Friday, December 21, 2012

Stuff I liked a whole lot in 2012

Once again, my dear readers, here's my end-of-year list of cultural high points, fond memories and mad, mad crushes, completely personal and subjective, and sort of in chronological order...

Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion -- Live!: The Realest MC (2011, excerpts) at Focus Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater (January 4 & 8) Abraham, choreography. Dan Scully, lighting. Abraham and Kristi Wood, costumes.

Kate Weare -- Garden (2011) at Focus Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater (January 4 & 8). Weare, choreography. Kurt Perschke, set design. All performers; special mention: Leslie Kraus and Bergen Wheeler

Writer/director Toshiki Okada and his chelfitsch Theater Company (Japan) -- Hot Pepper, Air Conditioner, and The Farewell Speech at Under The Radar Festival at Japan Society (January 5-14)

Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project -- Word Becomes Flesh at Under The Radar Festival at The Public Theater (January 5-15). Special mention: B. Yung

Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods & EIRA -- New York premiere of Blessed -- at New York Live Arts (January 12-14). Created and performed by Francisco Camacho, Abraham Hurtado and Kotomi Nishiwaki; music by Hanh Rowe; installation by Doris Dziersk.

Young Jean Lee and all collaborators on Untitled Feminist Show -- at Baryshnikov Arts Center (January 12-February 4). Performers: Blackwell, World Famous *BOB*, Amelia Zirin-Brown (aka Lady Rizo), Hilary Clark, Katy Pyle and Regina Rocke

Omagbitse Omagbeni in Keely Garfield's Twin Pines at Danspace Project (January 19-21)

Nicholas Leichter and Bryan Strimpel in excerpts from Twenty (work-in-progress) at 651 Art's Live & Outspoken, Mark Morris Dance Center

Wicked Fish by Huang Yi, performed by Cloud Gate 2 at The Joyce Theater, February 8-12

Parallels platform, curated by Ishmael Houston-Jones at Danspace Project, February 2-March 28

Labyrinth Within, film directed by Pontus Lidberg, written by Lidberg with Niklas Holmgren, starring Wendy Whelan, Pontus Lidberg and Giovanni Bucchieri, with music by David Lang. Screened at Baryshnikov Arts Center, February 21
The fabulous Carolina Chocolate Drops
Carolina Chocolate Drops at Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, March 2

How To Survive A Plague, film directed by David France, New Directions/New Films Festival, March

651 Arts Live & Outspoken: Judith Jamison interviewing Garth Fagan, March 13. Special mention: performances by Norwood Pennewell and Nicolette Depass; performance by Vitolio Jeune

theRevisitation, Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group, New York Live Arts, March 14-17, Wilson and entire team. Special mention: dancer Paul Hamilton; lighting designer Jonathan Belcher

The Tarot Museum, Morena Poltronieri, Riola, Italy
Interviewing BAX's Marya Warshaw in March, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 
Strange Cargo (finale of Painted Bird Trilogy), Pavel Zuštiak/Palissimo at Synod House, Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Performers: Jeremy Xido, Luke Murphy, Lindsey Dietz Marchant, Giulia Carotenuto and Denisa Musilova. Joe Levasseur (lighting) and Christian Frederickson and Ryan Rumery (original music/live performance).

NOX by Rashaun Mitchell at Danspace Project. Performed by Mitchell and Silas Riener, Anne Carson (text), Benjamin Miller (music) and Robert Currie. With lighting by Davison Scandrett. Costumes by Mary Jo Mecca and Telfar Clemens.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at The Joyce Theater, May 15-27. Ensemble performances in Hofesh Shechter's Violet Kid and Crystal Pite's Grace Engine

Michelle Ellsworth in The Pythagodress at Danspace Project, May 24-26. Costume design by Priscilla Cohan, Janice Lacek and Bruce Miller

Pressing Empty by Melissa Riker & Kinesis Project Dance Theatre at Danspace Project, June 14-16. Melissa Riker for choreography, performances by Riker and Zoe Bowick, Andrew Broaddus, Hilary Brown, Madeline Hoak, Jun Lee and Benjamin Oyzon. Musical score by Katie Down. Costumes by Amy Pedgio Otto, Tracy Klein and Kara Harmon. Lighting by Kia Rogers.

Rodrigo Pederneiras, choreographer, and Paquito D'Rivera, composer, for Come With Me by Limon Dance Company, The Joyce Theater, June 19-24. Also, dancing by Durrell Comedy, Kristen Foote and Logan Francis Kruger in various pieces
Derick K. Grant, Michelle Dorrance and Brenda Bufalino at Writing on Tap seminar, co-produced by Collective for Dance Writing and New Media and American Tap Dance Foundation, June 23 (photo by Eva Yaa Asantewaa)
Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance at Danspace Project, June 28-30. All dancers, musicians and singers. Kathy Kaufmann for lighting.

Jason Samuels Smith at The Joyce Theater, July. Samuels Smith in Imagine; Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Chloe Arnold and Michelle Dorrance in excerpts from Charlie's Angels 

Nora Chipaumire's Miriam at BAM Fisher (Fishman Space), September 12-15. also dancing: Okwui Okpokwasili. Music by Omar Sosa. Lighting by Olivier Chausse. Costume by Naoko Nagata. Sound by Lucas Indelicato

Clarinda Mac Low's 40 Dancers do 40 Dances for the Dancers at Danspace Project, September 13-15. Numerous dancers.

Karma Mayet JohnsonIndigo: a Blues Opera, entire production at Dixon Place

Tami StronachMe and Not Me at Dance New Amsterdam, September 19-22. Duet: Stronach and Lindsey Dietz-Marchant. Lighting: Joe Levasseur. Sound design: Jane Shaw, including vocal by Karina Denike

Voices of Strength (program A) at New York Live Arts, curated by Cathy Zimmerman of MAPP International Productions. Choreography and performance by Nelisiwe Xaba (South Africa), Ketty Noël (Haitian-born, living in Mali) and Nadia Beugré (Cote d’Ivoire)

Philadanco at The Joyce Theater, October 2-7, including performance of Gatekeepers (1999) choreographed by Ronald K. Brown and Wake Up (2012) choreographed by Rennie Harris; performance of Roxanne Lyst in Moan by Matthew Rushing

Takashi Ueno in Raimund Hoghe's Pas de deux at Baryshnikov Arts Center, October 10-12

Thibault Lac in Trajal Harrell's Judson Church is Ringing in Harlem (Made-to-Measure)/Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church (M2M), part of PLATFORM 2012: Judson Now, Danspace Project, October 11-13. Costumes by Complexgeometries
At The Bessie Awards at The Apollo Theater with Dale Amanda O'Reilly, October 15 (photo by Donna Mason)
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch in "...como el musguito en la piedra, ay si, si, si..." at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, October 18-26

Meredith Monk in Pioneer Days at Danspace Project, part of PLATFORM 2012: Judson Now

Lucy Guerin's Untrained at BAM Fisher, November 27-December 1 (Michael Dunbar, Alisdair Macindoe, Ross McCormack and Jake Shackleton)

Tere O'Connor's 2 New Works at New York Live Arts, November 27-December 1 (especially poem, and performance by Natalie Green, Heather Olson, Michael Ingle, Oisín Monaghan and Silas Riener)

Ros Warby in Deborah Hay's As Holy Sites Go/duet at Danspace Project, November-December 2012
Interviewing the venerable Middle Eastern dance artist Anahid Sofian at Gibney Dance Center, December 8
August Wilson's The Piano Lesson at Signature Theatre (writing, acting, sets)

The Robert Glasper Experiment at Harlem Stage Gatehouse in Robert Glasper: Songs in The Key of Life (including singers Lalah Hathaway, Eric Roberson and Stokley), December 13-14

Christian Marclay's The Clock at MoMA, December 21 through January 21
It has been a notably challenging year for me, as for so many others, but not without its precious rewards--including so many opportunities to learn from and enjoy the work of talented artists. I am continuously blessed.
Here's to 2013! See you around town! 

Eva Yaa Asantewaa

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