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Things to do this week in NYC May 19-May 26: Cultural Arts
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May 19, 2012 - by CG Directory Editor

Featured Listings
American Museum of Natural History Photos American Museum of Natural History· A museum for the 21st century, with a rich and storied past ...

American Museum of Natural History Photos Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum· Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece of modern architecture is h...

Hasted Kraeutler· International contemporary art from emerging and established...

American Museum of Natural History Photos Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)· One of the world's finest collections of modern and contempo...

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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.

Concerto Barocco - New York City Ballet
May 19, 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.

Fancy Free - New York City Ballet
May 19, 2012 -

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), the gifted and versatile American conductor and composer of symphonic music and Broadway shows, was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts. At the age of seventeen he entered Harvard, went on to study at the Curtis Institute, and then to Tanglewood.

Serge Koussevitzky took great interest in his talent and promoted his conducting career, and his great chance came when, on short notice, he substituted brilliantly for Bruno Walter, who had become ill. He performed as a conductor and pianist, and lectured at universities and on television. His compositions ranged from the classical to the musical stage, and included Mass, Kaddish, West Side Story (again in collaboration with Jerome Robbins), Candide, and The Age of Anxiety. He was the first native-born American to become conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and he conducted around the world.

Liebeslieder Walzer - New York City Ballet
May 19, 2012 -

For this two-part ballet of waltzes for piano duet and vocal quartet set to poems by Friedrich Daumer and one, the last, set to a poem by Goethe, the dancers are joined on stage by the musicians and singers. All are dressed in period ballroom costumes. During the first set of 18 waltzes the four couples dance in interweaving combinations in an intimate, elegantly-appointed ballroom. For these dances, the women wear dancing slippers. After a brief lowering of the curtain, the couples return to dance 14 waltzes, the women wearing ballet dresses and toe shoes. They leave the stage; returning in their original costumes, then pause to listen to the final waltz set to Goethe's words: "Now, Muses, enough! You try in vain to portray how misery and happiness alternate in a loving heart!" Within the strict three-quarter beat personal and romantic associations between the couples are developed. Of Liebeslieder Walzer, Balanchine said: "In the first act, it is the real people who are dancing. In the second act, it is their souls."

New Martins - New York City Ballet
May 19, 2012 -

Peter Martins' latest creation, premiering at the 2012 Spring Gala, continues his fervent passion for contemporary music with a commissioned score from Marc-Andre Dalbavie. Dalbavie is known for the brilliant color and bold rhythms of his compositions.

Symphony in C - New York City Ballet
May 19, 2012 -

Bizet composed his Symphony in C major when he was a 17-year-old pupil of Charles Gounod at the Paris Conservatory. The manuscript was lost for decades, and was published only after it was discovered in the Conservatory's library in 1933. Balanchine first learned of the long-vanished score from Stravinsky. He required only two weeks to choreograph it as Le Palais de Cristal for the Paris Opera Ballet, where he was serving as a guest ballet master. When he revived the work the following year for the first performance of New York City Ballet, he simplified the sets and costumes and changed the title. The ballet has four movements, each featuring a different ballerina, danseur, and corps de ballet. The entire cast of 48 dancers from all four movements gather for the rousing finale. Georges Bizet (1838-1875) is best known for Carmen, one of the most successful operas ever written. However, he had more success in his lifetime with non-operatic works. He was an excellent pianist and wrote many pieces for that instrument, including Jeux d'Enfants. Many of the operas Bizet wrote, with the exceptions of Carmen and The Pearl Fishers, were destroyed by the composer or never finished.

Tarantella - New York City Ballet
May 19, 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.

Big Dance Theater - Comme Toujours Here I Stand - New York Live Arts
Through May 19, 2012 -

Bessie Award winning (2010), Comme Toujours Here I Stand re-invents Agnes Varda's classic New Wave film, CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 for the stage. Shot in Paris in 1961, the film tracks the early evening hours in the life of a marginally talented pop singer as she waits to hear if she has terminal cancer. The Company uses the script as a found object to create an intimate portrait of a woman shadowed by death, while still caught up in the breezy pleasures of the day: shopping, visiting, strolling. The piece serves also as a critique of the flexible and facile nature of the medium of film when set against the handmade qualities of live dance and theater.

LIVING PROOF at BAX - BAX | Brooklyn Arts Exchange
Through May 19, 2012 - Brooklyn

LIVING PROOF by DPW III & BAXco

Tickets: $5

A year-end culminating performance featuring student and director choreography as well as BAXco repertory.

This evening length performance features short works created by the advanced young dancers/choreographers of BAX's Dance Performing Workshop (DPW) Level III. These works incorporate various modern dance techniques, ballet, acrobatics and partnering to articulately express their individual artistic voices. DPWIII Director Helen Tocci's collaboratively made piece, Living Proof, highlights glimpses into the private worlds of 9 young female performers.

To buy tickets, please visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9667842 To learn more about the program & DPW, visit http://bax.org/youth/programming/dpw/

In G Major - New York City Ballet
May 20, 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.

Liebeslieder Walzer - New York City Ballet
May 20, 2012 -

For this two-part ballet of waltzes for piano duet and vocal quartet set to poems by Friedrich Daumer and one, the last, set to a poem by Goethe, the dancers are joined on stage by the musicians and singers. All are dressed in period ballroom costumes. During the first set of 18 waltzes the four couples dance in interweaving combinations in an intimate, elegantly-appointed ballroom. For these dances, the women wear dancing slippers. After a brief lowering of the curtain, the couples return to dance 14 waltzes, the women wearing ballet dresses and toe shoes. They leave the stage; returning in their original costumes, then pause to listen to the final waltz set to Goethe's words: "Now, Muses, enough! You try in vain to portray how misery and happiness alternate in a loving heart!" Within the strict three-quarter beat personal and romantic associations between the couples are developed. Of Liebeslieder Walzer, Balanchine said: "In the first act, it is the real people who are dancing. In the second act, it is their souls."

New Wheeldon - New York City Ballet
May 20, 2012 -

NYCB's former first-ever Resident Choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon now travels the world as one of the most in-demand dance makers. Wheeldon returns to choreograph a world premiere for the New Combinations Evening, which honors Balanchine's birthday each year with the performance of new work.

DanceAfrica 2012 - Brooklyn Academy of Music
May 20, 2012 - Fort Greene

This year marks the 35th anniversary of DanceAfrica! Created in 1977 by Chuck Davis, it is the nation's first festival devoted to African dance and has become one of the largest celebrations of its kind. Uniting dancers the world over to celebrate the cultural vitality of Africa and its diaspora, BAM will welcome a visiting company from Africa as well as American companies--including Brooklyn's very own BAM/Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble--for a special anniversary program that promises to inspire.

A Memorial Day weekend tradition, DanceAfrica is packed with dance, music, art, film, and community events--plus the one-and-only DanceAfrica outdoor bazaar. Agoo! Amee!

'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.

Company C Contemporary Ballet - NYU Skirball Center
Through May 20, 2012 - New York City

May 18-19, 8:00, May 20, 2:00, $35-$45 Beauty, passion, wit and drama converge in the stunning performances of California’s Company C Contemporary Ballet. Dynamic, adventurous, contemporary choreography is the hallmark of the Company led by founder and Artistic Director Charles Anderson, a former member of the New York City Ballet. The twelve-member ensemble of classically trained dancers from across the country performs a diverse repertoire of moving, provocative, sensual and entertaining dance pieces. This repertoire includes masterworks by some of the most accomplished contemporary choreographers of today, including Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Anthony Tudor, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, David Parsons, Michael Smuin and Val Caniparoli.

Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet - New York City Ballet
May 22, 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.

Liebeslieder Walzer - New York City Ballet
May 22, 2012 -

For this two-part ballet of waltzes for piano duet and vocal quartet set to poems by Friedrich Daumer and one, the last, set to a poem by Goethe, the dancers are joined on stage by the musicians and singers. All are dressed in period ballroom costumes. During the first set of 18 waltzes the four couples dance in interweaving combinations in an intimate, elegantly-appointed ballroom. For these dances, the women wear dancing slippers. After a brief lowering of the curtain, the couples return to dance 14 waltzes, the women wearing ballet dresses and toe shoes. They leave the stage; returning in their original costumes, then pause to listen to the final waltz set to Goethe's words: "Now, Muses, enough! You try in vain to portray how misery and happiness alternate in a loving heart!" Within the strict three-quarter beat personal and romantic associations between the couples are developed. Of Liebeslieder Walzer, Balanchine said: "In the first act, it is the real people who are dancing. In the second act, it is their souls."

In the Night - New York City Ballet
May 23, 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.

New Martins - New York City Ballet
May 23, 2012 -

Peter Martins' latest creation, premiering at the 2012 Spring Gala, continues his fervent passion for contemporary music with a commissioned score from Marc-Andre Dalbavie. Dalbavie is known for the brilliant color and bold rhythms of his compositions.

New Wheeldon - New York City Ballet
May 23, 2012 -

NYCB's former first-ever Resident Choreographer, Christopher Wheeldon now travels the world as one of the most in-demand dance makers. Wheeldon returns to choreograph a world premiere for the New Combinations Evening, which honors Balanchine's birthday each year with the performance of new work.

Double Feature (A Ballet in 2 Acts) - New York City Ballet
May 24, 2012 -

Double Feature is Susan Stroman's second ballet for New York City Ballet. She worked with NYCB last in June 1999 when she choreographed the Blossom Got Kissed movement of Duke! This work is Susan Stroman's first evening-long ballet and it features a cast of 60 dancers. It is an homage to the silent film era. The evening is a double bill–up first is The Blue Necklace, a gripping melodrama about an unforgettable sacrifice. Next is Makin' Whoopee!, a raucous comedy that asks, "What would you do for seven million dollars?" Robin Wagner is the scenic designer. Costumes are by William Ivey Long. Mark Stanley is the Lighting Designer. BiographyWith a life that spanned more than 100 years and a catalogue that boasted over 1200 songs, Irving Berlin epitomized Jerome Kern's famous maxim that "Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music." Irving Berlin was born Israel Beilin on May 11, 1888. One of eight children, his exact place of birth is unknown, although his family had been living in Tolochin, Byelorussia, when they immigrated to New York in 1893. When his father died, Berlin, just turned 13, took to the streets in various odd jobs, working as a busker singing for pennies, then as a singing waiter in a Chinatown Cafe. In 1907 he published his first song, "Marie from Sunny Italy," and by 1911 he had his first major international hit – "Alexander's Ragtime Band." Over the next five decades, Irving Berlin produced an outpouring of ballads, dance numbers, novelty tunes and love songs that defined American popular song for much of the century. A sampling of just some of the Irving Berlin standards includes "How Deep Is the Ocean," "Blue Skies," "White Christmas," "Always," "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Cheek to Cheek," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody," "Heat Wave," "Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning," "Easter Parade" and "Let's Face the Music and Dance." In a class by itself is his beloved paean to his beloved country, "God Bless America." He was equally at home writing for Broadway and Hollywood. He wrote seventeen complete scores for Broadway musicals and revues, and contributed material to six more. Among the shows featuring all-Berlin scores were The Cocoanuts, As Thousands Cheer, Louisiana Purchase, Miss Liberty, Mr. President, Call Me Madam, and the phenomenally successful Annie Get Your Gun. Among the Hollywood movie musical classics with scores by Irving Berlin are Top Hat, Follow the Fleet, On the Avenue, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Holiday Inn, This Is the Army, Blue Skies, Easter Parade, White Christmas and There's No Business Like Show Business. His songs have provided memorable moments in dozens of other films, from The Jazz Singer (1927) to Mona Lisa Smile (2003). Among his many industry awards were a special Tony Award (1963) and the Academy Award for Best Song of the Year for "White Christmas" in 1942. An intuitive business man, Irving Berlin was a co-founder of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), founder of his own music publishing company, and with producer Sam Harris, builder of his own Broadway theatre, The Music Box. An unabashed patriot, his love for — and generosity to — his country is legendary, and through several of his foundations, including The God Bless America Fund and This is The Army Inc., he donated millions of dollars in royalties to Army Emergency Relief, the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other organizations. His actions were acknowledged with such accolades as the Army's Medal of Merit from President Truman in 1945, a Congressional Gold Medal for "God Bless America" and other patriotic songs from President Eisenhower in 1955 and the Freedom Medal from President Ford in 1977. In 2002, he was posthumously commemorated on a United States postage stamp. Irving Berlin's centennial in 1988 was celebrated worldwide, culminating in an all-star tribute at Carnegie Hall benefitting the Hall and ASCAP, subsequently an Emmy Award winning special on CBS, and featuring such varied luminaries of the musical world as Frank Sinatra, Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Natalie Cole and Willie Nelson. On September 22, 1989, at the age of 101, Irving Berlin died in his sleep in his town house in New York City. A widower since his wife of 62 years, the former Ellin Mackay, had died the previous year at the age of 85, Berlin is survived by three daughters, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. BiographyWalter Donaldson was a brilliant, quixotic, legendary songwriter who wrote nearly 1,000 songs over three decades. Those songs have become an integral part of the great patchwork quilt of 20th Century American culture. Indeed, of global culture and the 21st Century. Donaldson, born into a large musical family in Brooklyn in 1893, grew up in the heady, syncopated strenuous years of America's delirious growth and expansion, years of wonder and seemingly limitless possibilities. His early musical talent bloomed under the tutelage of his mother, a classically trained pianist and teacher. Nevertheless, following early jobs playing piano in nickelodeons, hotels and 5 and 10¢ stores, as a very young man he worked on Wall Street in the world of finance. But the pull was irresistible. He moved on to his chosen world of music and never looked back. He began work as a staff pianist in a Tin Pan Alley publishing firm. He wrote steadily, and found almost immediate success, with his songs introduced in Vaudeville by the greatest performers of the day. He wrote throughout his enlistment in the Army during World War I, capping the decade with the irreverent, peculiarly American WWI welcome home anthem, "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm (After They've Seen Paree)?" introduced by James Reese Europe's syncopated brass band, "The Hellfighters' Regiment" (369th Infantry Division), in a New York City Victory Parade to uproarious throngs of people lining the streets. It marked, indelibly, a moment in time and became, overnight, a singular part of American culture and history. And it caught the spirit of a restless post-war generation eager to move on into the Jazz Age, the 20's. Donaldson, a dedicated bon vivant, a festive man of boundless and varied enthusiasms, enthralled with nature, an avid and knowledgeable stargazer, a superb golfer, a true populist in the best sense of the word, was also a workaholic. He embraced the new decade with gusto and his musical output was astonishing; among his hundreds of songs are: "My Buddy," "Carolina In The Morning," "Yes Sir, That's My Baby," "After I Say I'm Sorry," "At Sundown," "My Blue Heaven," "Don't Be Angry," "Reaching For Someone," "I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight," "Borneo," "He's The Last Word"; in 1928 he founded his music publishing firm, Donaldson Douglas and Gumble, and, with his lifelong friend and frequent lyricist, Gus Kahn, wrote the score for the smash hit Ziegfeld show, Whoopee, featuring the classics "Makin' Whoopee" and "Love Me Or Leave Me." In the Samuel Goldwyn film of Whoopee he added "My Baby Just Cares For Me." In the early 30's, as the music business moved West, Donaldson, following the sale of his publishing company, moved to Hollywood to write for the movies. In the midst of global turbulence he would at last find great love, marriage, children, home. And he continued to write, following "Little White Lies" and "You're Driving Me Crazy," more classic songs such as the Oscar nominated "Did I Remember" from the film Suzy, "Riptide," "I've Had My Moments," "Clouds," and "Hello Beautiful," along with music for many films including The Great Ziegfeld, Saratoga, and Kid Millions. Throughout the years of World War II, he entertained and actively participated in the USO, the Hollywood Canteen and numerous Allied Resistance Benefits; and, always hospitable, well known for his emotional and material generosity, he opened his Santa Monica home near the beach to welcome countless men and women from the Armed Forces who were on leave into his family and his life. Music, as always, was the constant. Never without his stubby pencil, a scrap of paper, a napkin, or his notebook, he wrote at all hours of the day and night wherever he was, on the golf course, at restaurants, clubs the race track, and, to be sure, at home at his piano, a process he took pains to share with his children. Finally, his brilliant, colorful career was cut short when Donaldson, overtaken by illness, died at the relatively young age of 54. A connoisseur of life, love, laughter and melody, he left the superb legacy of his songs for the world to enjoy, to sing, to hum, to whistle, songs that make one want to dance.

Double Feature (A Ballet in 2 Acts) - New York City Ballet
May 25, 2012 -

Double Feature is Susan Stroman's second ballet for New York City Ballet. She worked with NYCB last in June 1999 when she choreographed the Blossom Got Kissed movement of Duke! This work is Susan Stroman's first evening-long ballet and it features a cast of 60 dancers. It is an homage to the silent film era. The evening is a double bill–up first is The Blue Necklace, a gripping melodrama about an unforgettable sacrifice. Next is Makin' Whoopee!, a raucous comedy that asks, "What would you do for seven million dollars?" Robin Wagner is the scenic designer. Costumes are by William Ivey Long. Mark Stanley is the Lighting Designer. BiographyWith a life that spanned more than 100 years and a catalogue that boasted over 1200 songs, Irving Berlin epitomized Jerome Kern's famous maxim that "Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music." Irving Berlin was born Israel Beilin on May 11, 1888. One of eight children, his exact place of birth is unknown, although his family had been living in Tolochin, Byelorussia, when they immigrated to New York in 1893. When his father died, Berlin, just turned 13, took to the streets in various odd jobs, working as a busker singing for pennies, then as a singing waiter in a Chinatown Cafe. In 1907 he published his first song, "Marie from Sunny Italy," and by 1911 he had his first major international hit – "Alexander's Ragtime Band." Over the next five decades, Irving Berlin produced an outpouring of ballads, dance numbers, novelty tunes and love songs that defined American popular song for much of the century. A sampling of just some of the Irving Berlin standards includes "How Deep Is the Ocean," "Blue Skies," "White Christmas," "Always," "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Cheek to Cheek," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody," "Heat Wave," "Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning," "Easter Parade" and "Let's Face the Music and Dance." In a class by itself is his beloved paean to his beloved country, "God Bless America." He was equally at home writing for Broadway and Hollywood. He wrote seventeen complete scores for Broadway musicals and revues, and contributed material to six more. Among the shows featuring all-Berlin scores were The Cocoanuts, As Thousands Cheer, Louisiana Purchase, Miss Liberty, Mr. President, Call Me Madam, and the phenomenally successful Annie Get Your Gun. Among the Hollywood movie musical classics with scores by Irving Berlin are Top Hat, Follow the Fleet, On the Avenue, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Holiday Inn, This Is the Army, Blue Skies, Easter Parade, White Christmas and There's No Business Like Show Business. His songs have provided memorable moments in dozens of other films, from The Jazz Singer (1927) to Mona Lisa Smile (2003). Among his many industry awards were a special Tony Award (1963) and the Academy Award for Best Song of the Year for "White Christmas" in 1942. An intuitive business man, Irving Berlin was a co-founder of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), founder of his own music publishing company, and with producer Sam Harris, builder of his own Broadway theatre, The Music Box. An unabashed patriot, his love for — and generosity to — his country is legendary, and through several of his foundations, including The God Bless America Fund and This is The Army Inc., he donated millions of dollars in royalties to Army Emergency Relief, the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other organizations. His actions were acknowledged with such accolades as the Army's Medal of Merit from President Truman in 1945, a Congressional Gold Medal for "God Bless America" and other patriotic songs from President Eisenhower in 1955 and the Freedom Medal from President Ford in 1977. In 2002, he was posthumously commemorated on a United States postage stamp. Irving Berlin's centennial in 1988 was celebrated worldwide, culminating in an all-star tribute at Carnegie Hall benefitting the Hall and ASCAP, subsequently an Emmy Award winning special on CBS, and featuring such varied luminaries of the musical world as Frank Sinatra, Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Natalie Cole and Willie Nelson. On September 22, 1989, at the age of 101, Irving Berlin died in his sleep in his town house in New York City. A widower since his wife of 62 years, the former Ellin Mackay, had died the previous year at the age of 85, Berlin is survived by three daughters, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. BiographyWalter Donaldson was a brilliant, quixotic, legendary songwriter who wrote nearly 1,000 songs over three decades. Those songs have become an integral part of the great patchwork quilt of 20th Century American culture. Indeed, of global culture and the 21st Century. Donaldson, born into a large musical family in Brooklyn in 1893, grew up in the heady, syncopated strenuous years of America's delirious growth and expansion, years of wonder and seemingly limitless possibilities. His early musical talent bloomed under the tutelage of his mother, a classically trained pianist and teacher. Nevertheless, following early jobs playing piano in nickelodeons, hotels and 5 and 10¢ stores, as a very young man he worked on Wall Street in the world of finance. But the pull was irresistible. He moved on to his chosen world of music and never looked back. He began work as a staff pianist in a Tin Pan Alley publishing firm. He wrote steadily, and found almost immediate success, with his songs introduced in Vaudeville by the greatest performers of the day. He wrote throughout his enlistment in the Army during World War I, capping the decade with the irreverent, peculiarly American WWI welcome home anthem, "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm (After They've Seen Paree)?" introduced by James Reese Europe's syncopated brass band, "The Hellfighters' Regiment" (369th Infantry Division), in a New York City Victory Parade to uproarious throngs of people lining the streets. It marked, indelibly, a moment in time and became, overnight, a singular part of American culture and history. And it caught the spirit of a restless post-war generation eager to move on into the Jazz Age, the 20's. Donaldson, a dedicated bon vivant, a festive man of boundless and varied enthusiasms, enthralled with nature, an avid and knowledgeable stargazer, a superb golfer, a true populist in the best sense of the word, was also a workaholic. He embraced the new decade with gusto and his musical output was astonishing; among his hundreds of songs are: "My Buddy," "Carolina In The Morning," "Yes Sir, That's My Baby," "After I Say I'm Sorry," "At Sundown," "My Blue Heaven," "Don't Be Angry," "Reaching For Someone," "I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight," "Borneo," "He's The Last Word"; in 1928 he founded his music publishing firm, Donaldson Douglas and Gumble, and, with his lifelong friend and frequent lyricist, Gus Kahn, wrote the score for the smash hit Ziegfeld show, Whoopee, featuring the classics "Makin' Whoopee" and "Love Me Or Leave Me." In the Samuel Goldwyn film of Whoopee he added "My Baby Just Cares For Me." In the early 30's, as the music business moved West, Donaldson, following the sale of his publishing company, moved to Hollywood to write for the movies. In the midst of global turbulence he would at last find great love, marriage, children, home. And he continued to write, following "Little White Lies" and "You're Driving Me Crazy," more classic songs such as the Oscar nominated "Did I Remember" from the film Suzy, "Riptide," "I've Had My Moments," "Clouds," and "Hello Beautiful," along with music for many films including The Great Ziegfeld, Saratoga, and Kid Millions. Throughout the years of World War II, he entertained and actively participated in the USO, the Hollywood Canteen and numerous Allied Resistance Benefits; and, always hospitable, well known for his emotional and material generosity, he opened his Santa Monica home near the beach to welcome countless men and women from the Armed Forces who were on leave into his family and his life. Music, as always, was the constant. Never without his stubby pencil, a scrap of paper, a napkin, or his notebook, he wrote at all hours of the day and night wherever he was, on the golf course, at restaurants, clubs the race track, and, to be sure, at home at his piano, a process he took pains to share with his children. Finally, his brilliant, colorful career was cut short when Donaldson, overtaken by illness, died at the relatively young age of 54. A connoisseur of life, love, laughter and melody, he left the superb legacy of his songs for the world to enjoy, to sing, to hum, to whistle, songs that make one want to dance.

Double Feature (A Ballet in 2 Acts) - New York City Ballet
May 26, 2012 -

Double Feature is Susan Stroman's second ballet for New York City Ballet. She worked with NYCB last in June 1999 when she choreographed the Blossom Got Kissed movement of Duke! This work is Susan Stroman's first evening-long ballet and it features a cast of 60 dancers. It is an homage to the silent film era. The evening is a double bill–up first is The Blue Necklace, a gripping melodrama about an unforgettable sacrifice. Next is Makin' Whoopee!, a raucous comedy that asks, "What would you do for seven million dollars?" Robin Wagner is the scenic designer. Costumes are by William Ivey Long. Mark Stanley is the Lighting Designer. BiographyWith a life that spanned more than 100 years and a catalogue that boasted over 1200 songs, Irving Berlin epitomized Jerome Kern's famous maxim that "Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music." Irving Berlin was born Israel Beilin on May 11, 1888. One of eight children, his exact place of birth is unknown, although his family had been living in Tolochin, Byelorussia, when they immigrated to New York in 1893. When his father died, Berlin, just turned 13, took to the streets in various odd jobs, working as a busker singing for pennies, then as a singing waiter in a Chinatown Cafe. In 1907 he published his first song, "Marie from Sunny Italy," and by 1911 he had his first major international hit – "Alexander's Ragtime Band." Over the next five decades, Irving Berlin produced an outpouring of ballads, dance numbers, novelty tunes and love songs that defined American popular song for much of the century. A sampling of just some of the Irving Berlin standards includes "How Deep Is the Ocean," "Blue Skies," "White Christmas," "Always," "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Cheek to Cheek," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody," "Heat Wave," "Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning," "Easter Parade" and "Let's Face the Music and Dance." In a class by itself is his beloved paean to his beloved country, "God Bless America." He was equally at home writing for Broadway and Hollywood. He wrote seventeen complete scores for Broadway musicals and revues, and contributed material to six more. Among the shows featuring all-Berlin scores were The Cocoanuts, As Thousands Cheer, Louisiana Purchase, Miss Liberty, Mr. President, Call Me Madam, and the phenomenally successful Annie Get Your Gun. Among the Hollywood movie musical classics with scores by Irving Berlin are Top Hat, Follow the Fleet, On the Avenue, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Holiday Inn, This Is the Army, Blue Skies, Easter Parade, White Christmas and There's No Business Like Show Business. His songs have provided memorable moments in dozens of other films, from The Jazz Singer (1927) to Mona Lisa Smile (2003). Among his many industry awards were a special Tony Award (1963) and the Academy Award for Best Song of the Year for "White Christmas" in 1942. An intuitive business man, Irving Berlin was a co-founder of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), founder of his own music publishing company, and with producer Sam Harris, builder of his own Broadway theatre, The Music Box. An unabashed patriot, his love for — and generosity to — his country is legendary, and through several of his foundations, including The God Bless America Fund and This is The Army Inc., he donated millions of dollars in royalties to Army Emergency Relief, the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other organizations. His actions were acknowledged with such accolades as the Army's Medal of Merit from President Truman in 1945, a Congressional Gold Medal for "God Bless America" and other patriotic songs from President Eisenhower in 1955 and the Freedom Medal from President Ford in 1977. In 2002, he was posthumously commemorated on a United States postage stamp. Irving Berlin's centennial in 1988 was celebrated worldwide, culminating in an all-star tribute at Carnegie Hall benefitting the Hall and ASCAP, subsequently an Emmy Award winning special on CBS, and featuring such varied luminaries of the musical world as Frank Sinatra, Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Natalie Cole and Willie Nelson. On September 22, 1989, at the age of 101, Irving Berlin died in his sleep in his town house in New York City. A widower since his wife of 62 years, the former Ellin Mackay, had died the previous year at the age of 85, Berlin is survived by three daughters, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. BiographyWalter Donaldson was a brilliant, quixotic, legendary songwriter who wrote nearly 1,000 songs over three decades. Those songs have become an integral part of the great patchwork quilt of 20th Century American culture. Indeed, of global culture and the 21st Century. Donaldson, born into a large musical family in Brooklyn in 1893, grew up in the heady, syncopated strenuous years of America's delirious growth and expansion, years of wonder and seemingly limitless possibilities. His early musical talent bloomed under the tutelage of his mother, a classically trained pianist and teacher. Nevertheless, following early jobs playing piano in nickelodeons, hotels and 5 and 10¢ stores, as a very young man he worked on Wall Street in the world of finance. But the pull was irresistible. He moved on to his chosen world of music and never looked back. He began work as a staff pianist in a Tin Pan Alley publishing firm. He wrote steadily, and found almost immediate success, with his songs introduced in Vaudeville by the greatest performers of the day. He wrote throughout his enlistment in the Army during World War I, capping the decade with the irreverent, peculiarly American WWI welcome home anthem, "How 'Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down On The Farm (After They've Seen Paree)?" introduced by James Reese Europe's syncopated brass band, "The Hellfighters' Regiment" (369th Infantry Division), in a New York City Victory Parade to uproarious throngs of people lining the streets. It marked, indelibly, a moment in time and became, overnight, a singular part of American culture and history. And it caught the spirit of a restless post-war generation eager to move on into the Jazz Age, the 20's. Donaldson, a dedicated bon vivant, a festive man of boundless and varied enthusiasms, enthralled with nature, an avid and knowledgeable stargazer, a superb golfer, a true populist in the best sense of the word, was also a workaholic. He embraced the new decade with gusto and his musical output was astonishing; among his hundreds of songs are: "My Buddy," "Carolina In The Morning," "Yes Sir, That's My Baby," "After I Say I'm Sorry," "At Sundown," "My Blue Heaven," "Don't Be Angry," "Reaching For Someone," "I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight," "Borneo," "He's The Last Word"; in 1928 he founded his music publishing firm, Donaldson Douglas and Gumble, and, with his lifelong friend and frequent lyricist, Gus Kahn, wrote the score for the smash hit Ziegfeld show, Whoopee, featuring the classics "Makin' Whoopee" and "Love Me Or Leave Me." In the Samuel Goldwyn film of Whoopee he added "My Baby Just Cares For Me." In the early 30's, as the music business moved West, Donaldson, following the sale of his publishing company, moved to Hollywood to write for the movies. In the midst of global turbulence he would at last find great love, marriage, children, home. And he continued to write, following "Little White Lies" and "You're Driving Me Crazy," more classic songs such as the Oscar nominated "Did I Remember" from the film Suzy, "Riptide," "I've Had My Moments," "Clouds," and "Hello Beautiful," along with music for many films including The Great Ziegfeld, Saratoga, and Kid Millions. Throughout the years of World War II, he entertained and actively participated in the USO, the Hollywood Canteen and numerous Allied Resistance Benefits; and, always hospitable, well known for his emotional and material generosity, he opened his Santa Monica home near the beach to welcome countless men and women from the Armed Forces who were on leave into his family and his life. Music, as always, was the constant. Never without his stubby pencil, a scrap of paper, a napkin, or his notebook, he wrote at all hours of the day and night wherever he was, on the golf course, at restaurants, clubs the race track, and, to be sure, at home at his piano, a process he took pains to share with his children. Finally, his brilliant, colorful career was cut short when Donaldson, overtaken by illness, died at the relatively young age of 54. A connoisseur of life, love, laughter and melody, he left the superb legacy of his songs for the world to enjoy, to sing, to hum, to whistle, songs that make one want to dance.

New Millepied - New York City Ballet
May 26, 2012 -

NYCB's own Benjamin Millepied is one of the busiest choreographers on today's scene. Millepied's new ballet will be set to a commissioned score by his frequent collaborator, American contemporary composer Nico Muhly.

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet - Joyce Theater
Through May 27, 2012 -

Combining voluptuous physicality with classical technique created by the most provocative dance makers in the world, Cedar Lake is one of the most exciting companies performing today. Returning to The Joyce for two weeks this spring with its sixteen magnificent dancers, led by Artistic Director Benoit-Swan Pouffer, the company will perform two programs of highly anticipated New York premieres, including Violet Kid, the latest work for the company by UK based choreographer Hofesh Shechter, and Grace Engine by Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite. Also highlighting the Joyce season--New York premieres by Sweden's Alexander Ekman and the Netherland's Regina van Berkel.

DanceAfrica 2012 - Brooklyn Academy of Music
Through May 28, 2012 - Fort Greene

This year marks the 35th anniversary of DanceAfrica! Created in 1977 by Chuck Davis, it is the nation's first festival devoted to African dance and has become one of the largest celebrations of its kind. Uniting dancers the world over to celebrate the cultural vitality of Africa and its diaspora, BAM will welcome a visiting company from Africa as well as American companies—including Brooklyn's very own BAM/Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble—for a special anniversary program that promises to inspire.

A Memorial Day weekend tradition, DanceAfrica is packed with dance, music, art, film, and community events—plus the one-and-only DanceAfrica outdoor bazaar. Agoo! Amee!

Playing with fire - New School for Drama
Through June 10, 2012 - NYC

May 18 to June 10, 2012 at New School for Drama, 151 Bank Street (West Village). Presented by August Strindberg Repertory Theatre and Negro Ensemble Company in association with Theater Resources Unlimited. Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM, Matinees Saturdays at 2:00 PM and Sundays at 3:00 PM, no shows May 26 and 27 (Memorial Day Weekend). Tickets $18; groups of 20 and more $13.50; students $9. TDF accepted. Box office SMARTTIX (212) 868-4444, www.smarttix.com. Production's website: http://www.strindberg.org/ TRANSIT DIRECTIONS: 1-2-3 to 14th Street and A-C-E to 14th Street. M20 bus stops at Abingdon Square and M11 and M14A terminate there. Running time: 90 minutes. CRITICS ARE INVITED on or after MAY 20. DETAILS AND ARTIST INFO: August Strindberg's Chekhovian comedy, "Playing With Fire" (Leka med elden, 1893), in a translation by Ulrika Brand that has been newly adapted by Obie-winner Leslie Lee, Executive Director of Negro Ensemble Company, will be presented May 18 to June 10 with an all-black cast as the inaugural production of August Strindberg Repertory Theatre, directed by Robert Greer. The play, to be staged at New School for Drama, 151 Bank Street (West Village), will be a co-production of August Strindberg Repertory Theatre and Negro Ensemble Company in association with Theater Resources Unlimited.


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