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14Apr

Editors' Picks: Opening in NYC April 15 - 22

From enormous bunnies to ballet to a new circus act, this is an exciting week of culture in NYC. These are our editors' favorite culture openings in the week ahead. CRAVE what excites you and RATE events once you've seen them. 

The latest iteration of the Whitney’s Open Plan series opens Friday, April 15, featuring work by pioneering free jazz pianist Cecil Taylor in the enormous open space on the 5th floor of the new museum.

The American Ballet Theatre Studio Company is performing at the Joyce this weekend from Friday through Sunday. The company’s members are elite young dancers — aged 16 to 20.

The New Cookers band was formed in homage to the jazz sound of Brooklyn. They perform at BAM on Friday, April 15.

Bello Nock is back in New York City, bringing his signature sway pole and comic antics to the New Victory. The first performance of Bello Mania is April 15. It runs through May 1.

Paramour on Broadway by Cirque du Soleil is bringing its blend of acrobatics, music, dance, and costumes to Broadway. Previews begin on April 16.   

12Apr

New "Dysfunctional" Art at Rockefeller Center

By SYLVEE LEGGE

It was pouring in Midtown today when press, artists, and Public Art Fund officials gathered to present Van Gogh’s Ear, an ear-shaped garden pool that is totally normal down to its polished stainless steel ladder — except for the fact that it’s sitting on Fifth Avenue and standing upright with its lobe pointing skyward.

Created by the Berlin-based art duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Van Gogh’s Ear is the newest installation by The Public Art Fund. The artists said they sought to create something “dysfunctional” in imagining and crafting it.

“We have actually worked with the pool theme forever. Our very first sculpture was a diving board that penetrated the window of a museum, so you couldn't actually use it,” Dragset said. “It was an example of something dysfunctional, like this piece.”

Elmgreen explains that when viewers cannot actually interact with artwork, they’re forced to consider its meaning: “That makes you think more about the object and also the question, ‘What is a public sculpture?’”

08Apr

Editors' Picks: Opening in NYC April 9 - 15

From a new exhibition on the birth of Punk at the Queens Museum to the Miami City Ballet at Lincoln Center to a giant new ear-shaped swimming pool at Rockefeller Center, this is quite a week in the NYC culture sphere. Our editors have picked the openings they're really craving. CRAVE what's most exciting to you to keep track and spread the word. RATE events once you've seen them. 

The School for Scandal, written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, is the 18th Century version of TMZ. See this famous “comedy of manners” as part of Red Bull Theater’s Revelation Reading series starting Friday, April 8.

The New York Pops is celebrating the career of John Williams, who has composed some of the most recognizable film scores in history — from Jaws to Star Wars to Indiana Jones to ET to Harry Potter.

Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe winner Christine Lahti has taken to writing and telling stories about her own life. She’s telling true stories at Joe’s Pub on Friday, April 8 at 7 PM.  

Saturday, April 9 is the Latin Dance Fiesta at Queens Theatre. Travel from Cuba to Mexico, Bolivia to Columbia at this lively show featuring four renowned dance companies showcasing traditional dance. One of the companies performing is Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, which we just featured on our blog this week.

06Apr

No. 7: On Track to Cultural Exploration

By JULIA LEVY

Gabrielle Hamilton might be the only daughter of Irish and Italian immigrants who became an expert in repatriation and cultural identity, was adotped by the Blackfoot Confederacy, and was given an official Blackfoot name (which translates into "Goodhearted Woman"). 

Today, Gabrielle leads the public and education programs at Flushing Town Hall, where she aims to give visitors a "world of tradition in one visit."

"I think one of the most educational experiences kids can have is to surround themselves with people who think differently whose arts are different whose cultural background is different," she said. "In Queens, that’s easily done." How? Just get on the 7 Train, she recommended, and get off at diffferent neighborhoods to explore new places — from the Voelker Orth Museum (a landmark Victorian garden and bird sanctuary) to the Lewis H. Latimer House (the home of the African-American inventor who worked with Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell). 

Gabrielle said she aims to bring "tradition bearers," representing the cultural diversity of Queens, to Flushing Town Hall as master teaching artists. These tradition bearers work with school children and other members of the community to share artistic traditions — from Mexican paper art to Afro-Brazilian Dance to Indian Classical Dance to Taiwanese poetry.

"It’s really amazing to see the responses from students," she said. "They find the similiarties in what they’re learning from what their background is."

Gabrielle shared a few recent photos of the teaching artists at Flushing Town Hall: 

Flushing Town Hall Teaching Artist Abha Roy, master of Kathak Indian dance

04Apr

24 Yards of Cotton Fabric, Golden Ribbons, Silk Embellishments, and Other Creative Feats by Alberto Lopez

By JULIA LEVY

As a boy growing up in San Antonio Chiltepec in Puebla, Mexico, Alberto Lopez had a few choices at school: learn to play soccer or learn to dance, learn to cook or learn to sew. He picked dancing — beginning to study Mexican Folkloric Dance at 12 — and he learned to sew. 

Years later, when he arrived in the United States, Alberto worked in a factory, sewing shirts and dresses. And he danced, sharing his love of traditional Mexican dancing with New York City audiences. One day, his dance company had a last-minute crisis: they were missing one of the dancer's dresses. Alberto came to the rescue, creating a perfect replica of the long flowered dress. Today, Alberto is the co-founder and artistic director of Calpulli Mexican Dance Company. He also has his own workshop at home, using fabric, ribbons, feathers, leather, and other trimmings to create the intricate traditional costumes used in Calpulli's performances. 

"I’m excited to see those costumes on the big stage," he said. 

Alberto shared photographs of some of his favorite creations: 

Each dress captures a story and a personality, this one with maroon fabric and golden ribbons

One of Calpulli's first dresses made by Alberto

03Apr

Meredith's 7 Top NYC Gallery Exhibitions of Right Now

Craving art? Gallerist Meredith Rosen, whose own gallery Sargent's Daughters has a brand new exhibition as of this weekend, is recommending her seven top gallery shows of the moment in NYC to help you plan your art going. CRAVE what excites you and rate it once you've been. 

Kazunori Hamana, Yuji Ueda, and Otani Workshop at Blum & Poe through April 9

Lizzie Fitch / Ryan Trecartin at Andrea Rosen Gallery through April 16