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Complex, Sexy and Irreverently Imaginative 

This Friday, Tangram will be preforming at WAC. Tangram redraws the boundaries of dance, new circus and physical theatre. Created and performed by classically trained ballerina Cristiana Casadio and world-class circus artist Stefan Sing, this compelling production from Berlin encapsulates the struggles of human relationships in a performance that is both beautiful and breathtaking. Whether she’s hanging from her partner’s fingertips like a marionette, or he’s shielding himself from juggling balls landing on him like missiles, the pair embodies both passion and fury. Imaginative, sensuous and cutting-edge, Tangram questions what it is like to surrender to love and asks us, who is in control?

As part of our 10x10 Arts Series, which seeks to educate and inspire theatergoers to explore new art-forms, we asked both Christiana and Stefan to answer 10 questions that will give us some insight into their artistry. 

1) What are your favorite songs to jam to?

Stefan: everything which is minimal… when classical instruments, they have to be solo instruments… music which is present, but without giving too much information... John Cage, minimal electronic music.

Cristiana: classical music, especially string music... electronic music but less minimal than Stefan’s taste.

Both together: there is nothing better than live music. 

2) What makes an interdisciplinary approach to art so powerful?

The intersection between two disciplines can be powerful because it's something unexpected and rarely seen. I do not think that an interdisciplinary approach is powerful in and of itself.  Anything that is done well is powerful.

3) How does the title Tangram speak to the performance?

TANGRAM is an old Chinese intersection puzzle with seven different flat shapes. Using a small number of pieces you can illustrate almost everything you want. It' s a metaphor for our work: there are only two bodies and one object (the ball), but you can connect them in an infinite number of ways. Also the game is very minimalistic. This was also an important thought for our piece. We use only balls for our scenography, and we put them in different shapes to create new "stages sets."

4) Out of the following, which would you like to be and why?

  •       Clock
  •       Hummingbird
  •       Pair of shoes
  •       Sea turtle 

Stefan: Perhaps a sea turtle because I love to sleep and just chill and be slow.

Cristiana: I would like to be a clock, because the clock is always in the present (which is one of the most difficult things).

5) What do you find most exciting about exploring attraction, love, power and control using just your body?

Perhaps the control - because it requests a more subtle way of research. 

6) What is the best advice that you have been given?

Stefan: Do not comment on things happening on stage with your facial expression. First of all, the actions should speak for themselves and second of all, leave space for interpretation for every single person in the audience.

Cristiana: Speak less and do more.

7) Are there moments in your performance that reflect your experiences as a married couple?

Yes and no. On stage everything is exaggerated… we would never be so bad and mean to each other.  But in a small way, it is possible to see our relationship (and hopefully others can see their relationship dynamics too).

8) How does your work connect to the larger world?

Good question for which I do not really have an answer.  It is possible that some people in the audience can see in our stuff aspects of their own life and perhaps it can give an impulse to live a better life. But in general, it doesn't connect concretely to the larger world - we are in the "artist bubble." Any connection to the larger world would be made by the audience.

 9) Who do you define as a visionary?

People who have the courage to do things on stage without thinking about the response of the audience. It's not about provocation just for the sake of provocation, but it's about feeling the need to express something. To be specific: Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, John Cage and Merce Cunningham. 

10) If you could incorporate another art form into your show, which would it be, and why?

Narrative Theatre - speaking on stage. But actually there is no other art form I really would like to incorporate. Stefan (the juggler) would like to be a better dancer. Cristiana would like to incorporate performing music on stage and be able to produce the music on her own.




It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's a crane!

Earlier this summer, we had to close the main Walton Arts Center building after our engineers identified structural issues on the roof of Baum Walker Hall. These engineers were planning for the upcoming expansion and renovation of our facilities when they discovered the issues.


The expansion of Walton Arts Center was set in place to maintain a quality facility that met the needs of larger touring productions. To do so, we needed to install steel trusses that would meet the requirements for greater rigging capabilities.


The Box Office had to move to a temporary location in Nadine Baum Studios due to the construction, and our staff was relocated to offices around the area. We are very happy that the Box Office will be moving back to their home offices tomorrow, and the expansion and renovation of Walton Arts Center will be completed before we kick off of our 2014-15 Season on September 28.




The Art of Finding Your Perfect Wine

Have you ever imagined yourself a wine connoisseur? Do you want to know your way around a wine cellar, sipping the finest wines and picking out their unique scents and flavors? Lucky for our wine-lovers, there’s no need to book an expensive trip to Napa Valley, but it does take a bit more than opening up a different bottle each night and sampling the fare. This is where the four S’s come in. See, swirl, smell and sip your way to identifying the perfect wine for you. All photos courtesy of Ironside Photography.

Step 1 – Seeing

Pour your wine into a clear glass and observe its color. The lighter a red wine is, the longer it has aged. A darker white wine signifies a more aged wine.

Step 2 – Swirling

Swirl the contents of the wine around your glass. This allows the aromas of the wine to be identified.

Step 3 – Smelling

In red wines, you might find a berry or fruity scent – strawberry, raspberry, even blackberry and plum. You also might smell an earthier scent, like chocolate or smoke. A white wine may have a more citrusy scent. You’ll might get hints of lemon, lime or tropical fruits. Other white wines might have a vanilla scent.

Step 4 – Sipping

When taking a sip, what you taste is influenced by what you smell. The combination of smell and taste allows you to decide which flavors you prefer. Identifying these flavors will help determine if you like sweet, citrusy or earthy wines.

Now that you know the four steps in determining the type of wine you prefer, the next natural step is to taste a lot of wine! Luckily, this weekend holds the 14th Annual Art of Wine Festival. Tickets are still available for the Premier Tasting on Saturday, June 14 where, for the price of an elite bottle, you can sample many of the finest wines in the world – some of which are not available except at prestigious wine festivals like this one. Guests will also enjoy delectable heavy hors d'oeuvres prepared by Northwest Arkansas' best chefs. The festival also includes a silent auction where you could win amazing prizes such as:

  • An LPGA tournament experience, including VIP passes and tickets to Dierks Bentley
  • A beach vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama
  • Football tickets to the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium, seated in the Tyson Foods box
  • A beautiful pearl necklace and earrings from Underwood's Fine Jewelers
  • Tickets to the Arkansas vs. LSU game on Saturday, Nov. 15
  • Original works of art
  • Local gift baskets

For tickets and more information, visit Grab your friends, enjoy the tasting experience and discover your new favorite wine!



Walmart AMP Grand Opening!

We’ve watched construction from I-49, kept up with news reports documenting the progress, marked our calendars each time a new concert has been announced and waited for the big day. That day has finally arrived as Saturday, June 7 marks the grand opening of the Walmart AMP! With an impressive line-up of inaugural shows and the largest outdoor amphitheater in the region, the Walmart AMP is guaranteed to be your destination for the best live music in all of Northwest Arkansas.

Though we have a brand new amphitheater, this year marks the Arkansas Music Pavilion’s tenth season. From the parking lot of the Northwest Arkansas Mall to the Washington County Fairgrounds, the AMP has been Northwest Arkansas’ home to a variety of incredible music experiences, including The Black Crowes, Alabama Shakes, Vampire Weekend, Luke Bryan and many more. The AMP was purchased by Walton Arts Center in February 2011 and has since experienced tremendous growth and exciting developments.

The new amphitheater – at its permanent location: 5079 W. Northgate Rd. in Rogers, AR – will have strong technical capabilities, improved access, great sightlines, air-conditioned restrooms and the largest stage house in the state. The 2014 season of the Walmart AMP will carry on its tradition of headlining concerts from the best of every genre with another outstanding roster of nationally touring shows, holding true to its reputation as one of the top 100 amphitheaters in the nation.

On Wednesday, June 4, the Walmart AMP held a preview event for sponsors and supporters, including a tour of the facility and a presentation of all the new amphitheater has to offer. Check out the photos below – courtesy of Hitt Photography – for a look at the completed Walmart AMP, and get your boots shined and ready for Saturday’s grand opening concert with Blake Shelton and special guest Hunter Hayes!

Peter Lane, President & CEO Walton Arts Center speaks to sponsors during the Sneak Peek preview event.

Jenni Taylor Swain, VP Programs Walton Arts Center with Founding Benefactor, Johnelle Hunt

The Walmart AMP grand opening concert will be one to remember with Blake Shelton. Shelton earned superstar status with a slew of No. 1 singles, including “Home,” “She Wouldn’t Be Gone,” and “Who Are You When I’m Not Looking.” Many know Shelton as the breakout star of NBC’s “The Voice,” a show that gave this Oklahoman the spotlight his fans knew he deserved all along. With special guest Hunter Hayes, this concert will kick off an amazing season at the Walmart AMP. Gates open at 6:00pm and music will begin at 7:30pm.

In addition to Shelton, the outstanding lineup of inaugural shows includes Willie Nelson and Alison Krauss & Union Station, Miranda Lambert, Steely Dan, Pepe Aguilar, Cheech & Chong, Foreigner and Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

We couldn’t be more excited for the grand opening of the Walmart AMP, and we hope you’ll join us in celebrating this wonderful expansion for the arts of Northwest Arkansas. For tickets and more information on how you can become an AMP Insider and an AMP Rocker visit or call 479-443-5600. Every summer needs a soundtrack; let the Walmart AMP be yours. 


5th Annual Artosphere

The 5th Annual Artosphere Festival has kicked off all across the NWA region, offering a spectacular selection of events to connect the community through arts and nature. The mission of Artosphere is to celebrate artists, influenced by nature, who inspire us to live more sustainable lives. Spanning the months of May and June, the festival is packed with kids and family events, movement, visual arts and music performed all over the region. Below are photos from the Artosphere Celebration and Chapel Concert (courtesy of Beth Hall Photography), as well as a look at upcoming events.

On Friday, May 16, the Artosphere Celebration was held in the Tyson Plaza of the Walton Arts Center and featured live music by the Arkansas-based band Cletus Got Shot. 

The event allowed community members to observe the visual art of the Translating Earth, Transforming Sea exhibition by Shawn Bitters, Joan Hall, and Laura Moriarty. The exhibition is on display in the Joy Pratt Markham Gallery from May 1 – June 21.

Children interacted with the urban art installation Under the Stars by renowned street artist Maser.

Guests were encouraged to take home free mulch from Patrick Dougherty’s Out of the Woodwork installation, as part of the 2012 Artosphere Festival.

On Tuesday, May 20, guests of the Thorncrown Chapel of Eureka Springs were serenaded by the enchanting voice of Shannon Wurst as part of the Chapel Music Series.

On Sunday, June 1, Artosphere’s signature event, the Trail Mix Concert Tour is back! Celebrating all that our wonderfully unique region has to offer, Walton Arts Center invites you to wander the trails of Bentonville and Fayetteville while enjoying performances from a talented array of artists. This year's Trail Mix artists include the Artosphere Festival Orchestra Ensembles, Carter Sampson, Candy Lee & the Sweets, Street Drum Corps, Martha Redbone Trio, Smokey & the Mirror and Cry You One. In Fayetteville, the Street Drum Corps will be performing on Maser’s art installation, Under the Stars, at Nadine Baum Studios. All Trail Mix photos courtesy of Ironside Photography.

Starting along the beautifully sculpted Art Trail near Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville (1-3pm) and continuing along the Frisco Trail in downtown Fayetteville (5-7pm), Trail Mix combines music, hiking and biking for a one-of-a-kind, free outdoor experience. With no tickets or registration required, this unforgettable event is free and open to the public.

In collaboration with Artosphere and Trail Mix, Upstream Art will be leading a walking tour of the storm drain murals in the downtown area from 3-5pm, beginning at the Fayetteville Underground. 

If you’ve yet to attend an Artosphere event, pull out your calendar! There are still plenty of opportunities to take part in the Artosphere Festival with upcoming events including Compagnia TPO’s Bleu! On May 24 in Starr Theatre and Artosphere Festival Orchestra with Corrado Rovaris as Music Director Live From Crystal Bridges: Mozart In The Museum on May 28.

For a listing of all Artosphere events and more information, visit or call 479-443-5600.