Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cincinnati Artswave

We weren't allowed to take pictures of the performers, but this was the set for Porgy & Bess.

I don't know if other cities do something similar, but in Cincinnati (historically on the weekend closest to Valentine's Day), the former Fine Arts Fund, now Artswave, organizes hundreds of free fine arts events throughout the city. I always look forward to this and usually cram in as many cultural events as I can.

Yesterday, I attended a modified one-hour production of Cincinnati Opera's Porgy & Bess. I was actually somewhat amazed that I've never seen it before and was thrilled that I had this chance to sample it before they perform their full production this summer. The shortened version whet my appetite. I can only imagine how magnificent the opera would be with a full orchestra backing the singers rather than yesterday's lone piano.

Last year I participated in a drum circle and later watched Indian dancers perform a variety of traditional and Bollywood dances. I enjoyed that immensely. In previous years, I took my daughter to try her hand at pottery and we both did yoga. I've been to a backstage tour of Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park, a sampling a hula dances, piano concerts, string quartets, a mask-making class, and ballet performances. I don't know if I could choose my favorite. Luckily, I don't have to.

I feel privileged to live in a city where there are so many arts organizations. This sampler weekend is just the tip of the iceberg; there are other free events as well as paid performances every weekend of the year. I don't know whether other cities offer as many choices as Cincinnati does. I only know how much I enjoy it.

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