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William Kentridge’s The Refusal of Time On Display At The Met

In a joint acquisition with the San Francisco Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art premiered William Kentridge’s The Refusal of Time (2012) on October 22; the exhibit will run through May 11, 2014.  A five-channel installation is billed as “a thirty-minute meditation on time and space, the complex legacies of colonialism and industry, and the artist’s own intellectual life.” Kentridge was born in 1955 in Johannesburg, South Africa where he still lives and works.

The Met will host three Gallery Talk events in conjunction with this exhibit.  The dates are as follows:

Saturday, January 4, 2014, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 5, 2014, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 22, 2014, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Gallery Talk is free with Museum admission

 

Photo:  Henrik Stromberg

Video: Antonio Limonciello

 

0006_Romeo&Juliet (c) Carol Rosseg

Romeo and Juliet, #TheBomb or #Bomb…

When it comes to love stories, none is more well-known than that of Juliet and her Romeo.  William Shakespeare literally wrote the book (or should I say play) on the notion of star-crossed lovers.  The adaptations of this classic are endless, yet the public never tires of the story of love gone awry.  So it goes that after 36 years, William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet has returned to the stage of the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

0306_Romeo&Juliet (c) Carol RossegDirector David Leveaux’s version of Romeo and Juliet takes Shakespearian English and injects it into modern setting.  Another added twist to the original plot is the subject of race – the Montagues are a white family and the Capulets are black.  Hollywood hottie Orlando Bloom and Broadway sensation Condola Rashad play the young, ill-fated lovers.  All these elements should’ve have produced results that were more explosive than a NASA rocket launch to the moon.  Instead, it was more the equivalent of high school chemistry nerds experimenting after class – yeah; there was a little smoke, but no real fire (except for the random bursts of fire on stage).

Although I wasn’t expecting Romeo and Juliet to declare their love on Facebook, I also didn’t expect the term ‘modern’ to be interpreted in such a banal fashion.  The set, which consisted of a ginormous bell, an elevated plank of wood for a balcony, and a wall that contained a Renaissance secco, was uninspiring and a poor match for the lush verse of one of William Shakespeare’s greatest works.  The first time Orlando Bloom appears on stage he is riding a motorcycle, and while that might be modern it is also clichéd.  At the Capulet’s soiree, I thought the choreography would carry an element of hip-hop or krunking, something other than the interpretations of African dance that were exhibited on stage. The nurse walking a bicycle to deliver a message to Romeo and the parkour climbing of the graffiti-ridden mural does add a nod to a more modern era; however these devices failed to deliver on such a promising idea.

0024_Romeo&Juliet (c) Carol RossegThe cast seem to hurry through the dialogue as if they were just trying to get it over with.  Shakespearean English is a mouthful, literally, but the pace was so rushed that some of the beauty of Shakespeare‘s poetry was lost in this interpretation.  While Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad certainly looked as if they had the potential to rival the flames that occasionally appeared on stage, their scenes together were undersupplied of the heat necessary for me to believe that these two would rather die than live life apart.  Brent Carver, Christian Camargo and Jayne Houdyshell’s portrayals of Friar Laurence, Mercutio and the Nurse were an absolute pleasure to watch and brought balance to this production.

Director Baz Luhrmann attempted a modern interpretation Romeo and Juliet on screen in 1996, back when I thought modern versions of Shakespeare were a sacrilege, and it actually became one of my favorite depictions of this classic love story.  Perhaps Leveaux should’ve taken a few notes from this film.  After 36 years, this Romeo and Juliet ascended to no grander heights nor did it plateau to a great theater low.  All and all it was steady and flat, just like the boards of the balcony – wooden and just plain regular.

Photos:  Carol Rosseg

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MONTE/MULLER Made New York Live Arts Move

From June 20-22, Monte/Muller Move! played at New York Live Arts.  Monte/Muller Move! combined five works from choreographers Jennifer Muller and Elisa Monte and showcased the power and majesty of these two dance companies.

The first performance was the world premiere of Grass by Jennifer Muller.  Inspired by Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and featuring cellist Julia Kent, whose haunting solo truly captured the spirit of the ballet.  As people trample daily on a grassy knoll or a sector of a park, do did these dancers slide and thrust their bodies onto the blades of the astro turf stage.  Colliding, then separating again, emoting the thread of impermanence.

ELISA_MONTE_FULL-180The second, Unstable, premiered in 2012. Choreographed by Elise Monte, Unstable was a primal ritual with bodies rolling on the stage.  Slow and sensational, the imagery of the wall shadows created added another dimension.

Elise Monte’s Shattered premiered in 2000 and is a fast paced spectacle for the eye. Like lightning when it strikes the impact hits with a precision that only a force of nature can.  Explosive, this piece pumps with high-octane adrenaline.

Premeiring in 1996, Volkmann Suite was choreographed by Elise Monte and is a stunning display of beauty and strength.  The power lifts displayed throughout the piece complimented the dancers carved frames and reminded me of moving sculptures.

The last performance was also by Jennifer Muller and featured excerpts of the ballet Speed, which debuted in 1974.  Filled with fast changes, the piece was considered a tour de force when it first premiered.  MONTE/MULLER MOVE! at New York Live Arts was made possible through New York Live Arts’ Theater Access Program, a comprehensive subsidized rental program benefiting a diverse group of dance and theater companies and producing organizations.

Photos courtesy of Krizer Graber Communications, LLC

 

 

DNA

Dance New Amsterdam Files For Chapter 11

On May 27, Dance New Amsterdam Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.   The announcement allows DNA to continue its daily operations.   Executive and Artistic Director Catherine A. Peila has already initiated a five-year recovery plan which has reduced general operating and programming expenses from $3.6 million to $2.3 million annually.  “DNA’s executive team, faculty, and board of directors have worked diligently over the past five years to create strong programs and a business structure that supports DNA’s mission. These efforts, combined with the support of cultural leaders, have put us on the road to recovery,” says Peila. “The decision to file for Chapter 11 reorganization protection provides us with the time to solidify agreements with new partners, increase funding and most importantly, continue to serve the New York City’s vibrant community of performing artists and avid cultural supporters.”

Located in Lower Manhattan, just a few blocks from Ground Zero and the Freedom Tower, DNA is considered the foremost progressive dance education and performance center.  Founded in 1984, DNA provides a community hub for dance training choreographic exploration and innovative performance, developing new audiences and bridging communities. It’s a breeding ground and safe haven for aspiring, emerging and established artist, including daily classes, certification courses, commissions and artistic residencies, along with studio and administrative office subsidies.  DNA employs over 250 professional faculty members and over 650 artists through commissioned and produced work. The organization serves more than 30,000 students and performers, over 700 dance companies and performing arts groups – offering thousands of audience members access to visual and performing arts through their 130-seat theater, six art studios, gallery and artist administration space.  To learn more about DNA and supporting its programs through charitable donations, visit www.dnadance.org.

NYC Get Ready To Dance

downloadHear ye, Hear ye…get your jazz hands together and prepare to do your best two-step, hustle and freestyle! NYC Dance Week is fast approaching.  The festival is in its second year and will be held from June 20-29, 2013.  Over 30 NYC’s studios will give New Yorkers the chance to explore the beauty of dance by offering free or discounted classes.

On June 11, Copacabana’s Rooftop Garden will host the first NYC Dance Week Gala.  On June 26, Harkness Center of Dance will hold a special workshop to teach people how to prevent injuries and safeguard their bodies.

Ever wanted to learn how to do a plié at Joffery Ballet School, learn the style of Horton at The Ailey Extension or learn how to do a proper capoeira ginga?  Now is your chance, just click the following links to register and get a list of participating studios, http://nycdanceweek2013.eventbrite.com/, http://nycdanceweek.org/the-festival/free-classes, http://nycdanceweek.org/the-festival/discounts.

Tickets for the Copacabana dance party are $40 and can be purchased at http://nycdanceweekgala2013.eventbrite.com.

And don’t forget to check Facebook, facebook.com/nycdanceweek, and Twitter, @nycdanceweek, throughout the festival to take advantage of promotions and sweepstakes.

Dena Kaye with the Danny Kaye Sandwich

A Danny Kaye Please…Light On the Mayo

Every holiday season new generations are introduced to stage, screen and comedic icon Danny Kaye through the White Christmas marathon that plays on AMC.  Danny Kaye was a performer in a day in age when entertainers were expected to do it all.  Not only was Kaye a true artist, he was a great humanitarian and chef.  Danny Kay was born on January 18, 1913 in Brooklyn, and to celebrate the centennial of this legendary impresario, famed eatery Carnegie Deli added the Danny Kaye Sandwich to its menu.

On April 29, Dena Kaye, Kaye’s daughter, and widow Sylvia Fine Kaye joined the staff of the Carnegie Deli as for a sandwich cutting ceremony, officially inducting the Danny Kaye Deli Club sandwich onto the menu.  The sandwich is part of activities celebrating Danny Kaye’s centennial and shares good company with another famous New Yorker, Woody Allen.

 

 To learn more about Danny Kaye visit, http://dannykaye.com/.

To view Carnegie Deli’s Menu visit, http://www.carnegiedeli.com/home.php. 

Photo:  Getty Images for PMK-BNC

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Crossroads Comes To NYC

A tidal is wave is coming, filled with rock and roll and blues.  This swell has some of the greatest guitar players of all time and it’s due to hit today.  This weekend Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 will fill Madison Square Garden with 30 legendary guitarists.  The lineup includes BB King, Allman Brothers, Los Lobos, Jeff Beck, Keith Urban, Buddy Guy, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Jimmie Vaughn, Vince Gill, John Mayer, Eric Clapton and more.

This is a guitar lover’s dream, but you don’t have to dream to envision these awesome groups of guitarists playing side by side tickets are still available.  Proceeds go to The Crossroads Centre, Antigua.  Clapton founded the 32-bed center in 1977.  Located on the island of Antigua, The Crossroads Centre was created to provide quality, affordable treatment for alcohol and other drug dependencies. 

To purchase tickets, http://www.crossroadsguitarfestival.com/.

manhattan_skyline_at_twilight_new_york

Dating F.A.M.E NYC Style

Spring 2013 is here and despite the flip-flopping weather, it appears not to be going anywhere soon.  Spring always brings with it an air of romance and New York City is a great place to have a fling.  If you already have a significant other, NYC can certainly assist in keeping the spice alive in your relationship and offers a smorgasbord of things to do, places to stay and gastro pubs to pack on calories ( that you can work off later).   A relationship novice only chooses holidays and other special occasions to show affection, but if you want the flame of your love to burn bright you had better stoke to those fires more often.  Date night in New York City is play land of possibilities.  So to all my love-struck FAMERS, this piece is for you.   I’m going to share with you my top five places to go, restaurants and hotels to create an awesomely romantic date any day or night.

SIGHTS TO SEE

Empire State Building – Hey…it worked for Carey Grant and Deborah Kerr and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan; it could work for you and your mate.  The observation deck of the Empire State Building is indeed a place to spark romance.   Standing in the heavens with the city all around you can render a “top of the world” feeling.  There is no better time to grab your lover for a kiss or to drop to one knee for a sky-high proposal.

themetmuseumMetropolitan Museum of Art – The Met was the first date for Pierce Brosnan and Renee Russo in the remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.  Crown was a billionaire; he could take his date anywhere he wanted, but for all the rest of the 99 percentile, The Met can provide a modest date.  Priceless works of art, the ability to travel to different eras in history all for a small nominal fee.  Who needs a time machine?  Afterwards, you can take advantage of the closeness of Central Park and spring for a horse and carriage ride.  If you want to put a twist on the old horse and carriage idea, rent a luxury vehicle and cruise the park and city in opulence.

Meat Packing District – In a city filled with trendy spots, the Meat Packing District remains one of the trendiest.  You could take your honey-bunny on a shopping spree.  If you are planning an evening date, go clubbing or go on your own private bar crawl.  You could add a little role play and play the “sexy stranger” game at each new lounge or club you go to.

Times Square – Times Square is the heart of The Big Apple.  Just the luminosity of the place delivers 120 watts of electricity to your body.  You can take your beloved to dinner and a show, take in a little shopping or just sit and watch the show New York City provides via the traffic, street performers and passersby. 

Hayden PlanetariumHayden Planetarium – When I was a girl, I saw a laser light show set to The Beatles music.  The Hayden Planetarium has been one my favorite places in the city ever since. Part of the American Museum of Natural History, the Hayden Planetarium has been a New York institution since 1935.  Create some rockets in flight and a little afternoon delight, take a date into the stratosphere and canoodle under the stars. 

 

 

 

 

RESTAURANTS

Mari Vanna – Russian food and old world romance on the east side.  Oh, and did I mention they make their own Vodka.  The décor is charming.  Even if Russian cuisine doesn’t necessarily strike a chord with your palette, I guarantee that you will score points with the venue as well as the food, which is very comforting.  And if all else fails, you can get your mate drunk – nostrovia lovers!

the-lambs-clubThe Lamb’s Club – Located in Times Square, The Lamb’s Club is an experience that rivals any on Broadway.  Taking American cuisine to the next level, Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and partners have created a cool, yet opulent spot to dine before or after a show.  The menu has a wealth of great selections and scrumptious drinks.  Make sure to make it a 24-karat meal and order the Gold Rush (my mouth is watering just thinking about it).

 

 

 

Courgette Restaurant & Bistro – Yummy is the first word that comes to mind when I think about this eatery, located on W. 55th Street.   Courgette is French for zucchini, but it’s definitely not a vegan spot.  This restaurant fuses Mediterranean, Italian and French cuisine to perfection, if you try one dish make sure it’s the Acquerello Risotto with wild forest mushrooms; it’s to die for.   After you finish dining, take your date downstairs to Courgette’s sexy basement speakeasy, which boasts a state-of-the-art sound system and karaoke room. 

Le Bernardin – Eric Ripert…need I say more?  This restaurant is legendary for its chocolate dessert and seafood dishes.  If you are doing a day trip or date that features all of NYC many iconic spots, include this place on your itinerary.   

Château Cherbuliez – Speaking of iconic New York spots, no club was as iconic, historic or infamous as Limelight. This church turned club has had a few reincarnations.  Currently, it’s The Limelight Marketplace, towards the back it turns into Château Cherbuliez.  When it was Limelight, walking into this spot was like stepping into another world.  That aspect hasn’t changed.  Stepping into Château is like being whisked off to the south of France.  The décor is impressive and has one of the largest outdoor garden spaces in the city.

HOTELS

gal-pool-gansevoort-jpgHotel Gansevoort – Meat Packing District – If one were so inclined, one could plan an entire NYC-themed date in the Meat Packing District.  After a day and night of shopping, drinking, eating and partying, the Hotel Gansevoort the perfect place to catch a luxurious snooze or soak up some more of Chelsea’s ultra-trendy vibe.

 

 

W Hotel – Times Square – Dinner, a show, a few drinks, maybe even catch a light night comedy act.  Why end the night at home?  Have a nightcap at W and allow the views of the city to assist you in a night of seduction. It may not be a stage, but I guarantee you will be the star of the show.

Four Seasons – Book a room at this hotel and resort and that could be your date, period end of story.  If the five star treatment is what you’re looking for, you and your mate will find it here.

GramercyParkHotel-lobbyGramercy Park Hotel – This hotel is steeped in history.  Afterall, the Kennedy’s stayed here.   The Gramercy Park Hotel has seen its share of marvelous times and some seedy ones, but after the 2006 renovation it recaptured its former glory and has maintained it ever since.  Artist Julian Schnabel and British architect John Pawson have created a masterpiece.  It remains one of the coolest, chicest places to stay in the city.

 

 

Crosby Street Hotel – SoHo is one of the many artists’ neighborhoods turned chichi in NYC.  Elegant and eccentric, this hotel serves a taste of London with a New York twist. 

 

 

 

Alycia Keys Top Artist for 2012

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Ms. Keys (or should I say Mrs. Swizz Beatz) career has been sizzling ever since she dropped her first studio album, Songs in A Minor, in 2001.  Eleven years later, her blaze still smolders and now she is declaring that the girl is on fire, literally.  On November 27, 2012 Keys released her fifth studio album Girl on Fire.  The Hell’s Kitchen native is always in an “Empire State of Mind” and is NYC through and through.  Her songs are a source of inspiration for many.  There could’ve been no better choice to close the 12/12/12 concert at The Garden than Alycia Keys.  Philanthropist, mother, wife, actor, composer, musician, ravishing beauty…looks like her star will continue to burn bright in 2013.  Flame on!

Photo: Michelangelo Di Battista