This 90 min one-man show, directed by Alvis Hermanis, is a delicate theatrical staging of complex poetry by Josef Brodsky. The selected poetry is moody and at times disturbing. And so is the acting by Mikhail Baryshnikov, an acclaimed dancer and actor, and a close friend of J. Brodsky. In the FT “Poetry and Motion” article Baryshnikov refers to Brodsky as “his university”.
Baryshnikov opens his heart and soul in performing Brodsky’s in a rather subdued and melancholic setting. Hermanis’s production skillfully uses contrast between the simplicity of the stage set and the depth of the material to amplify the effect. The verses, the graceful movements and sounds are full of inevitability of the passing time. The beauty of this performance is in its ability to tie together the convoluted world of Brodsky’s poetry with Baryshnikov’s elegant reading and acting. The show was performed in NYC at the BAC in March 2016 and reviewed in the New York Times.
Starring as Clarence Darrow in American Debut of the Play
Kevin Spacey will star as Clarence Darrow in a one-man play by David. W. Lintels. The play has already had its successful run at London’s Old Vic Theater in 2014-2015 season. The raving reviews by the British press rightfully emphasize the close connection that Spacey builds with the theatergoers with The Telegraph stressing that Spacey’s artistic power “remains a masterclass in how to woo an audience”. The Guardian called Spacey’s performance “a barnstorming” which given the venue in NY, found by the actor himself, can be paraphrased as “stadium-storming” with an expectation of even more power from the actor.
You can read more about the play in the review on the Deadline.com re-blogged below:
Kevin Spacey will star in Clarence Darrow, a one-man play about the famed “Monkey Trial” lawyer by David. W. Rintels and directed by Thea Sharrock. First presented at the Old Vic Theatre in London, it will now come to New York for a two-night event at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, NY, on June 15-16. […]
As the title of this exhibition suggests, there is a tale behind each picture. The collection the photographs by the greatest portrait artist of our time on view at Mnuchin Gallery presents the works from three distinct periods in chronological order. In each of her works Sherman as always plays a dual role of the sole subject and the artist. In the words of R. Smith from the New York Times review of Cindy Sherman’s retrospective at MoMA in 2012, the artist can be seen as “consummate manipulator of space, scale, color and pattern textiles”.
The earliest images on view this time at Mnuchin Gallery are from Centerfolds series that had brought Sherman to fame in 1981. The theme of these pictures is in capturing pensive moments positioning the image of young woman as an erotic close up similar to what can be found in mens’ magazines.
The History Portraits series , created from 1988 to 1990, are staged images from the past. From afar they can be taken for the paintings belonging to the Renaissance or Neoclassical periods hang at a provincial museum. Sherman transforms herself into historical sitters, females and males, using elaborate props, costumes and framing.
The last period in the exhibition is from the Society Portraits series made from 2008. It tells the sorry tale of a desperate search of eternal youth so celebrated by today’s popular culture yet hard to shake off. Posed as society dames of our time, Sherman portraits mix the glamour with the excess of effort set against the backdrop of grand sites of New York City. The New Yorker points to the fact that this exhibition at Mnuchin Gallery is spot on in terms of its location where the subjects of the Society Portraits “look right at home on the Upper East Side, amid the ladies who lunch”.
Listening to jazz music at Village Vanguard, a celebrated New York jazz spot, is part of a sacred ritual for music fans. This week the club is hosting Vijay Iyer Trio from May 9 to May 14. Iyer’s trio (Iyer, piano; Marcus Gilmore, drums; Stephan Crump, bass) is particularly famous for its albums Accelerando(2012) and Historicity (2009). Accelerando was voted #1 Jazz Album of the Year for 2012 by three separate critics polls at DownBeat, Jazz Times, and Rhapsody.
The concert at the Village Vanguard starts with simple introduction of the musicians by Iyer with a compulsory explanation of the pronunciation of Iyer’s name. It then gets into continuous musical journey seemingly uninterrupted and fluid. It feels that one tune smoothly leads to the next like sea waves so the audience is getting deep into the sound. The musicians’ high calibre is in full view. There is no solos per se as the band improvises together.
Iyer was interested in music from his childhood playing in school orchestra and continuing performing when studying at Yale University which he graduated with a degree in Physics and Mathematics. He then pursued his scientific and musical exploration at the University of California at Berkeley getting a Ph. D. in the cognitive science of music. In addition to performing and writing his own compositions, he is the Franklin D. and Florence Rosenblatt Professor of the Arts at Harvard University. Before Harvard University he was teaching at Manhattan School of Music, NYU and The New School. Iyer started playing professionally with Steve Coleman, a bandleader and a saxophone player back when he was still at Berkeley.
In talking to Oberlin Review at the time of a Master program there at Oberlin Conservatory in April 2017, he stressed the importance of keeping the music within “the living context” and for the artists to think broadly about the world and their responsibility in serving it.
Vijay Iyer, a 2013 McArthur Fellow, had been “the most lauded piano player in jazz” according to The New Yorker profile in February 1, 2016 issue. It is quite interesting that in that same profile the fact that Iyer until then was not invited to play at Village Vanguard was brought up. The record is corrected now.
Crisp and delicate voice, playful style, dizzying mix of jazz, soul and ethnic music from France to Brazil – at the concert of this talented singer Cyrille Aimee you will hear them all.
Born in Fontainebleau, France and raised in the village of Samois-sur-Seine where a famous french gypsy jazz musician Django Reinhardt lived, Aimee had a chance to learn and experience jazz music from her school days. Aimee writes in her bio that with easy proximity to the place of the annual Django Reinhardt Festival held at Samois-sur-Seine attracting gypsy musicians from around the world, she was sneaking out from her bedroom to hear the musicians at the encampment. Her rebellious character can be heard in her singing and in her selection of the songs to perform.
In 2012 Aimee had won Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition which invigorated her international career. Her singing can be described as mixing Sarah Vaughan in name and Michael Jackson in electronics. At her concerts she introduces the loop machine to the audience and delivers brilliant performance with it. “She is a one-woman rhythm machine” in the words of New York Times music critic S. Holden. The AllAboutJazz calls her “the face of post-modernity”.
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