Highlights: With Recitals, Siblings Aim to Make the Upper Valley Dance

  • Emmanuel Borowsky and Elizabeth Borowsky, a Lebanon resident, perform during a March 2017 concert as part of the Vaughn Recital Series at Dartmouth College's Faulkner Recital Hall in Hanover, N.H. (Courtesy photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

While Lebanon pianist Elizabeth Borowsky and her violinist brother Emmanuel Borowsky mostly invoke and channel the music of standard-bearers such as Bach, Chopin, Liszt and Debussy, the siblings do not live by classical alone.

Take their three Upper Valley recitals on the theme of “Dance Off!” this weekend. By press time on Wednesday, they were planning to weave a set of Celtic jigs and reels, folk dances from China and Colombia and a flourish of Yiddish and Israeli klezmer rhythms into the tapestry of their classical repertoire.

And they probably won’t stop there.

“I have a feeling that when Emmanuel gets here and we’re practicing and rehearsing, it’ll be more clear what else we might do,” Elizabeth Borowsky said on Tuesday from the studio where she teaches 22 Upper Valley students and practices for her own concert tours around the world. “I’m in as much suspense as the rest of you.”

The siblings started planning the recitals in late September, after Elizabeth finished a mini-tour in and around their native Baltimore with Classicopia pianist and former Dartmouth music teacher Dan Weiser.

“While we were driving around to the shows I kept telling Emmanuel, ‘I miss you. You should come up (to Lebanon) to visit and we should do something fun together,’ ” Elizabeth recalled. “We came up with the common thread of dance, and brainstormed a list on the way to the airport.”

The siblings also were looking from a change of pace from a recent tour of Lithuania, where they and their mother, cellist Cecylia Barczyk, visited Jewish communities, led master classes at schools and joined a performance of the world premiere of composer Giedrius Kuprevičius’ Under the Star of David, marking the 75th anniversary of Nazis’ liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in the capital city of Vilnius.

“The experiences were beautiful,” Elizabeth said. “The people we met were beautiful. The big concert we were brought in for was broadcast around the country. It was all happening over Rosh Hashanah, and there was a point, during rehearsals, when I found myself thinking, ‘If this were my family in the same circumstances, how would I want people in the future to remember me, to commemorate me?’ This piece ... it gave me goosebumps every time.”

During this weekend’s concerts at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, at the First Congregational Church of Lebanon and at a private house in Hanover, the Borowskys are counting on the music they’re planning to give people the urge to dance.

“As a musician, you can go through so many different emotions from project to project and performance to performance,” Elizabeth said. “And for the performer and the listener, music is a mind-altering experience. This one is pure fun for us, and we hope the audience has fun, too.”

Violinist Emmanuel Borowsky and Lebanon pianist Elizabeth Borowsky play a free recital on Friday afternoon at 2, in the atrium of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon. Subsequent performances are scheduled for Saturday night at 7:30 at the First Congregational Church in Lebanon (admission $5 to $15) and for 2 on Sunday afternoon at a private home in Hanover (admission $10 to $20). To reserve tickets for Sunday’s house concert, where seating is limited, and for directions to the venue, email borowskymusic@gmail.com or call 603-727-9015.

Best Bets

The Climbing PoeTree duo of social activists Alixa Garcia and Naima Penniman visit The Engine Room in White River Junction on Saturday night at 7, to perform their mix of poetry, hip hop and multimedia theater. Their website describes their work as sharing “stories of love and liberation, state and personal violence, social, environmental, racial, and sexual justice, woman’s empowerment, and human transcendence.” Admission costs $30, with proceeds benefiting the black-theater programs of Jarvis Green’s JAG Productions, the Vermont Law School’s Environmental Justice Law Society and the mentoring services of the Vermont-based Living Proof.

■The Parish Players kick off a series of staged readings of works of Upper Valley playwrights on Saturday night at 7:30, with a performance of Hanover resident and retired surgeon Kenneth Burchard’s play Proxy at the Eclipse Grange Theater on Thetford Hill. The play revolves around a young woman’s lifelong struggle to live normally after undergoing multiple abdominal surgeries since childhood. Acting as a sort of Greek chorus to Victoria’s journey, Baron Von Munchausen and Leo Tolstoy debate the degree of control people have over the arc of their lives. Admission is free.

■Jim Yeager leads his funk/soul ensemble Fu’Chunk into Tunbridge Town Hall on Saturday night at 7:30 to play for the monthly Shindigs dance party. To learn more, visit shindigsvt.org.

■Randolph native and soul/pop diva Myra Flynn returns to the Upper Valley on Saturday night at 8, performing at the Main Street Museum in White River Junction after the 6 p.m. reception for Vermont photographer Jack Rowell’s exhibition. Admission is $20.

■The husband-and-wife Americana duo of Teresa Williams and Larry Campbell visit the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction on Saturday night at 8 to play the concert that was postponed in April by a family emergency. For tickets ($25 to $30), visit koncerts.net. To learn more about the performers, visit vnews.com/Americana-Duo-Brings-Own-Show-to-Briggs-16842797.

■West Lebanon resident William Ghezzi plays classical guitar compositions by S.L. Weiss, Manuel Ponce, Jimmy Wyble, Antonio Lauro and Antonio Ruiz-Pipo on Sunday afternoon at 4, at Dartmouth College’s Faulkner Recital Hall in Hanover. Admission is free. To learn more, visit williamghezzi.com.

■Mamadou Diabate and Percussion Mania perform West African rhythms on Wednesday night at 7, at Dartmouth College’s Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover. For tickets ($10 to $25) and more information, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

Looking Ahead

Roots singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier will perform at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction next Thursday night at 7:30. For tickets ($25 to $30) and more information, visit marygauthier.com/tour.

Theater/Performance Art

Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center is holding a series of public conversations about the modern relevance of Shakespeare’s works, starting this afternoon at 5 at the Top of the Hop. Canadian theater director-producer Keira Loughran and Dartmouth English professor Tom Luxon discuss “Female Power in Shakespeare, from Taming of the Shrew to Coriolanus.” The cast of Loughran’s Stratford (Ont.) Festival production of Coriolanus will perform the tragedy at Moore Theater between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2.

Also at the Top of the Hop over the coming week, Loughran and theater professor Monica Ndounou discuss “Bumps on the Road: Color-Blind vs. Color-Conscious Casting” on Friday evening at 5. And on Monday night at 7, Coriolanus cast members Andre Sills and Alexis Gordon tackle the subject of “Identity, Representation and Casting in Contemporary Theater.”

To learn more about this week’s and subsequent discussions, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

■Boston-based stand-up artist Tyler Morrow headlines Thursday night’s Comedy Club gathering at The Engine Room in downtown White River Junction. Doors open at 7 for the monthly showcase of rising comedians, which starts at 8. Admission is $5 to $10.

■The Newport Opera House stages three performances of the Larry Shue farce The Foreigner over the weekend, starting Friday night at 7:30. To reserve tickets ($10 to $15) and learn more, visit newportoperahouse.com or call 603-863-2412.


London-born singer-songwriter Rupert Wates plays the Sunapee Community CoffeeHouse on Friday night at 7, in the basement of the Methodist Church in Sunapee Harbor. Admission is by donation.

■The Rural Roots Revival duo of father and daughter Shawn and Maizey Mercer perform on Friday night at 7:30, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley in Norwich. Admission is by donation.

■Tuba maestro Joseph Daley and pianist Kris Davis join Dartmouth College’s Barbary Coast Jazz Ensemble at Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover on Friday night at 8. For tickets ($10 to $12) and more information, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

■The Chad Hollister Band rocks the Pierce’s Inn in Etna on Friday night. Tickets cost $45 for the performance itself, which starts at 8, and $65 for attending the pre-concert dinner buffet that starts at 6:30. To reserve seats and learn more, visit piercesinn.com.

■The Swing Peepers duo of Matthew Witten and John Hadden sing, play a bunch of different instruments and tell stories aimed at kids and families on Saturday morning at 10, in the Hayloft at the ArtisTree Community Arts Center in South Pomfret. Admission is by donation.

■Vocalist Christine Porter joins the East Bay Jazz Ensemble at two Upper Valley venues on Saturday, to lead free singalongs to favorite music from kids’ movies and TV shows. The concerts are scheduled for 11 a.m. at Dartmouth College’s Alumni Hall in Hanover, and for 3 p.m. at the CSB Community Center in Claremont.

■The Rough & Tumble duo of Mallory Graham and Scott Tyler plays roots music at two Upper Valley venues over the coming week. On Saturday night at 7:30, they perform at Court Street Arts’ Alumni Hall in Haverhill; for tickets ($20) and more information, visit courtstreetarts.org or call 603-989-5500. The performers also appear at Windsor Station on Tuesday night at 6.

■Singer-guitarist Willy Porter plays two shows at the Flying Goose Brew Pub and Grille in New London next week, at 8 on Wednesday night and next Thursday night. To reserve tickets ($25), visit flyinggoose.com or call 603-526-6899.


Northeast Kingdom director Bess O’Brien screens her documentary, Coming Home, at the First Congregational Church of Norwich on Friday night at 7 and at Bethany Church in Randolph on Sunday night at 7. While admission is free, donations are welcome. To learn more about the movie, which follows five former prison inmates adjusting to life back in their Vermont communities, visit imdb.com or kingdomcounty.org.

■The Roger Clark Memorial Library in Pittsfield, Vt., hosts a free screening of the documentary Dancing with the Cannibal Giant: Five New Stories for the Great Transition, Thursday night at 7. To learn more about the movie, visit dancingwiththecannibalgiant.com.

■The Hopkins Center screens short films from the 20th annual tour of the Animation Show of Shows on Saturday night at 7, at Loew Auditorium in Hanover. For tickets ($10) and more information, visit hop.dartmouth.edu or call 603-646-2422.

Bar and Club Circuit

Still Hill pulls into Windsor Station to play bluegrass Thursday night at 7, and the venue hosts its Day of the Dead costume party at 10 on Friday night. The Equalities play roots, rock and reggae there on Saturday night at 9:30.

■Bassist Peter Concilio, saxophonist-pianist Fred Haas, guitarist Billy Rosen and drummer Tim Gilmore play jazz at the Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners on Friday night starting at 8.

■Singer-songwriter Amanda McCarthy plays the Salt hill Pub in downtown Lebanon on Friday night at 9, and the Conniption Fits rock the house on Saturday night at 9.

■Singer-songwriter Jim Hollis plays the Salt hill Pub in Hanover on Friday night at 9, followed at the same hour on Saturday by rocker Joe Mitchell.

■Rocker Chris Powers plays the Salt hill Pub in West Lebanon on Friday night at 9. Singer-songwriter Rich Thomas performs there on Saturday night at 9.

■Tirade rocks Newport’s Salt hill Pub on Friday night at 9, and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Zac Eddington appears on Saturday night at 9.

■Pianist Sonny Saul plays jazz at the On the River Inn in Woodstock on Saturday and Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 9.

■Saxophonist Michael Parker leads his jazz trio into Carpenter & Main in Norwich on Tuesday night at 6, and performs with guitarist Norm Wolfe at the Quechee Inn at Marshland Farm on Wednesday night at 6.

Open Mics

String players of all ages and abilities are welcome at the weekly acoustic jam session at South Royalton’s BALE Commons on Friday night from 6:30 to 10.

■Joe Stallsmith leads his weekly hootenanny of Americana, folk and bluegrass on Monday night at 6 at Salt hill Pub in Hanover.

■Fiddler Jakob Breitbach leads a weekly acoustic jam session of bluegrass, Americana and old-timey music on Tuesday nights at 7 at The Filling Station Bar and Grill in White River Junction.

■Tom Masterson hosts the weekly open mic at Colatina Exit in Bradford, Vt., on Tuesday nights at 8.

■Woodstock musician Jim Yeager hosts an open mic on Wednesday night at 8 at the Skunk Hollow Tavern in Hartland Four Corners.

David Corriveau can be reached at dcorriveau@vnews.comand at 603-727-3304. Entertainment-related news and announcements also can be sent to highlights@vnews.com.