As a somewhat clumsy individual with very little sense of rhythm I am totally in awe of dancers; the grace and expressiveness of their movements never cease to dazzle me.
In-I at BAM was especially interesting as Juliette Binoche is not a professional dancer and described this piece as ‘acting through movement.’ She and Akram Khan created a new sort of dance together; it is brilliantly evocative. What I liked most about the style was that while it was much less acrobatic than most dance it seemed to be more physical; the interaction between the two bodies seemed more emotionally charged than the more technical movements I’m used to seeing (especially in ballet). The weakest portions of the piece were the spoken narratives; they lacked the emotion and drama of the movement. Juliette Binoche has said that she does not intend to dance again but if she does be sure to snag those tickets early!
Juliette Binoche and Akram Khan in In-I at BAM
I also attended two of the Fall for Dance performances at City Center (remember when I waited in line all morning for tickets? It was worth it!). Each of the programs consisted of four pieces, each performed by a different dance company. I will just tell you a bit about my favorites.
Les Biches, a rarely seen work from the Ballets Russes, was an adorable depiction of the 1920s flapper scene. I particularly loved seeing the ballerinas hiding behind a big blue couch to spy on the men. This ballet was considered very provocative when it was first performed and while it’s hardly scandalous the mood it evokes is no less enjoyable.
Snow, choreographed and performed by Sang Jijia, was hypnotic and intensely beautiful. The “snow” drifting down on the stage made the scene ethereal and Jijia’s repetitive movements pulled the viewer into a trance. I couldn’t tell you how long the piece went on, only that afterwards I felt lonely and expectant. The program reads
When snow begins to fall,
The world is silent
And the mind begins to speak aloud…
I believe that is a perfect description of the piece.
Diana Vishneva’s performance of The Dying Swan was truly exquisite. The piece was originally danced by Anna Pavlova and I felt as though her elegance was inhabiting the stage. Vishneva is a prima ballerina at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, so we can only hope her company visits The Big Apple again soon!
Diana Vishneva as The Dying Swan
Many of the companies who participate in Fall for Dance perform here throughout the year; I will certainly be alerting you to exciting events but keep your eyes open for news of those dancers in particular and be sure to let me know if you find something before I do!
Tonight (Sept. 17) is the 2nd Annual Park Slope Restaurant Tour! Last year’s tour was my first date with G so this marks our 1 year anniversary. Head out to 7th Ave. with someone who might be special and see if stellar samples can be good luck for you too!
Starting tonight and running through Oct. 3 M.E.A.N.Y. Fest (Musicians & Emerging Artists New York) will be showcasing up and coming bands at various venues throughout the city. G and I will be seeing Black Taxi play next Saturday (Sept. 26) and we’d love to see you there!
Tonight is the opening reception for the Recession Art Sale. The exhibition itself will open Monday and run through next Sunday (Sept. 21-27). Here’s a piece by Thaddeus Radell, an artist whose work will be on sale:
Tomorrow night (Sept. 18) you can sample an array of Indian street food all in one place, the Indian Culinary Center:
Your hands and feet won’t be the only things pretty enough to eat at the Indian Culinary Center‘s (131 West 23rd Street) evening of Henna and Street Foods of India this Friday from 6-10 p.m. In addition to body art applied by an onsite specialist, the evening will feature such savory bites as Bhel Puri (spicy snack mix), Aloo Tikki (potato croquettes), and Kati Rolls (Indian wraps).
On Saturday (Sept. 19) find someone willing to give up their spot on a team and you could be part of a Craft Beer Scavenger Hunt run by the lovely folks of Metro Metro!
As part of NY Craft Beer Week, we are having a daylong, multi-borough discovery of beer, bars, and neighborhoods. Teams of four will pore over the city in the pursuit of delicious knowledge while embracing the healthy spirit of competition. To cap the day off, hunters will enjoy a private afterparty hosted at the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg.
The sixth annual Sagra del Maiale, an outdoor pig and apple festival commemorating the Autumnal Equinox, will take place outside il Buco between 1-8 p.m. The guest of honor will be a 200-pound heritage breed Crossabaw Pig, slow roasted in an “infiernillo” (“little hell”) by Chef Ignacio Mattos.
Il Buco Pig Roast 2007
If you can’t make it out to taste what Park Slope has to offer then you may want to sample the West Village Sunday (Sept. 20); Taste the West Village lets you try a number of top shelf restaurants for a small fee (from $10 depending on the number of tastes).
If you haven’t looked at my last post yet you should be sure to scroll down orclick hereto get more information on Juliette Binoche at BAM, Conflux (an annual New York festival for contemporary psychogeography) and the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, all of which are ongoing or coming up THIS weekend!
To that already exciting array I would like to make some additions!
This weekend and next you can experience Euripides as you’ve never experienced him before! The production of Medea playing at Petit Versailles is anything but the play you read aloud in your High School English class:
Medea at Le Petit Versailles is a cross-culturally cast production of a modern, poetic new translation of the classic Greek play. The production is a site-specific collaboration by local artists from a variety of fields, including dance, visual arts, film, theatre, and experimental music.
If you’d like your theater “to go” you should consider experiencing The Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; this innovative theater piece allows you to experience travel in a new way as you explore the neighborhood by bus. In an NPR story Robert Smith described the piece as “part tour, part narrative.” It’s certainly not plot-driven but if you’re looking to explore an area you’re unfamiliar with this is likely to be a much more poetic version of your standard tour.
Several times a year fashion designers gather in Midtown to bow down before the altar of Anna Wintour. Across the East River a very different set of designers exhibit their anti-establishment experimental work at Secret Project Robot:
Williamsburg Fashion Weekend, the original innovator of unorthodox fashion shows in Brooklyn, opens its sixth season on September 18th and 19th, at Secret Project Robot. The group of designers we assembled this year, with their finger on the pulse of our fashionable neighborhood, will display the diverse elements that make up what Williamsburg fashion aesthetic is about, right now!
Next week Fall For Dance is taking over New York City Center. You may recall that I spent all morning yesterday (and a good part of the afternoon) waiting on line to purchase tickets; if you were not on line with me you can still purchase some gallery seats and partial view seats at the box office. I’m most excited about performances by New York City Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
As far as I know Le Fooding is totally sold out but if you’re more cunning than I am try to get tickets to this foodie extravaganza at P.S. 1 next weekend. Le Fooding D’Amour is a showcase for up and coming French chefs as well as a place to see more established chefs in action.
FRANCE is actually home to countless up-to-date chefs. They just don’t get mentioned enough. The media are too dazzled by the glittering stars. The fact is that bourgeois cuisine is no longer France’s daily bread. Techo-cuisine never will be. In Paris, the gourmands are devouring the gourmets. Our favorite chefs are not celebrity chefs. Their photos aren’t printed on packs of vacuum-sealed ham. So where do you ﬁnd these oh-so-Parisian luxuries? In their restaurants, their bistros? Such hodgepodge words! No, in their kitchens. They’re frequently French, most certainly Parisian, and always authors, of course.
If Le Fooding proves inaccessible you can still check out some very exciting new art for free! The DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival “presents touchable, accessible, and interactive art, on a scale that makes it the nation’s largest urban forum for experimental art.” Here’s an interesting piece from last year’s festival:
Once again we have a super stuffed weekend coming up, not to mention the days before and after! I’ll admit as one of the funemployed I fail to recall what day of the week it is most of the time…
Tonight, as I’ve told you already, I’ll be at Comix to see the Raspberry Bros do their thing to The Breakfast Club (plus participate in the John Hughes sing-a-long). If you’d like to join buy your tiks in advance using the code RASP and they’re just $5 ($15 at the door)!
Tomorrow is ‘Fashion’s Night Out‘- an advertising ploy by Vogue and the rest of the fashion industry to get you to shop before they all go broke (the blurb in the Sept. issue of Vogue says “don’t you miss shopping?”). There are innumerable sales and events involved; my pick is champagne fueled lingerie shopping at Kiki de Montparnasse (starts at 8pm).
Four hundred years ago a Dutch ship called the Half Moon, guided by Henry Hudson, reached the shores of Manhattan. This week the Dutch are celebrating that historic landing and all that’s followed it with a slew of exciting events! I’ll admit I’m at a loss to choose between the explorations of Dutch culture, the environmental lectures, the sports and the historical events. However, the big three are The Flying Dutchman Sailing Race, the NiEuW Amersterdam Restaurant Week and the New Amsterdam Market. The Restaurant Week runs from Sept. 5 to the 20th; participating restaurants are offering prix fixe menus for $24- the amount Hudson paid for Manhattan (now THAT’s inflation!). I recommend Bachas, Bar Tabac and Resto! The New Amsterdam Market is your standard farmers market but with the additon of various workshops and events (for example ‘drink with Henry Hudson’). Embrace your inner Dutchman!
New Amsterdam Market
If your favorite part about the Dutch is their beer you’ll be glad to know it’s also NY Craft Beer Week from Sept. 11 to the 20th! This year’s NY Craft Beer Week includes 83 different venues featuring 162 unique beers throughout the five boroughs. There are also all sorts of events such as beer “strolls,” “walks” and “crawls” (I find the distinction in naming quite intriguing…). Get out and take your knowledge and appreciation of this fine form of alcohol to a whole new level!
If you can’t pay tribute to John Hughes tonight you have another chance Thursday night- Cattle Call Tribute to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. This event is highly participatory so you should only go if you want to be part of the show! Audience members will reenact their favorite scenes from the film with some dubious direction; do you have what it takes to be Ferris? Here’s a clip to remind you of the size of the shoes you’re trying to fill…
This weekend previews for A Steady Rain begin at The Schoenfeld Theatre. This is Daniel Craig’s Broadway debut and the general feeling seems to be that he is likely to be terrible, but hey, you never know, especially with Hugh Jackman around. Here’s a panel from an excellent cartoon in New York Magazine that perfectly sums of the problem:
Friday night Flux Factory is throwing the dance party to end all dance parties; there will be DJs, bands, installation art, weird performers and much much more, ALL ON A BOAT.
Starting this Sunday Philip Seymour Hoffman is back on stage in The Public Theater’s production of Othello. He’ll be playing alongside John Ortiz in what is certain to be one of the most memorable productions of this challenging play. Get your tickets now before the critics start raving in earnest.
From Sept. 22 to Oct. 3rd New York City Center will host some of the most creative and talented dancers from around the world. Not only that but the tickets to these marvelous performances, all part of the annual Fall For Dance Festival, are just $10 each! The catch? Well, the catch is that this Sunday you’d better get up early and join me on line to get your tickets as soon as they go on sale!
Competitive cookoff gurus Theo Peck and Nick Suarez, present to you the Brooklyn Cheese Experiment, a cheese cookoff and homebrew-off of epic proportion. Amateur chefs will whip up their favorite cheese-based dishes ranging from sweet to savory, while local homebrewers pit their home made brews against each other in Brooklyn’s premier culinary competition. The audience will vote for their favorites along with a judging panel of highly touted cheese and beer aficionados. Prizes and cash will ceremoniously be given away to those who strive for cookoff glory. Do you have what it takes to compete?
Sunday is also the most anticipated literary event of the year- The Brooklyn Book Festival! Last year I came unprepared and failed to make strategic choices when waiting on line for tickets to readings. This year if I’m able to make it out there post-FFD ticket line (so unfair that these are the same day!) I’ll follow Brooklyn Based Cheat Sheet!