Saturday, December 31, 2016

My year in the arts: 2016

Eva Yaa Asantewaa's List:
Most Memorable 
Arts and Cultural Experiences of 2016


Performers who ruled my 2016 include
Alan Cumming in Max and Alan
(photo: Stephanie Berger)
and, below,
Staceyann Chin in Meshell Ndegeocello's
Can I Get A Witness? The Gospel of James Baldwin
(photo: Marc Millman)


And not to be outdone,
Janelle Monáe, Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer
in Hidden Figures


As every year, YMMV, but this is simply a list of what I enjoyed most in 2016. Here we go!!

@Making a Murderer, filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos (a Netflix Original documentary), released via streaming December 18, 2015, watched late December through January 1, 2016

@Antigona, Soledad Barrio & Noche Flamenca at West Park Presbyterian Church, December 11, 2015 through January 23, 2016

@Sticky Majesty, Donna Uchizono and the Professionals at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, January 6-9, 13-16

@DISCOTROPIC, niv acosta at Westbeth Artists Community, January 6-10

@A Ride on The Irish Cream, Erin Markey at American Realness 2016, Abrons Arts Center, January 13-17. Performances by Erin Markey and Becca Blackwell

@Oktobre, Company Oktobre, Circus Now: International Contemporary Circus Exposure 2016 at NYU Skirball Performing Arts Center, January 14-16

@Star Crap Method, Larissa Velez-Jackson at American Realness 2016 at Abrons Arts Center, January 9-10, 13-15, 17. With performances by Velez-Jackson, Tyler Ashley and Talya Epstein; lighting by Kathy Kaufmann

@members of Vim Vigor Dance Company (Jason Cianciulli, Martin Durov, Laja Field, Lavinia Vago and Emma Whiteley) in Separati by artistic director/choeographer Shannon Gillen at Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, January 28-30

@NOW. by Pat Catterson and Paul Galando, NYU Tisch Dance and New Media, January 30-31

@Dado Masilo's Swan Lake by Dado Masilo at The Joyce Theater, February 2-7

@work-in-progress showing of Afro/Solo/Man by Brother(hood) Dance! (Orlando Hunter, Jr and Ricarrdo Valentine) at DraftWork, Danspace Project, February 6

@Lear, by Valda Setterfield and John Scott (John Scott Dance) at New York Live Arts, February 17-20

@Ed Harris and Taissa Farmiga in Buried Child by Sam Shepard, production by The New Group at The Pershing Square Signature Center

@Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, February 15-May 15

@Mei Yamanaka and Erick Montes-Chavero in Speakeasy by Malcolm Low, Malcolm Low/Formal Structure at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, February 24-27

@Performances by Split Britches, Five Lesbian Brothers, Holly Hughes and Eileen Myles at Memories of The Revolution: Celebrating the first ten years of the WOW Café at Dixon Place, February 28-29

@Eiko Otake's A Body in Places platform at Danspace Project, curated by Judy Hussie-Taylor and Lydia Bell, February 17-March 23

@Adult Documentary by Juliana F. May, performances by Lindsay Clark, Talya Epstein, Rennie McDougall, Kayvon Pourazar and Connor Voss, at The Chocolate Factory, March 1-12

@Performances by Philippe Beau and Yann Frisch in Cabaret de Magie Nouvelle at Tilt Kids Festival at FIAF Florence Gould Hall, March 4-5

@Nasreen Mohamedi at The Met Breuer, March 18-June 5

@Are we a Fossil, and Of Facings by Molly Poerstel at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, March 9-12

@Photographs of Eiko by William Johnston at Conversation Without Walls: Bearing Witness, part of Eiko Otake's A Body in Places platform at Danspace Project, March 11

@There Might Be Others by Rebecca Lazier and Dan Trueman (with Mobius Percussion, Sō Percussion and Mantra Percussion) at New York Live Arts, March 16-19


Alexeya Eyma-Manderson (left) with Nigel Campbell
in a duet from Gina Gibney's Time Remaining (2003)
(photo: Scott Shaw)

@Duet by Gina Gibney; performances by Natsuki Arai, Amy Miller, Brandon Welch, Nigel Campbell, Alexeya Eyma-Manderson, Devin Oshiro, at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, March 23-26

@Relation: A Performance Residency by Vijay Iyer; March 24 performance by Thums Up: Heems (Himanshu Suri), Rafiq Bhatia, Vijay Iyer and Kassa Overall, at The Met Breuer, March 1-March 31

@FRED HOLLAND: SSAPMOC at Tilton Gallery, February 25-April 9

@2056 BC by Adham Hafez Company and HaRaKa platform at New York Live Arts, performances by Mona Gamil, Alaa Abdellateef, Salma Abdel Salam and Charlene Ibrahim, March 30-April 2

@to warring states, a useless tool by Enrico D. Wey, Danspace Project, March 31-April 2

@Going The Miles... by Jason Samuels Smith, performing with Derick K. Grant, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Igmar Thomas and Alex Hernandez at E-Moves, Harlem Stage Gatehouse, April 7-9

@Dancers Chyrstyn Fentroy and Anthony Javier Savoy of Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York City Center, April 6-9

@Filibuster by Alicia Grullón, BRIC Arts, April 13

@Pergamon and The Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, April 18-July 17

@Another Spell by Vicky Shick and Dancers, Danspace Project, April 14-16

@Rasa in the Round by Malini Srinivasan at Winter Garden at Brookfield Place, April 15

@Antimony (51) by Ben Munisteri at BAM Fisher, April 21-23

@Erin Markey and Kristen C. Sieh performing in Ghost Rings by Tina Satter, New York Live Arts, April 22-24

@Étroits son les Vaisseaux by Kimberly Bartosik/daela, danced by Joanna Kotze and Lance Gries at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, April 27-30

@Sleeping Beauty & The Beast by Katy Pyle with Jules Skloot and Ballez at La MaMa, April 29-May 8

@DanceAfrica 2016: Senegal: Doors of Ancient Futures at BAM Gilman Opera House, May 27-30

@the feath3r theory presents: Andy Warhol's TROPICO or Zeitgeist - the fall of man, the age of desire, Adam and Steve in the Rite of Spring, Lana Del Rey's 'It's Always Everything' staring Allen Ginsberg as William Shakespeare or the greatest story (of survival) ever told. by Raja Feather Kelly and The Feath3r Theory at Danspace Project, June 2-4


Scene from To Begin The World Over Again
by Edisa Weeks and Joseph C. Phillips Jr.
(photo: Julie Lemberger)


@To Begin The World Over Again by Edisa Weeks and Joseph C. Phillips Jr. at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, June 30-July 2

@Patti Smith and Band and Mariachi Flor de Toloache at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, July 20

@Takarazuka Encore in Takarazuka CHICAGO by Takarazuka Revue at Lincoln Center Festival 2016, July 20-24

@Richard III (a one-woman show) by Brite Theater, starring Emily Carding at FringeNYC, August 15-20

@Ben Hagari (Potter's Will, film) and Jessica Pretty (the third., choreography and performance) in Volume VI, Issue II: Movement Currency, curated by the CURRENT SESSIONS at wild project, August 19-21

@Procession at Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter at New Museum, September 1

@Michael Richards: Winged, presented by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Arts Center at Governors Island, May 28-September 25

@Weed Heart by jill sigman/thinkdance at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, September 7-10 (plus Sigman's Community Action artist residency)


nora chipaumire's portrait of myself as my father
(photo: Gennadi Novash)


@portrait of myself as my father by nora chipaumire at BAM Next Wave 2016, BAM Fisher (Fishman Space), September 14-17

@HATCHED by Mamela Nyamza, presented by NY Queer International Arts Festival and 651 Arts at Abrons Arts Center, September 20

@Remains by John Jasperse at BAM Next Wave 2016, BAM Harvey, September 21-24

@X by RoseAnne Spradlin at NY Quadrille, The Joyce Theater, September 29-October 2

@Words and Images: Trebien Pollard, A Future Vision with works by Orlando Zane Hunter, Jr. and Ricarrdo Valentine; Aimee Rials; Johnnie Cruise Mercer; and Trebien Pollard at 92nd Street Y, September 30

@13th by Ava DuVernay, Netflix, released October 7

@Agnes Martin at The Guggenheim Museum, October 7-January 11, 2017


Visual artist Kerry James Marshall
at Met Breuer press conference
(photo: Eva Yaa Asantewaa)


@Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, The Met Breuer, October 25-January 29, 2017

@Max Beckmann at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 19 -February 20, 2017

@Lost and Found platform, curated by Ishmael Houston-Jones and Will Rawls at Danspace Project, October 6-November 19

@Eclipse: Visions of the Crescent and the Cross by Abdel R. Salaam, Forces of Nature, Aaron Davis Hall, October 27-29

@Speak with Your Feet: Tap Dancer Kazu Kumagi and Guests Soliloquize, including Gabe Winn, Sabrina Clery, Masa Shimizu and Alex Blake at 92Y, October 28

@Notes from The Field by Anna Deveare Smith at Second Stage Theatre/Tony Kiser Theatre, October 15-December 11

@Moonlight by Barry Jenkins, with cinematography by James Laxton and performances by Mahershala Ali, Trevante Rhodes and André Holland, released October 21

@Marksman by Kate Weare Company at The Joyce Theater, November 9-13

@Shutters Shut by Nederlands Dans Theater at The Met Breuer, November 12

@Thank You for Coming: Play by Faye Driscoll with performances by Sean Donovan, Alicia Ohs, Paul Singh, Laurel Snyder, Brandon Washington and Faye Driscoll at BAM Fisher, November 16-19

@Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction at Museum of Modern Art, through March 17, 2017

@Sweet Charity, starring Sutton Foster, at The New Group at The Pershing Square Signature Theater

@Eiko Otake residency in The Christa Project at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, October 2016-March 11, 2017

@William Johnston photographs of Eiko Otake, Fukushima: A Body in Places, in The Christa Project at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, October 2016-March 12, 2017


Lucinda Childs Dance Company at The Joyce Theater


@Lucinda Childs Dance Company at The Joyce Theater, November 29-December 11

@Meet Ella, choreographed and performed by Caleb Teicher and Nathan Bugh at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, December 1-3

@Shades by Jennifer Archibald at Barnard/Columbia Dances at New York Live Arts, December 1-3

@Can I Get A Witness? The Gospel of James Baldwin by Meshell Ndegeocello at Harlem Stage Gatehouse, December 7-11

@Max and Alan by Alan Cumming at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, December 10

@CITIZEN by Reggie Wilson, Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group at BAM Harvey, December 14-17


Patricia Peaches Jones
in Plight Release & the Diasporic Body: Jesus & Egunby Lela Aisha Jones
(photo: Scott Shaw)

@Plight Release & the Diasporic Body: Jesus & Egun by Lela Aisha Jones at Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, December 15-17

@L'Amour de Loin by Kaija Saariaho at The Metropolitan Opera, December 1-29

@Fences, directed by Denzel Washington from the play by August Wilson, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, released in December

@Hidden Figures, directed by Theodore Melfi based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe and Kevin Costner

@Terrific books I caught up with this year: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald,  The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander, Stories of Your Life and Others (also published as Arrival) by Ted Chiang

@Terrific movies and tv I caught up with on Netflix or Amazon this year: Meet the Patels, Learning to Drive, Room, The Martian, Spotlight, Creed, Everest, Meru, The Wildest Dream, The Big Short, Grace and Frankie (Season 2), Argentina, The Salt of The Earth, Transparent

@And a special thank you to the extraordinarily generous Judy Hussie-Taylor, Lydia Bell, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Will Rawls, Kathy Kaufmann and all the Danspace Project staff as well as to Angie Pittman, Charmaine Warren, Davalois Fearon, Edisa Weeks, Grace Osborne, Jasmine Hearn, Kayla Hamilton, Leslie Parker, Marguerite Hemmings, Marjani Forté-Saunders, Maria Bauman, Marýa Wethers, Melanie Greene, Nia Love, Ni'Ja Whitson, Paloma McGregor, Rakiya Orange, Samantha Speis, Sydnie L. Mosley, Sidra Bell and Tara Aisha Willis, performers in the skeleton architecture, or the future of our worlds, Lost and Found platform, October 22

Okay, that's my list! What's on yours?


(photo: D. Feller)

--Eva Yaa Asantewaa, InfiniteBody



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