In October I went to see the San Francisco Ballet perform Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella at Lincoln Center. The dancing was excellent, the art direction stunning and the vision sweeping. I left the theater full of the sense of magic that every true fairytale is meant to inspire, and a few specific visuals from the show even rank among the best I’ve seen on stage in my lifetime. While I was therefore satisfied with the experience overall, I was somewhat disappointed by a few key elements. The awe-inspiring sets and costumes take center stage in this ballet, while the plotline and choreography fall short of Wheeldon’s larger-than-life vision. Continue reading
As a cleverly self-described “bromcom,” the new web series “Parker and Steve” follows two guy friends in New York City who spend their time hustling for rent money, looking for love (or something like it), and ending up in sticky situations that they invariably botch into stickier messes. While the premise and plotlines fit snugly into a well-worn genre of bro-based comedy, the 5-7 minute webisode format necessitates some scaling back in the genre’s typically overblown plotlines. The result is an interesting combination of bro humor and wry “Louie”-like charm. In fact, I find that “Parker and Steve” does a good job of bringing the bromcom to life with quirky side characters, witty one-liners and a realistic New York City vibe that will resonate with anyone who has struggled to get by in this magical land of tiny apartments, soaring rent and eccentric individuals all around.
Two weekends ago my friend Jessica and I made our annual pilgrimage to Jacob’s Pillow, the summer dance festival tucked away in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. Jacob’s Pillow is both an overnight dance camp (“summer intensive” for those of you…you know who you are), where serious students of every genre of dance come to stay and study with masters of their craft during the summer months, and a renowned host of the most cutting edge professional companies from around the world. A different company or two arrives every week to perform in the beautifully-constructed wooden theaters on the small, tree-filled Pillow “campus.” Many companies have their U.S. debut at the Pillow, and many return year after year to wow audiences anew with their innovation and technical prowess. While the caliber and originality of these performances is enough to woo any dance enthusiast to Jacob’s Pillow, the opportunity for escape is what truly draws us New York City transplants back year after year. Only at the Pillow will you find professional dancers performing avant-garde choreography in an idyllic mountain setting where the freshness of the air and the starriness of the night sky endow the whole atmosphere with a feeling of magic. Continue reading
Last Thursday I went to see Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at Celebrate Brooklyn. You can’t get much better than a FREE dance performance staged OUTDOORS in PROSPECT PARK, and Les Ballet Trockadero (“the Trocks”) proved absolutely perfect for the occasion! The famously comedic, all-male troupe of classical ballet dancers easily extinguished the nagging doubts that have erstwhile prevented me from buying tickets to their shows. They were downright hilarious in every way, and they displayed a marvelous attention to comedic nuance that sold me on their talent for once and for all. Continue reading
Last Sunday I had the invaluable privilege of attending the Eifman Ballet’s production of Rodin, an original ballet about the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin and his apprentice and lover, Camille Claudelle. On Monday morning I half-begrudgingly looked up Alastair Macaulay’s review of the performance. As expected, the New York Times dance critic couldn’t be more off the mark.
I got involved in Occupy Wall Street a few weeks ago when I joined 15 thousand protesters in a march down Broadway to Zuccotti Park, the home base of the movement and literal home to many participants. Occupy Wall Street (OWS) has been alive since September 17th, when a group of about forty people installed themselves at Zuccotti (which they are calling by its former name, Liberty Plaza) to protest the gaping inequalities of wealth in our country. One short month later, Occupy Wall Street is a household name and a national phenomenon. The number of protesters camped out (or just hanging out) at Zuccotti Park has ballooned into the hundreds-to-thousands at any given time, and cities around the country have become host to their own occupiers.
I too have gotten sucked in. Since that initial march I have returned to Zuccotti several times to support the movement and attempt to satisfy my curiosity about what is really happening there and where it all began. With each successive visit, I find myself more viscerally excited by the level of organization, the energy, and the radical potential that I see and feel. Handmade signs abound; a drum circle keeps up a constant rhythm in one corner of the park. People talk to each other, share information and exchange ideas. And despite all the media grumbling about incoherent messaging surrounding OWS , everyone seems to be on the same page.
Of course, that isn’t such a hard thing to be when your slogan is “we are the 99%.”
Last week I went to see “Oswald,” a play written by Dennis Richard and directed by Richmond Shepard that tells the unembellished story of Lee Harvey Oswald’s interrogation. For two days after John F. Kenndy was shot, the number one suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, was interrogated by Dallas Police Captain William J. Fritz. Continue reading