Niyaz and ElevenPlay Bring Tech And Art Together at Harris Center

Located at a community college committed to both the arts and technology, the Harris Center for the Arts is proud to present two fascinating artists in three days, each of which utilizes technology, movement and music in innovative - and even jaw-dropping - fashion.

Well known for soundtrack work in The Matrix, Body of Lies and many other Hollywood blockbusters, Azam Ali and Niyaz wed music from their native Iran with electronica and advanced projection/body mapping techniques.

And, as seen on Season 11 of America's Got Talent, Japan's ElevenPlay incorporates advanced technologies directly into their performances, including drones, iPads, lasers and other digital technology - a fusion that has taken them onstage with Lady Gaga's 2014 tour and informed the director's choreography for the 2016 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.

While such innovative programming isn't new to the Harris Center - performances by Japanese multimedia performance companies enra in 2017 and Siro-A in 2014 come to mind - presenting them in such timely proximity offers a one-two punch reminiscent of a festival lineup. And both speak to the deeper mission of Folsom Lake College. "These performances embody Folsom Lake College's continued commitment to supporting innovation and creative expression, both inside and outside of the classroom," said Whitney Yamamura, Folsom Lake College (FLC) President. "The bridging of education and advanced technologies with the visual and performing arts exemplifies our mission. Folsom Lake College is proud to welcome these internationally acclaimed performers to Folsom."

Niyaz featuring Azam Ali presents The Fourth Light Project on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 3 pm. Tickets are $24- $49; Premium $54. Students with ID $12. ElevenPlay performs Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 7:30 pm.Tickets are $28-$42; Premium $48. Students with ID $11.Tickets are available online at or from the Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from noon to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking permits are issued at the time of ticket purchase. The Harris Center is located on the west side of the Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

Seeing is believing - to best understand both artists, see the video links below. Harris Center Executive Director Dave Pier sums it up this way: "Whereas dance and movement are front and center with ElevenPlay (with music as a backdrop), Niyaz's Fourth Light Project has music at its core (but also includes dance by a whirling dervish as well). Both use some really cool technology to reinforce the artists' visions and experience for the audience."

The Fourth Light Project is best described as an immersive multi-media experience. Seamlessly blending poetry and folk songs from their native Iran with rich, acoustic instrumentation and state-of-the-art electronics, Niyaz featuring Azam Ali is "an evolutionary force in contemporary Middle Eastern music" (Huffington Post). Led by Azam Ali, whose "rich, precise voice" (NPR) "conveys both sensuality and devotional ecstasy" (Songlines), their music has been featured in films (The Matrix, Body of Lies) and TV (Bones, Nip/Tuck). Their Harris Center performance will utilize advanced projection/body-mapping techniques that respond to sound and movement in real time - a cutting-edge, multi-sensory experience created in collaboration with interactive designer Jerome Delapierre.

"Pure talent, ingenuity, and beauty" (Nerdist). ElevenPlay is an all-female 10-member dance group from Japan that uses "heart, technique, and body" to interact with a variety of different stage elements: video projection mapping, three-dimensional objects, and scenic design technologies. "The three dancers and their accompanying drones put on a mesmerizing and eerie display...The result is stunning," writes Hyperallergic. ElevenPlay has danced during the opening act of Lady Gaga's world tour ArtRave: The Artpop Ball, specifically dancing with Hatsune Miku. The group's choreographer, Mikiko, is well-known, having choreographed for the Japanese metal group Babymetal; the girl group Sakura Gakuin; and the pop group Perfume. But it was on Season 11 of America's Got Talent when the group grabbed international attention.

The Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College brings the community together to share in cultural experiences featuring the work of artists from throughout the region and around the world. Built and operated by the Los Rios Community College District, the $50 million, state-of-the-art regional performing arts center boasts three intimate venues with outstanding acoustics, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a world-class performing arts venue. Each year the Center hosts approximately 400 events attracting upwards of 150,000 annually.

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