Campus & Community

Swinging into Spring

2 min read

Arts First opens season with a bang

A particularly agile member of the Harvard Band, slide trombonist David Forrest, caps off a high-altitude performance with a little anti-gravity dance. (Staff photo by Rose Lincoln)
Emily Wilcox and Mark
Harvard Ballroom Dance team members (above) Emily Wilcox ’03 and Mark Shtilerman (post doc.) dance the samba. (Staff photo by Kris Snibbe)

This year’s Harvard Arts Medal honoree, the multi-talented Peter Sellars ’80 – director of theater, opera, and film – was a snug fit for the ninth annual Arts First festival. Much like Sellars, who received the award from President Neil L. Rudenstine, the four-day festival runs the gamut of artistic expression and style.

From a cappella jams to Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” the campus-wide celebration, which kicked off this past Thursday (May 3) and continued through Sunday (May 6), featured more than 200 performances, installations, and events. Such aesthetic diversity was strongly represented in and around the Yard at Saturday’s Performance Fair – a four-hour blitz of music, theatrics, and dance. At another Arts First fixture, Saturday’s parade and picnic, actor John Lithgow ’67 – grand marshal of the festivities – offered some welcoming remarks.

Managed by Harvard’s Office for the Arts, the festival included some 2,000 Harvard performers and artists – giving even the most finicky audiences a thing or two to gawk at.

Esther Bisker and Ben
Esther Bisker ’04 and Ben Dreyfus ’01 (at right) stretch out their arms in a big finish to one of the numbers performed by Harvard’s Jewish a cappella group Mizmor Shir. (Staff photo by Kris Snibbe)
Catching a glimpse of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is Winifred Marshall, a Cambridge resident. Marshall’s son graduated from Harvard three years ago. (Staff photo by Rose Lincoln)