This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001


Gallim Dance will engage in a performance conversation with the Temple of Dendur at the Met this weekend (photo by Nikki Theroux)

Gallim Dance will engage in a performance conversation with the Temple of Dendur at the Met this weekend (photo by Nikki Theroux)

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Gallery 131, the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing
1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
October 28-29, $65 (includes same-day museum admission), 2:00

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first-ever artist-in-residence choreographer, Andrea Miller of Gallim Dance, will debut her site-specific project, Stone Skipping, on October 28 and 29 at 2:00 at the Met Fifth Avenue, at the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing. The Salt Lake City-born, New York City-based choreographer, a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow who formed Gallim in 2007, created the piece as a conversation with the popular historical artifact, a Roman Period Egyptian temple completed in 10 BCE, during the reign of Augustus Caesar, who is depicted on one of the outer walls as a pharaoh. “I am curious to understand the capacity of the body, its anatomy, its power, and its instinct to connect with the space and events around us. In my work, I look for texture, a quality of energy, or a psychological pitch that surfaces in the doing of things,” Miller, whose previous pieces include W H A L E, Fold Here, Wonderland, and Blush, has said. That mission should resonate beautifully with the Temple of Dendur, a favorite of Met visitors. Stone Skipping features ten members of the Gallim company, joined by six guest dancers from Juilliard, with an original composition by Phil Kline (Unsilent Night, John the Revelator), performed live by the viola quartet Firewood, consisting of Ralph Farris, Stephanie Griffin, Jessica Meyer, and Lev Zhurbin; the costumes are by fashion designer Jose Solis. Stone Skipping will also touch upon the journey the Aeolian sandstone structure made from Egypt, which, in conjunction with the White House, awarded the institution the temple in 1967. “I am convinced that the Metropolitan’s plans for the temple will protect it and make it available to millions of Americans in a setting appropriate to its character,” President Lyndon B. Johnson wrote to museum director Thomas Hoving in April 1967. Exploring such universal themes as loss, preservation, and survival, Miller’s Stone Skipping should only add to the special nature of this extraordinary artifact. Tickets are $65 and include museum admission; for an addition dollar, you can bring a child between the ages of seven and sixteen to the performance, up to three kids per adult. Back in 2011, we saw Shen Wei give a gorgeous presentation in the Met’s Charles Engelhard Court, so we can’t wait to see what Gallim has in store for us.


Steve Paxton, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer will join forces for three special evenings at Danspace Project (photos by Ian Douglas)

Steve Paxton, Simone Forti, Yvonne Rainer will join forces for three special evenings at Danspace Project (photos by Ian Douglas)

Danspace Project
St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery
131 East Tenth St. between Second & Third Aves.
October 26-28, $22

Danspace Project is bringing together a sensational trio for “Tea for Three,” as experimental dancer and choreographer Steve Paxton, dancer, artist, and writer Simone Forti, and dancer, choreographer, writer, and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer come together for three nights of “performance, improvisation, and interaction.” The extraordinary threesome were part of Robert Dunn’s Judson Memorial Church workshops nearly sixty years ago, and these presentations are the first time Paxton, Forti, and Rainer have collaborated as a trio. “They each bring their doughty selves to the stage, making dance and performance conversation. No tea is served, but food for thought,” Paxton writes in a statement. Tickets are sold out, but there will be a wait list every night beginning at 7:15. Good luck!


Lloyd Mayor and Lloyd Knight rehearse the Abraham Variation, by Kyle Abraham (photo by Brigid Pierce)

Lloyd Mayor and Lloyd Knight rehearse the Abraham Variation, by Kyle Abraham (photo by Brigid Pierce)

LamVar10: A Festival for New Work
Martha Graham Studio Theater
55 Bethune St., eleventh floor
Tuesday, October 17, and Wednesday, October 18, $25-$30, 7:00

In January 1930, Martha Graham first performed what became one of her signature works, Lamentations, described in the program as “a dance of sorrow. . . . It is not the sorrow of a specific person, time, or place but the personification of grief itself.” The piece, which you can see here, featured Graham in a costume she could stretch over her head and other parts of her body, dancing to Zoltán Kodály’s 1910 Piano Piece, Op. 3, No. 2. In 2007, Martha Graham Dance Company artistic director Janet Eilber conceived of Lamentation Variations, initially meant to be a one-time opportunity for contemporary choreographers to create their own take on Lamentations in commemoration of 9/11. However, the popularity of the program morphed it into an ongoing production that boasts a growing list of international choreographers contributing their own personal interpretation of the iconic work. In honor of the tenth anniversary of Lamentation Variations, MGDC is hosting LamVar10: A Festival for New Work, taking place October 17 and 18 at the Martha Graham Studio Theater. The first night comprises Lamentation Variations by Kyle Abraham (2015), Larry Keigwin (2007), and Bulareyaung Pagarlava (2009), a variation-in-progress by Gwen Welliver, and the New York premiere of a variation by Lil Buck, while the second night consists of variations by Aszure Barton (2007), Keigwin, Richard Move (2007), Doug Varone (2012), and Lil Buck again. Each evening will also include a discussion with several of the artists. A Festival for New Work is being held in conjunction with the establishment of the Fund for New York, which will expand MGDC’s repertoire with new creations.


performa 17

Multiple venues
November 1-19, free - $40

The seventh Performa biennial takes place November 1-19 in multiple venues around the city, featuring an impressive roster of international artists pushing the limits of what live performance can be. This year’s lineup includes ten Performa commissions and dozens of events, from film, poetry, and dance to architecture, music, and comedy, arranged in such categories as Performa Projects, Performa Premieres, and Pavilion without Walls. In addition to the below recommendations for this always exciting festival, there will be presentations by Kendell Geers, Xavier Cha, Yto Barrada, Brian Belott, Flo Kasearu, Jimmy Robert, Mohau Modisakeng, Kelly Nipper, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Nicolas Hlobo, Kris Lemsalu with Kyp Malone, the Marching Cobras of New York, and others at such venues as Abrons Arts Center, BAM, the Met, White Box Arts Center, Marcus Garvey Park, the Connelly Theater, St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, Harlem Parish, and the Glass House in New Canaan.

Thursday, November 2, 7:00
Friday, November 3, 7:00 & 9:00
Saturday, November 4, 7:00

Teju Cole: Black Paper, BKLYN Studio at City Point, 445 Albee Square West, $15-$25

Thursday, November 2, 9, 16
Barbara Kruger: The Drop, Performa 17 Hub, 47 Walker St., $5, 4:00 - 8:00

Sunday, November 5
Monday, November 6

William Kentridge: Ursonate, Harlem Parish, 258 West 118th St., $25-$40, 7:00

Sunday, November 5, 12, 19
Eiko Otake: A Body in Places, Metropolitan Museum of Art, free with museum admission, 10:30 am

Wednesday, November 8
Estonian Pavilion Symposium: Call for Action — Key Moments of Estonian Performance Art, lecture and screening with curators Anu Allas and Maria Arusoo, free, Performa 17 Hub, 47 Walker St., 5:00

Thursday, November 9
Friday, November 10
Saturday, November 11

The Tracey Rose Show in Collaboration with Performa 17 and Afroglossia Presents: The Good Ship Jesus vs The Black Star Line Hitching a Ride with Die Alibama [Working Title], the Black Lady Theatre, 750 Nostrand Ave., $15-$25, 7:30

Friday, November 10
Zanele Muholi on Visual Activism, grand finale of two weeks of meetings, performances, discussions, and art-making, the Bronx Museum, 1040 Grand Concourse, free, 7:00

Friday, November 10
Sunday, November 19

Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley: The Newcomers, with Lena Kouvela and Sarah Burns, 28 Liberty Plaza, free, all day

be here now

Saturday, November 11
Architecture Conference, with Giovana Borasi, Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Yve Laris Cohen, Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe), and Elizabeth Diller, Performa 17 Hub, 47 Walker St., free, 2:00 - 6:00

Monday, November 13
Tuesday, November 14

Wangechi Mutu: Banana Stroke, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, free with museum admission, 7:00

Monday, November 13
Friday, November 17

Kwani Trust: Everyone Is Radicalizing, multimedia installation and public programs, Performa 17 Hub, 47 Walker St., free, 12 noon – 6:00 pm

Wednesday, November 15
Thursday, November 16
Friday, November 17

Anu Vahtra: Open House Closing. A Walk, Performa 17 Hub, 47 Walker St., free, 5:00

Thursday, November 16
Julie Mehretu and Jason Moran: MASS (HOWL, eon), Harlem Parish, 258 West 118th St,, $25-$40, 7:00 & 9:00

Thursday, November 16
Friday, November 17
Saturday, November 18

Gillian Walsh: Moon Fate Sin, Danspace Project, St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, 131 East Tenth St., $22-$25, 8:00


Luca Veggettis Left-Right-Left will make its North American premiere at Japan Society October 13-14 as part of NOH NOW series

Luca Veggetti’s Left-Right-Left will make its North American premiere at Japan Society October 13-14 as part of “NOH-NOW” series

Japan Society
333 East 47th St. at First Ave.
Friday, October 13, and Saturday, October 14, $35, 7:30

In May 2014, Italian director and choreographer Luca Veggetti brought Project IX — Pléïades to Japan Society, a graceful collaboration with Japanese percussionist Kuniko Kato and Japanese dancer Megumi Nakamura that was the finale of the sixtieth anniversary season of the institution’s performing arts program. Veggetti and Nakamura are now back for the North American premiere of Left-Right-Left, part of Japan Society’s 110th anniversary and the series “NOH-NOW,” which blends the traditional Japanese musical drama with contemporary styles. The work, commissioned by Japan Society and Yokohama Noh Theater, is conceived, directed, and choreographed by Veggetti, with the esteemed author and scholar Dr. Donald Keene of the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture serving as project advisor and text translator. The three-part piece is inspired by the ancient play Okina, a sacred ritual about peace, prosperity, and safety. It will be performed by butoh dancer Akira Kasai, contemporary dancer Nakamura, and butoh-trained dancer Yukio Suzuki, with music director Genjiro Okura on noh small hand drum and Rokurobyoe Fujita on noh fue. Child noh actor Rinzo Nagayama will recites the new English translation of passages from Okina and another popular traditional noh play, Hagoromo, about a celestial feather robe. The lighting is by Clifton Taylor, with costumes by Mitsushi Yanaihara. “Noh has very precise patterns in the space that the performers follow,” Veggetti says in a promotional interview, explaining that his goal was “to use this archaic blueprint form and infuse it with different choreographic ideas, with that to find a language that is somehow organic.” Left-Right-Left, or “sa-yu-sa” in Japanese, will be at Japan Society on October 13, followed by a Meet-the-Artists Reception, and October 14, followed by an artist Q&A. In addition, Okura, Grand Master of the Okura School of kotsuzumi, will lead a noh music workshop on October 14 at 10:30 am ($45). “NOH-NOW” continues November 3-5 with the world premiere of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Rikyu-Enoura, December 7-9 with Leon Ingulsrud’s adaptation of Yukio Mishima’s Hanjo, and January 11-14 with Satoshi Miyagi’s Mugen Noh Othello.


(photo by Rebecca Greenfield)

Maira Kalman looks on as her online graphic diary is brought to life at the BAM Fisher (photo by Rebecca Greenfield)

BAM Fisher, Fishman Space
321 Ashland Pl.
September 27-30, $25

The audience at the BAM Fisher isn’t the only one smiling throughout The Principles of Uncertainty, the lovely multimedia collaboration between choreographer John Heginbotham and author-illustrator Maira Kalman; the musicians and dancers seem to be having just as much fun, if not more. Based on Kalman’s 2006-7 online graphic diary, the hour-long dance-theater piece is infectiously gleeful from start to finish. The sixty-eight-year-old Kalman is onstage the entire show, reciting text, calmly watching from the back, and, yes, dancing with Lindsey Jones, John Eirich, Courtney Lopes, Weaver Rhodes, Amber Star Merkens, and Macy Sullivan (several of whom are from Dance Heginbotham). The baroque and carnivalesque songs are played by music director Colin Jacobsen on violin and viola, Caitlyn Sullivan on cello, Nathan Koci on accordion, and Alex Sopp on flute and vocals. The lively staging puts Kalman in a large movable box, where she’s joined by assistant director Daniel Pettrow for some literary surprises and acerbic comedy; meanwhile, Todd Bryant projects (not enough of) Kalman’s words and drawings on a back wall, and a classical framed painting lies on the floor. (Kalman also designed the set and the costumes.) Heginbotham’s choreography includes repeated pairings: dancers’ foreheads rest against each other, and gentle fists press against knuckles and palms. The set is reconfigured — nearly everything is on wheels — while Nicole Pearce has a ball with different colored lights, and the band, members of the chamber ensemble the Knights, plays works by Bach, Villa-Lobos, Schubert, Beethoven, and Mexican ranchera king José Alfredo Jiménez. “John and I are trying to make something that feels like nothing,” Kalman writes in the program. “Well, not nothing, of course, but the kind of nothing that is full of the sad sweet funny uncertain life we lead.” As an added touch, each seat is covered by a two-sided cloth printed with words from the serious to the silly, the practical to the mundane. But there is nothing mundane about The Principles of Uncertainty, which indeed is a unique look at “the sad sweet funny uncertain life we lead.”


(photo © Anne Van Aerschot)

Four dancers play the roles of four musicians in Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Salva Sanchis’s revisiting of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme (photo © Anne Van Aerschot)

New York Live Arts
219 West 19th St. between Seventh & Eighth Aves.
September 27-30, 7:30

Bill T. Jones’s New York Live Arts strives to encompass more than just dance, a goal achieved with their stunning production of A Love Supreme, Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Spanish dancer and choreographer Salva Sanchis’s newly rewritten version of their 2005 evening-length piece, which continues at NYLA through September 30. Thirty minutes before the piece begins onstage in the theater, saxophonist Tony Jarvis and bassist Nathan Peck move about the waiting audience in the lobby space and head out into the street of passersby and onlookers as they perform excerpts from John Coltrane’s masterful, boundary-breaking 1965 album, the original recording of which serves as the soundtrack of De Keersmaeker and Sanchis’s collaboration. You don’t need a ticket to just hang out, get a drink, and watch Jarvis and Peck interact with each other in a way that only jazz allows, creating a spiritual conversation of dissonance and beauty. This prelude serves as an ingenious introduction to what follows inside the theater, as four male dancers embody the roles of the four main musicians on the record. The show begins in silence, with Thomas Vantuycom as saxophonist Coltrane, Jason Respilieux as bassist Jimmy Garrison, Bilal El Had (or Robin Haghi) as pianist McCoy Tyner, and José Paulo dos Santos as drummer Elvin Jones. They are all barefoot, dressed in black, with black tape dividing the black floor into a flurry of geometric patterns.

Tony Jarvis and Nathan Peck (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Tony Jarvis and Nathan Peck perform a Coltrane overture to get the audience in just the right mood for A Love Supreme (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

After several minutes, the music starts, the glorious four-part suite consisting of “Acknowledgement,” “Resolution,” “Pursuance,” and “Psalm,” which Coltrane performed only once live in its entirety. “You see, one thing about that music is that it showed you that we had reached a level where you could move the music around,” Tyner told NPR in 2012. “John had a very wonderful way of being flexible with the music, flexing it, stretching it. You know, we reflected that kind of thing. He gave us the freedom to do that.” That idea translates beautifully into De Keersmaeker and Sanchis’s choreography, in which the dancers follow the general progression of the “sheets of sound,” as Coltrane described it, ranging from solos to duets to trios to quartets but never just mimicking what is being played. When a musician takes a solo, that respective dancer improvises. Meanwhile, the other dancers stand aside and watch, just as jazz musicians do. All four performers are outstanding, with Vantuycom brilliant in the lead, swirling with his elongated arms, making angular gestures, and gliding across the floor as Coltrane soothes the soul.