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Culture notes: High film series complements Radcliffe Bailey exhibit; new leaders for Gwinnett Ballet

By Howard Pousner

Music is a major inspiration of Atlanta artist Radcliffe Bailey, whose exhibit “Memory as Medicine” recently opened at the High Museum of Art. So the High has organized a series of four music-themed films, titled “Radcliffe Bailey: One World Under the Groove,” selected in consultation with the artist. They will be shown on four consecutive Saturday nights starting this weekend:

  • 8 p.m. July 23: “Kinshasa Symphony,” following Central Africa’s only symphony orchestra as it prepares for a major open-air concert to mark the anniversary of the independence of the former Zaire (2010).
  • 8 p.m. July 30: “Space is the Place,” performance documentary-turned-narrative about Sun Ra, one of Bailey’s favorite musicians, as the cosmic jazz composer returns from space to rescue the black race (1974).
  • 8 p.m. Aug. 6: “Strange Fruit,” documentary exploring the back story of the protest song popularized by Billie Holiday (2002). Theophus “Thee” Smith, Emory University associate professor of religion, will lead a post-screening discussion.
  • 8 p.m. Aug. 13: “Return to Gorée,” Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour traces and plays the music made during the Atlantic passage of enslaved Africans (2006).

Film series

“Radcliffe Bailey: One World Under the Groove”

8 p.m. July 23, 30, Aug. 6, 13. Woodruff Arts Center’s Rich Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. Tickets ($7; $6 students, seniors): 404-733-5000, or visit the Woodruff Center box office.

New Gwinnett Ballet Theatre leaders

Gwinnett Ballet Theatre has announced Jaime Robtison as its new artistic director. Starting Aug. 1 along with Robtison, whose credits include long stints as artistic director of the Covington Regional Ballet Company in Newton County and as a teacher in the Atlanta Ballet’s school, will be Brandin Prettyman as Gwinnett Ballet’s school administrator. The new leaders will be at an open house, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 6 at GBT studios, 2204 Fountain Square, Snellville. 770-978-0188, HOWARD POUSNER

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