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Beloved dance teacher to be remembered at Walnut Hill School for the Arts

The late Samuel Kurkjian working with a ballet student at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in 1999.
Walnut Hill School for the Arts
The late Samuel Kurkjian working with a ballet student at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in 1999.

DANCE TEACHER REMEMBERED Michael Owen, director of dance at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, is generous in his praise for his former colleague, the late Samuel Kurkjian. “He was a consummate teacher, choreographer, coach, artist,” Owen said. “He was a genuinely wonderful human being, and dance was his life.”

Kurkjian, who danced professionally with the Boston Ballet, will be honored Saturday, April 25, at the Walnut Hill School in a tribute performance celebrating his life and work. Kurkjian was on the faculty at Walnut Hill for 35 years; he died in 2013.

The Samuel Kurkjian Memorial Event will feature current Walnut Hill dance majors as well as acclaimed alumni Zoe Scofield, Kate Hutter, and Levi Marsman. The program includes a new work choreographed by Marsman, an improvisational dance, and “In Summer’s Wind,” choreographed by Kurkjian.


“I always say my first inspiration to dance was the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, but my first inspiration to choreograph was Sam Kurkjian,” said Marsman, a professional dancer and choreographer who graduated from Walnut Hill in 2005. “He believed in beauty, and I wanted to make beauty the way he did.”

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The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at the school, at 12 Highland St., with a reception following the performance. Tickets are $25, with proceeds benefiting the Samuel Kurkjian Scholarship Fund. For tickets and more information, call 508-650-5068 or go to www.walnuthillarts.org/calendar.

ART OF MANY KINDS Fountain Street Studios in Framingham holds open studios next weekend, April 24-26, starting Friday from 5:30-9 p.m. and continuing Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. View works of art in a variety of media and styles, including painting, photography, sculpture, mixed media, hand-crafted jewelry, textile and fabric art, collage, installation, paper cuts, assemblage, video art, functional glass art, pottery, and drawings created by emerging as well as internationally recognized artists. Friday evening’s program at the studios, at 59 Fountain St., will also feature live guitar music by Mike Pascarella. For more information, call 508-665-0614 or go to www.fountainstreetstudios.com.

Bruce S. Allen
Sheep of all ages will be feautered in a Gore Place Festival Saturday.

COUNTING SHEEP Gore Place in Waltham celebrates its 28th annual Sheepshearing Festival on Saturday, April 25. The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 52 Gore St., will include demonstrations of traditional sheep shearing as well as modern electric clipper shearing, sheep herding demonstrations, a crafts fair, live music, historic crafters, farm animals, trapeze artists, giant puppets, and fiber arts demonstrations. Admission is $15 for adults; children age 12 and younger and Gore Place members will be admitted free. Children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 781-894-2798 or visit the history museum’s website, www.goreplace.org.

HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE Lexington resident and Holocaust survivor Pedro Lilienfeld will be the featured speaker at a 36th annual Holocaust Memorial Observance in Concord. His talk is titled “Danger and Survival: Vicissitudes in the European Hell of World War II.” The event, which is sponsored by the Concord-Carlisle Human Rights Council, takes place next Sunday, April 26, at 7 p.m. at the Concord Town House, 22 Monument Square . Admission is free. For more information, go to www.cchumanrights.org.


A WORD ABOUT DESIGN Next Sunday, April 26, at 3 p.m. in Bemis Hall, 15 Bedford Road in Lincoln, Jane Thompson will talk about the history of Design Research, a pioneering modern design store that stood in Harvard Square from 1953 to 1979; and textile historian Susan Ward will illustrate the history of Marimekko’s colorful fabrics and fashions from Finland as part of “Remembering Design Research,” sponsored by Friends of Modern Architecture/Lincoln. Tickets are $27. For tickets and more details, go to www.foma-lincoln.org.

Waldo & Woodhead perform at Brandeis next weekend.

CREATIVE ARTS Art and performance illuminate the Brandeis University campus in Waltham for four days this week as the college celebrates its annual Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts. From Thursday, April 23, through next Sunday, April 26, the public is invited to attend an array of dance, music, theater, and studio art events by Brandeis students and alumni on the campus at 415 South St. The festival will feature the New England premiere of Glenn Kaino’s “The Burning Boards,” which brings together figures from the worlds of art and chess for a special one-of-a-kind competition. The festival concludes Sunday with an afternoon of events for families and children. Admission is free. For a complete schedule and more information, go to www.brandeis.edu/arts/festival.

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