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Let It Glow

The Glow Variety Show brings arts and dance galore to the Hult
Anna Miller. Photo: Michael Brinkerhoff.
Anna Miller. Photo: Michael Brinkerhoff.

The inspiration for the Glow Variety Show, producer Anna Miller says, “came from an initial spark of wanting to create, with nowhere to put it.” 

So three years ago, the choreographer, artistic director, mother and massage therapist got to work. 

“The show sprang from my asking myself, ‘What do I want to see?’” Miller says. The answer was variety. “Acrobatics, talented young people, dance, all the stuff I love doing,” says Miller, adding, “I thought, ‘Why not create a variety show?’”

Now in its third installation, Glow has migrated from Lane Community College to the Hult Center for two performances 7 pm Saturday, Nov. 19, and 2 pm Sunday, Nov. 20. All proceeds will benefit the Trauma Healing Project. 

I was in the audience for last year’s Glow show and was impressed: Sometimes, the “little bit of everything” approach can seem hokey or random, but not so with Glow. Miller carefully cultivates and curates the effort, and artists from across the West Coast are turning up in droves to work with her. 

This year’s show features professional Guinean acrobat Facinet Sylla and the Syllatastic Acrobatics. “They’re Sylla’s family troupe, made up of his two daughters and his twin four-year old sons,” Miller explains. “They perform a dynamic acrobatic act that involves breakdancing, tumbling and stunt work.”  

A Eugene newcomer, Sylla appeared on Season 10 of America’s Got Talent in 2015, and trained at the esteemed Centre d’art acrobatique KEITA Fodéba (TINAFAN) in Guinea. 

Also on the bill, the Trio Voronezh has been hailed by The Los Angeles Times as “three players, alone on a large open stage, filling every crevice with their rich, imaginatively conceived music.” 

This award-winning musical ensemble produces arrangements across a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical masterworks to Russian folk songs, Argentine tangos, gypsy dance music, bluegrass and Gershwin favorites, all played on Russian folk instruments. 

And local dance favorite Sabine, owner of Celebration Dance Studios in Eugene, has studied Middle Eastern Dance for more than 25 years and lends her mastery in a range of styles, from folkloric to Tribal, Turkish, fusion and Raks Sharki (a classical Egyptian style Belly Dance). 

“She honors the roots of Middle Eastern folk dance in her classes and in group performances with her dance troupes,” Miller says. “As a soloist, she has been hailed as a master of Raks al Sayf, the sword dance, and her partners in the dance are a pair of Turkish scimitars over 3 feet long.” 

Glow also welcomes acrobats Jacob Brown and Debbie Collis, and fire-spinner Michael Boyer. 

But Miller says she’s particularly thrilled to include writer, musician, storyteller, hoop dancer, theater artist and flautist Ty Defoe. “Defoe’s vision is literally a Circle of Art,” Miller says. “A hoop of life that connects and engages the global community without boundaries.” 

And watch for Button Will: 

“He is such a compelling dancer. You don’t dare look away,” Miller says. “His first dance inspiration was Missy Elliot and various video game characters.”  

 Last year’s Glow had a strong aesthetic vision, an inclusive spirit and a powerfully welcoming vibe. Open to all ages with something for everyone, Glow challenges arts audiences across many genres to come out in support of live performance while benefiting a worthy organization. 

Miller says she’s grateful for the support that the Trauma Healing Project provides, with volunteer practitioners providing classes, workshops, support groups and clinics to some of our community’s most vulnerable members. 

“I love their work, to have trauma addressed,” she says. “They’re healing the planet.”  

Find further information about the Trauma Healing Project at healingattention.org. Tickets for the Glow Variety Show are available through the Hult Center Box Office.