Author Archive
Jubilation from the Jungle

Jubilation from the Jungle

Javier Dzul’s Mayan rituals rewrite life out of chaos Mexico Maya, the latest work from choreographer Javier Dzul, would be unfathomable without knowing that Dzul grew up in the jungle.  The title of the work refers to the Mayan tribal community in Mexico where Dzul was raised and learned Mayan ritual dance. Conceived in three...
Arts Foretold: A Checklist

Arts Foretold: A Checklist

Local artists bring new visions to various city venues throughout 2014   •Composer James Blachly founded the Sheep Island Ensemble with a single, beautiful goal: bringing people together through great music. Whether playing Bartok in a concert hall or Scottish songs at a loft party, Blachly and his ensemble create a community of music lovers, which you...
Go Where the Energy Flows

Go Where the Energy Flows

Dardo Galletto bring Tango’s melody and beat to local New York  When the legendary Fazil’s dance studio near Times Square closed in 2008, the ethnic dance community was shattered.  Fazil’s was a home, a family, a space where hundreds of dancers, musicians, and aficionados spent twelve hours a day.  No one imagined that New York...
Arts That Unites

Arts That Unites

The UN and Gabarron Foundation bring international art to local attention  The remarkable institution that parented the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 65 years ago and has been campaigning for human rights ever since—the UN, of course—will be turning 70 in 2015. To celebrate, they’ve mounted a superb exhibit of art culled from their massive...
Klezmer in the Ghetto

Klezmer in the Ghetto

Krakauer expands the klezmer’s repertoire Growing up in New York City, clarinetist David Krakauer drew his inspiration from classical, jazz, and rock music. Twenty-five years ago, he got hooked on an “identity exploration thing” and began to study klezmer, the music of his Jewish Eastern European forebears. Today he’s known around the world not only...
Take the Grand Tour

Take the Grand Tour

Thrilling to the Met’s merge of painting and music  By pairing Pachelbel’s Canon in D with images of men and women struggling up a foggy mountainside in The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser, Werner Herzog created an unforgettable portrait of the eternity of human suffering.  Its effectiveness drew from the interplay between music and image: the...
Shops Around the Corner

Shops Around the Corner

Times Square memorabilia shops keep Broadway alive According to the New York Times, a massive influx of tourists has made Times Square such a hot retail market that rents have jumped 42 percent in the past year, forcing out local enterprises in favor of multinational chains that can afford the going rate of $2400 per square...
Six Degrees of Collaboration

Six Degrees of Collaboration

BalletCollective’s present-tense dance at the Joyce  Adopting a film festival model, the Joyce recently presented a twelve-day dance festival showcasing independent artists working outside large established institutions.  The festival, called “v6.0,” gave New Yorkers unprecedented opportunity to enjoy six ballet-based companies, ranging from neoclassical to contemporary, from across the US. On August 14 Troy Schumacher’s...
Z for Excellence

Z for Excellence

Zzyzx brings the joy of sax to Symphony Space Like the superb little restaurant no one knows about because it hasn’t yet been reviewed by the New York Times, classical music for saxophone lies beneath most New Yorkers’ radar. The Zzyzx Quartet revealed the folly of that obscurity with their July 12 concert at Symphony...
Music of the Heavens

Music of the Heavens

Musica Mundana’s transcendent New York performance Mundana is the worst kind of false cognate:  it pretends to mean its opposite.  Musica mundana is not, as one would expect, mundane music at all but the music of the spheres, the sounds the planets make as they revolve in limitless space, a heavenly noise we could hear...
Keeping Ballet Honest

Keeping Ballet Honest

New York Theater Ballet rediscovers and thrills Many people love dance but not ballet:  too mannered, too toney.  To counteract that perception, Diana Byer founded the New York Theater Ballet to inspire both a love for, and comprehensive understanding of, the art and how it evolves.  To that end, the NYTB presents revivals of classic...
Operatic Politics

Operatic Politics

Chile’s Violeta on screen When Salvador Allende first addressed his citizenry after winning Chile’s 1970 presidential election, he did so under a sign that read, “No Hay Revolución sin Cancion”: There is no revolution without songs. In this case, those songs would have been nueva canción, or “new song,” a quasi-political artistic movement spearheaded by...
Who Is Sylvia?

Who Is Sylvia?

Julia Adolphe’s psychological opera floats Bargemusic For fifty-two weeks a year, four days a week, New Yorkers can find chamber music in all its forms—early, canonical, and contemporary—right under the Brooklyn Bridge. There, Bargemusic offers 220 concerts annually, even tendering weekly free tickets to groups and one free concert monthly in order to reach as...
Deep Listening

Deep Listening

The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra brings multicultural power to Beethoven Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim and Palestinian scholar Edward Said joined forces in 1999 to conduct a workshop for young musicians from across the Middle East—Egypt, Syria, Israel, Palestine. The aim of the workshop, held in Weimar, Germany, was to promote intercultural dialogue between people whose countries...
Music to Learn By

Music to Learn By

Lessons with the Ravel Study Group Poisson Rouge, whose manifesto reads “Serving art and alcohol,” is the perfect venue for the Ravel Study Group, whose manifesto reads “Score study for drinkers with a music problem.” “Score study,” of course, involves scrutinizing the written form of a composer’s music. At the Ravel Study Group’s monthly three-hour...
Get Happy!!

Get Happy!!

Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain brings Twang to Carnegie Hall An elegant audience pays rapt tribute to the seven musicians on Carnegie Hall’s Perelman Stage as the final chord crescendos to its inevitable end. The auditorium booms with thunderous applause. “More, more!” the audience cries as they wave their hand-lettered signs and ukuleles over their...
Bravo Bailar!

Bravo Bailar!

New York Celebrates the Art of Flamenco No one can make the mistake of calling New York the home of flamenco, but ever since the Great White Way crowned Jose Greco “New Broadway Personality of the Year” in 1952, the city has made flamenco its own. Aficionados make daily pilgrimages to Lincoln Center’s Performing Arts...
On Your Gardel

On Your Gardel

Romula Larrea Show Off the Tango Revolution Despite the popular image of the tango as a dance performed by stiff-necked couples dressed in tails and chiffon jerking their heads about like lizards, tango as an artform issued forth from the poor urban districts of Buenos Aires and Montevideo at the end of the 19th century,...
At the Crossroads

At the Crossroads

The musical language of the Balkans Since the ’90s, horrendous images of war have dominated our perception of the Balkan Peninsula. To lay these images to rest, two European foundations engaged the universal healing power of music in “The Balkans—Crossroads of Civilizations,” an extravaganza of suites, sonatas and songs curated to underscore the cultural similarities...
Not Standing Still

Not Standing Still

Dance Doc Highlights Jacob’s Pillow A documentary filmmaker has two responsibilities. The first is to make an interesting subject even more interesting. The second is to make a good film. Director Ron Honsa hits both marks with Never Stand Still, an intimate look at dance that will galvanize anyone who’s ever moved his body to...
A Heartbreaking Rigoletto

A Heartbreaking Rigoletto

Verdi’s Triumph On Screen In 1832, French authorities shut down Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi S’amuse—a portrait of absolute power gone dissolutely amok, set in the court of Francis I—the day after it opened. Composer Giuseppe Verdi, however, was so taken with the work that he used it as the basis for a libretto. Venetian...