Purdue Convocations presents free outdoor event featuring ‘Australia’s Strange Fruit’

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Melbourne-based performing arts company “Australia’s Strange Fruit,” will present three free community performances on Wednesday, September 21st at 12:30p, 5:30p, and 6:30p at the Purdue Memorial Union South lawn, at the corner of State Street and Grant Street. Each performance will last approximately 20 minutes.

Australia's Strange Fruit

Strange Fruit performed 'The Three Belles' at the 50th Israel Festival in Jerusalem in May 2011. (Photo: J. Busby)

Australia’s Strange Fruit produces and performs a remarkable style of work that fuses theatre, dance and circus, using a unique elevated medium. Perched atop 16-foot high flexible poles of original design, the ensemble delivers a sublime performance, bending and swaying in the air, captivating and engaging the audience in absolute fascination. Originally based on the image of a field of wheat swaying in the breeze, the poles’ extreme strength and flexibility allow the performers to bow to impossible angles, swaying back and forth in a hypnotizing dance.

With a world-renowned repertoire that celebrates a wide variety of themes and stories, the company has achieved near-cult status in almost every continent across the globe. Performing regularly at festivals, special events and private functions, its sublime, hypnotic beauty must be experienced to appreciate its full effect. The ensemble has performed in more than 50 different countries, at over 450 festivals and events, and to over 5 million people worldwide.

The free community event is presented by Purdue Convocations in honor of the Friends of Convocations, with media support from the Journal and Courier.

  • No ticket is required to attend the performances.
  • The public is encouraged to bring chairs and blankets for the lawn.
  • Food and beverages will be available for purchase from the Purdue Memorial Union.
  • Free parking will be available in the Grant Street, Wood Street or Marsteller Street parking garages after 5:00p.
  • In the event of rain, the performances will be in the Purdue Armory.

In 2007, Purdue Convocations embarked on a four-year campaign to raise $2.5 million in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Friends of Convocations, the group of individuals and corporate partners who provide important financial support to the organization. That goal has been exceeded.

Since Purdue Convocations does not receive state funds, the contributions received will help support the organization’s three main areas of programming: providing access to the arts for preschool through grade 12 students; creating academic discourse for college students through curricular integration of the arts; and the 109-year tradition of providing artist and audience connections through a diverse and exciting array of live professional arts performances. Each year, support from the Friends of Convocations provides ticket subsidies for college students and ticket and transportation scholarships to P-12 schools and students in need. Since 1985, the Friends of Convocations have donated more than $6.7 million to Purdue Convocations to support over 753 performances.

To celebrate the significance of this accomplishment and the countless arts opportunities that are made possible because of the generosity, dedication and enthusiasm of the Friends of Convocations, Purdue Convocations is presenting this free community arts experience on Sept. 21 on the lawn of the Purdue Memorial Union.

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