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Black Box and Dhrupad Days Lead Off Busy Cornish Festival Season

Summer is festival time in Seattle, and Cornish has a film festival, a music festival, a dance festival, and a theater festival happening on campus this summer. This month, the Indian classical music festival, Dhrupad Days,starts at PONCHO while experimental film festival Black Box 2.0 plays at Raisbeck and the Main Gallery.

​May blooms forth, the sun lingers on into the night, and in Seattle, it’s festival season. By the time summer ends, all sorts of arts and cultural “fests” will have take place across the city, including one of the largest film festivals in North America, Seattle International Film Festival; the Memorial Day Weekend's Northwest Folklife Festival; the month-long cultural celebration known as Seafair with individual neighborhood fairs and the city's beloved Torchlight Parade; and the never-mind-the-weather Bumbershoot that has grown to be one of the country's major live music festivals and nicely wraps up the summer with multi-day event over Labor Day weekend.

Several smaller festivals also take place on the Cornish campus this summer, including  the experimental film festival Black Box 2.0, the Indian classical music festival Dhrupad Days, the Seattle International Dance Festival, and  the Intiman Theatre Festival.

Cornish Presents ends its season with Dhrupad Days, the major event in America for this ancient musical practice created by Dhrupad Music Institute of America. Participants will assemble at Cornish’s PONCHO Concert Hall on Capitol Hill from all over the country and the world. An ancient style of Hindustani classical music, dhrupad began as devotional music that traces its origin to the ancient texts. This is the third year for the festival on the Cornish campus, and it attracts an international audience of participants.

Cornish Presents Pandit Uday Bhawalkar leads off Dhrupad Days on May 15 with a vocal concert at Kerry Hall in the PONCHO Concert Hall. The next day is a full one, with a Carnatic Violin concert by Shri Raman Iyer, a talk and demonstration of Indian Classical music and the American music tradition with Dr. Payton MacDonald, and finally, Sound In Unison - The Gundecha Brothers and Samvad performs at 7:30 p.m.

Black Box 2.0, an international art, film and technology festival that presents contemporary artists who expand the language of cinema, occurs in multiple locations throughout Seattle, including at Cornish. It includes screenings, exhibitions, events, installations in shipping containers, and an online program. Events on the Cornish campus take place Thursday through Sunday each week. Programming is focused on experimental film, video and new media art. Black Box 2.0 is running now through June 7, and is sponsored, in part, by Cornish's  Institute of Emergent Technology + Intermedia.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Seattle International Dance Festival is centered at Raisbeck Hall on Cornish’s main campus. More than 200 international artists take over the neighborhood. There's workshops and performances, including appearances by many Cornish alumni. This year's festival celebrates Khamabtta Dance's 25th anniversary season. For the closing weekend, the evening dance performances move to the historic Moore Theatre in downtown Seattle. SIDF runs from June 12 to 27. 

Intiman Theatre Festival takes over the Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center on August 8, running in both Playhouse venues through October 3. Three plays will be presented, John Baxter is a Switch Hitter and The Children’s Hour on the main stage and Bootycandy in the Alhadeff Studio. As always, a number of Cornish's theater faculty and alumni are involved in the festival...and Cornish has a tradition of supplying interns to the festival as well.