Posts Tagged ‘ballet’

Apollo’s Girl

July 31, 2013

Art, Music, Film

 Apollo+dance+with+the+muses-1024x768-20491 (2)

Fearless Predictions (and a Surprise)

First, the surprise: I have to admit, right off the bat (pun intended) that I’ve just never been able to get excited about baseball. Spent evenings with friends who really got into the game, but remember the intervals between plays seeming endless; the action that had them screaming and rising to their feet for every hit, every run, felt (to a woman who loved tennis and hockey) like perpetual slow motion. I also remember dozing off and, when I grew up a little, remembering urgent appointments elsewhere until I was no longer asked to be part of the couch potato cheering section.

But I promised you a surprise, and there is one: cuban baseballA friend (similarly inclined) recently took me to The Eighth Floor for what was supposed to be a flyover of Stealing Base: Cuba at Bat on our way to dinner.  What a revelation! As it turns out baseball is the Cuban national passion, inspiring prose, poetry and, in the case of this exhibition, a trove of witty and fascinating paintings and sculptures, even some film, on the subject. The flyover was canceled as we loped repeatedly around the show, our delight increasing with each tour and revelation (and some welcome Cuban snacks).  Could we have been wrong all these years? You have til September 2 to discover for yourselves; take advantage of the pleasure, and see what this congenial Flatiron gallery has coming up:

Now for the Fearless Predictions…

4 x 4 Festival. If baseball is a new friend, early music goes back a long way (yes, steinanother pun). And there’s nothing cooler in the dog days than a scrum of viols, sacbuts, theorbos and portative organs to lure you into chilling out with like-minded souls. Led by Avi Stein, who can summon the best players, 4 x 4 is a loose consortium of friends and colleagues who play and sing up and down the Eastern seaboard and around the world, a live organism forever separating and reconnecting as their repertoire demands.

Of course the energy of their shared passion pervades their work, and includes forays into contemporary and pop repertoire, too. QuicksilverBehindthescenesIt’s an attitude reflected in the names of their individual groups (most have at least one of their own): Guido’s Ear, Quicksilver, Apollo’s Fire, King’s Noyseplayful and ecstatic at the same time. Nothing doleful here! Whenever it was composed, it’s music for our time. This year’s four-part feast began last night and continues through August 2. So get thee to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on time (concerts begin at 7pm; admission is free and first-come, first-served; there is a $20 suggested donationmake it it’s a bargain at the price!) Programs:

Film/Video: Opera, Dance

Emerging Pictures has scored another coup Ira_Teaching(its president, Ira Deutchman, is known for his visionary taste and quick-moving distribution skills) with a summer series of top-of- the-line live-in-HD dance and opera performances recorded live at the Bolshoi, The Hague, Covent Garden, and now — throughout August — at La Scala. To celebrate Verdi’s 200th anniversary, the menu includes performances of Aida, Don Carlo, and La Traviata, with big names and bigger-than-life drama: Alagna,  Urmano, Furlanetto, Zajick, Gheorgiu, Vargas.  The programming brings the best of global Angela-Gheorghiu-Vargas-Traviata-RomalyparaLNPara_LNCIMA20130124_0377_5performances to the United States, with options far beyond the stages of the Metropolitan Opera. It’s an exciting (and affordable) idea, with venues all around the country, and technology that permits long-distance live Q & As.  To find out what’s coming up (and where), see

And if you want to see Emerging Pictures current film lineup (some of the best of what’s playing now or coming soon), It’s all good!

Fearless Predictions

May 1, 2012

La Fille Mal Gardée (May 16, 2:30 pm, BAM Rose Cinemas): From the Ballet in Cinema series, a live transmission from London’s Royal Opera House of the Royal Ballet in a performance of Frederick Ashton’s final full-length ballet, based on an original that’s practically ancient. In terms of its origins, this may be the oldest ballet you’ll ever see. Its first performance took place only two weeks before the French Revolution. The Guardian called Ashton’s version “a comedy in the Shakespearean manner.” BAMtickets  
video clip

The Beaux’ Stratagem (May 14, 7:30 pm, Red Bull): An adaptation by Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig of George Farquhar’s Restoration comedy. This is another reading, this time co-produced by The Acting Company, from Red Bull Theater, which has been presenting well-prepared readings of seldom-seen Jacobean and Restoration works for some years now with excellent casts. Red Bull tickets  —JEB

Ragtime (Manhattan School of Music, May 8, 9, 10 at 7:30) Based on E.L. Doctorow’s novel, Ragtime has a compelling story and score (see post of Dec. 22, 2009), and is likely to be the same high-energy emotional roller-coaster as the school’s recent Godspell (see post of May 19, 2010, and scroll down). If you haven’t seen the show, this is your chance! ragtime tickets                                                            —AG

Ensemble ACJW at Trinity Church (May 10 at 1 pm): This evolving group (a collaborative of top-notch students from four top-notch programs) will perform  George Perle’s bracing Critical Moments II, then encourage listeners to sink deep into the romantic soul of Brahm‘s luscious Clarinet Quintet in B minor. It’s not likely to get any better than this…especially at lunchtime. trinity church      —AG

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