First Night Rockford 2001

First Night Rockford 2001


First Night Rockford is having a birthday! The Rockford Area Arts Council, in conjunction with primary sponsor, Rockford Health System, is pleased to present First Night Rockford 2001, celebrating its 10th year as the biggest family-friendly, alcohol-free event throughout the stateline area.

The entertainment for First Night includes Jellyeye, a Chicago-based troupe who will bring their unique blend of percussion and dance to the stage for two shows at 7 & 8 p.m. at the Rockford Theatre located at 317 Park Avenue. Praised for their intricate collage of dance and drumming, Jellyeye combines the two disciplines in an original form of “percussive movement” in which careful choreography and densely-arranged rhythms are presented with a combination of precision and abandon. Jellyeye’s signature work, the thunderous and complex blood Lotus, is an intricately structured drum dance performed on a unique set of custom-built rolling drums made from industrial PVC sewer pipe and 55-gallon oil cans.

Jellyeye has been highlighted at such prestigious Chicago venues as Steppenwolf Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, Skyline Stage at Navy Pier, and the New Athenaeum Theater. The Chicago Sun-Times says there is “…an urgent, primal energy throughout the work of the percussion ensemble Jellyeye. The Troupe, which boldly holds its own against the better-known Stomp and Blue Man Group, is one of Chicago’s “best-kept secrets.”

First Night Rockford 2001 begins at 6 p.m., with a Children’s Festival from 3 to 7 p.m. at Riverfront Museum Park and Burpee Museum. The Children’s Festival is free and is filled with music from: the Mendelssohn Children’s Chorus; Crescendo and Sonata

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Singers; Kouncil Koraliers; Allegretto String Quartet; and Barbour Steel Pan Band. The Baha’i Youth Workshop and FORTE Puppet Theater also will perform, along with much, much more.

Other family favorites at the celebration include: the Rockford Symphony Orchestra; Jim Post; Dorothy Paige-Turner; Joel Ross Quartet; and the spectacular Fire and Ice Show. In addition to Jellyeye, new stars and performers include the Paul Wertico Trio, the City of Rockford Pipe Band and The USO Show.

Admission buttons are $7. Children 5 and under are free. Buttons may be purchased at the following locations: Alpine Banks; AMCORE Banks; Associated Banks; Bank One Banks; Bob’s Ace Hardware; Borders Books; Eagle Foods (Rockford and Belvidere); FIRSTAR Banks; Hilander Foods (all locations); MetroCentre Box Office; National City Banks; New American Theater; Phones & More (Machesney Park Mall); Riverview Ice House; Rockford Area Arts Council; Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Rockford Art Museum Gift Shop.

For more information about Jellyeye or First Night Rockford 2001, contact the Rockford Area Arts Council at 963-6765.

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