El Gusto / ZviDance: Dabke at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
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Early in the 20th century, in the Casbah of Algiers, swinging nightclubs regularly featured the scandalous sounds of chaabi, with its bittersweet vocals, lush strings, mandolins, piano, and clapping hands. El Gusto was a darling of this scene, uniting Algeria's top Jewish and Muslim musicians. The ensemble was shattered by the 1962 revolution that ended colonial rule but sent Jews into exile in France and elsewhere. After a half-century apart, the old friends of El Gusto -- now octo- and nonagenarians -- are back together, thanks to the efforts of an Irish-Algerian architect and filmmaker. Still as joyful as ever, this reunited orchestra has lost none of its chops. Opening the evening will be ZviDance, a contemporary dance ensemble with a similarly passionate vision of cross-cultural community. The company's new work, DABKE, is inspired by the shared national dance of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Palestine; Israelis, too, have their own version. DABKE uses the power of dance to highlight tribal and national identities, as well as dissolve those definitions.
Venue Description: The world's leading performing arts center and home to the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and the School of American Ballet.