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Things to do this week in NYC Apr 28-May 5: Cultural Arts

Dance, art galleries, museums, lectures -- you name it, there are plenty of things to do in NYC. From the New York City Ballet, to Alvin Ailey, from performances at the Metropolitan Opera, to live music at Madison Square Garden, New York has it all. Here is a selection of what's going on in New York this week.

Pavel Zuštiak + Palissimo Company (NYC) The Painted Bird (Part III): Strange Cargo - St Anne's Warehouse
Through May 13, 2003 - nyc

"A vivid, often anguished, imagination shines through in [Zuštiak's] work..." - The New Yorker In this capstone of the acclaimed The Painted Bird trilogy, choreographer / director Pavel Zuštiak collaborates with composer / musician Christian Frederickson to plunge into assumptions of refuge and home. The urge to survive is inherent, the feeling of otherness is universal and yet reality shifts the minute the desire to belong is turned inside out. WORLD PREMIERE Presented by Performance Space 122 in conjunction with Synod Hall at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine Amsterdam Ave. at 110th Street, Manhattan, NY May 3 - 13, 2012 Thursday 8pm Friday, Saturday 8pm & 9:30pm Sunday 8pm Single tickets $20, $15 (students / seniors) PS122 Passport 5 tickets for $75*

Ballet Hispanico - Joyce Theater
Through April 29, 2012 -

Ballet Hispanico pays tribute to the richness and range of its Latino roots—and the diverse talents of the company's dancers—with a Joyce season that features African and indigenous influences. Highlights include the world premiere of Espiritu Vivo, created especially for Ballet Hispanico by Ronald K. Brown and set to music by Afro-Peruvian singing sensation Susana Baca; and the Joyce premiere of Asuka, Artistic Director Eduardo Vilaro's first work for the company, an exuberant homage to salsa legend Celia Cruz.

Ailey II 2012 NEW YORK SEASON - THE AILEY CITIGROUP THEATER
Through April 29, 2012 - New york

Led by one of the dance world's most deeply admired figures in her final season as Artistic Director, Ailey II's 12 rising stars will take the stage in their home theater April 18- 29 for 14 exciting performances of new works and repertory favorites. For almost four decades, Artistic Director Sylvia Waters has groomed and nurtured the world's most talented young dancers as members of Ailey II. To lead the company forward, Ms. Waters named Troy Powell, the veteran Ailey dancer, teacher, choreographer and Ailey II Associate Artistic Director since 2003, as her successor. Sylvia Waters will retire June 30, 2012. Ailey II is at the peak of its popularity, winning rave reviews and regularly selling out performances all over the world. The Company's New York season will feature two diverse programs: Modern Moves & Contemporary Choices. Premieres include Artistic Director Designate Troy Powell's Reference Point, Mina Yoo's Boulevard and Stephanie Batten Bland's The Legacy of Inheritance. The Company's two-week New York season will also feature three repertory favorites: Shards by Donald Byrd, Echoes by Thang Dao and The Corner by Kyle Abraham. For more information and for tickets, visit www.alvinailey.org or www.ovationtix.com or call 866-811-4111.

Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet - New York City Ballet
May 01, 2012 -

Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet was the first abstract work Balanchine designed for the stage of the New York State Theater, which replaced the smaller City Center of Music and Drama as the home of New York City Ballet in 1964. Balanchine often said that chamber music was not suitable for large ballets, since chamber pieces typically are "too long, with too many repeats, and are meant for small rooms." Schoenberg crafted his orchestration of the Brahms G minor piano quartet in the 1930's out of a similar dissatisfaction, telling a critic that the chamber version "is always very badly played, as the better the pianist, the louder he plays, and one hears nothing of the strings." Lincoln Kirstein writes that the dances "seem steeped in the apprehension and change permeating the sunset of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. They suggest a world drunk on 'wine and roses.'" Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was born in Hamburg, Germany, and became popular as a pianist and conductor. Though living in the days of the romantic composers, his own work was always in the classical mold. He composed almost exclusively instrumental music, including four symphonies, concertos, and a wide variety of chamber music. Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), was born in Vienna, Austria, and was initially greatly influenced by the work of Wagner. Subsequently he developed an entirely new mode of composition, based on the twelve-tone scale and the tone row. Schoenberg made his living as a teacher (his pupils included both Webern and Berg) and as a conductor of theater orchestras. He fled the Nazi regime and came to the United States, where he taught music at UCLA. He was also a noted painter of the Expressionist School.

Kammermusik No. 2 - New York City Ballet
May 01, 2012 -

A ballet requiring great energy, speed, and precision, Kammermusik No. 2 has a complex structure which echoes that of the music; one of the dancers in the original cast likens it to a computer. The ballet is performed by two couples and an eight-man ensemble. The men, with their jagged lines and stylized gestures, dance to the music of the orchestra. The soloists, dancing to the complex passages for piano, are in counterpoint to the ensemble. There are pas de deux for the couples, duets for the women, and a fast duet for the male soloists. The score is one of seven kammermusik pieces — the word "kammermusik" is German for "chamber music" — written by Hindemith between 1923 and 1933, when the composer turned to a neoclassical style evoking the Baroque. Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), a key representative of the neo-classical school, is considered one of the greatest German composers of this century. He fled the Nazis (who banned his music) and was a professor of music at Yale from 1940-1953. A conductor, violinist, violist, pianist and theorist, he wrote several books on musical theory.

Serenade - New York City Ballet
May 01, 2012 -

The first performance of Serenade was on June 10, 1934, by students of the School of American Ballet, at Felix Warburg's estate, White Plains, New York. Serenade is a milestone in the history of dance. It is the first original ballet Balanchine created in America and is one of the signature works of New York City Ballet's repertory. The ballet is performed by 28 dancers in blue costumes before a blue background. Originating as a lesson in stage technique, Balanchine worked unexpected rehearsal events into the choreography. When one student fell, he incorporated it. Another day, a student arrived late, and this too became part of the ballet. After its initial presentation, Serenade was reworked several times. In its present form there are four movements -- "Sonatina," "Waltz," "Russian Dance," and "Elegy." The last two movements reverse the order of Tschaikovsky's score, ending the ballet on a note of sadness. Balanchine had a special affinity for Tschaikovsky. "In everything that I did to Tschaikovsky's music," he told an interviewer, "I sensed his help. It wasn't real conversation. But when I was working and saw that something was coming of it, I felt that it was Tschaikovsky who had helped me." Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky (1840-1893) studied at the Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where Balanchine later studied piano in addition to his studies in dance. Tschaikovsky is one of the most popular and influential of all romantic composers. His work is expressive, melodic, grand in scale, with rich orchestrations. His output was prodigious and included chamber works, symphonies, concerti for various instruments, operas and works for the piano. His creations for the ballet, composed in close partnership with Marius Petipa, include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty.

Firebird - New York City Ballet
May 02, 2012 -

Balanchine's Firebird was one of the choreographer's first creations for the young New York City Ballet, using elaborate sets and costumes. The story, the choreography, the sets, and the music all integrated many brilliantly colored elements from Russian folklore. Because Balanchine chose to use the orchestral suite rather than the complete three-act score, he simplified the story and emphasized the mythical elements of the Firebird's character. For revivals in 1970, 1972, and 1980, Balanchine changed his choreography for the Firebird — and sometimes the costume as well — to suit the ballerina cast in the leading role. At Balanchine's invitation, in 1970, the artist Marc Chagall came to New York City to supervise the construction of new sets and costumes based on his designs for a new production. For the 1970 revival, Robbins contributed new choreography for the monsters' dance. The current production was staged in 1985. Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), born in Russia, is acknowledged as one of the great composers of the twentieth century. His work encompassed styles as diverse as Romanticism, Neoclassicism and Serialism. His ballets for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes included The Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, and Apollo. His music has been used in over thirty ballets originating with New York City Ballet from 1948 through 1987, including Danses Concertantes, Orpheus, The Cage, Agon, Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Rubies, Symphony in Three Movements, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Concerto for Two Solo Pianos, Suite from L'Histoire du Soldat, Concertino, and Jeu de Cartes.

Kammermusik No. 2 - New York City Ballet
May 02, 2012 -

A ballet requiring great energy, speed, and precision, Kammermusik No. 2 has a complex structure which echoes that of the music; one of the dancers in the original cast likens it to a computer. The ballet is performed by two couples and an eight-man ensemble. The men, with their jagged lines and stylized gestures, dance to the music of the orchestra. The soloists, dancing to the complex passages for piano, are in counterpoint to the ensemble. There are pas de deux for the couples, duets for the women, and a fast duet for the male soloists. The score is one of seven kammermusik pieces — the word "kammermusik" is German for "chamber music" — written by Hindemith between 1923 and 1933, when the composer turned to a neoclassical style evoking the Baroque. Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), a key representative of the neo-classical school, is considered one of the greatest German composers of this century. He fled the Nazis (who banned his music) and was a professor of music at Yale from 1940-1953. A conductor, violinist, violist, pianist and theorist, he wrote several books on musical theory.

Serenade - New York City Ballet
May 02, 2012 -

The first performance of Serenade was on June 10, 1934, by students of the School of American Ballet, at Felix Warburg's estate, White Plains, New York. Serenade is a milestone in the history of dance. It is the first original ballet Balanchine created in America and is one of the signature works of New York City Ballet's repertory. The ballet is performed by 28 dancers in blue costumes before a blue background. Originating as a lesson in stage technique, Balanchine worked unexpected rehearsal events into the choreography. When one student fell, he incorporated it. Another day, a student arrived late, and this too became part of the ballet. After its initial presentation, Serenade was reworked several times. In its present form there are four movements -- "Sonatina," "Waltz," "Russian Dance," and "Elegy." The last two movements reverse the order of Tschaikovsky's score, ending the ballet on a note of sadness. Balanchine had a special affinity for Tschaikovsky. "In everything that I did to Tschaikovsky's music," he told an interviewer, "I sensed his help. It wasn't real conversation. But when I was working and saw that something was coming of it, I felt that it was Tschaikovsky who had helped me." Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky (1840-1893) studied at the Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where Balanchine later studied piano in addition to his studies in dance. Tschaikovsky is one of the most popular and influential of all romantic composers. His work is expressive, melodic, grand in scale, with rich orchestrations. His output was prodigious and included chamber works, symphonies, concerti for various instruments, operas and works for the piano. His creations for the ballet, composed in close partnership with Marius Petipa, include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty.

Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux - New York City Ballet
May 02, 2012 -

An eight-minute display of ballet bravura and technique, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux uses music that the composer belatedly created for Act III of Swan Lake. It was hurriedly composed for Anna Sobeshchanskaya, a Bolshoi prima ballerina who was scheduled to make her debut in the title role at the fourth performance of the 1877 Moscow production, and sought to enrich the part of Odile. Because the music was not in the original score, it was not published with the rest of Swan Lake, and disappeared for more than half a century. When it was discovered in the Bolshoi Theater archives in 1953, Balanchine sought — and was granted — permission to use it for his own choreography.

Exit Strategies - The Metropolitan Museum of Art
May 02, 2012 - New York

Exit Strategies, featuring the Kronos Quartet, Tony Kushner, Marjane Satrapi, and Rula Jebreal Co-presented with the PEN World Voices Festival The emotional reach of music and the written/spoken word have amplified each other and have brought a new meaning to what it is to be a musician today, what it means to attend a concert, what additional roles a writer can play in society, and how a museum can amplify this potential. The Pen World Voices Festival—one of the world's biggest international literary gatherings—kicks off its 2012 season at the Metropolitan Museum with the Kronos Quartet teaming up with noted writers Tony Kushner, Marjane Satrapi, and Rula Jebreal to create a program of readings by the authors of their work, interspersed with music.

Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet - New York City Ballet
May 03, 2012 -

Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet was the first abstract work Balanchine designed for the stage of the New York State Theater, which replaced the smaller City Center of Music and Drama as the home of New York City Ballet in 1964. Balanchine often said that chamber music was not suitable for large ballets, since chamber pieces typically are "too long, with too many repeats, and are meant for small rooms." Schoenberg crafted his orchestration of the Brahms G minor piano quartet in the 1930's out of a similar dissatisfaction, telling a critic that the chamber version "is always very badly played, as the better the pianist, the louder he plays, and one hears nothing of the strings." Lincoln Kirstein writes that the dances "seem steeped in the apprehension and change permeating the sunset of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. They suggest a world drunk on 'wine and roses.'" Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was born in Hamburg, Germany, and became popular as a pianist and conductor. Though living in the days of the romantic composers, his own work was always in the classical mold. He composed almost exclusively instrumental music, including four symphonies, concertos, and a wide variety of chamber music. Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), was born in Vienna, Austria, and was initially greatly influenced by the work of Wagner. Subsequently he developed an entirely new mode of composition, based on the twelve-tone scale and the tone row. Schoenberg made his living as a teacher (his pupils included both Webern and Berg) and as a conductor of theater orchestras. He fled the Nazi regime and came to the United States, where he taught music at UCLA. He was also a noted painter of the Expressionist School.

DGV: Danse a Grande Vitesse - New York City Ballet
May 03, 2012 -

Originally created for The Royal Ballet, DGV propels 26 dancers through space with a supercharged, minimalist score by Michael Nyman.

Kammermusik No. 2 - New York City Ballet
May 03, 2012 -

A ballet requiring great energy, speed, and precision, Kammermusik No. 2 has a complex structure which echoes that of the music; one of the dancers in the original cast likens it to a computer. The ballet is performed by two couples and an eight-man ensemble. The men, with their jagged lines and stylized gestures, dance to the music of the orchestra. The soloists, dancing to the complex passages for piano, are in counterpoint to the ensemble. There are pas de deux for the couples, duets for the women, and a fast duet for the male soloists. The score is one of seven kammermusik pieces — the word "kammermusik" is German for "chamber music" — written by Hindemith between 1923 and 1933, when the composer turned to a neoclassical style evoking the Baroque. Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), a key representative of the neo-classical school, is considered one of the greatest German composers of this century. He fled the Nazis (who banned his music) and was a professor of music at Yale from 1940-1953. A conductor, violinist, violist, pianist and theorist, he wrote several books on musical theory.

Tarantella - New York City Ballet
May 03, 2012 -

The nimble quickness of Tarantella provides a virtuosic showcase. The profusion of steps and the quick changes of direction this brief but explosive pas de deux requires typify the ways in which Balanchine expanded the traditional vocabulary of classical dance. Gottschalk, who lived from 1829 to 1869, was one of the first American composers to be recognized in Europe. His syncopated rhythms and jagged melodic lines incorporating elements of folk dancing foreshadowed the work of other American composers later in the 19th century.

DGV: Danse a Grande Vitesse - New York City Ballet
May 04, 2012 -

Originally created for The Royal Ballet, DGV propels 26 dancers through space with a supercharged, minimalist score by Michael Nyman.

Firebird - New York City Ballet
May 04, 2012 -

Balanchine's Firebird was one of the choreographer's first creations for the young New York City Ballet, using elaborate sets and costumes. The story, the choreography, the sets, and the music all integrated many brilliantly colored elements from Russian folklore. Because Balanchine chose to use the orchestral suite rather than the complete three-act score, he simplified the story and emphasized the mythical elements of the Firebird's character. For revivals in 1970, 1972, and 1980, Balanchine changed his choreography for the Firebird — and sometimes the costume as well — to suit the ballerina cast in the leading role. At Balanchine's invitation, in 1970, the artist Marc Chagall came to New York City to supervise the construction of new sets and costumes based on his designs for a new production. For the 1970 revival, Robbins contributed new choreography for the monsters' dance. The current production was staged in 1985. Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), born in Russia, is acknowledged as one of the great composers of the twentieth century. His work encompassed styles as diverse as Romanticism, Neoclassicism and Serialism. His ballets for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes included The Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, and Apollo. His music has been used in over thirty ballets originating with New York City Ballet from 1948 through 1987, including Danses Concertantes, Orpheus, The Cage, Agon, Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Rubies, Symphony in Three Movements, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Concerto for Two Solo Pianos, Suite from L'Histoire du Soldat, Concertino, and Jeu de Cartes.

Serenade - New York City Ballet
May 04, 2012 -

The first performance of Serenade was on June 10, 1934, by students of the School of American Ballet, at Felix Warburg's estate, White Plains, New York. Serenade is a milestone in the history of dance. It is the first original ballet Balanchine created in America and is one of the signature works of New York City Ballet's repertory. The ballet is performed by 28 dancers in blue costumes before a blue background. Originating as a lesson in stage technique, Balanchine worked unexpected rehearsal events into the choreography. When one student fell, he incorporated it. Another day, a student arrived late, and this too became part of the ballet. After its initial presentation, Serenade was reworked several times. In its present form there are four movements -- "Sonatina," "Waltz," "Russian Dance," and "Elegy." The last two movements reverse the order of Tschaikovsky's score, ending the ballet on a note of sadness. Balanchine had a special affinity for Tschaikovsky. "In everything that I did to Tschaikovsky's music," he told an interviewer, "I sensed his help. It wasn't real conversation. But when I was working and saw that something was coming of it, I felt that it was Tschaikovsky who had helped me." Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky (1840-1893) studied at the Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where Balanchine later studied piano in addition to his studies in dance. Tschaikovsky is one of the most popular and influential of all romantic composers. His work is expressive, melodic, grand in scale, with rich orchestrations. His output was prodigious and included chamber works, symphonies, concerti for various instruments, operas and works for the piano. His creations for the ballet, composed in close partnership with Marius Petipa, include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty.

Andantino - New York Theatre Ballet
May 05, 2012 -

Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky (1840-1893) studied at the Conservatory in St. Petersburg, where Balanchine later studied piano in addition to his studies in dance. Tschaikovsky is one of the most popular and influential of all Romantic composers. His work is expressive, melodic, grand in scale, with rich orchestrations. His output was prodigious and included chamber works, symphonies, concerti for various instruments, operas and works for the piano. His creations for the ballet, composed in close partnership with Marius Petipa, include Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty.

The Cage - New York City Ballet
May 05, 2012 -

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) entered law school in 1901, at the age of nineteen. That year he also gave his first public piano recital and began studying piano and composition with Rimsky-Korsakov in St. Petersburg. He was to become, before his death, one of the greatest composers and musical innovators of the 20th century, mastering musical styles from Romanticism to Neoclassicism to Serialism. Stravinsky came to the attention of Sergei Diaghilev in 1910, who asked him to orchestrate two pieces by Chopin for the ballet Les Sylphides, and then to compose an original ballet. The result, Firebird, projected both Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and the young composer to worldwide acclaim. His ballets for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes also included Petrushka, choreographed by Michael Fokine, The Rite of Spring, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky, and Apollon Musagéte (Apollo), choreographed by George Balanchine. His music has been used in over thirty ballets originating with New York City Ballet from 1948 through 1992, including Danses Concertantes, Orpheus, The Cage, Agon, Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Movements for Piano and Orchestra, Rubies, Symphony In Three Movements, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Concerto for Two Solo Pianos, Suite from L'histoire du Soldat, Concertino, and Jeu de Cartes.

Concerto Barocco - New York City Ballet
May 05, 2012 -

Balanchine said of this work: "If the dance designer sees in the development of classical dancing a counterpart in the development of music and has studied them both, he will derive continual inspiration from great scores." In the first movement of the concerto, the two ballerinas personify the violins, while a corps of eight women accompany them. In the second movement, a largo, the male dancer joins the leading woman in a pas de deux. In the concluding allegro section, the entire ensemble expresses the syncopation and rhythmic vitality of Bach's music. This work began as an exercise by Balanchine for the School of American Ballet and was performed by American Ballet Caravan on its historic tour of South America and later entered the repertory of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. In 1951 Balanchine permanently eliminated the original costumes and dressed the dancers in practice clothes, probably the first appearance of what has come to be regarded as a signature Balanchine costume for contemporary works. On October 11, 1948, Concerto Barocco was one of three ballets on the program at New York City Ballet's first performance.

Firebird - New York City Ballet
May 05, 2012 -

Balanchine's Firebird was one of the choreographer's first creations for the young New York City Ballet, using elaborate sets and costumes. The story, the choreography, the sets, and the music all integrated many brilliantly colored elements from Russian folklore. Because Balanchine chose to use the orchestral suite rather than the complete three-act score, he simplified the story and emphasized the mythical elements of the Firebird's character. For revivals in 1970, 1972, and 1980, Balanchine changed his choreography for the Firebird — and sometimes the costume as well — to suit the ballerina cast in the leading role. At Balanchine's invitation, in 1970, the artist Marc Chagall came to New York City to supervise the construction of new sets and costumes based on his designs for a new production. For the 1970 revival, Robbins contributed new choreography for the monsters' dance. The current production was staged in 1985. Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), born in Russia, is acknowledged as one of the great composers of the twentieth century. His work encompassed styles as diverse as Romanticism, Neoclassicism and Serialism. His ballets for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes included The Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, and Apollo. His music has been used in over thirty ballets originating with New York City Ballet from 1948 through 1987, including Danses Concertantes, Orpheus, The Cage, Agon, Monumentum pro Gesualdo, Rubies, Symphony in Three Movements, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Concerto for Two Solo Pianos, Suite from L'Histoire du Soldat, Concertino, and Jeu de Cartes.

In G Major - New York City Ballet
May 05, 2012 -

Ravel composed the Concerto in G Major after a trip to the United States. It has been seen as a reflection on Gershwin and American musical comedy. Ravel described the work as "... written in very much the same spirit as those of Mozart and Saint-Saëns," and that "it uses certain effects borrowed from jazz, but only in moderation." (Arbie Orenstein, Ravel: Man and Musician.) When the Paris Opera Ballet staged In G Major, under the name "En Sol," it commissioned scenery and costumes by Erté, which were borrowed by New York City Ballet. Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) was born in the French Basque town of Ciboure. His family moved to Paris and encouraged him to take piano lessons. At fourteen he was admitted to the Paris Conservatory, where he studied with Fauré, who became his principal teacher of composition. His ballet scores include Pavane pour une Infante Défunte, Jeux d'Eau, Boléro, Daphnis and Chloe, Ma Mère L'Oye, and L'enfant et les Sortiléges, a ballet-opera.

In the Night - New York City Ballet
May 05, 2012 -

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) was born in Poland. He was one of the most important innovators for the piano, both in terms of composition and playing style. As a pianist he was mostly self-taught, and since he did not like to give public performances, his substantial reputation was based on a very few concerts. Chopin wrote 20 nocturnes and during his lifetime they were his most popular works. The nocturne stems from the 18th-century notturne, a musical piece meant to be played at night. Chopin influenced future composers, especially those of the French and Russian schools. The musical level he attained made possible future piano innovations, such as those of Debussy.

In the Night - New York City Ballet
May 05, 2012 -

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) was born in Poland. He was one of the most important innovators for the piano, both in terms of composition and playing style. As a pianist he was mostly self-taught, and since he did not like to give public performances, his substantial reputation was based on a very few concerts. Chopin wrote 20 nocturnes and during his lifetime they were his most popular works. The nocturne stems from the 18th-century notturne, a musical piece meant to be played at night. Chopin influenced future composers, especially those of the French and Russian schools. The musical level he attained made possible future piano innovations, such as those of Debussy.

Kammermusik No. 2 - New York City Ballet
May 05, 2012 -

A ballet requiring great energy, speed, and precision, Kammermusik No. 2 has a complex structure which echoes that of the music; one of the dancers in the original cast likens it to a computer. The ballet is performed by two couples and an eight-man ensemble. The men, with their jagged lines and stylized gestures, dance to the music of the orchestra. The soloists, dancing to the complex passages for piano, are in counterpoint to the ensemble. There are pas de deux for the couples, duets for the women, and a fast duet for the male soloists. The score is one of seven kammermusik pieces — the word "kammermusik" is German for "chamber music" — written by Hindemith between 1923 and 1933, when the composer turned to a neoclassical style evoking the Baroque. Paul Hindemith (1895-1963), a key representative of the neo-classical school, is considered one of the greatest German composers of this century. He fled the Nazis (who banned his music) and was a professor of music at Yale from 1940-1953. A conductor, violinist, violist, pianist and theorist, he wrote several books on musical theory.

Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux - New York City Ballet
May 05, 2012 -

An eight-minute display of ballet bravura and technique, Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux uses music that the composer belatedly created for Act III of Swan Lake. It was hurriedly composed for Anna Sobeshchanskaya, a Bolshoi prima ballerina who was scheduled to make her debut in the title role at the fourth performance of the 1877 Moscow production, and sought to enrich the part of Odile. Because the music was not in the original score, it was not published with the rest of Swan Lake, and disappeared for more than half a century. When it was discovered in the Bolshoi Theater archives in 1953, Balanchine sought — and was granted — permission to use it for his own choreography.

Ivy Baldwin - Ambient Cowboy - New York Live Arts
Through May 05, 2012 -

Ambient Cowboy is lonely and joyous, dark and funny, violent and loving. Seeded by a visit to Philip Johnson's Glass House - with its brilliantly audacious imposition of serene, spare modernity on the abundant, looming wilderness -Ambient Cowboy explores this fertile landscape of contrasting elements, through dance, drama, sound, and setting. Ambient Cowboy will be performed by Lawrence Cassella, Eleanor Smith, and Ivy Baldwin, with sound design by Justin Jones, set design by Anna Schuleit, and lighting design by Chloë Z. Brown.

Introdans - Joyce Theater
Through May 06, 2012 -

Making its U.S. premiere at The Joyce, Introdans performs Heavenly, a retrospective journey that includes three works showcasing the Dutch-based modern ballet company's eclectic and exciting repertory. Messiah, created by Ed Wubbe in 1988 and set to music by Handel, is an abstract ballet performed with driving, swirling energy. Fünf Gedichte (Five Poems), created by Nils Christe in 1996 for Introdans' 25th anniversary season, is a lyrical piece set to five songs by Richard Wagner. Completing the program is Paradise?, a 2006 piece by Brazilian choreographer Gisela Rocha, displaying the organized chaos of a rowdy but elegant hip-hop battle.

Chunky Move at Joyce SoHo - Joyce SoHo
Through May 06, 2012 - New York

Apr 25-29 & May 2-6 - After twenty years making works for individuals, groups, and his own company, Chunky Move, Gideon Obarzanek has created Faker, a disarmingly personal solo performance of his own, exposing the expectations and disappointments, creative aspirations, and personal doubts of dance and theatre making. Frank and darkly humorous, Faker offers a rare insight into the mind of one of Australia's most acclaimed creators. After Hours @ Joyce SoHo: Apr 27 A post-performance Q&A with the artist. Refreshments served. Company website: http://www.chunkymove.com performance schedule Wed–Sat at 7:30pm; Sun at 2pm ticket price $22

The Spring Fling: My Best/Worst Date Ever - IRT
Through May 13, 2012 - New York

The smash-hit, New York Innovative Theatre-nominated collection of world-premiere plays returns to IRT with a fresh new selection! Come watch our award-winning playwrights riff on the theme of "My Best/Worst Date Ever" with surprising, thoughtful, and hilarious results. ... Remember that time when...? Relive the joy and the horror with your friends at F*It Club. F*It Club presents The Spring Fling: My Best/Worst Date Ever Running April 26-May 13, 2012 Thurs-Sat @ 8pm, Sun @ 2pm @ IRT (154 Christopher Street) Tickets $18 and available on Brown Paper Tickets in advance or at the door. "Mort" by Lucy Boyle Directed by Tamara Fisch Featuring Steve Boyer*, Paul Coffey*, & Allyson Morgan* "Papers" by Anna Kerrigan Directed by Kate Pines Featuring Topher Mikels & Emily Young* "A50" by Victor Lesniewski Directed by Victor Maog Featuring Kevin Dwyer & Bobby Moreno* "Film Forum" by Isaac Oliver Directed by Kate Pines Featuring Amanda Duarte*, Stephen Graybill*, & Jessica Rothenberg* "The Depression" by Mark Schultz Directed by Stephen Brackett Featuring Marty Brown* "A Map of Broken Glass" by Anna Ziegler Directed by Jerry Ruiz Featuring Amir Arison* & Mara Kassin* *actors appear courtesy of AEA Stage Manager: Joe Mulica Assistant Stage Manager: Kristine Schlachter Costume Design: Whitney Anne Adams Set Design: Sara Nelson & Sarah Martin Sound Design: Mark Parenti Light Design: David Sexton It's never too late for your first...or second...Spring Fling.

'The Chalk Circle' - Theater For The New City
Through May 20, 2012 - New York

Joanna Chan, Artistic Director of Yangtze Repertory Theater of America, has adapted "The Chalk Circle" by Li QianFu into a multilingual play with arias in the style of Cantonese Opera. This thirteenth century Yuan dynasty Chinese classical Zaju verse story is primarily known in the West as the inspiration of Brecht's "Caucasian Chalk Circle." It recounts a celebrated court case of Judge Bao of the Song Dynasty, a magistrate who stood above the corruption of his time and is still revered throughout the Chinese speaking world for his wisdom and fairmindedness. Yangtze Repertory Theater of America will present the world premiere of the adaptation, directed by Chan, May 3 to 20 at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, NYC. The production will star Mr. Denver Chiu (of Hong Kong) in the female role of the heroine, performing her arias in Cantonese Opera style. He is credited with having single-handedly revived the art form of men playing female roles in Cantonese Opera, which has been absent from the world stage for over 60 years. The arias have lyrics and choreography by Chen ShaoMei (of GuangZhou, China). The play will be performed in English, Mandarin and Cantonese with Chinese and English supertitles. "The Chalk Circle" is the saga of a beautiful girl named Begonia Zhang, who is sold into a house of prostitution by her impoverished family after her father's death. There she is befriended by Official Ma, a wealthy and childless tax collector, who takes her into his house as his concubine. She bears him a son, Shou Lang, but earns the jealousy of his wife, Mistress Ma. Aiming to remove Begonia as a threat of inheriting the Ma Family’s fortune, she accuses Begonia of adultery and poisons Official Ma. She then blames Begonia for the crime and claims to a court that Shou Lang is her own child. As Begonia is about to be executed, she is rescued by Judge Bao, who discovers Mistress Ma's deception with a wisdom worthy of King Solomon. The overall style of the play is earthy, which is characteristic of the stage of the Yuan Dynasty. Even with its tragic central story, there is still slapstick as well as mime and acrobatics. The setting is basically a bare stage. These elements are typical of stage creations from different regions in China, which are loosely known as Chinese opera. There are six leads and an ensemble of eight. The heroine's arias are the only sung portions in the original play. There are no surviving records of how they were originally performed 800 years ago. Using standard Cantonese opera repertoire, Chen ShaoMai transcribed the ancient lyrics into colloquial Cantonese for the production. She has been a Cantonese Opera actress since 1957 specializing in the Warrior Heroine part and has been a director and choreographer in her later career. Denver Chiu has come to New York from Hong Kong to perform the woman's role of Begonia Zhang. He learned this art form in Canton and has acted these female roles since 2005. He was a principal actor in Hong Kong Repertory while Joanna Chan was Artistic Director in the 1980s and founded his own Cantonese Opera company, Tiida Cantonese Opera Company, in Hong Kong in 2010. Between 2006 and 2008, he recorded five CDs, of which three were Cantonese Opera DVDs. The art of men playing women's' roles was made famous by Mei Lan Feng in the 1930s but has been absent from the world stage since World War II. Judge Bao will be played by Bill Angst, a towering caucasian actor who was born in Xian, China and grew up in Beijing. The cast also includes Shang-Ho Huang, Shu-Mei Kwan, Sajeev Pillai, Al Parrick Jo with Hugh Cha, Mayu Iwasaki, Lao Shi-Yan, Phillip Lung, Hannah Scott, Karen Stefano, Kevin Taejin, and Viet Vo. Set is by K.K. Wong, who collaborated with Joanna Chan at Hong Kong Rep in the 80's. Lighting design is by Joyce Liao. Choreography is by David Shen. In addition to the accompaniment to the Cantonese arias by musicians in China, an original score is created by Su Sheng. Cantonese Opera is not as well known in the West as the closely related Beijing opera, but is still a vibrant art form wherever Cantonese speakers live. Based in southern China and overseas ethnic Chinese communities, it is a very formalized operatic form that combines singing, mime, gymnastic and martial arts skills. It predominates in Guangdong (formerly called Canton), Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, and in Chinese-influenced areas in western countries. As in operas of many other regions in China, it employs elaborate makeup with different shades of color and shapes indicating the social standing, mental state, trustworthiness, and physical health of the characters. Joanna Chan (author/director) co-founded Yangtze Repertory Theatre of America (www.yangtze-rep-theatre.org) in 1992 to produce works for and by Asian artists. Since then, the company has become New York's most significant entry point for dramatic works from Chinese-speaking countries and a place of collaboration for artists from various parts of Asia. Her own plays also include the political and controversial drama, "The Soongs: By Dreams Betrayed." Her "One Family One Child One Door," a black comedy on the human cost of China's one-child policy, premiered in 2001 and was revived twice. It was a finalist in the Jane Chambers Playwriting Contest. Chan's 1998 drama, "Crown Ourselves With Roses," was selected as one of 23 most significant works in Chinese theater in the past 100 years for "An Anthology of Modern Chinese Drama" published by Columbia University Press in 2011. An English version of her 1985 drama, "Before the Dawn-Wind Rises," was included in "An Oxford Anthology of Chinese Contemporary Drama" in 1997. Most recently she was commissioned by Hong Kong Repertory Theatre to write and direct "The Empress of China," based on the first encounter of the American and the Chinese people in 1786, which received its premiere in Hong Kong in January last year, followed by a New York production in June 2011. The 60-plus productions Chan has directed include her own works and classics. Reviewing Chan's "Oedipus Rex" at Sing Sing in 2006, Michael Millius wrote in the (Bedford, NY) Record-Review, "You might think I’d have seen some great theater over the years with my aunt, Michael Strange being married to John Barrymore, or my work with Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber as creative director of MCA Music. But still, even after all that, and more than half a century of theatergoing, I was not prepared for the experience of seeing a performance of "Oedipus Rex" by inmates at Sing Sing prison. When written by Sophocles circa 430 B.C. (and considered by the ancient Greeks to be his best work), the author couldn’t have imagined how his play would enjoy one of its finest hours 2,500 years later, being rendered by inmates in a maximum-security prison." This production is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Legislature. It is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

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