Berkshire Pulse dance students rehearse in preparation for their annual performance to be held Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27, at Bard College at Simon's Rock. Photo courtesy Berkshire Pulse

Bits & Bytes: Berkshire Pulse annual performance; ‘Melville in Love’; ‘The Curious End of Ezekiel Williams’; violence prevention series; West Stockbridge Chamber Players concert

Partners in Community Safety has organized a three-part violence prevention series at the Bitterman Center with the theme of "Help your neighbor, help yourself."

Berkshire Pulse to present annual performance

Great Barrington — Berkshire Pulse will present its 13th annual performance celebration and fundraiser Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27, at 3 p.m. at the Bard College at Simon’s Rock’s Daniel Arts Center.

The event celebrates the talents and accomplishments of dancers and musicians ages 6 through adult from all levels of experience as they perform in a wide variety of genres including modern, ballet, musical theatre, tap, Afro-Caribbean, flamenco and world music. Highlights of this year’s performance will include internationally renowned Jewish/Yemenite/Israeli dancer, choreographer and educator Ze’eva Cohen’s “Sharing of the Water,” which focuses on migration and the yearning for a safe home, performed by an intergenerational cast of female dancers; two senior solos choreographed and performed by graduating students Juniper Shalles and Laura Coe of Pulse’s Young Choreographers Initiative; “Limitless,” choreographed and performed by 14-year-old Antonius Louw and Zenith Limon, which depicts the connection between the boys and their shared joy of learning through dance and was recently performed at the Baltimore Theater Project in Maryland as part of “In the Company of Men…Part III,” an evening of dance art embracing themes of masculinity, life, love and social awareness; and a high-energy intergenerational performance from the World Music and Dance Program featuring flamenco, percussion and African dance.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Pulse’s Tuition Assistance Program, which enables children and adults who cannot afford tuition to attend dance, movement, theater and world music classes at reduced rates. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for youth ages 4 to 18. For tickets and more information, contact Berkshire Pulse at (413) 274-6624.


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Berkshire Museum to screen ‘Melville in Love’

Pittsfield — The Berkshire Museum will host a screening of the film “Melville in Love” Thursday, May 24, at 7 p.m. The event will include a question-and-answer session with Melville biographer Michael Shelden and the film’s director, Seth Newton.

“Melville in Love,” based on the recent book of the same name by biographer Shelden, is a full-length documentary about Herman Melville, the writing of “Moby-Dick” and Melville’s secret love affair with Sarah Morewood. Using fresh archival research, Shelden’s book reveals new information on Melville’s life and the story of Melville’s obsessive and passionate affair with the married Morewood. In his research, Shelden found documents that suggest Melville and Morewood shared a resistance to the strict rules of social behavior of their time, and that the sense of freedom inspired Melville in his writing. Filmed in Pittsfield and other Berkshires locations including Herman Melville’s Arrowhead, nearby houses and farms that Melville visited and even the local cemetery, the documentary includes interviews as well as dramatized scenes. The film includes an original score by Michael B. White, who will also be in attendance at the screening.

Shelden is the author of six biographies, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist “Orwell: The Authorized Biography,” which was also a New York Times Notable Book and has been translated into five languages. Shelden’s “Mark Twain: Man in White” was a New York Times bestseller, and his “Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill” earned the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Fund’s 2014 National Author Award.

Tickets are $7.50 for general admission, and $5 for members of the Berkshire Museum and the Berkshire Historical Society. For more information, contact the Berkshire Museum at (413) 443-7171.


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Colonial Theatre to stage play written by MMRHS student

Evan Silverstein as Adam Drake in ‘The Curious End of Ezekiel Williams.’ Photo: Dan Santos

Pittsfield — The Colonial Theatre will host a performance of “The Curious End of Ezekiel Williams” Wednesday, May 23, at 7 p.m.

“The Curious End of Ezekiel Williams” is the patchwork story of the life and death of Ezekiel Williams. As Inspector Dullard strives to justify the murder of an innocent man, a story of brotherhood, broken bonds and rebirth is uncovered. A murder mystery written and directed by Benjamin Zoeller, a senior at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington, the play features students from the Berkshires in its cast and crew.

Tristan Alston as Zeke Williams in ‘The Curious End of Ezekiel Williams.’ Photo: Dan Santos

Throughout his high school career, Zoeller has performed in numerous roles at MMRHS including Aldolpho in “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Claudius in “Hamlet” and Stache in “Peter and the Starcatcher.” He has also performed with Berkshire Theatre Group as Lumiére in “Beauty and the Beast” and Marcellus in “The Music Man.” Zoeller was inspired to write “The Curious End of Ezekiel Williams,” his first full-length work, last winter during an independent study under mentor Jolyn Unruh.

The performance is free and open to the public. For more information or to reserve tickets, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Berkshire Theatre Group at (413) 997-4444.


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Partners in Community Safety to hold violence prevention series

Canaan, Conn. — Partners in Community Safety has organized a three-part violence prevention series at the Bitterman Center, 2 Daisy Hill Road, with the theme of “Help your neighbor, help yourself.” All talks will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. and begin with pizza and soda at 6 p.m. with time for questions at the end of each program. Babysitting will be provided.

The first installment of the series will take place Thursday, May 24, and focus on gun safety. The speaker will Mary Ann Jacob, a gun owner and clerk librarian who survived the Sandy Hook shooting. The series will continue Thursday, June 28, with a presentation on domestic violence with speakers from Women’s Support Services. The third presentation Thursday, July 12, will cover substance abuse and include speakers from the McCall Center for Behavioral Health and Mountainside Treatment Center.

The series is free and open to the public. The Partners in Community Safety are St. Martin of Tours Parish, Northwest Corner Committee for Gun Violence Prevention, Women’s Support Services, Northwest Corner Prevention Network, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation and the League of Women Voters of Litchfield County.


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West Stockbridge Chamber Players to perform spring benefit concert

Catherine Hudgins. Photo: Tiziana Rozzo.

West Stockbridge — The West Stockbridge Chamber Players will present a spring concert Friday, May 25, at 6 p.m. at the Old Town Hall, 9 Main St. A reception featuring refreshments and the opportunity to mingle with the musicians will follow the concert downstairs in the Old Town Hall.

Boston Symphony Orchestra members Sheila Fiekowsky on violin, Daniel Getz on viola, Oliver Aldort on cello and William Hudgins on clarinet, will join John Holland on violin and West Stockbridge Chamber Players artistic director Catherine Hudgins on clarinet in a chamber music concert to benefit the restoration campaign for the Old Town Hall. Curated by Catherine Hudgins, the program will feature Bernhard Crusell’s Rondo for Two Clarinets and Strings; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Adagio & Fugue in C Minor, K. 546; J. S. Bach’s Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009; Alexander Scriabin’s Romance for Horn and Piano (arranged for clarinet and string quartet); and Giuseppe Verdi’s String Quartet in E minor.

Tickets are $35. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar, call (413) 232-5055 or visit West Stockbridge businesses displaying blue music notes in their windows.