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May 18
1978 - Concert scene for "KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park" filmed at Magic Mountain [story]
KISS


Fifth graders from Castaic Elementary School, Live Oak Elementary, Germain Charter Academy, Plum Canyon Elementary, and Dr. J. Michael McGrath Elementary are attending the Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival at the Music Center/Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County.

More than 18,000 fifth grade students from throughout Los Angeles County will immerse themselves in the performing arts at the 47th Annual Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival (February 28, March 1 and March 2), culminating each day in a synchronized dance on The Music Center Plaza. Upon arrival, students will attend a free performance by Ailey II, the celebrated second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in The Music Center’s iconic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Following the performance and an alfresco rehearsal on the Plaza, students will perform a dance inspired by the Rocka My Soul finale section of Alvin Ailey masterpiece Revelations. For many children, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival marks their first opportunity to experience a live performing arts event.

As California’s longest continuing free arts education initiative, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival is presented by The Blue Ribbon, the premier women’s support organization of The Music Center. Founded by Dorothy Chandler in 1968, The Blue Ribbon is committed to giving students access to the best of the performing arts from a young age. Since its inception in 1970, The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival has introduced more than 845,000 young L.A. students to the power and inspiration of the performing arts. More than 125 Blue Ribbon members volunteer over the three-day period to keep the Festival running smoothly.

“We are proud to bring the experience of Ailey II to so many Los Angeles students this year,” said Blue Ribbon President Jill Baldauf. “Alvin Ailey was an American cultural pioneer and dance genius with an absolute passion to bring the vibrancy of modern dance to as many people as possible. The Blue Ribbon shares that passion, and we are delighted to share this experience with the children of Los Angeles. It’s our hope that these children will be inspired to return to The Music Center with their families to experience the myriad of performing arts opportunities offered here.”

Countywide, fifth-grade classes from 252 participating schools receive advance standards-based curriculum materials, background on the guest artists and classroom activities designed to prepare students for the performance they will be viewing. Inspired by Revelations, The Music Center’s Tara Cook Davis and Susan Cambigue-Tracey created choreography just for the students and distributed it to the teachers for advance instruction. Students also learn about audience etiquette, what to watch for during the performance, dance history and terminology.

“The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival is a shining example of The Music Center’s long-standing arts education programs and a testament to how the arts can inspire and transform the lives of young people,” said President and CEO of The Music Center Rachel Moore. “We are excited to give Angelenos the opportunity to experience Revelations for themselves when Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion this March.”

This year, students explored the evolution of the spiritual, including its earliest roots in slavery and its inspiration of various art forms–Jazz, Blues, modern rock, classical, the American musical and dance. Alvin Ailey grew up in the rural American South, and the musical influences of his early life there shaped many of his most memorable works, including the acclaimed Revelations that debuted in 1960 and is now a signature piece in the Ailey repertory.

Founded in 1974 by the late internationally renowned choreographer Alvin Ailey, Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Ailey was a pioneer of programs promoting arts in education, particularly those that benefited underserved communities. Throughout his lifetime, he was awarded numerous distinctions, including the Kennedy Center Honor in 1988 and, posthumously, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.

Following their performance, each student receives a keepsake book, A Journey through The Music Center, made possible by a generous gift from Blue Ribbon member, Maxine Dunitz. Describing The Music Center’s four theaters and various aspects of live performance, the book is updated and reprinted annually for distribution at The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival.

Over the years, students attending the Festival have seen performances by the LA Phil, the LA Opera, American Ballet Theatre, The Joffrey Ballet and Diavolo Dance Theater, among others. At the 2015 Festival, participating students set the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the Largest ribbon dance for the greatest number of people simultaneously performing the same choreographed dance using handheld sticks with attached ribbons at a single venue.

About The Blue Ribbon
A champion of the performing arts, The Blue Ribbon is the premier women’s support organization of The Music Center. Created in 1968 by Dorothy Buffum Chandler to raise funds for The Music Center, its education programs and its resident companies, The Blue Ribbon has contributed more than $74 million as part of its commitment to uphold artistic excellence in programming on The Music Center’s stages and arts education for youth. For more information, visit musiccenter.org/blueribbon and follow The Blue Ribbon on Facebook and Twitter (@BlueRibbonMCLA).

About The Music Center
As L.A.’s performing arts destination, The Music Center is home to the world’s greatest artistic programs and events. With four iconic theaters and four renowned resident companies – Center Theatre Group, the LA Master Chorale, the LA Opera and the LA Philharmonic – and recognized for its illustrious dance programming, Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, The Music Center is a destination where audiences find inspiration in the very best of live performance, as well as nationally recognized arts education and participatory arts experiences. The Music Center also programs and manages Grand Park, a 12-acre adjacent greenspace, with year-round free programming. For more information, visit musiccenter.org Follow The Music Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (@MusicCenterLA).

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