Nothing but talent

. June 5, 2012.

Calling Breakin’ Curfew a teen talent show is like calling the Oscars an awards show. Breakin’ Curfew is not a teen talent show; it is the teen talent show. BC’s lineup doesn’t consist of one high school’s amateur, immature acts, careening from deafening garage bands to slightly out-of-tune classical chamber ensembles, to poorly acted, goofy theatrical skits. Rather, BC’s bill is comprised of the finest teen talent, in a wide variety of genres, coming from all over Michigan. Nor is BC’s setting a dimly lit high school cafeteria, gym or auditorium with a primitive sound system. Instead, BC struts its stuff in the Power Center, one of Ann Arbor’s finest performance venues, featuring state-of-the-art lighting and sound technology.

Now in its eighth year, BC is a collaboration between the Neutral Zone, Ann Arbor’s teen center, and the University Musical Society, which, the rest of the year, presents world class music, dance and theater events. For its first few years, BC’s programs were put on by only Ann Arbor area teens. Last year they went farther afield, bringing in a few acts from Detroit schools. This year’s theme is Michigan Pride and, while Ann Arbor will be well represented, more than half the show will highlight acts from throughout the state.

And while your run-of-the-mill teen show is also often put on by peers, BC’s teen organizers, or curators, work side by side with seasoned professionals in every aspect of arts presentation – from scouting and auditioning the talent, to fundraising, promotion, marketing, ticket sales, and the technical aspects of the production. The twenty teens curating this year’s BC have been meeting since last September to shepherd the show to its successful completion.

Of course, a significant number of the more than 1200 people who yearly pack the Power Center for BC consist of friends and family of the more than one hundred performers. But the show’s predictably high quality also draws music, dance and poetry lovers who are not teens, and who share no familial or familiar bonds with anyone on stage.

This year’s lineup ranges from a solo poet, a solo tabla player, a string duo, a drum and marimba duo, a rap duo, and a brass quintet, all the way up to a couple of dance troupes, each with more than a dozen dancers, and a twenty member gospel choir.

It’s a completely professional production, the acts having received coaching during rehearsals for weeks and months before the event, and having spent the day before BC running a fully staged dress rehearsal, with sound and lighting checks run by the Power Center’s professional tech crew. There is even a pre-show V.I.P. party to help raise money for Breakin’ Curfew.

For details about this year’s BC, to be held on May 14 at 8pm, please visit www.neutral-zone.org/events/785/breakin-curfew-2010

Trending

Courtroom installation explores what is fair and equitable in the legal system

We human beings are a storytelling species. Our social institutions— religious, legal and cultural— are based on narratives that may be fanciful or fact-based or influenced by precedent. But they are also ever-evolving. Throughout the winter and spring of 2020, Courtney McClellan, this year’s Roman J. Witt Artist in Residence at the University of Michigan

Kickshaw Theatre presents Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs

Propelling their new season into uncharted waters For many couples, the mere prospect of parenthood is daunting enough without the weight of the world bearing down on our backs. Yet as we take our first tentative steps into 2020, Australia is in flames, the U.K. is split down the middle by Brexit, and the sound

Impulse Ann Arbor explores Michigan’s thriving techno scene

Thirty Years and Counting Jordan Stanton’s Impulse Ann Arbor documentary chronicles the techno music scene via MEMCO (Michigan Electronic Music Collective)— a university-affiliated group of student DJs, promoters, fans, and dancers. This DIY collective has roots that can be traced to 1980s Detroit. It’s a wonder to see how this music has evolved and thrived

Brother Elsey

Intimate and epic Americana to the Ark The three brothers of Brother Elsey are looking forward to the intimacy within The Ark. Brady, Beau, and Jack Stablein have been recording and performing a rousing blend of Americana and neo-country ballads for several years now, layering songs with evocative sheens of reverb, swelling harmonies, and road