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Things to do this week in NYC May 26-Jun 2: Cultural Arts
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May 26, 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 Metropolitan Opera· A vibrant home for the most creative and talented artists fr...

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 Jazz at Lincoln Center· A stunning venue for jazz and the performing 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.

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.

Double Feature (A Ballet in 2 Acts) - New York City Ballet
May 27, 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.

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!

Jeu de Cartes - New York City Ballet
May 29, 2012 -

"Years ago, George Balanchine suggested that I choreograph Stravinsky's Jeu de Cartes, not as a ballet about a card game but as an abstraction. I wasn't interested. But when I heard the score recently, I was struck by its jazzy vitality, and I've decided to take Mr. B.'s advice."— Peter MartinsIgor Stravinsky (1882-1971) entered law school in 1901, at the age of 19. 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 Musagète (Apollo), choreographed by George Balanchine. His music has been used in over 30 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. He composed Jeu de Cartes (Card Game: A Ballet in Three Deals) for the first Stravinsky Festival mounted by George Balanchine at the Metropolitan Opera in 1937. In the original version dancers were costumed to represent the four suits in a deck of cards, and the joker was the central character.

Les Noces - New York City Ballet
May 29, 2012 -

Stravinsky music, a dramatic cantata, was first used in a ballet by Bronislava Nijinska, in a work created for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes.

Moves - New York City Ballet
May 30, 2012 -

Recognizing that "music guides the spectators' responses to the happenings on the stage," Mr. Robbins created a ballet without music because, he said, "I wanted the audience to concentrate on movement" and on "relationships between people -- man and woman, one and another, the individual and the group." (As quoted in Balanchine's Stories of the Great Ballets.)

New Wheeldon - New York City Ballet
May 30, 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.

Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 - New York City Ballet
May 30, 2012 -

Balanchine's first setting of music from Tschaikovsky's third suite for orchestra was created in 1947, when Ballet Theatre commissioned him to choreograph the theme and variations that constitute the final movement. Called simply Theme and Variations, the work is a riveting display of classical technique that has become a staple of the ballet repertory. In 1970, Balanchine decided to choreograph the entire suite, incorporating Theme and Variations as the fourth and final movement with only minor revisions. With scenery and costumes by Nicolas Benois, the first three movements are danced in a softly-lit ballroom. The women are dressed in long-flowing dresses and their hair is unbound. In the opening movement, the corps of women dance barefoot. 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.

Jeu de Cartes - New York City Ballet
May 31, 2012 -

"Years ago, George Balanchine suggested that I choreograph Stravinsky's Jeu de Cartes, not as a ballet about a card game but as an abstraction. I wasn't interested. But when I heard the score recently, I was struck by its jazzy vitality, and I've decided to take Mr. B.'s advice."— Peter MartinsIgor Stravinsky (1882-1971) entered law school in 1901, at the age of 19. 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 Musagète (Apollo), choreographed by George Balanchine. His music has been used in over 30 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. He composed Jeu de Cartes (Card Game: A Ballet in Three Deals) for the first Stravinsky Festival mounted by George Balanchine at the Metropolitan Opera in 1937. In the original version dancers were costumed to represent the four suits in a deck of cards, and the joker was the central character.

New Millepied - New York City Ballet
May 31, 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.

Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 - New York City Ballet
May 31, 2012 -

Balanchine's first setting of music from Tschaikovsky's third suite for orchestra was created in 1947, when Ballet Theatre commissioned him to choreograph the theme and variations that constitute the final movement. Called simply Theme and Variations, the work is a riveting display of classical technique that has become a staple of the ballet repertory. In 1970, Balanchine decided to choreograph the entire suite, incorporating Theme and Variations as the fourth and final movement with only minor revisions. With scenery and costumes by Nicolas Benois, the first three movements are danced in a softly-lit ballroom. The women are dressed in long-flowing dresses and their hair is unbound. In the opening movement, the corps of women dance barefoot. 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.

Concerto Barocco - New York City Ballet
June 01, 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
June 01, 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.

Symphony in C - New York City Ballet
June 01, 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.

Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux - New York City Ballet
June 01, 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.

Jeu de Cartes - New York City Ballet
June 02, 2012 -

"Years ago, George Balanchine suggested that I choreograph Stravinsky's Jeu de Cartes, not as a ballet about a card game but as an abstraction. I wasn't interested. But when I heard the score recently, I was struck by its jazzy vitality, and I've decided to take Mr. B.'s advice."— Peter MartinsIgor Stravinsky (1882-1971) entered law school in 1901, at the age of 19. 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 Musagète (Apollo), choreographed by George Balanchine. His music has been used in over 30 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. He composed Jeu de Cartes (Card Game: A Ballet in Three Deals) for the first Stravinsky Festival mounted by George Balanchine at the Metropolitan Opera in 1937. In the original version dancers were costumed to represent the four suits in a deck of cards, and the joker was the central character.

Moves - New York City Ballet
June 02, 2012 -

Recognizing that "music guides the spectators' responses to the happenings on the stage," Mr. Robbins created a ballet without music because, he said, "I wanted the audience to concentrate on movement" and on "relationships between people -- man and woman, one and another, the individual and the group." (As quoted in Balanchine's Stories of the Great Ballets.)

Symphony in C - New York City Ballet
June 02, 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.

Tschaikovsky Suite No. 3 - New York City Ballet
June 02, 2012 -

Balanchine's first setting of music from Tschaikovsky's third suite for orchestra was created in 1947, when Ballet Theatre commissioned him to choreograph the theme and variations that constitute the final movement. Called simply Theme and Variations, the work is a riveting display of classical technique that has become a staple of the ballet repertory. In 1970, Balanchine decided to choreograph the entire suite, incorporating Theme and Variations as the fourth and final movement with only minor revisions. With scenery and costumes by Nicolas Benois, the first three movements are danced in a softly-lit ballroom. The women are dressed in long-flowing dresses and their hair is unbound. In the opening movement, the corps of women dance barefoot. 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 Young Choreographer's Festival - Symphony Space
June 02, 2012 - New York

An evening of dance not to be missed!

The Young Choreographer’s Festival is celebrating its third year by producing the work of 11 of the most up and coming 18-25year old choreographers, selected by a highly esteemed panel and 10 Special Guests including Michele Wiles and Camille A. Brown! This year’s performance will include the genres of ballet, contemporary, modern, jazz, street jazz, and tap. 2012 Young Choreographers: Tislarm Bouie, Rachel Charles, Bryn Cohn, Philip Colgan, Alexis Convento, Ann Sterling Dale, Lexi Dysart, Cori Marquis, Jeremy McQueen, Sarah Mettin, Elisabeth Schiffbauer. 2012 Guest Artists: Ballet Next: Michele Wiles; Broadway Dance Center’s Youth Performance Company, Arts in Motion; Camille A. Brown; Cartier Williams; Dana Foglia Dance; DeMa Dance Company; Derek Mitchell; Pascal Rekoert/Flexicurve; Peridance Contemporary Dance Company; Tracie Stanfield.

www.youngchoreographersfestival.com

Wear it like a crown - Brooklyn Academy of Music
Through June 03, 2012 - Fort Greene

An arresting tableau of theatrics passes from shadows into light in Wear it like a crown, the latest triumph from Sweden's Cirkus Cirkor (Inside Out, 2009 Next Wave Festival). Consisting of six interlocking stories of solitary dreamers who yearn to connect with the world by way of juggling, knife-throwing, daredevil acrobatics, dance, and mime, Cirkus Cirkor rekindles the narrative possibilities of traditional vaudeville while leaping forward with a new circus aesthetic.

Anchored by the lush folk-inflected chamber pop of Norwegian chanteuse Rebekka Karijord, Wear it like a crown explores a world in which magic and redemption are possible.

Post Plastica - El Museo del Barrio
Through June 03, 2012 - New York

"Carmelita Tropicana lights up New York's performance venues with colorful, hilarious, and brain-twisting narratives." -Time Out New York. Part live performance, part video installation, this piece offers a glimpse into a future in which celebrity culture has pitched a battle between the primacy of virtual and artistic lives; in which revolutionaries keep bees in a secret underground; and in which a half-woman, half-bear scientist has gained the upper hand... Featuring Becca Blackwell, Erin Markey, and Carmelita Tropicana. Each evening will be begin at 6pm in El Museo's El Cafe with complimentary pre-show talks featuring guest experts, curated by the artists. Check back soon for a list of speakers and topics. Performances begin in El Museo's El Teatro at 7:30pm. Tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/912058

Gotham Dance Festival - Joyce Theater
Through June 10, 2012 -

The Festival returns for two weeks with programs featuring cutting-edge artists, world premieres, and Joyce debuts. Week One begins with Brian Brooks Moving Company in the premiere of BIG CITY, a work that examines the concept of rebuilding after a destructive event. The week also highlights choreographer Jodie Gates, who will set work on Ballet X and Colorado Ballet. Sharing the program with Gates will be Peter Quanz, whose Canadian-based company Q Dance/Quanz Danse will perform two works, including In Tandem, set to a score by Steve Reich. Week Two opens with a special one-night celebration featuring multiple artists and continues with the Los Angeles-based BODYTRAFFIC performing a world premiere as well as Stijn Celis' Fragile Dwellings, with a light installation by Erwin Redl. The Festival concludes with Gallim Dance, under the direction of Andrea Miller, who performs a world premiere exploring how the knowledge that we are going to die shapes the way we love. One Night Celebration Program - On Tuesday June 5th, Gotham Arts Exchange celebrates the choreographic work of American women. The program includes work from the legends of our time and the women who bring audience members to their feet. We're also going to throw in a few up and coming voices. Scheduled to participate are: Carmen deLavallade, Carolyn Dorfman, Kate Weare, Monica Bill Barnes, and Camille A. Brown.

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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