Tag Archives: Lincoln Center

Julia Wolfe’s ‘Anthracite Fields’ takes coal mining personally

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It’s hard to believe that the Bang on a Can All -Stars haven’t performed on a New York Philharmonic bill before.

But Friday night’s New York premiere of a work by Bang on a Can cofounder Julia Wolfe was the stellar New Music sextet’s debut.

And what a way to start!

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Free show alert: Theo Bleckmann sings Kate Bush

Theo Bleckmann and his all-star players do Kate Bush songs at (Le) Poisson Rouge. (Photos 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

It’s been 16 months since we saw the great singer Theo Bleckmann do his best Kate Bush impression in his show Hello Earth! The Music of Kate Bush, at (Le) Poisson Rouge in the Village.

Theo Bleckmann

Take our word for it, it was pretty awesome.But if you won’t take our word for it, check out a live recording from that September 2010 show here.

Bleckmann, who got a Grammy nomination for his interpretation of the songs of Charles Ives, is a great song interpreter with supple voice and a real feel for his material. You can get a listen to the latest version of his fabulous show tonight and it won’t cost a penny.

You’ll be entertained and enthralled by this week’s Target Free Thursdays presentation at Lincoln Center’s newest public space, the David Rubenstein Atrium, on Broadway between W. 62nd and W. 63rd Streets. There’s food ( the good sandwiches of ‘wichcraft) and plenty of seats.

Just show up by 8:30 p.m. (earlier if you hope to get a seat) at the Atrium to catch Hello Earth! The Music of Kate Bush.

Fela! storms Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing — and Femi Kuti plays, too!

Sahr Ngaujah, star of the Broadway musical Fela!, leads Midsummer Night Swing dance lessons on Monday night. (Photos copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

Femi Kuti & The Positive Force may have been the headline act at tonight’s special Monday night edition of Midsummer Night Swing, but the cast members from Fela! on Broadway who taught the preshow dance lesson were just as big a draw — and equally exciting — for many in the audience.

Jill Vallery (in blue T-shirt, left), the dance captain from Fela!, worked hard to keep the crowd dancing.

Sahr Ngaujah, who created the title role of Fela Anikulapo Kuti off-Broadway, and shares the role on Broadway with Kevin Mambo, joined Fela! dance captain Jill Vallery and a host of dancers from the stage spectacle as they whipped the wannabe Afrobeat dancers into a frenzy. Many of the people in the audience, like yours truly, ably demonstrated that they had two left feet when it came to following the athletic and intricate steps involved. But that didn’t deter many from trying. But the real test came later, when the real dance party started. Click through for more photos. Continue reading

Femi Kuti kicks off the final week of Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center Out of Doors

Femi Kuti

Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? has been distracted this summer. There’s been a lot going on, musically speaking, around NYC and environs so far. As a result, we’ve neglected our friends at Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center.

But on Monday night, the start of MNS’s final week  for 2010 — hard to believe — Femi Kuti & The Positive Force are taking over Damrosch Park. And we can’t fail you this time. Even if you think you can’t dance, you should be at this show. It’s hard not to at least feel like you can dance when Femi Kuti takes the stage. His version of Afrobeat — he’s one of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s two musical sons, the other being Seun Kuti who inherited his father’s band Egypt 80 — has an insistent beat and a joyous feel that can get anyone to dance. (Fela Kuti, you may recall, is the subject of the fantastic Broadway musical, Fela!, directed by Bill T. Jones.)

The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. with a dance lesson with Sahr Ngaujah, star Fela!, and the music starts at 7. Tickets are $17 and available at Damrosch Park, at West 62nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, or online. And there are more shows throughout the week: Catherine Russell and Cat & The Hounds Swing Band on Wednesday, Loser’s Lounge Ladies Night on Thursday, La Exelencia on Friday and, wrapping up this year’s dance season, a kids’ dance party at 3 p.m. Saturday followed by the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra on Saturday evening.

Free dance party today in Manhattan’s Riverside Park

GlobeSonic Dance System's DJs: Fabian Asultany, Bill Bragin (aka DJ Acidophilus) and Derek Beres.

Looking for a way to enjoy the great outdoors today and get your dance on? Check out the free GlobeSonic Sound System dance party in Riverside Park today. The party starts on the early side, at 4 p.m., and runs until 11 on the Hudson River pier at 68th Street. This is the sixth season of GlobeSonic parties on the pier.

All you need to bring is your dancing shoes. And did I mention that admission is free?

GlobeSonic features three DJs, Fabian Alsultany, Derek Beres and Bill Bragin (director of public programming at Lincoln Center and former director of Joe’s Pub), plus Duke Mushroom on percussion.

We’ve been to GlobeSonic parties before, and they’re always a great mix of beat-heavy international tracks. Today will be our first time seeing GlobeSonic on the pier. It should be a wild party.

Dance to Afrobeat at Midsummer Night Swing

Lincoln Center (Copyright 2010, Steven P. Marsh)

If the smash Broadway musical Fela! gave you the itch to hear more Afrobeat music, Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing lineup for this summer, announced today, will help you scratch it. Fela Kuti’s son Femi and his band Positive Force are scheduled to perform on July 12, with a a lesson in how to dance to the driving African beat taught by Maija Garcia, associate choreographer of the musical and a DJ set by Sahr Ngaujah, the actor who created the title role in Fela!

Femi Kuti

And if Afrobeat’s not your cup of tea, there are plenty of other styles of music and dance on offer during the 15 nights of performances at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park.

The cutting-edge programming by Lincoln Center Director of Public Programming Bill Bragin features the New York debuts of four bands: narcotango from Argentina, The Time Jumpers from Nashville, New Orleans’ Moonshiners, and Salsa Band La-33 from Columbia.

Bragin says: “The series offers an array of dance music styles including salsa, swing, disco, and tango.  For the first time this summer we are presenting a night of bhangra, the frenetic, hypnotic dance music from India by way of London and New York.  Famed DJ Rekha will spin bhangra and Bollywood beats with her special guest Red Baraat for a dance party like no other on July 8th.  Another highlight will be an appearance by Femi Kuti & Positive Force on July 12th.  Kuti, the son of Fela Anikulapo Kuti of FELA! on Broadway fame, extends the tradition with his contemporary Afrobeat sound.”

The shows start at 6:30 pm with a dance lesson, followed by live music and dancing from 7:30-10.

Tickets and passes are on sale now. Multi-evening Swing Passes are priced at $90 for six nights, and $160 for the full season.  Tickets for individual evening events are $17.

The Swing box office is located in the lobby of Avery Fisher Hall, Broadway and 65th Street. Tickets for individual events and passes can be purchased in advance or on the night of the event at a box office in Damrosch Park.  Tickets and passes can also be purchased through CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500, or online. Twitter users can follow Midsummer Night Swing  @LCSwing for ongoing news and updates.

Click through to the jump for more info and the full lineup: Continue reading

Stew and Heidi, 25 percent off!

Sometimes it pays to wait!

If you haven’t booked tickets yet for the Summer Scoops Live With the Wall Street Journal talk by Passing Strange co-creators Stew and Heidi Rodewald, or maybe, like Stew, you just couldn’t believe anybody would pay $25 to hear them gab, you stand to come out ahead.

There’s a new offer out today giving a 25-percent discount to the pARTners talk at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater at 7 pm on Tuesday, Aug. 18.

Enjoy the fruits of procrastination while you can. Here are the details:

Stew Opens Up with The Wall Street Journal at Lincoln Center!-

Take 25% off a rousing discussion titled pARTners, which explores the pleasures and pitfalls of artistic partnerships on August 18 at 7:00 P. M. in the Walter Reade Theater. Use promotion code WSJ10 to receive this special discount when purchasing online or calling 212.721.6500.

For tickets, click here.

The evening’s conversation features Stew and Heidi Rodewald, the co-creators of the Tony-winning Broadway rock musical Passing Strange and longtime collaborators in the band The Negro Problem; Artistic Director Bill T. Jones, Associate Artistic Director Janet Wong, and Creative Director Bjorn Amelan of the legendary Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Reporter Wendy Bounds of The Wall Street Journal leads the discussion.

Program, artists, dates, and prices subject to change. This offer is subject to availability and may be revoked at any time. May not be combined with any other offers or discounts. Not applicable to previously purchased tickets. All sales are final—no refunds or exchanges. Limit four tickets per customer.

Stew & Heidi present The Broadway Problem at Lincoln Center Out of Doors, August 19. For details, click here.

Buying time at New York City Opera

City Opera revives the Mark Lamos production of Chabrier's comic opera L'Etoile.

City Opera revives the Mark Lamos production of Chabrier's comic opera L'Etoile.

I know, I know. New York City Opera announced its comeback season long ago — on April Fools Day.

But Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? didn’t exist at that time — although the name and the idea had been kicking around for a year. So please forgive me for jumping into the pool a bit late.

I was reminded that WYMMWIG? hadn’t weighed in on the NYCO when the subscription notice arrived in my mailbox yesterday. I had been looking forward to its return after a year without City Opera — the only opera company to which I’ve ever subscribed.

It was a big envelope. Black and white logo, very frugal. That seemed good. And the envelope seemed thin. A sign, it seemed, of a sensible frugality in these trying economic times. Continue reading