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…

The Winter’s Tale

This was a bittersweet 2016 Next Wave Festival for me this year. For numerous reasons, I missed out on many shows I wish I could have seen. Thank goodness for the BAM social media team for sharing so much about the performances I could not attend. It was kinda sorta like being there. That said, I…

Kings of War

I sat on the G train on Friday evening — headed to Brooklyn Academy of Music — wondering if I had made a big mistake. Kings of War, performed in Dutch (with surtitles) by Toneelgroep Amsterdam and directed by Ivo van Hove had seemed like a no-brainer. (His Antigone at BAM last fall was fantastic.)…

Letter to a Man

A jarring buzz. The sound of a whip cracking? There are voices all around me. I am not sure where they are coming from. The voices repeat themselves exhaustively — sometimes in Russian. Lights flash on, then abruptly off. Random snatches of music enter my awareness. A man moves like a dream – glacially. Did…

Vortex Temporum

Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is one of the contemporary choreographers I most admire. I discovered her accidentally, through my love of contemporary music. The first time I saw her work was at Brooklyn Academy of Music, when her dance company, Rosas, presented Drumming, performed to the seminal  percussive work of the same name by Steve Reich. I already…

The Hunger

Someone once told me that you can tell how fantastic a music festival is if the number of bands you wished you could have seen is equally as long as the groups you did get to see. This rule certainly applies to the BAM Next Wave Festival. The list of what I wish I could…

Phaedra(s)

I set off a smoke detector as I left the Brooklyn Academy of Music last night, but it was not because I was smoking. It was because of the hot mess of passion Aphrodite stirred up in the poor Phaedras – all three of them — played with a sizzling ferociousness by the inimitable French…

the public domain, final rehearsal with Simon Halsey and Annie-B Parson

“Singing is the best example I can think of, of people who don’t necessarily know each other … form[ing] a community to create something.” — David Lang, quoted in the Wall Street Journal regarding the public domain. I absolutely agree. I belong to many civic and arts organizations, and I have created the most diverse,…

The Hubble Cantata

The stars were certainly out in Brooklyn last night. I mean gazillions of stars — more stars than I have ever seen here in our light-polluted city. In fact, I felt like I was floating through the cosmos. I could see infinite space in every direction. There were shooting stars, and I even watched the birth of a star in…

the public domain: rehearsal with Simon Halsey

Get ready to mark your calendars! Last Friday we began weekly rehearsals for an exciting choral event to be held later this summer in NYC in the plaza at Lincoln Center. This Wednesday evening we had a special rehearsal with the delightful Simon Halsey — Choral Director of the London Symphony Orchestra — who will conduct…