Pilobolus

Dancers as birds in flesh-toned leotards. Sculptures brought to life on a pedestal. Kaleidoscopic videos of dancers in real time. Misfit characters dancing with tiny chairs. An audience in awe as summer rain held off last Thursday evening and the phenomenonal dance troupe called Pilobus reigned supreme from the bandshell in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Just…

Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival 2017

If you have not heard of the environmental organization called Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, I urge you to look them up. Started by folk musician and environmentalist, Pete Seeger and his wife, Toshi, its mission since its founding in 1969 is to protect the waters of the Hudson River and beyond. Supporting this mission is…

Lila Downs, Orkesta Mendoza, and Garth Fagan Dance

My first two Celebrate Brooklyn! events of the season, and they could not have been more different. Thursday evening, I was exhausted from work and not up to crowds. I brought my dinner to Prospect Park and spent a peaceful evening on the grass under a tree listening first to the zany, rollicking, madcap musical…

Brooklyn Youth Chorus: Silent Voices

I sing in a very talented Brooklyn community chorus (the Park Slope Singers, if you must know!) We work hard, rehearsing each Monday evening under the excellent direction of Dusty Francis and our amazing pianist, Travis Horton. They both try their best to teach us proper vocal technique and other intricacies of choral mastery. Dusty encourages us…

Doug Varone and Dancers

Composers. Color. Costumes. Sculptural forms. Pattern. Art. Emotion. Humanity. Movement. I think I love dance because it is the intersection of all of the art forms. Last Thursday evening at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, I had the pleasure of experiencing the work of Doug Varone and Dancers for the first time. As usual, it…

887 by Ex Machina

How is it that I have only just discovered Robert Lepage’s fascinating work? No surprise that Brooklyn Academy of Music introduced me to him, by way of the utterly absorbing multimedia theater performance called 887. He and his unbelievably talented group of collaborators, Ex Machina, created an entire world on the stage, taking us not…

Tom Gold Dance

Modern dance that focuses on classical training is my favorite combination. I am not a professional dancer, although I have danced. I am also not a scholar in cultural studies. I am just a Brooklynite with a passion for the arts, and when time and money allow, I see a lot of dance. It is…

By Morning

Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do? — Buddhist koan In a darkened room, a young man in a black suit runs his finger across a lampshade. On the coffee table is a bottle of whisky and three half-finished drinks. Dead flowers slump in a vase. Light shines…

Aging Magician

Last summer in Prospect Park, at Celebrate Brooklyn, I just happened to sit next to the parents of one of the members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. We were all there to experience composer Paola Prestini’s ambitious virtual reality opera, The Hubble Cantata, and the chorus was part of the performance. The parents happened to…

Escaped Alone

I came very close to adding Escaped Alone by Caryl Churchill to my BAM subscription this winter but in the end, it did not make the cut (I had to be very selective at the time.) Luckily, my friend Rebecca ended up with an extra ticket and I had the privilege of seeing this terrific play…

Batsheva Dance Company: Last Work

Like languorous animals, suddenly pouncing; like edgy hyperactive aliens; like crazy-joyful-depressed zombies; like the best birthday gift to myself ever — these are the inchoate thoughts crowding my head as I left the Brooklyn Academy of Music last night. How to describe a performance by Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company? Best to keep it to the wild jumble of…

The Beauty Queen of Leenane

My week began with a sudden and painful dental emergency, but antibiotics worked their magic and I felt back to normal as the lights dimmed at BAM’s Harvey Theater on Thursday evening. The Beauty Queen of Leenane commenced, and it was not long before I felt a new kind of pain — an uncomfortably real and heart-wrenching…