Former Celtic Woman singer/harpist Orla Fallon will open the 2011-12 Patten Performances series Sept. 27 at UTC.
The series was created more than three decades ago to bring quality renowned dance, performance and musical acts from around the world to town. It continues through April 3.
"Overall, I think it is a strong lineup," said series director Bob Boyer. "We are bringing professional performers from around the world, literally. Especially in the case of Orla Fallon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Our dance offerings continue to be the best available for a stage our size."
He said that while both Evidence and Diavolo are great dance companies, he believes fans will be especially impressed with the style and theatrical skills of the latter.
"They are extraordinary," he said.
Also scheduled to perform are Imago Theatre; Evidence, a Dance Company; Ladysmith Black Mambazo; Diavolo; The Acting Company in association with The Guthrie Theatre and Turtle Island Quartet.
* Imago Theatre will perform Oct. 14. It's their third appearance in the UTC Fine Arts Center. They will presenting Zoo Zoo, a playful menagerie of creatures, including comedic amphibians, acrobatic larvae and humans that change before your eyes.
* Evidence, a Dance Company led by Ron K. Brown, blends raw power and athletic strength with beauty and expression. Brown draws upon African, modern, ballet and social dance styles in creating the group's dance pieces. Nov. 15 is the performance date.
* Known throughout the world, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has been performing its unique blend of native South African rhythms and harmonies for more than 40 years. They will perform at UTC on Feb 16. In addition to earning three Grammy Awards, the group earned popular acclaim for their work with Paul Simon on his "Graceland" album.
* Diavolo will perform Feb. 28. One of America's top dance companies, their performance can only be described as gravity-defying, outrageous, surrealistic and awe-inspiring.
* The Acting Company in association with The Guthrie Theatre will, for the first time in series history, present Shakespeare's "Comedy of Errors." Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Rainn Wilson and David Ogden Stiers are all Acting Company veterans. The performance is set for March 4.
* The season will end on April 3 with the Turtle Island Quartet, a two-time Grammy-winning group known for pushing the boundaries. The quartet blends jazz, classical, world and popular music into their performances.
All performances take place in the UTC Fine Arts Center and begin at 7:30 p.m.
Series and individual tickets are available at the box office at the corner of Vine and Palmetto, by calling 425-4269 or ordering online at tickettracks.com.
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...