The Ordway to Present 2014 FLINT HILLS INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL, 5/27-6/1

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The Ordway to Present 2014 FLINT HILLS INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL, 5/27-6/1

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts announced today the lineup for the 14th annual Flint Hills International Children's Festival from May 27-June 1. Minnesota's signature arts festival for children and families-one of the largest of its kind in the nation-features local, regional and international artists representing 25 countries on seven indoor and outdoor stages. The Festival fills downtown Saint Paul's Rice Park, Landmark Center, Landmark Plaza, Hamm Plaza, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, and the Lehr and Lab Theaters.

More than 16,000 children from schools across Minnesota and western Wisconsin attend international performances, participate in hands-on activities and engage in artist workshops throughout the week during School Days (May 27-30).

During Family Weekend (May 31-June 1), professional artist groups whose works transcend boundaries - Step Afrika! (Ordway Music Theater), De Temps Antan (The Lab Theater), Flying Foot Forum (The Lehr Theater) and Terrapin Puppet Theatre (Weyerheuser Auditorium) will perform - for only $5 a ticket. Family Weekend also features free outdoor stages and activities in the parks including international cuisine, pop-up performances and more.

This year's featured outdoor highlight is Cirque Mechanics' Gantry Bike, a giant, self-contained circus spectacular. Designed to amaze and powered by bicycles, Cirque Mechanics' defining mechanical gizmo is a 20-foot, baroque lattice on which aerialists, contortionists and acrobats put on awe-inspiring performances for the crowd, all while two drivers pedal the whole magnificent machine through the Festival grounds.

Throughout School Days and Family Weekend, the Clear Channel ARTwalk celebrates young artists' creativity. In the professionally-curated exhibition, more than 600 visual art projects from Minnesota's talented students appear in windows of downtown Saint Paul businesses.

A new Family Weekend feature adds local youth performing groups to the free performance schedule, celebrating the diversity of the region and representing cultural traditions from Vietnam, Ukraine, Puerto Rico, Laos, Ireland, Mexico, China, India - and more.

In addition, an interactive horticulture display built in collaboration with Blooming Saint Paul blossoms during the Festival. Artists Mark Granlund and Angela Koebler from Saint Paul's Parks and Recreation Department lead the design and implementation of an intricate plant and flower installation in Hamm Plaza. Sponsored by Xcel Energy, The Saint Paul Garden Club and The Historic Hamm Building, The Story Time Garden is built onsite during the Festival and is accompanied by artist-commissioned public art. During Family Weekend, The Story Time Garden features Twin Cities storytellers and musicians, who share folktales and songs from around the world.

"Flint Hills Resources is proud to support this extraordinary cultural event," said Jake Reint, director of public affairs at Flint Hills Resources. "Thanks to the hard work of the Ordway, this world class festival amazes audiences every year."

"More than 50,000 people attend the Ordway's Flint Hills International Children's Festival," says Dayna Martinez, artistic director of world music, dance and international children's festival programming at the Ordway. "Each year we think, we can't top this. But this festival's lineup is awesome!"

General admission tickets to world-class headliner performances can be purchased ahead of time through the Ordway ticket office and online at ordway.org/festival.

Step Afrika! is the first professional company dedicated to the art of stepping, a traditional form of percussion that uses the body as an instrument. Developed by African-American college students, stepping is based on a long and rich tradition in African-based communities. The dancers use movement, stomps, claps and chants to create an explosive musical dance experience like no other. Recommended for all ages.

De Temps Antan presents traditional Quebecois music with charm, humor and impeccable musicianship. The trio's powerful style, which blends tradition with contemporary flair, is anchored by the "tac-tic-a tac" ofles pieds, a form of seated tap dancing found only in French Canada, and features the fiddle, accordion, harmonica, guitar, bouzouki and singing in French. De Temps Antan- the name translates as "From Bygone Times"-are influenced as much by their world travels as by their fieldwork and family ties. This talented trio provides a musical experience of boundless energy and the distinctive joie de vivre found in traditional Quebec music. Recommended for all ages.

The percussive dance and theater company, Flying Foot Forum, dives down the rabbit hole with one of its most ambitious productions yet - Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll's classic literary tale. In this innovative promenade-style performance, audience participation - playing croquet with the Queen of Hearts, singing along with the cast, participating in a dance off and exploring the wonder that is Wonderland - helps Alice on her journey. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

Hailing from Australia, Terrapin Puppet Theatre brings the heartfelt and lyrical story of Love to life with both traditional puppets and digital puppetry that create larger-than-life-characters and beautiful storytelling. Follow a very brave boy, Oslo, and his mother, Ruthy, on their journey of discovery as preparation for an impending storm has them help their community members pack the things they cherish, or as Ruthy calls it, "love luggage." Together Oslo and his mother face the elements to learn what matters most through a world of stories surrounding each person's love luggage. Recommended for ages 7 and up.

The full schedule of events follows:

SATURDAY, MAY 31

Step Afrika!
Ordway Music Theater
11 a.m.; 2 p.m.

De Temps Antan
The Lab Theater
10 a.m.; 12 p.m.

Flying Foot Forum - Alice In Wonderland
The Lehr Theater
10 a.m.; 2 p.m.

Terrapin Puppet Theatre - Love
Landmark Center Weyerhaeuser Auditorium
10:30 a.m.; 2:30 p.m.

SUNDAY, JUNE 1

Step Afrika!
Ordway Music Theater
11:15 a.m

De Temps Antan
The Lab Theater
12 p.m.; 2 p.m.

Flying Foot Forum - Alice In Wonderland
The Lehr Theater
12 p.m.; 2 p.m.

Terrapin Puppet Theatre - Love
Landmark Center Weyerhaeuser Auditorium
11:30 a.m.; 3 p.m.

Outdoor Performances (Free)

SATURDAY, MAY 31

The Cirque Mechanics' Gantry Bike
10:30AM, 12:15PM, 2:45PM

Opening for Cirque Mechanics' Gantry Bike
Loveworks Academy Drum and Drill Team
10:15AM, 12:00PM and 2:30PM

Flint Hills World Stage
Stage MCs: Yolande Bruce and IBé
11:00AM - Cyril Paul and the Calypso Monarchs
11:45AM - The Karen Done Dance
12:35PM - Z Puppets Rosenschnoz
1:35PM - Lau Hawaiian Collective and Halau Hula 'O Napunaheleonapua
3:00PM - Rince na Chroi with Two Tap Trio
3:45PM - Bato! Bato!
4:15PM - The Bazillions

Wells Fargo Stage
Stage MCs: Karla Nweje and Felipe Espinoza-Day
10:00AM - Katha Dance Theater and School
11:00AM - Los Alegres Bailadores
12:00PM - CAAM Chinese Dance Theater
1:00PM - Voice of Culture Drum and Dance
2:00PM - Cheremosh Dance Ensemble
2:15PM - Hoang Anh Dance
3:00PM - Rene Thompson Dancers
3:45PM - El Arco Iris Center for Arts
4:00PM - Nritya Kalakshetra Indian Dance
4:15PM - Tiyumba Drum and Dance Company

SUNDAY, JUNE 1

The Cirque Mechanics' Gantry Bike
10:30AM, 12:15PM and 2:30PM

Opening for Cirque Mechanics' Gantry Bike
The Brass Messengers
10:15AM, 12:00PM and 2:15PM

Flint Hills World Stage
Stage MCs: IBé and Tou Ger Xiong
11:00AM - Dennis Warner and the D's
12:35PM - Mariachi Flor y Canto
1:35PM - Snapdragon Seeds
3:00PM - Salsa del Sou
4:15PM - Marimba Africa

Wells Fargo Stage
Stage MCs: Charles Dennis and Shá Cage
10:00AM - Native Pride Dancers
11:00AM - Scottish Celtic Dance Association
11:45AM - ShapeShift
1:00PM - Duniya Drum and Dance
2:00PM - Collide Theatrical Dance
2:45PM - Vietnamese Amerasian Society
3:00PM - Natyakala Dance Group - Sona Nair
4:00PM - Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli

The Ordway is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading nonprofit performing arts centers and Saint Paul's most elegant and inviting performance space. The Ordway's Music Theater and soon-to-be completed Concert Hall attract diverse audiences with an array of productions showcasing the finest in American musical theater, world music, dance and vocal performance. Education and community engagement are integral to the Ordway's mission, with major initiatives including the annual Flint Hills International Children's Festival and Ordway Education programs that serve more than 50,000 students annually. The Ordway also sponsors the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, a professionally guided academic and artistic environment that trains aspiring pre-professional performing artists. Together with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and The Schubert Club, the Ordway is a member of the Arts Partnership and serves as the principal venue for their performances.

Photo Credit: The Napoleon Complex Project

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