Things to do this week in NYC Jul 27-Aug 3: 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.
Mandolin player, violinist, and trumpet ace Elena Moon Park long dreamed of giving young audiences a serious taste of Asian folk songs, as she played with other kid-friendly bands. Mixing Asian languages with English, Asian with Western instrumentation, Park and friends do just that, with Japanese sea shanties and Tibetan jump-rope rhymes, Korean harvest sing-a-longs and Taiwanese train songs. They may be in middle school, but the Pannonia Quartet has dived into contemporary classical music with a power and sensitivity that shows what heights young artists can reach. Born out of the Kaufman Center's Face the Music program, the quartet will perform a rigorous set of contemporary pieces, including Steve Reich's "Different Trains." Everyone needs a drumpet. Educator and musician Craig Woodson will show young musicians how to create their own, along with other DIY instruments and sound-makers, at his workshop designed for kids. Then take your creation and join Kronos and the Pannonia Quartet for a play-along concert. Rendering the most intense contemporary pieces with grace, and alt-rock-guided works with great beauty, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus regularly commissions challenging vocal pieces and collaborates with classical and pop music icons.
LA's progressive, Latin-fusion heavyweights have a kid-friendly side. OzoKidz takes the infectious grooves of samba and Jamaican dancehall, salsa and hip hop, and brings them to the younger set. A trailblazer in smart music for families, Dan Zanes is known to rock out to bumping tubas or get musical saws singing, rethinking folk chestnuts and crafting catchy originals. In a fun program, he will explore his lifelong fascination with blues legend Lead Belly.
Ozomatli - Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Deeply influential SoCal culture mashers, Ozomatli are often credited with launching the alt.Latin music movement. They will retake the stage for a full-on set of hip hop and rock, funk and salsa. With an activist spirit to match their hard-hitting grooves, the seven-piece, multi-Grammy-winning band captures the sound of a windows-down drive down sonically diverse Sunset Boulevard.
A Great Day in Harlem - Harlem Week
A day long family-oriented event featuring an Outdoor Festival, Picnic, Fashion Show and Concerts, saluting Gospel, Dance, Theater, Latin, Rhythm & Blues and Jazz. There will also be arts & crafts, food from around the world, vendors, exhibitions, corporate exhibits, career recruitment and much more. The evening ends with a Concert Under the Stars celebrating Stevie Wonder. Visit website for complete schedule of events.
Golden Dragon Acrobats - Queens Theatre
Featuring daring feats of balance, spine-tingling contortionists and towers of jugglers, these renowned Chinese acrobats will dazzle audiences of all ages in this return engagement. Recognized throughout the United States and abroad as the premier Chinese acrobatic touring company, The Golden Dragon Acrobats are unparalleled in the art form. Impresario Danny Chang and choreographer Angela Chang combine award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques to present a show of breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty.
SpaceFest - Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Intrepid celebrates all thing Space during our 2nd annual SpaceFest. Cool displays and demonstrations, astronaut appearances, and a free movie night on the flight deck. Five NASA astronauts will also be present for signings, including Ellen S. Baker, Mario Runco Jr., Lee M.E. Morin, Jeffrey A. Hoffman, and Charles J. Camarda.
Found Sound Nation - Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Stop by and lay down a track with Found Sound Nation, the education and outreach wing of preeminent New Music experimenters Bang on a Can. Encouraging trained musicians, enthusiastic participants, and unsuspecting passersby to create on the fly, this mobile production team turns spontaneous sonic expressions into catchy tracks for later download. Listen closely later in the summer, and you may even catch these crowd-crafted pieces during Out of Doors intermissions.
Jacob Garchik's The Heavens have the dynamism of gospel band, with the philosophical reflection and abstract refinement of jazz at its most elevated. A choir of brass from tiny slide trumpets to big bold sousaphones, the band will lead a spirited parade dedicated to reason, the laws of science, and the glory of infinity. An alt-marching band born at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Asphalt Orchestra's members spring from rock, contemporary classical, jazz, and even bhangra backgrounds. After a parade around the plaza, Asphalt will strike up a world-premiere rendition of The Pixies' Surfer Rosa, complete with half time-worthy stage choreography, a gigantic homage to the 20-year-old rock classic.
A commissioned work by pioneering electronic musician Amon Tobin, and pieces by The National's Bryce Dessner and young composer Yuri Boguinia highlight Kronos Quartet's ongoing forward-thinking engagement with electronic vanguards and rock revolutionaries. Joining the Quartet will be catchy, heavily layered electronic composer Dan Deacon and DIY ukulele-powered orchestrator Jherek Bischoff, for world premieres. Deacon's work incorporates an interactive app-driven light show audience members can manipulate via their mobile devices.
Nation Beat's leader gives a multi-media presentation on the unique history and contemporary expressions of Northeast Brazil's maracatu.
A beacon of dialogue across cultures, Mali's Festival au Desert has turned from global musical event to a worldwide call for peace, in response to the recent turmoil that has gripped the African region and stymied musical expression. These ensembles highlight the Festival's trademark sounds. A veteran at fusing North African traditions and cosmopolitan jazz, Aziz Sahmaoui (a core member of l'Orchestre National de Barbes) and his new group University of Gnawa take the exuberant trance music of West African migrants to the Maghreb and reshape it. A close-knit circle of Touareg musicians shifts from the looping traditional songs (as Tartit) to increasingly dynamic, electric songs (as Imharan), revealing the full range of the nomadic Saharan rock made famous by bands like Tinariwen. Ali Farka Toure's trusted sideman Mamadou Kelly captures the genius of Mali's bluesy, fluid guitar style, matching his crack playing with gritty vocals. After recently fleeing his hometown due to war, Kelly has gathered a strong band of his own, featuring calabash and monochord alongside Kelly's guitar.
A Tale of Two Nations - Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
An open rehearsal with Maracatu Nacao Estrela Brilhante and Nation Beat.
Two edgy, increasingly honored young choreographers grapple with history, masculinity, and shifting identities, creating sensual, sonically compelling works. In Pavement, Abraham and his company Abraham.In.Motion re-imagine Boyz N The Hood as a dance work set in Pittsburgh's historically black neighborhoods. The piece pays comedic homage to the backward jean and high top fade era in hip hop, while creating a strong emotional chronology of a culture burdened by discrimination, genocide, and a constant quest for a lottery ticket weighted in freedom. Inspired by letters that essayist, educator, and choreographer Marc Bathumi Joseph penned to his unborn child, Word Becomes Flesh is a fluid choreopoem that uses text, dance and live music to document pregnancy from a young single father's perspective, incorporating ritual, archetypes, and symbolic sites within hip hop culture. The piece critically, lyrically, and choreographically examines race, male privilege, and the fraught concept of fatherhood.
Nation Beat, American fans of northeastern Brazilian percussion, went down to Recife more than a decade ago, to jam with legendary, Maracatu Nacao Estrela Brilhante. Their collaboration, with its driving beats, call-and-response vocals, and Afro-Brazilian pageantry, blew the minds of mainstream rock journalists and die-hard Brazilian music fans alike. Now, the traditional maracatu crew is making its first trip to the U.S., touring with Nation Beat as A Tale of Two Nations. More than just music, maracatu features vibrant, intricate costumes, high-energy movement, and Afro-diasporic street theater, complete with colorful stock characters. Joining the revelry will be Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles, Mardi Gras Indians whose artistry has strong parallels to maracatu. With dazzling costumes that reflect both African and Native American origins, and with a funk and brass sound that dares listeners not to dance, Boudreaux and crew will both parade and lay down the grooves in a raucous stage set.
La Casita - Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Afropop and Afro-Cuban drumming. MCs and edgy vocalists. Slam poets and traditional truth-tellers. They all come together for a powerful day of spoken word, music, and movement dedicated to the late Sekou Sundiata, one of the very first editions at this now annual celebration. Hosted by David Gonzalez, who often performed with Sundiata, this gathering promises to evoke the poet, performer, and educator's many facets and legacies.
El Gusto / ZviDance: Dabke - Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Early in the 20th century, in the Casbah of Algiers, swinging nightclubs regularly featured the scandalous sounds of chaabi, with its bittersweet vocals, lush strings, mandolins, piano, and clapping hands. El Gusto was a darling of this scene, uniting Algeria's top Jewish and Muslim musicians. The ensemble was shattered by the 1962 revolution that ended colonial rule but sent Jews into exile in France and elsewhere. After a half-century apart, the old friends of El Gusto -- now octo- and nonagenarians -- are back together, thanks to the efforts of an Irish-Algerian architect and filmmaker. Still as joyful as ever, this reunited orchestra has lost none of its chops. Opening the evening will be ZviDance, a contemporary dance ensemble with a similarly passionate vision of cross-cultural community. The company's new work, DABKE, is inspired by the shared national dance of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Palestine; Israelis, too, have their own version. DABKE uses the power of dance to highlight tribal and national identities, as well as dissolve those definitions.
Lincoln Center Out of Doors - Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
This NYC summer favorite offers more than 100 free performances across the plazas of Lincoln Center. Twenty-one premieres and debuts highlight this latest edition of one of the country's longest-running, free, summer outdoor festivals. KRONOS at 40, a "festival within a festival" curated in collaboration with Kronos Quartet to mark its 40th anniversary, unfolds during the first five days of the festival.
Shipwreck! Pirates & Treasure - Discovery Times Square
SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure will capture your imagination and take you on an incredible journey through thousands of years of maritime history. Experience hurricane-force winds, pick up treasure with a robotic arm, and explore the mysteries of the deep. This exhibit features over 500 authentic artifacts, including gold and silver treasures, as well as the incredible science and technology used to work thousands of feet below the ocean's surface.
The Art of the Brick - Discovery Times Square
This exhibition by artist Nathan Sawaya is a critically acclaimed collection of intriguing and inspiring works of art made exclusively from one of the most recognizable toys in the world: LEGO bricks. This is the world's biggest and most elaborate display of LEGO art ever and features brand-new, never-before-seen pieces by Sawaya.
Body Worlds: Pulse - Discovery Times Square
The newest in the renowned BODY WORLDS series, which has presented the human body in groundbreaking ways for discovery to more than 36 million people around the world.