Winter/Spring 2016 Cultural Highlights

I try very hard to keep up with this blog, but sometimes life gets in the way. In my case, very often it’s a wealth of cultural outings crowding out my writing time. (Not a bad problem to have, I admit!) Before the spring turns to summer, I want to note some of the rich…

The Spinning Wheel Festival, Part II

It is with a mixture of joy and sadness that I attended my last event as part of the fabulous Spinning Wheel Festival last night at BRIC — joy because this was an incredible experience and sadness because it is nearly over. (The first two events I attended are reviewed here.) This two-week multimedia festival was…

The Spinning Wheel Festival, Part I

Dig it, man! On Friday night at BRIC, I was thrilled to attend the opening of both the interactive exhibition and the multimedia performance of The Spinning Wheel, based on the life of steve ben israel and The Living Theater.  The Spinning Wheel Festival was brilliantly conceived by steve’s son, hip hop theater artist Baba Israel….

The Exalted

I am really sorry to say that I spent an excruciatingly long hour last night at BAM’s Fishman Space where I saw The Exalted (based on the German-Jewish art historian, Carl Einstein.) I really wish I had liked it more than I did, because Carl Hancock Rux (who conceived and wrote the piece) has a reputation for…

Refuse the Hour

I just got home from the fabulous experimental chamber opera Refuse The Hour by artist William Kentridge. It was part of BAM’s  Next Wave Festival. It was hard to describe, but try to imagine this: a mad steampunk scientific traveling circus lab that is exploring the concept of time — with a dash of Robert Wilson…

New Society by Miranda July

Several years ago, my friend from Ohio raved about a performance art piece that Miranda July staged while she was in Columbus. It was called New Society and my friend could not stop gushing about how interesting it was. He said she created a whole world in two hours, and that it involved the audience’s…

Taylor Mac: The 20th Century Abridged

I hate arriving at events late, but every once in a while it just can’t be avoided. I arrived at Taylor Mac’s show last night at Celebrate Brooklyn several songs in, and I am sure I missed a delightful beginning. That said, what a performance! It was grand! It was touching! It was hilarious! It…

On Behalf of Nature

I have had a hard time making up my mind what to say about tonight’s performance. Interestingly, eekahil’s comment on the BAM blog helps me. I, too, have seen a number of Meredith Monk performances — at BAM and at Danspace Project. I am very familiar with her movement and vocal style, and consider myself…

Recycling Atlantis

I stopped by the 80WSE Gallery at NYU on Thursday, November 13, to experience Recycling Atlantis, a live exhibition in celebration of the artist, philosopher and educator Jack Smith. I arrived to find quite an exciting scene, and was glad I made the effort to come out on a rainy evening to be there. My…

The Source

I attended 21c Liederabend last year at BAM and was intrigued by the arias presented from The Source which was commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects. When I saw the entire opera was being staged at BAM’s Fisher Theater, I knew it was going to be a memorable experience, and I was right. The use of the black box space was…

Shakespeare’s Sonnets

I go to a Robert Wilson performance for all the usual reasons: lighting, costuming, his signature movements and gestures, his signature sounds and vocalizations. Therefore, I was not at all disappointed. I was thrilled to see this production. There were moments that I particularly enjoyed: When it was the aged, vain Queen Elizabeth who recited,…

Alan Smithee Directed This Play: Triple Feature

I am a fan of Big Dance Theater’s work and last night’s performance at BAM was no exception. I am fascinated by the intersection of dance, theater and music. I especially enjoy the repeating gestures and movements of the choreography, and the way the spoken word, song, movement and characterization is completely woven together. The costuming…