Beyond the Canvas

Mandarins Announce 2021 Program

Under the direction of JW Koester, The Mandarins 2021 program entitled “Beyond the Canvas” brings to life the hallucination of an artist’s work. Inspired by historical female Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama and her piece “The Flower Obsession”, we take you on a journey of Chaos, Beauty, and Obliteration. As we all have waited for this moment to take the field again, we find hidden meaning in the words from “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, which you will hear throughout. Using explosions of color, a white room is decimated into a sea of red bleeding on the walls, the floor, and even the furniture. The canvas of the room spreads beyond the walls as images seem familiar throughout the field. The illusion in our head shifts into a colossal reality through performance art. Every member is the artist, and in the end, becomes the art. The design team for the 2021 season includes Artistic Director Becca Anderson, Visual Designer Peter Beckhart, Brass Arranger/composer Key Poulan, Sound Designer Bryan Harmsen, Battery Composer Ben Pyles, and Front Ensemble Composer Andy Filipiak.  Our music team created original compositions with inspiration from “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins, and “Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo. The Mandarins invite you to be a part of the hallucination that is Beyond the Canvas.  

“I saw the entire room, my entire body, and the entire universe covered with red flowers, and in that instant my soul was obliterated … This was not an illusion but reality itself.” -Yayoi Kusama

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