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Leonore Overture

collects the music and arts criticism of Keith Powers

Some late-summer fun, mostly outdoors. Quarry Dance, Manchester Summer Chamber Music, Newburyport Chamber Music Festival

Quarry Dance, Dusan Tynek’s annual site-specific performance with his DTDT troupe.

Quarry Dance, Dusan Tynek’s annual site-specific performance with his DTDT troupe.

The arts usually happen in places of privilege: ornate theaters, fancy concert halls, venerable museums, lavish homes. 

But in summer at least, art flourishes in parks, in horse barns, and on the streets.

The annual Quarry Dance, a decade-long collaboration between Rockport’s Windhover Center for the Performing Arts and the intrepid New York–based Dušan Týnek Dance Theater, returns this month to its original location—Halibut Park state park.

The 8th version of Týnek site-specific performances begins Friday evening, with four dances through Sunday afternoon. The Quarry Dances are always free, and always weather dependent (check www.windover.org right up to the last minute), but the results are always magical as well. 

Týnek’s troupe comes to Windhover earlier each summer for intensive dance training. The choreographer also develops an new dance while in residence at the dance academy, usually incorporating movement from his previous repertory into inspirations he derives from the site and the history. 

Previous dances—at Valley Pit, Deep Pit, Little Parker’s Pit, Barker’s Quarry, and at Halibut Point,—have been one-of-a-kind events, drawing thousands of viewers.

Four performances of Quarry Dance VIII, with the Dušan Týnek Dance Theatre, take place July 26–28 at Halibut Park state park in Rockport. Free parking and shuttle from the Windhover lot (entrance at 257R Granite St., Rockport). Very limited parking (for a fee) at Halibut Point state park, which fills up fast on weekends. Performances are free, and weather dependent. Visit www.windhover.org or call 978 546-3611 for performance updates.

The Newburyport Chamber Music Festival opens its 18th season on Aug. 5, beginning two weeks of Hausmusik performances, main-stage concerts, open rehearsals, and artist discussions. Composer-in-residence Robert Bradshaw’s premiere, “A Day in the Life of Newburyport,” will come to life with open workshops and talk-backs, leading up to the festival-closing Aug. 18 performance. 

“A Day in the Life” is a collaboration with poets Rhina Espaillat and Alfred Nicol, who will recite works on the program, and with eight visual artists whose work will be on display. Other unusual performances on the NCMF summer schedule include Dutilleux’s quartet “Ainsi la nuit” (Aug. 14), a “Nachtmusik” program on Aug. 16 (some of the music will be played from memory in complete darkness), and Bartok’s fourth quartet (also on the season finale). Tickets ($10–$35) are available at (www.newburyportchambermusic.org) or by calling 978 701-4914.

The Manchester Summer Chamber Music series continues to thrive in its eleventh season, with two house concerts featuring pianist Ryo Yanagitani, and three programs in the refurbished Barn at Castle Hill. MSCM opens Aug. 8 and runs through the 24th. 

Directors Sage Cole and Lorna Tsai bring back numerous MSCM regulars, including cellists Estelle Choi, Jacques Lee Wood and Verena Sennekamp; violinists Emilie-Anne Gendron and Jesse Irons; and violist Sophie Heaton. Contralto Emily Marvosh returns as well to solo on Aug. 17, singing contemporary works by Caroline Shaw and Howard Frazin, and a Handel aria, “Ombra mai fu.”

The concert format remains the same: selected movements from important works, usually brought to life by the musicians with anecdotes before the performance. Tickets ($25–$35, under 12 free) are available at www.manchestersummerchambermusic.org or by calling 978 704-1041.


Keith Powers covers music and the arts for GateHouse Media and WBUR’s ARTery. Follow @PowersKeith; email to keithmichaelpowers@gmail.com.

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SoWa artists exhibit in Endicott College's Heftler Gallery.