By Walter Rutledge
The weather maybe unseasonably cool, but the New York City art scene is definitely heating up. Fine arts prevails in Harlem and Soho, dance is turning heads from Long Island to Lincoln Center, film honors the Godfather of Soul and a gadfly for social justice and we have high flying theatre near Union Square. Here are a few of the many events happening this week in the city that never sleeps guaranteed to get you Out and About.
Wherefore ART? by Art In FLUX at Aloft Hotel, 2296 Frederick Douglass Blvd. at 124th Street, now through Sunday, August 31, all days 9am to 9pm. The exhibition will feature artist Guy Beckles, who has been producing kinetic works of art for thirty-five years. His moving sculptures draw you in with their whimsy and activate upon approach, pushing, pulling, and circulating – a mesmerizing call for viewer interaction. Beckles uses movement and witticism to convey social commentary. Beckles is a native of the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and a graduate of New Hampshire’s Dartmouth College. He is an artist of many disciplines. His pieces are all dynamic, moving, thought provoking and enthralling. Each blends his unique ability to combine engineering and aesthetics, which he calls Guynetics.
Artist Bryan Christie brings his new solo exhibition entitled This Image Tightly Held to 67 Greene Street (3rd Floor) in Soho, New York City, July 22 through Sunday, August 17th. There will be an opening night reception on Tuesday, July 22 from 6- 9pm. Christie’s paintings are created from multiple layers of silk, bound together with beeswax and mounted on wooden panels. Many of the figures’ poses in his paintings are derived from ancient classical sculpture and Renaissance painting. The exhibition is by private appointment only, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lincoln Center Outdoors continues to present dance, music and theatre at various venues including the at the Damrosch Park Bandshell
Paul Taylor Dance Company and the Pablo Ziegler’s New Tango Ensemble on Friday, August 1, 7:30pm at the Damrosch Park Bandshell, Lincoln Center Outdoors. Piazzolla Caldera, Taylor’s poetic masterwork exploring tango’s sultry, raging essence, springs back to life thanks to a unique treatment with live music provided by Argentine pianist and composer Pablo Ziegler. For the company’s Diamond 60th Anniversary, several other seminal works including the just-revived Schoenberg-scored Fibers (1961) and 1962’s classical masterpiece Aureole will celebrate this titan of modern dance.
Camille A. Brown and Dancers perform Mr. TOL E. RAncE on Saturday, August 2, 7:30pm at the Damrosch Park Bandshell, Lincoln Center Outdoors. The work was sparked by Dave Chappelle, Spike Lee, and W.E.B. Dubois, Brown and company’s powerfully inventive movement humorously and provocatively examines “the mask” of survival and the “double consciousness” of the black performer throughout modern pop culture. This multimedia dance theater work culminates in a dialogue session moderated by the piece’s dramaturg, Hip Hop Theater festival co-founder Kamilah Forbes, to give viewers a chance to engage with the work’s challenging issues.
Pilobolus Dance Theater returns to the Joyce Theater through Sunday, August 10. The company will present two rollicking programs that exhibit the signature quirkiness and athleticism that leave audiences dazzled year after year. This 2014 roster includes two New York premieres The Inconsistent Pedaler, a created in collaboration with writer/director Shira Geffen and Israeli short story, graphic novelist, and film writer Etgar Keret; and On the Nature of Things. Also presented will be last season’s wildly popular work created with Penn & Teller, along with Megawatt and more favorites from the rich Pilobolus repertory. Having sold out last season’s family matinee, the company treats audiences to two family matinees this time around.
H.T. Chen & Dancers will perform at the International Music Nights Series in Eisenhower Park at 7pm, located at Merrick and Stewart Avenues, East Meadow, NY. The FREE concert is held at the Lakeside Theatre near parking fields 6 and 6A. Special accommodations available for disabled patrons. Assistive hearing devices available for the hearing impaired. No formal seating at Lakeside Theatre, so please bring folding chairs. In case of inclement weather, call (516) 572-0355 for updated performance information.
Finding Fela will be presented at the IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue at West Third Street, beginning Friday, August 1. No individual better embodies African music of the 1970s and ’80s, and its pivotal role in postcolonial political activism than Fela Kuti. After quickly taking his native Nigeria by storm, the pioneering musician’s confrontational Afrobeat sound soon spread throughout the continent and beyond, even as it made determined enemies of the repressive Nigerian military regime. Within the past decade, a resurgence of interest in his work has posthumously repopularized Kuti, culminating in the massively successful Broadway show FELA!, written by Jim Lewis and directed by Tony Award winner Bill T. Jones.
Academy Award winning director Alex Gibney interweaves the show’s skillful staging with a treasure trove of period interviews and hypnotic performances to recapture the essence of the man, his music, and his enduring cultural and political relevance. Femi Kuti (singer and Fela Kuti’s son), Sahr Ngaujah (Fela on Broadway), Rikki Stein (Fela Kuti’s manager) and executive producer Stephen Hendel will participate in a Q&A Friday, August 1, after the 7:00pm show. There will be a special sneak preview Thursday, July 31 at 9:30, with an introduction by Stephen Hendel. For a complete schedule and tickets visit ifccenter.com.
Get On Up-Directed by Tate Taylor (The Help), the film stars Chadwick Boseman as the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Boseman is joined by Nelsan Ellis, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Craig Robinson, Octavia Spencer, Lennie James, Tika Sumpter and Jill Scott. The movie opens nationwide Friday, August 1st.
Stew & The Negro Problem joins Camille A. Brown and Dancers on Saturday August 2 at the Damrosch Park Bandshell. Sex, race, art, the vagaries of urban existence: nothing is off limits for Stew, the wildly imaginative singer, songwriter, performer, and Tony-winning playwright of Passing Strange. The irreverent observer will spotlight new songs written for his improvisational rock band The Negro Problem, as well as from recent musical plays The Total Bent and Family Album.
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, the musical play starring record breaking six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald, will extend its strictly limited engagement through September 21st, 2014. The production will be dark from September 1st through September 7th while Ms. McDonald takes a previously scheduled vacation, and the final 16 performances will begin starting September 9th, 2014. Tickets are available via Telecharge.com, by calling (212) 239-6200, or at the box office of Circle in the Square (235 West 50th Street, btwn. Broadway and 8th Avenue).
Fuerza Bruta:Wayra at the Daryl Roth Theatre is the third installment of the De La Guarda trilogy. Conceived and directed by Diqui James with ensemble cast offers a unique thrills for a diverse audience of both the theatre savvy and newcomer. The production is a visually impressive dance-rave thrill ride that merges striking imagery with techno music and aerial showboating. Running time: 1hr 20mins with no intermission.
We look forward to seeing you Out and About
Get well soon Wale