Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A nearly-winter Wonderland of art at Invisible Dog

You're in Wonderland
in Boerum Hill's The Invisible Dog Art Center.
(photos: Maria Baranova)

Dance artist Yanira Castro of a canary torsi has made her first venture into video installation with PERFORMANCE | PORTRAIT, part of Wonderland, a new exhibition at The Invisible Dog, the Boerum Hill art center directed by Lucien Zayan. I found Castro's work here--which I won't spoil for you--to be an experience to be seduced by, to breathe with. I don't know if this video actually recalibrates one's seeing, but if you then look around the rest of Wonderland, you might notice similar invitations to take your time, lean in close and savor what's tiny and intricate and often interestingly elusive.

Viewing schedule for PERFORMANCE | PORTRAIT:
In main space: December 3-30
In the glass house: January 5-15

features over twenty artists:

Douglas Adesko, Matilde Alessandra, Vanessa Belli, Connie Bree, Guillaume Bresson, Tegan Brozyna, Jon Burgerman, Halsey Chait, Timothy Corbett, Andrea DeFelice, Digby and Iona, Lars van Dooren, Shannon Finnegan, Ryan Frank, Camille de Galbert, Crystal Gregory, Michael Hili, Oliver Jeffers, Caitlin Masley, Spencer Merolla, Anne Mourier, Dara Oshin, Mac Premo, Patrick Reynolds, Rachel Selekman, William Suran, Ian Trask, Peter Treiber, Nikita Vishnevskiy, Kevin Waldron and Alexa Williams

Viewing schedule for WONDERLAND:
Saturday, December 3 to Friday, December 30

Special Gallery Hours:
Monday to Saturday from 12pm to 7pm
Sunday from 12pm to 5pm

The Invisible Dog Art Center
51 Bergen Street, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

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"Dance": a Lucinda Childs revival at The Joyce

Dance (1979) by Lucinda Childs,
presented in the second week of
Lucinda Childs Dance Company at The Joyce Theater
(photo: Sally Cohn)

I wonder if everyone feels that kick of anticipation whenever, after much agitation, the stage hangs empty in Lucinda Childs's Dance, the 1979 masterpiece now revived at The Joyce Theater. It's like being suspended high above the ground before your ride descends...or your parachute, hopefully, opens.

In Dance, the dozen skimming, twirling live dancers--and their looming predecessors in the Sol LeWitt film--create a hallucination so intense, do audacious that it wears down any rational desire for it to end. Gridded surfaces for dancing float, tilt at crazy angles, appear and disappear--as ghostly as the live and filmed dancers themselves in Philip Glass's whirlpool of music. And, later, the goddess herself--her image pure, as stately as an ancient temple--stands in floor-length raiment, arms flat against her thighs, staring out into the audience and freezing her votaries in place. We must give her her due. Brava to this dangerous woman!

Lucinda Childs Dance Company 's Program B--Dance--continues at The Joyce through December 11.  For schedule details and tickets, click here.

The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue (corner of 19th Street), Manhattan

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Welcome 2017 with poetry!

Dance artist Yoshiko Chuma
(photo: Jacob Burckhardt)

43rd Annual 
New Year’s Day 
Marathon Benefit Reading for

Sunday, January 1, 2017
3pm to 2am

St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery

150 poets, musicians, dancers, and other artists
celebrate The Poetry Project's 50th anniversary!

Above: poet Pamela Sneed
(photo: Jacob Burckhardt)
Below: singer/performance artist Justin Vivian Bond
(photo: Ted Roeder)

Featuring the reading’s founder Anne Waldman, 75 Dollar Bill, Penny Arcade, Justin Vivian Bond, Yoshiko Chuma, Andrei Codrescu, Grace Dunham, Douglas Dunn, Andrew Durbin, John Giorno, Che Gossett, Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves, M. Lamar, Jonas Mekas, Thurston Moore, Tracie Morris, Eileen Myles, Edgar Oliver, Tommy Pico, Yvonne Rainer, Reno, Sarah Schulman, Elliott Sharp, Pamela Sneed, Tammy Faye Starlight, Nurit Tilles, Lynne Tillman, Edwin Torres, Rachel Trachtenburg, Hannif Willis-Abdurraqib, Martha Wilson, John Yau, and many more.

Full lineup of performers:

$20 (in advance)
$25/$20 students/seniors (at the door)

Advance tickets:

Food and refreshments will be available. Seating is available on a first come, first-served basis. The Poetry Project is wheelchair-accessible with assistance and advance notice; please call 212-674-0910 for more information.

The Poetry Project
St. Mark’s Church
131 East 10th Street (2nd Avenue), Manhattan

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Orlando Zane Hunter, Jr.: Receiving our spiritual nourishment

Orlando Zane Hunter, Jr.
is a choreographer who researches, illustrates and creates
 from an African-American male perspective. 
In his work, he tackles issues resulting from 
a capitalistic imperialist patriarchal white supremacist system.

(photo by Ricarrdo Valentine)

Love & Forgiveness: I am really interested in the social function of love and forgiveness. I question a society that calls itself a “Christian nation” yet remains at odds with the practice of that very philosophy. I’ve found that love and forgiveness in this society is derived out of a white heterosexual patriarchal religious structure. In order to receive these vibrations (because we are humans and understand frequencies i.e. feelings, hence the use), according to the dominant socio-religion you have to assimilate to the specific ways in which love and forgiveness is imparted to you. For me the concept of love and forgiveness is found in the humanity of my mother’s and grandmother’s hands. Where do we receive our spiritual nourishment?
Collard greens and Corn bread go together like love and forgiveness an ancient healing practice. Most of us forget the ways in which we’ve fucked up. Our mothers and grandmothers, and this a general statement, are always there fueling us since birth. It’s up to us as growing citizens of our communities to look at these finite yet very embodied experiences of love and forgiveness as tools of resistance. I ingested the magic of my mother and grandmother, becoming realized, knowing that in order for me to pass through this plane of existence I’d need to learn how to love myself and forgive myself and reciprocate that with others. How do we become active in love and forgiveness? Let’s cook more, sharing the warmth of our souls with hungry hearts and stomachs.  
-- Orlando Zane Hunter, Jr.

how to survive a plague
by Brother(hood) Dance! 
(Ricarrdo Valentine and Orlando Zane Hunter, Jr.)
Danspace Project at St.Marks Church
Platform 2016: Lost & Found
Co-curated by Ishmael Houston-Jones and Will Rawls

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Sunday, December 4, 2016

12th Annual Barnard/Columbia Dances at New York Live Arts

No, these Barnard and Columbia dance students do not play. In several performances this weekend at New York Live Arts, they stepped up and nailed four demanding works--Sasha Waltz's Fantasie (2006), staged by Kevin Quinaou, and three world premieres by David Thomson, Joanna Kotze and Jennifer Archibald. And if yesterday's matinee left me absolutely sure I've seen enough of dancers running--Waltz, I'm looking at you in particular, though not exclusively--it also underscored the strengths of the Barnard College dance training. The quicksilver versatility, commitment and stamina of these young performers are impressive. As for the new works, I can say--again, with utmost certainty--that Archibald's Shades ruled the day. Dramatically lit by Tricia Toliver, it's the perfect hip hop video gone live at New York Live Arts, and some movement looks compelling simply because it's danced in unison, spread over and magnified by a mass of fourteen bodies. But the dancers bring everything into lasar-sharp focus. This one's worth a repeat. Presenters, I hope you're reading this! Worth a repeat.

Congratulations to all the dancers, all the choreographers and everyone at Barnard College Department of Dance.

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Alice Drummond, 88

Alice Drummond, Character Actress, Dies at 88
by Daniel E. Slotnik, The New York Times, December 3, 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Afro-Caribbean legacy: Visit "La Sirene" this weekend

The Afro-Cuban Lukumi Arts--founded in 2008 as "an open and growing collective of artists, orisha/palo priests and practitioners, singers, dancers, percussionists, MCs and producers"--presents La Sirene: Rutas de Azucar at Brooklyn's JACK performance space now through tomorrow evening. Dedicated to the Black mermaid water deity who protected Haitian sugarcane workers on their way to Cuba, the 90-minute program is an immersive experience created by a thriving network of multi-talented, accomplished artists dedicated to the continuing relevance of Afro-Atlantic history and spiritual culture especially in our time of renewed resistance to oppression.

For four days, singer/performer Jadele McPherson in collaboration with Director Charlotte Brathwaite, offers a cosmic sonic journey through black liberation figures, conjurers and spiritual leaders from Haiti and Cuba, surrounded by fellow performers Val Jeanty, Maxine Montilus, Yomaira Gonzalez, Caridad Paisan Garbey, Bembesito Akpon, Hansel Vaillant and Daniel Gil. La Sirene: Rutas de Azucar (“The Siren: Routes of Sugar”) probes Cuban revolutionary José Antonio Aponte's libro de pinturas, a book of paintings, of black heroes that served as a catalyst for an attempted rebellion against colonists, leading to the first conspiracy and abolition charge in Spanish-speaking Latin America. Through sound and movement, McPherson maps the connections between West Indian and Haitian migrations to Cuba to harvest sugarcane and repositions the Cuban ingenio (sugar mill) as a birthplace of freedom that extends beyond borders and waters.

Each performance is followed by a special event. Tonight's--on the eve of Santa Barbara/Shango's day--the cast will offer "Afro-Cuban Rumba for the Vispera de Santa Barbara-Chango." Sunday evening will conclude with "Healing Quisqueya and Beyond," a reference to the Taino name for the island including the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. This panel features Dr. Nathalie Guillaume, Goussy Célestin, Jose Perez and Osvaldo Lora.

Dr. Nathalie Guillaume is an alumnus of the University of Miami where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Foreign Languages. She holds a Master of Science in Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Atlantic Institute of Oriental Medicine, and a Clinical Doctorate in Pain Management & Oncology from Bastyr University. She specializes in lifestyle medicine with an emphasis on nutrition, meditation & Qi Gong, and is dedicated to promoting the benefits of holistic health to the community. She is currently adjunct faculty for the Graduate School of Oriental Medicine at the New York College of Health Professions and practices in New York City where she is the CEO and Medical Director of Healing Happy Hour.
Goussy Célestin currently performs throughout the NYC-Tri state area as a musician and dancer. She is an alum of ASE Dance Theater Collective, a neo-folklore ensemble dedicated to the traditional/contemporary arts of the African Diaspora filtered through Haitian music and dance. She is also a member of ¡Retumba!, an all-female multi-ethnic music-dance ensemble dedicated to the traditions of the Caribbean and Latin-America, in addition to serving as lead vocalist for Charanga Soleil. Ms. Célestin's wide range of interests and versatility, has led her to study classical piano, Jazz and Latin music. While in Cuba, she had the honor of performing with members of the Buena Vista Social Club, as well as performing/mentoring with members of Grupo AfroCuba de Matanzas, Yoruba Andabo and Clave Y Guaguanco. She has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Del Terzo Studio at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, SOB's, the Knitting Factory, NJPAC, Tilles Center, Newark Symphony Space, Joe's Pub, as well as various jazz clubs in NYC.

Osvaldo "Bembesito" Lora. Bembesito is one of the most renowned and versatile "akpons" in the U.S. and maybe even internationally speaking. With over 10 years of experience performing religious ceremonies and as an olo Obatala he brings a level of professionalism that is hard to find in most ceremonies. Bembesito's crew does it all, from cajon to guiro to Aña and even the music of the 21 divisions from the Dominican Republic also called los palos. Over all the experience you will receive at a ceremony where Bembesito performs will be clean, authentic, professional and like no other...

Jose Perez is a writer and editor, an investigative reporter, a West Indian Nationalist, and a public school history teacher at North Miami Middle School where over 80% of his students are Haitian.  He infuses social justice into  his underground curriculum, which has led to him to become a leader in professional development trainings to teachers in the Miami-Dade County Public School System, the 4th largest in the United States. Pérez also was a  Research Assistant for Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando during the production of her moving documentary about Haitians in Cuba,
Reembarque.  Collaborating with and Dr. Andrea Queely of Florida International University, he brought Ms. Rolando to North Miami Middle for her only Florida screening of Reembarque.  Pérez has been recognized by the Haitian American Cultural Society as well as the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners of Miami-Dade County for journalistic coverage of Haitian heritage. Perez's interest in the bridges between Ayiti & Kiba is as deep as the joy found in a plate of homemade legume.

La Sirene: Rutas de Azucar continues tonight and tomorrow with performances at 8pm. Seating is limited. For more information and tickets, click here.

505 1/2 Waverly Avenue (between Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue), Brooklyn

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