John Cale: 50th Anniversary of The Velvet Underground & Nico

One of the first cassette tapes I purchased at Tower Records when I moved to the East Village in the late 1980s was The Velvet Underground & Nico. I would walk down St. Marks Place and imagine what it would have been like to have been at one of Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable shows…

Big Dance Theater: 17c

Before there was social media, there was the diary — written in private, but often to an imagined public. Some diaries become read by millions: case in point, the diary of Samuel Pepys. He actually is known to us mainly because of his diary, which he wrote from 1660 until 1669. He spared nothing: his…

Grand Finale: Hofesh Shechter Company

Let me just say it: Grand Finale — performed Thursday evening by Hofesh Shechter Company at Brooklyn Academy of Music — was nothing short of epic. In a smoky world of deep shadows and imposing monoliths, ten dancers navigate a constantly shifting environment that seems at turns like a war zone or a celebration of life….

State of Siege (L’État de siège)

“Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified at having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. It is always the same words telling the same lies. And the fact that men accept this, that the people’s anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me…

Point Pleasant, The Legend of The Mothman

“Hello? Can you hear me? Hello? Hello?” I hang up. My friend from Ohio is on his way to visit family who live just over the Ohio River in West Virginia, and his phone has cut out. No surprise. We often chat on the phone during his drives there and back, and almost like clockwork,…

Richard III

Richard III, as portrayed by William Shakespeare, is a vile humpbacked villain. Richard III, as portrayed by Lars Eidenger of Schaubühne Berlin (and directed by Thomas Ostermeier) last night at The Brooklyn Academy of Music, is almost like an evil deformed rock star dressed in clothing more suited for bondage than for ruling. He is…

Dance Heginbotham: The Principles of Uncertainty

flâ·ne·rie * flän(ə)ˈrē * noun * aimless idle behavior Place a beloved illustrator/artist/author on the stage. Mix in an exciting dance company who happened to be new to me — Dance Heginbotham. Stir in a bit of whimsy, and a fun music ensemble, The Knights (featuring an accordian player and a flutist with an incredible voice.) What you…

Dance Double Header: Twyla Tharp Dance and Bobbi Jene

Sometimes the dance gods dish out back-to-back goodness. This week was one of those weeks. On Thursday I attended the Twyla Tharp Dance performance at The Joyce Theater, and then the next evening — thank you CUNY Dance Initiative for your post — I won free tickets to see a documentary called Bobbi Jene, about…

Pina Bausch: Café Müller & The Rite of Spring

I knew when I saw the stage hands spreading dirt on the floor during intermission that I was in for yet another one of Pina Bausch’s elemental works of choreography — and by elemental, I do mean the elements: earth, air, fire and water. This was not my first time seeing Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch…

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…