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


You Say You Want a Revolution exhibition at NYPL is part of Carnegie Halls festival

“You Say You Want a Revolution: Remembering the Sixties” exhibition at NYPL is part of wide-ranging Carnegie Hall festival

Multiple locations
January 14 - March 24

America came of age in the 1960s, from the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, and Malcolm X to Vietnam and the Summer of Love. Carnegie Hall is paying tribute to the turbulent decade with the two-month series “The ’60s: The Years that Changed America,” inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robert A. Caro. The native New Yorker, who turned eighty-two this past October, is the author of such books as The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York and the four-part The Years of Lyndon Johnson, with a fifth tome on the way. “Luther King gave people ‘the feeling that they could be bigger and stronger and more courageous than they thought they could be,’ Bayard Rustin said — in part because of the powerful new weapon, non-violent resistance, that had been forged on the Montgomery battlefield,’” Caro wrote in Master of the Senate, a quote obviously apt for MLK Day. Running January 14 through March 24 all across the city, the festival features concerts, panel discussions, film screenings, dance, art exhibitions, and more. Below are only some of the many highlights; keep watching this space for more additions.

Sunday, January 14
Saturday, March 24

“Max’s Kansas City,” photos and writings, Mark Borghi Gallery, free

Friday, January 19
“You Say You Want a Revolution: Remembering the Sixties,” Library After Hours opening night program with experimental films, album-cover workshop, games and puzzles, curator tour led by Isaac Gewirtz, dance party with Felix Hernandez, and more, exhibit continues through September 1, the New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, free, 7:00

Kronos Quartet, works by Stacy Garrop (world premiere inspired by “I Have a Dream” speech), Zachary J. Watkins (world premiere inspired by Studs Terkel), Terry Riley, John Cage, and Janis Joplin, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, $62-$72, 9:00

Tuesday, January 23
Friday, May 18

“The Global Interconnections of 1968,” Kempner Exhibition Gallery, Butler Library (sixth floor), Columbia University, free

Thursday, January 25
Snarky Puppy with David Crosby and Friends, including Chris Thile and Laura Mvula, Stern/Perelman at Carnegie Hall, $26-$100, 8:00

Friday, January 26
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Classic Film Series: Coming Home (Hal Ashby, 1978), Justice in Film presentation introduced by Susan Lacy, New-York Historical Society, free with pay-what-you-wish museum admission, 7:00

Tuesday, February 6
Sunday, February 11

March, duet from Lessons inspired by civil rights movement, part of winter season program by Ronald K. Brown / Evidence, a Dance Company, the Joyce Theater, $26-$46

Friday, February 16
“Philip Glass Ensemble: Music with Changing Parts,” Stern/Perelman at Carnegie Hall, $14.50 - $95, 8:00

Wednesday, February 21
“The Summer of Law and Disorder: Harlem Riot of 1964,” panel discussion, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, free with advance registration beginning February 7, 6:30

Tuesday, March 13
Bernard and Irene Schwartz Distinguished Speakers Series: “The ’60s from Both Sides Now: An Evening with Judy Collins,” in conversation with historian Harold Holzer, New-York Historical Society, $38, 6:30

Saturday, March 24
“The Vietnam War: At Home and Abroad,” multimedia presentation with Friction Quartet performing George Crumb’s “Black Angels” and more groups to be announced, narrated by John Monsky, Zankel at Carnegie Hall, $35-$45, 2:00


Shanghai Dance Theatre makes its NYC debut with Soaring Wings at Lincoln Center

Shanghai Dance Theatre celebrates the rediscovery of the crested ibis in Soaring Wings at Lincoln Center

David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center
20 Lincoln Center Plaza
January 5-7, $22-$167

The Shanghai Dance Theatre has landed in the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center this weekend with the U.S. premiere of Soaring Wings, a new-agey epic modern fable presented in a style reminiscent of the Radio City Rockettes. Written by Luo Huaizhen and directed and choreographed by Tong Ruirui, the lengthy two-hour piece is about the discovery of seven crested ibises, a much-loved bird species thought to be extinct, in Shaanxi Province in 1981. The lavish production boasts more than three dozen dancers in gorgeous costumes by Zhong Jiani, who does an especially effective job with the flowing white wings of the seven women portraying the “bird of good fortune” as well as the dark, ominous, futuristic garments worn by a corp of male dancers who represent pollution and environmental degradation. Huaizhen and Ruirui have a penchant for lining up the performers in Rockette-like vertical and horizontal columns, while Ruirui’s choreography features perhaps all-too-realistic birdlike neck and head movements for the crane women, which manages to be simultaneously completely convincing and disturbingly eerie. The staging is simple, with a perhaps-dead tree with its roots showing that is wheeled on- and offstage, in front of projections of scenes of clouds and mountains on a rear scrim. Principal dancers Zhu Jiejing and Wang Jiajun lead a large cast that perpetually smiles coquettishly as they flirt with ballet and contemporary and folk dance, creating a lush, evocative something that is not quite any of those genres but which had audience members enthusiastically sneaking cellphone photos. And Guo Sida’s syrupy score is far too reminiscent of “Healing Rhythms,” a biofeedback program developed by doctors Deepak Chopra, Dean Ornish, and Andrew Weil — one of the program’s training skills even involves a floating feather, which plays a prominent role in Soaring Wings, continuing through January 7 at Lincoln Center before flying to Boston. And no, there is no kickline at the end.


(photo by Maria Baranova-Suzuki)

Alicia ayo Ohs and Andrew Schneider explore the nature of reality in mind-blowing After (photo by Maria Baranova-Suzuki)

Martinson Hall, the Public Theater
425 Lafayette St. at Astor P.
January 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, $25

Andrew Schneider uses high and low tech to investigate what makes a life — and what might happen at death — in the mind-blowing After, having its New York City premiere as part of the Public Theater’s Under the Radar festival. The sequel to his mind-blowing, Obie-winning YOUARENOWHERE (which can be pronounced as “You are nowhere” or “You are now here”), After explores the construction of consciousness through perception and sensation, creating a kind of collective hallucination as two people, Schneider and Alicia ayo Ohs, discuss various aspects of existence amid flashing lights, electronic sounds, color shifts, near-complete extended darkness, and heavenly cloud cover. “Your brain is not reality,” ayo tells Schneider early on, calling into question what humans, and theater patrons, see and hear. The Milwaukee-born, Brooklyn-based Schneider wrote the text and directs the show in addition to handling the experimental lighting, projections, and set design, which essentially is a spare stage with a bright white floor; the lights quickly go on and off, joined by loud, sharp noises, as scenes change magically in mere seconds, reminiscent of Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information and Nick Payne’s Constellations. At one point, Schneider and ayo will be sitting in folding chairs, then will be lying on the floor, then will be leaning over a desk, the changes coming like firing synapses. Later the two performers are joined by a larger cast, including production coordinator Kedian Keohan and scenic coordinator Peter Musante, but it’s the relationship between Schneider and ayo that is at the heart of the eighty-minute show.

(photo by Maria Baranova-Suzuki)

Andrew Schneider uses cutting-edge technology in New York City premiere at the Public Theater as part of Under the Radar festival (photo by Maria Baranova-Suzuki)

Throughout, the sound emerges from all over the theater, as if it has physical form; sound designers Schneider and Bobby McElver, who refer to the effects as auditory holograms, are employing the cutting-edge spatial audio technology Wave Field Synthesis, which was developed at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer. The piece is deeply theoretical as well as being super-fun and thought-provoking, balancing serious philosophy with an intoxicating playfulness and razor-sharp sense of humor. As the audience enters Martinson Hall at the Public, Irma Thomas’s heart-tugging “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)” softly repeats over and over, the Soul Queen of New Orleans singing, “I know / to ever let you go / oh, is more than I could ever stand”; but the mood shifts when that is replaced by Starship’s tacky, and loud, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” as Mickey Thomas (no relation) and Grace Slick warble, “And we can build this dream together / standing strong forever.” Former Wooster Group member Schneider (Field, Tidal, Wow+Flutter) and assistant director and script developer ayo (Faye Driscoll’s Thank You for Coming series), dressed in dark clothing and wearing microphones as well as electronic gadgets on each of their arms, don’t miss a beat as After delves into the nature of language and movement, of speech and human behavior, putting the audience through sensory overload and sensory deprivation to imagine the biochemical secrets of life and death.


The seventeenth annual No Pants Subway Ride takes place on January 7 (photo courtesy

The seventeenth annual No Pants Subway Ride takes place on January 7 (photo courtesy

Multiple subway locations
Sunday, January 7, $2.75 (subway fare), 3:00-5:00

On New Year’s Day, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club marched into the Atlantic Ocean, braving outside temperatures in the teens. On Sunday, January 7, for the seventeenth annual No Pants Subway Ride, participants will be removing their slacks in a similar climate as they enjoy the freedom of revealing their gams to the delight, consternation, and confusion of fellow passengers. Between 3:00 and 5:00, thousands of men and women will head underground and strip down to their boxers, panties, and tighty-whities (leaving shirts, shoes, and jackets on). Started as a prank by seven guys in 2002, the ride — staged by Improv Everywhere, the prank collective behind such other unusual stunts as Reverse Times Square, Car Alarm Symphony in Staten Island, and Carousel Horse Race in Bryant Park — hit a small bump in 2006, when 150 people participated and 8 were arrested and handcuffed, but the charges were shortly dismissed. As it turns out, it’s technically not illegal as long as the exposure doesn’t get too indecent. (Of course, it is also not against the law for men and women to be topless in Times Square.) Participants should gather, with their clothes on, at one of seven meeting points around the city (Hoyt Playground in Astoria, the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, Foley Square in Downtown Manhattan, Hudson Yards Park on West 34th St. in Midtown Manhattan, the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Park, the Great Hill in Central Park, and Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick) and will be assigned a train to ride on; the main rule is that you must be willing to take your pants off on the subway while keeping a straight face — and hopefully having someone around to document it for social media.

You should not document it yourself, and you need to act like you merely forgot to put your pants on or that you were feeling uncomfortable, pretending that it is a coincidence so many others did as well. Be natural about it, as if it’s no big deal; it’s important not to flaunt it or to wear undergarments that are too flashy or call attention to yourself. When it’s over at about five o’clock, there is a pants-less after-party at Bar 13 at 35 East 13th St., with a $15 cover (pants check is available); the festivities include music spun by DJs Dirtyfinger, Shakey, and Hamstaskin, live performances by the Flying Pants Brigade, art installations by Samantha Statin and others, performance art by Krauss Dañielle and Operative Slamdance, and more. And it should be comforting to know that the No Pants Subway Ride has spread to dozens of cities across the globe, including Adelaide, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dallas, Jerusalem, Lisbon, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Prague, Stockholm, Vancouver, Warsaw, and Zurich.


I Am Not Your Negro

Brooklyn Museum screening of I Am Not Your Negro will be followed by discussion of activism with James Baldwin’s niece

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, January 6, free, 5:00 - 11:00

The Brooklyn Museum looks to 2018 with its January First Saturday program, “New Year, New Futures.” There will be live music by Sinkane, BEARCAT, Zaven of Resonator Collective (an in-gallery soundscape for the terrific exhibition “Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo”), and New Kingston; a curator tour of “Rodin at the Brooklyn Museum: The Body in Bronze” with Lisa Small; a hands-on art workshop in which participants can make zines inspired by “Proof”; a community talk with Murad Awawdeh, the vice president of advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition; a screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary about James Baldwin, I Am Not your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2017), followed by a discussion with activists Jessica Green and Aisha Karefa-Smart (Baldwin’s niece); a Feminist Book Club event focusing on the 1970 book Sisterhood Is Powerful: An Anthology of Writings from the Women’s Liberation Movement, edited by Robin Morgan, hosted by Glory Edim of Well-Read Black Girl based on selections by Judy Chicago; pop-up gallery talks on “Roots of ‘The Dinner Party’: History in the Making”; a Brooklyn Dance Festival movement workshop and live performances; pop-up poetry with DéLana R. A. Dameron (Weary Kingdom) and Rickey Laurentiis (Boy with Thorn), followed by a signing; and a NYLaughs comedy showcase with Negin Farsad, Nimesh Patel, and Jordan Carlos, hosted by Ophira Eisenberg and followed by a discussion on humor, activism, and crisis. In addition, the galleries will be open late so you can check out “Roots of ‘The Dinner Party’: History in the Making,” “Soulful Creatures: Animal Mummies in Ancient Egypt,” “Proof: Francisco Goya, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Longo,” “Arts of Asia and the Middle East,” “Infinite Blue,” “Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys,” “Rodin at the Brooklyn Museum: The Body in Bronze,” “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” and more.


The Shanghai Dance Theatre makes its NYC debut with Soaring Wings at Lincoln Center

Shanghai Dance Theatre makes its NYC debut with Soaring Wings at Lincoln Center

David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center
20 Lincoln Center Plaza
January 5-7, $22-$167

Shanghai Dance Theatre makes its New York debut January 5-7 at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center with Soaring Wings, an evening-length celebration of harmony about the “bird of good fortune,” the Japanese crested ibis. Set to traditional Chinese music, the environmentally conscious work celebrates the interdependence between nature and humanity, building the theme around the rediscovery of ibises in Shaanxi Province in 1981, thought to be in extinct in China and Japan as the result of twentieth-century modernization. Presented by China Arts and Entertainment Group as part of its Image China program, which began in 2009 “as a bridge of cultural exchanges between China and other countries,” Soaring Wings features more than two dozen dancers, including principals Zhu Jiejing and Wang Jiajun. Zhong Jiani’s lush, elegant costumes bring the endangered species to beautiful life; the show is written by Luo Huaizhen, with music by Guo Sida, direction and choreography by Tong Ruirui, lighting by Xing Xin, makeup by Xu Bin, and props by Li Hongchao. The award-winning Shanghai Dance Theatre, which was founded in 1979 and melds Chinese classical dance with ballet and folk traditions, has been traveling the world with Soaring Wings and such other productions as Fragrance, so its New York debut is greatly anticipated.


The Hendrix Project

The Hendrix Project kicks out the jams at the BRIC House as part of the Public Theater’s Under the Radar festival (photo by Nicolas Savignano)

Once upon a time, January was considered a relative artistic wasteland, as people suffered from a post-holidays letdown with a dearth of high-quality movies and Broadway shows opening up. But this century continues to fill that void with more and more cutting-edge, experimental, and offbeat music, dance, and theater with a growing list of performance festivals around the city. You can catch cabaret at Pangea, opera at Prototype, dance at American Realness, the 92nd St. Y, and New York Live Arts, jazz at JazzFest, Irish theater at Origin’s 1st, and a little of everything at Under the Radar and COIL, the latter back where it belongs at the renovated PS122. Below are only some of the highlights of this exciting time to try something that might be outside your comfort zone and take a chance on something new and different to kick off your 2018, especially with the majority of tickets going for about twenty-five bucks.

Public Theater and other venues
425 Lafayette St. by Astor Pl.
January 4-15

After by Andrew Schneider, performed by Alicia ayo Ohs and Andrew Schneider, with Kedian Keohan and Peter Musante, January 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, Public Theater, Martinson Hall, $25

Parallel Lives: Billie Holiday & Edith Piaf, created and directed by Nona Hendryx, performed by Joey Arias, Tamar Kali, Liza Jesse Peterson, and Etienne Stadwjck, January 5-6, Joe’s Pub, $45

The Gates: An Evening of Stories with Adam Gopnik, January 5, 10, 12, 13, 14, Public Theater, Newman Theater, $25

The Hendrix Project, by Roger Guenveur Smith & CalArts Center for New Performance, performed by Samantha Barrow, Morgan Camper, Hannah Cruz, Jasmine Gatewood, Heaven Gonzalez, Ariyan Kassam, Liam O’Donnell, Dante Rossi, Henita Telo, Max Udell, Ieva Vizgirdaite, and Christopher Wentworth, January 11-14, BRIC House, $25

Pursuit of Happiness, Nature Theater of Oklahoma & EnKnapGroup, NYU Skirball, January 12-14, $25

(photo by Philip Groshong)

Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce’s Fellow Travelers goes back to the Lavender Scare of the 1950s (photo by Philip Groshong)

Multiple venues
January 7-20

Acquanetta, by composer Michael Gordon, librettist Deborah Artman, director Daniel Fish, and conductor Daniela Candillari, with Mikaela Bennett, Amelia Watkins, Eliza Bagg, Timur, and Matt Boehler, Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, January 9-13, $30-$75

Out of Bounds — Breaking Ice: The Battle of the Carmens, by Alicia Hall Moran, new vocal work for an ice-skating audience, January 11, Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, free, 1:40; January 14, location TBD, free, 2:30

Fellow Travelers, by composer Gregory Spears, librettist Greg Pierce, director Kevin Newbury, and conductor George Manahan, with Aaron Blake, Joseph Lattanzi, Devon Guthrie, Vernon Hartman, Marcus DeLoach, Christian Pursell, Paul Scholten, Alexandra Schoeny, and Violetta Lopez, January 12-14, Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, $30-$55

Out of Bounds: The Future Is Open, by Tori Wrånes, newly commissioned site-specific work, Washington Square Park, Northwest Corner, January 18-19, free, 5:30

MIchelle Ellsworth’s The Rehearsal Artist is an intimate experience at American Realness

Michelle Ellsworth’s The Rehearsal Artist promises an intimate experience at American Realness

Abrons Arts Center and other venues
466 Grand St. at Pitt St.
January 9-16

The Rehearsal Artist, by Michelle Ellsworth, January 9-11, the Invisible Dog Art Center, $25, 1:15 - 8:45

Variations on Themes from Lost and Found: Scenes from a Life and Other Works by John Bernd, by Ishmael Houston-Jones and Miguel Gutierrez, with Nick Hallett and Jennifer Monson, Danspace Project, January 9, 11, 12, 13, $22-$25

#PUNK, by nora chipaumire, Abrons Arts Center Playhouse, January 11-13, $25

I <3 PINA, by Neal Medlyn, Abrons Arts Center Experimental Theater, January 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, $25

This, by Adrienne Truscott, Abrons Arts Center Playhouse, January 14-16, $25

origin irish 1st

Multiple venues
January 9-29

Dyin’ for It, by Derek Murphy, with Maria Deasy, Adam Petherbridge, Sarah Street, and Aoife Williamson, the Cell, January 17-28, $30

Guy Walks into a Bar, by Don Creedon, New York Irish Center, January 18, 25, $20-$25, 7:15

ShakesBEER with an Irish Twist, pub crawl, Stone St., January 27, February 3, $49 (includes four drinks), 3:00

Dear Mr. Beckett: Letters from the Publisher, with Billy Carter and Olwen Fouéré, the Irish Consulate, January 29, free with advance RSVP, 1:00

Pangea NYC
178 Second Ave.
January 10-16

Salty Brine: How Strange It Is, January 10, 17, 24, 31, February 7, $20, 7:30

Penny Arcade: Longing Lasts Longer, January 11, 14, $20, 7:00

Sven Ratzke: From Amsterdam to Mars, January 14, $20, 9:00

Tammy Faye Starlite: An Evening of Light, Tammy Faye channels Nico, accompanied by Keith Hartel, January 16, $20, 7:00

Multiple venues
January 10-17

Gilles Peterson hosts British Jazz Showcase, with the Comet Is Coming, Nubya Garcia, Yazz Ahmed, and Oscar Jerome, Le Poisson Rouge, January 10, $20-$25, 7:00

Winter JazzFest Marathon, more than fifty artists at eleven venues, January 12-13, $50-$60 one day, $85-$95 both days

Ravi Coltrane Presents Universal Consciousness: Melodic Meditations of Alice Coltrane, Le Poisson Rouge, January 14, $35-$45, 7:00

A Tribute to Geri Allen, with Angela Davis, Esperanza Spalding, Craig Taborn, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Ingrid Jensen, Jack DeJohnette, Jaimeo Brown, Jeff Tain Watts, Kassa Overall, Kris Davis, Linda May Han Oh, Maurice Chestnut, Mino Cinelu, Ravi Coltrane, S. Epatha Merkerson, Tia Fuller, Vijay Iyer, and others, benefit for the Geri Allen Estate, the New School Tishman Auditorium, January 15, $35-$100

Deerhoof Meet Wadada Leo Smith and Nicole Mitchell: Maroon Cloud, Le Poisson Rouge, January 17, $25-$35, 8:00

Performance Space 122
150 First Ave.
January 10 - February 4

Body of Work, by Atlanta Eke, PS122, January 10-11, $25

visions of beauty, by Heather Kravas, PS122, January 10-13, $25

Jupiter’s Lifeless Moons, by Dane Terry, PS122, January 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, $25

he his own mythical beast, by David Thomson, PS122, January 31, February 1, 2, 4, $25

Our of Israel returns to the 92nd St. Y for its eighth season

Our of Israel returns to the 92nd St. Y for its eighth season

92nd St. Y

Out of Israel: works by choreographers Itzik Galili and Roi Assaf performed by Troy Ogilvie, a solo by Roni Chadash, a new composition by DANAKA collective, and films by Joseph Bach and Shamel Pitts, guest curated by Dana Katz, January 12 at 12 noon and January 13 at 8:00, $10 in advance, $20 at the door

Open Doors: works by choreographers Joanna Kotze, Kensaku Shinohara, Pam Tanowitz, and Larissa Velez-Jackson with Jillian Peña, January 12 at 8:00 and January 13 at 4:00, $25-$29

Jack Ferver will present

Jack Ferver will present his work-in-progress Everything Is Imaginable as part of Live Artery at New York Live Arts

New York Live Arts
219 West 19th St.
January 13-15

Saturday, January 13, $10 each
Abby Zbikowski, abandoned playground (excerpt), 12 noon; Kimberly Bartosik, I hunger for you (work-in-progress), 2:00; RoseAnne Spradlin, “X,” 3:00; Netta Yerushalmy, Paramodernities (work-in-progress), 5:00; Susan Marshall, Construction (collaboration with So Percussion) and Closed System (work-in-progress), 6:00; Walter Dundervill, Skybox (excerpt), 7:00

Sunday, January 14, $10 each
Joanna Kotze, What will we be like when we get there (work-in-progress), 1:00; Kota Yamazaki, Darkness Odyssey Part 2: I or Hallucination (excerpt), 4:00; Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, The Deep Blue Sea, 5:00; Deborah Hay/Eric Geiger, Jess Humphrey & Leslie Seiters, Pause, 6:00; RoseAnne Spradlin, “X,” 8:00; Jack Ferver, Everything Is Imaginable (work-in-progress), 8:30

Monday, January 15, $10 each
Netta Yerushalmy, Paramodernities (work-in-progress), 11:00 am; Jennifer Nugent & Paul Matteson with Ted Coffey, Visual Proof, 1:00; Jack Ferver, Everything Is Imaginable (work-in-progress); 3:30; Joanna Kotze, What will we be like when we get there (work-in-progress), 5:00; Kimberly Bartosik, I hunger for you (work-in-progress), 6:30