed in the mines of South Africa, the group's philosophy has always been as much about the preservation of musical heritage as it is about entertainment. The group has recorded with numerous artists from around the world, including Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Dolly Parton, Ben Harper and many more. They have been featured on several motion picture soundtracks including Coming to America, Invictus, and Cry The Beloved Country. In addition, they've performed for the Queen of England, South African President Nelson Mandela, at two Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies, and at the 1996 summer Olympics. American Ballet Theatre Winspear Opera House 8 p.m. January 20-21, 2012

Founded in 1940, the American Ballet Theatre has become one of the greatest dance companies in the world. Few ballet companies equal the company's combination of size, scope and outreach. ABT annually tours the United States, performing for more than 600,000 people, and is the only major cultural institution to do so. It has also made more than 15 international tours to 42 countries, and has been sponsored by the State Department of the United States on many of these engagements. In keeping with the company's long-standing commitment to bringing the finest in dance to the widest international audience, ABT recently enjoyed triumphant engagements in Tokyo, London, Paris, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Palermo, Italy, and in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece. Under the direction of Kevin McKenzie, the company continues to be focused on bringing the magic of dancetheater to the great stages of the world.

Command Performance Winspear Opera House March 2, 2012 TITAS continues its tradition of presenting Command Performance, the definitive dance event of the season. Command Performance will take place in the Winspear Opera House. The world's greatest dance stars will come together for a spectacular evening of dance, with classic pas de deux alongside awe-inspiring contemporary works.

Anoushka Shankar Wyly Theatre 8 p.m. March 31 - April 1, 2012

Renowned sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar has made a name for herself on the world music scene, exploring fertile ground in the crossover between Indian music and a variety of genres including electronic, jazz, flamenco and Western classical music. The daughter of the legendary Ravi Shankar, Anoushka made her performance debut at age 13 in New Delhi. Since her first album Anoushka was released in 1998, she has been nominated for two Grammy Awards, was featured as one of 20 Asian heroes by the Asia edition of Time magazine, and has collaborated with several well-known artists including Lenny Kravitz, Norah Jones and Sting. In addition, she was the sitar soloist alongside the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for a series of concerts premiering her father's third concerto for sitar and orchestra in 2009.

DanceBrazil Wyly Theatre 8 p.m. April 13-14, 2012

Founded in 1977 by Jelon Vieira, DanceBrazil has thrilled audiences throughout the world with its exciting fusion of the Afro-Brazilian movement, contemporary dance and "capoeira," a traditional Brazilian dance and martial arts form. As founder and artistic director of The Capoeira Foundation and DanceBrazil, Vieira and the late Loremil Machado were the first artists to bring traditional Afro-Brazilian dance and capoeira to the United States more than 30 years ago. In 1977, the late choreographer Alvin Ailey suggested he change the name of the company from The Capoeiras of Bahia to DanceBrazil. Since that time, Vieira has guided the company through breathtaking performances of capoeira and Afro-Brazilian dance before audiences in Europe, Asia, Brazil, and the United States. In 2008, Vieira was honored with a National Heritage Fellowship for his work with the company.

Diavolo Wyly Theatre 8 p.m. May 4-5, 2012

Created in 1992 by Jacques Heim, Diavolo is a lively study in the way individuals act with their environment. Diavolo is known for constantly changing the image it presents to audiences, and has developed a vocabulary of movement that creates an unforgettable experience of powerful images. The young, 10-member company currently has more than a dozen works in repertoire. In 1993, it was nominated for two Lester Horton Awards in Los Angeles, and in 1995, the company made its European debut at the Edinburgh Festival where it was named "Best of the Fest" by the London Independent and "Critic's Choice" by The Guardian. The company also received three Lester Horton Awards in 1995 for the work Tete en L'Air. In 1997, artistic director Jacques Heim was recognized by the Los Angeles Times as one of "36 Faces to Watch."

Madeleine Peyroux Wyly Theatre 7 and 9 p.m., May 24, 2012

Jazz songstress Madeleine Peyroux's road to fame is as romantic as her sound. Having honed her vocal and guitar skills on the famously unique, acoustic streets of Europe, Peyroux's style was inspired by jazz legends such as Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong. She is perhaps best known to her fans for intimately arranging covers of early American blues and jazz music. Some of her most notable albums include 2005's Careless Love and 2009's Bare Bones. Peyroux has collaborated with heavy hitters such as Joe Henry, Steely Dan's Walter Becker and the Rolling Stones' Bill Wyman, and went on tour last year with Diana Krall and Melody Gardot in Australia. Her new album will be released this year.

Tickets for TITAS performances range from $12 to $200.Tickets can be purchased online at www.attpac.org by phone at 214.880.0202, or in person at the AT&T Performing Arts Center Box Office at the Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora Street (Monday through Saturday, 10 am - 6 pm; Sunday 11 am - 4 pm), or at the remote Box Office at Park Place Lexus Plano at 1025 Preston Road.

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