Its mid- May great walking weather. The dark heavy jackets have been replaced by light sweaters and floral prints as New Yorkers stroll down bustling streets in the world’s cultural Mecca. Art and dance are everywhere from Midtown to Brooklyn; we have Latin jazz in Harlem and Shakespeare and the Temptations are both on Broadway. Here are a few of the many events happening in the city that never sleeps, guaranteed to keep you Out and About.
In and Out of the Garden at Agora Gallery 530 West 25th Street, New York through May 31: In and Out of the Garden, a group exhibition featuring paintings and mixed-media installations on the state of the natural world, the creatures that inhabit it, and the silent joy that comes from spending time in nature. From moody forests to the fish in the sea, the artists on display take inspiration from natural forms, carefully reconstructing the shapes and aesthetics they’ve observed in the wild. These artists find joy and peace in their subject matter, reflecting on the simplicity of nature without understating its significance.
Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern through June 15 at The Museum of Modern Art: “I have a live eye,” proclaimed Lincoln Kirstein, signaling his wide-ranging vision. Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern explores this polymath’s sweeping contributions to American cultural life in the 1930s and ’40s. Best known for cofounding New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet with George Balanchine, Kirstein (1907–1996), a writer, critic, curator, impresario, and tastemaker, was also a key figure in MoMA’s early history.
Lincoln Kirstein’s Modern | MoMA Exhibition
The photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989, at the age of forty-two, cast a classicizing eye on subjects both conventional (calla lilies) and controversial (the underground S & M scene). As his muse and friend Patti Smith has written, “He will be condemned and adored. His excesses damned or romanticized. In the end, truth will be found in his work, the corporeal body of the artist.” The Guggenheim opens its yearlong two-part exhibition “Implicit Tensions: Robert Mapplethorpe Now.”
Leonard Cohen: A Crack in Everything: The Jewish Museum (1109 5th Ave at 92nd St New York) April 12 – September 8, 2019. A world-renowned novelist, poet, and singer/songwriter who inspired generations of writers, musicians, and artists, Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) was an extraordinary poet of the imperfection of the human condition, giving voice to what it means to be fully alert to the complexities and desires of both body and soul. Featuring 12 artists and 18 musicians from 10 countries, this exhibition offers a deep and rich exploration of the beloved global icon through the lens of contemporary art.
Alicja Kwade, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art through October 27, a Polish artist who lives and works in Berlin is this year’s recipient of The Met’s annual commission to create an installation for the museum’s roof garden. These projects are perennial crowd-pleasers, as they add a touch of artistic enhancement to the rooftop’s spectacular views of Central Park and the Midtown skyline. Kwade’s approach seems tailor-made for the site, as it usually entails minimalist sculptural ensembles made of glass, stone and metal—materials that give her efforts a luxurious gloss. Kwade often plays perceptual tricks on the viewer as part of her overall interest in deconstructing the philosophical and scientific teachings we rely on to make sense of the world. At The Met, she reaches for the cosmos with a pair of pieces that evoke the Solar System.
Nedjemankh and His Gilded Coffin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Ever since Howard Carter uncovered the tomb of King Tut in 1922, people have been fascinated by Ancient Egyptian treasures. The Met recently acquired one such object—a gold-leafed covered coffin for a High Priest from Egypt’s Ptolemaic period. It’s on display, along with 70 other Egyptian artifacts from the Met’s collection.
Jean-Michel Basquiat Solo Exhibition: The Brant Foundation announced this week that it will present a solo exhibition of works by the late artist Jean- Michel Basquiat as the inaugural show on March 6 in its new East Village space in New York City. Located at 421 East 6th Street in a century-old, 16,000 square-foot building originally designed as a Con Ed substation, the show is free to the public, but you’ll need a ticket to get in. The show begins on March 6 and tickets can be reserved through May 12, but available dates and times could run out before the show closes on May 15.
I am, Its Dance- Gloria McLean Celebrates 35 Years of Lifedance, Monday May 13, 7pm a the Gallery Infinito 79 Leonard Street. A retrospective the 35 year career of dancer Gloria McLean. The evening includes slides, video and a solo performance by McLean with violinist Marshall Goid.
Parson Dance May 14- 26 at the Joyce Theater: A “dance your heart out…kind of enterprise” (The New York Times), Parsons Dance dedicates its 2019 Joyce season to master choreographer Paul Taylor and pays tribute to him in the staging of Runes, a mesmerizing work performed by David Parsons in 1981 during his time as a member of Paul Taylor Dance Company. Also on tap is the New York premiere of Trey McIntyre’s Eight Women.
13th Annual Dance Parade on Saturday May 18: This year’s theme, “MOVEMENT OF THE PEOPLE” celebrates the inclusion and diversity of dance on a city, national and global scale. Come May 18th, the theme helps us to recognize the value of dance in our vulnerable immigrant communities, on the performance stages of our most critically acclaimed venues, to our schools, senior centers, nightclubs, studios and in the streets.
Chuck Davis Emerging Choreographer Fellowship Showing at BAM Fisher- Fishman Space Sunday, May 19 7pm. Jade Charon, recipient of the 2018 Chuck Davis Emerging Choreographer Fellowship, comes to BAM with a performance that showcases the fruits of her research in Senegal and Burkina Faso. While abroad, Charon studied the Acogny Technique and Sabar dance styles from Senegal and djembe dance from Burkina Faso, witnessing how dance and music are used to heal communities. This ultimately led her to meld those movements with existing African-American techniques to create a cross-cultural conversation through dance and promote healing in the African-American community.
American Ballet Theater 2019 Spring Season, May 13–July 6, 2019, at Metropolitan Opera House: New Work Premiere of by Alexei Ratmansky and Company Premieres of Deuce Coupe by Twyla Tharp and Jane Eyre by Cathy Marston to Highlight ABT’s Also Roberto Bolle to give farewell performance with ABT on June 20 and Brooklyn Mack to Appear as Guest Artist.
La Mama Moves! Dance Festival at the La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theater and the Downstairs (through May 26). This East Village event continues this weekend with performances by Mia Habib, a Norwegian choreographer whose “All- a Physical Poem of Protest” highlights the protesting body with nude dancers of all ages walking and running in circles, and Colleen Thomas’s “But the Sun Came Up and We Were Here.” In it, she collaborates with Polish, Ukrainian, Belarusian and American dancers to expose a world of political and social unrest. And on May 9, the choreographer Yin Mei presents “Peony Dreams: On the Other Side of Sleep,” a new take on “The Peony Pavilion.” Other participating artists include Hari Krishnan/inDance (May 11, 12), Bobbi Jene Smith (May 16–19), Jesca Prudencio (May 23, 34) and Sin Cha Hong (May 25, 26).
New York City Ballet at the David H. Koch Theater (April 23-25, 7:30 p.m.; through June 2). The spring season opens with a week of dances by current choreographers, and while some are unavoidably tedious — Mauro Bigonzetti’s Oltremare comes to mind — there are some treasures. As for the good? Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes, set to Aaron Copland’s timeless score, and William Forsythe’s playful and exacting Herman Schmerman. And as for the great? Alexei Ratmansky never phones anything in at City Ballet, so it’s time to bask in a delightful pair: Pictures at an Exhibition and Concerto DSCH.
GLORY: A Life Among Legends, a new memoir by Glory Van Scott, shares her experience with some of the greatest performers of her era , explores integrity, examines sexism and racism in the arts, and encourages a new generation of artists. Dr. Van Scott, immortalized in bronze by Elizabeth Catlett in 1981, was awarded the first Katherine Dunham Legacy Award in 2002 and has received numerous citations and honors nationwide for her work in dance, theater, acting and education.Q&A and book signing to follow the Monday, May 25 6:30- 8pm event at Shakespeare & Co, 939 Lexington Avenue, New York.
The Meanest Man in Texas: Based on the bestseller, “The Meanest Man in Texas” is the true story of Clyde Thompson. In 1928, a young Clyde finds himself in the wrong place, at the wrong time and in the wrong company. After shooting two men in self-defense, Clyde is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Just hours before execution by electric chair, the Governor spares him the death penalty, but he is shipped to the Texas Prison Farm to serve hard labor, where he gains the moniker “The Meanest Man in Texas”. The story follows Clyde’s journey as his personal roller-coaster ride takes him on some life-changing highs and lows, but ultimately leads him to redemption. Opens May 17
The Sun Is Also a Star: College-bound romantic Daniel Bae and Jamaica-born pragmatist Natasha Kingsley meet–and fall for each other–over one magical day amidst the fervor and flurry of New York City. Sparks immediately fly between these two strangers, who might never have met had fate not given them a little push. But will fate be enough to take these teens from star-crossed to lucky in love? With just hours left on the clock in what looks to be her last day in the U.S., Natasha is fighting against her family’s deportation as fiercely as she’s fighting her budding feelings for Daniel, who is working just as hard to convince her they are destined to be together. A modern-day story about finding love against all odds, “The Sun Is Also a Star” explores whether our lives are determined by fate or the random events of the universe. Opens may 17
John Wick Chapter 3: In this third installment of the adrenaline-fueled action franchise, super-assassin John Wick (Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin’s guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world’s most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn. Open May 17
An All- Colored Vitaphone Show presented by Ina Archer at the Film Forum, 209 West Houston St., May 20, 6:20pm: Artist and archivist Ina Archer, of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, presents early sound shorts starring Black artists, mostly filmed at Brooklyn’s Vitaphone studios, including Yamercraw: A Negro Rhapsody (1929); An All-Colored Vaudeville Show (1935), with the Nicholas Brothers; Gjon Mili’s jazz film masterpiece Jammin’ the Blues (1944); and Duke Ellington, Noble Sissle & Eubie Blake, Nina Mae McKinney, Ethel Waters, Cab Calloway, and many more. Dedicated to Ron Hutchinson
Bolden, is an film based on the life of cornetist Buddy Bolden (1877-1931). One of the seminal figures in jazz history, Bolden left no surviving recordings, having been committed in 1907 at age 30 to the Louisiana State Insane Asylum, where he spent the rest of his life after a diagnosis of acute alcoholic psychosis.
Teyanna Taylor at the Grand Ballroom Manhattan Center on May 15 8pm: Harlem’s Teyana Taylor returns to New York to put on House of Petunia, a liberating sensual spectacular featuring provocative stage design, mesmerizing choreography, and her powerful R&B.
Latin Jazz Jam Night at Minton’s Playhouse, 206 West 118th Street on Thursday May 16: Luisito has been an influential part of Louie Vega’s Element of Life projects. Combining Afro-Latin rhythms with jazz and bossa nova sounds Elements of Life quickly became one of the hottest albums to hit dance floors from sea to sea.
Bjork: Cornucopia at the Shed 545 West 30th Street from May 16 through May 28: The infamously quirky Icelandic artist is already known for extravagance. In 2017, she re-imagined her eighth studio release Vulnurica as an immersive VR-experience, in which she transforms into a God-like entity of pure light dancing with an ominously fluourescing, flying jellyfish. And previous tours have featured the likes of 70-piece orchestras (2001’s Vespertine), as well as electric-bolt-emitting tesla coils and pendulums that utilize the earth’s gravitational pull to create musical patterns (Biophilia).
BLKS at the MCC Theater, 511 W 52nd St., from May 14 through May 26: BLKS operates like a sitcom, withSex and the City–style leaps of logic, sudden romances and the requisite piles of coincidence. The action takes place in a single long day and night, running all over New York from Bushwick to the Nuyorican Poets Café, trying to keep up with three twentysomething roommates who are partying to forget their troubles. Octavia (Paige Gilbert) wants to have one last orgasm before she gets surgery on her clitoris; Imani (Alfie Fuller) plans on performing a stand-up routine, but has to contend with a crying white lady (Marié Botha) who wants to make out with her; June (Antoinette Crowe-Legacy) has found her boyfriend cheating on her, and is about to make some weird decisions about a random guy, Justin (Chris Myers), she meets at the club
Avenue Q at the New Word Stages, 340 W 50th St through May 26:After many years, the sassy and clever puppet musical doesn’t show its age. Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx’s deft Sesame Street–esque novelty tunes about porn and racism still earn their laughs. Avenue Q remains a sly and winning piece of metamusical tomfoolery.
The Tempest at the Public Theater 425 Lafayette Street through May 19: Snappily directed by Laurie Woolery, this streamlined production played at prisons, women’s shelters and other nontraditional spaces before arriving downtown for a brief run with its scrappy spirit intact. With the house lights up, a floor-map set and an exuberant multicultural cast of nine playing all the parts (plus assorted instruments) in the round, this Tempest accentuates the silver linings of forgiveness, freedom and love in Shakespeare’s tale.
The Big Bang Theory: A Pop-Rock Musical Parody at Theater Center (210 W 50th St, New York) through May 26. World collide when a group of nerds and their lady friends are tested by a character from Star Trek in Karlan Judd’s raunchy musical spoof of the long-running sitcom. Tristan J. Shuler directs.
Glenda Jackson as King Lear is in her own world as the maddening monarch of Shakespeare’s tragedy. The production at the Cort Theater runs through July 7, 2019.
Ain’t Too Proud follows The Temptations’ journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. Through friendship and betrayal amid the civil unrest that tore America apart, their moving and personal story still resonates five decades later.
Choir Boy, the Broadway premiere of Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney acclaimed drama at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, 261 West 47th Street, centers on the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, which for a half a century has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men. One talented student has been waiting for years to take his rightful place as the leader of the school’s legendary gospel choir. But can he make his way through the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key?
FrankieFridays is Brooklyn’s best kept house music secret! The party takes place every Friday at The Happiness Lounge, 1458 St. Johns Place (bet. Utica Avenue and Rochester Avenue). The party rocks the best dance classics and soulful house music masterfully mixed by New York City’s own DJ Frankie Paradise. The predominantly mature gay crowd are there to get down, and create a warm inviting atmosphere for all. Reasonably prices drinks and a small admission price (feels more like a donation) of $5 before midnight and $10 after makes this the don’t miss Friday night dance party.
DJ KAMPIRE MCZO + DUKE at the Black Flamingo 168 Borinquen Place, Brooklyn- doors open at 10pm: DJ Kampire is a champion of Kampala’s underground. Ranked one of Mixmag’s ten breakthrough DJs of 2018, Kampire is also one of the biggest names in the underground electronic music scene in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. Along with record label and collective Nyege Nyege Tapes, she has laid the bedrock for creating safe party spaces for women and the LGBTQ+ community. Virtually nonexistent in the Kampala club scene until Kampire and Nyege Nyege Tapes, these events spotlight the most forward-thinking pan-African sounds tailored for the dancefloor, including but not limited to gqom and afrobeat. Kampire’s propulsive, bass-heavy sets are always one of the highlights at Nyege Nyege shows.
We look forward to seeing you Out and About