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


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theaters MINUS 16 is a highlight of annual Fall for Dance Festival at City Center (photo by Paul Kolnik)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s performance of Ohad Naharin’s MINUS 16 is a highlight of annual Fall for Dance Festival at City Center (photo by Paul Kolnik)

City Center
131 West 55th St. between Sixth & Seventh Aves.
Tickets go on sale Sunday, September 14, 11:00 am
Festival runs October 8-19

And, they’re off! Tomorrow morning (September 14) at 11:00, tickets go on sale for the always hotly anticipated Fall for Dance Festival at City Center. The eleventh annual event consists of five programs performed twice each over the course of twelve days, featuring an international collection of established and emerging companies and choreographers; among the highlights are world premieres from Mark Morris, Tim Harbour, and Pontus Lidberg, U.S. premieres by Russell Maliphant, William Forsythe, Fei Bo, and Aakash Odedra, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s always welcome Minus 16 by Ohad Naharin. (We’re rather partial to it because we were one of the lucky members of the audience who were pulled onstage a few years ago at City Center to participate in the dance.) With tickets a mere fifteen bucks, the festival sells out extremely quickly, so don’t waste any time and set those alarm clocks. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 8, and Thursday, October 9, 8:00
Black Grace: Minoi and Pati Pati, choreographed by Neil Ieremia
San Francisco Ballet: Variations for Two Couples, choreographed by Hans van Manen
Russell Maliphant/Sadler’s Wells London: Two x Two, choreographed by Russell Maliphant
Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble: Words, choreographed by Mark Morris

Friday, October 10, and Saturday, October 11, 8:00
Lucinda Childs Dance Company: Concerto, choreographed by Lucinda Childs
Semperoper Ballett Dresden: Neue Suite, choreographed by William Forsythe
Company Sébastien Ramirez & Honji Wang: AP15, choreographed by Sébastien Ramirez and Honji Wang
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Minus 16, choreographed by Ohad Naharin

Tuesday, October 14, and Wednesday, October 15, 8:00
Vuyani Dance Theatre: Umnikelo, choreographed by Luyanda Sidiya
Sara Mearns & Company: Stairway to Paradise, choreographed by Joshua Bergasse
Trisha Brown Dance Company: Son of Gone Fishin’, choreographed by Trisha Brown
National Ballet of China: The Peony Pavilion, choreographed by Fei Bo

Thursday, October 16, and Friday, October 17, 8:00
Brian Brooks Moving Company with Juilliard Dance: Torrent, choreographed by Brian Brooks
The Australian Ballet: Ostinato, choreographed by Tim Harbour
BJM — Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal: Closer, choreographed by Benjamin Millepied
Rennie Harris Puremovement: Students of the Asphalt Jungle, choreographed by Dr. Rennie Harris

Saturday, October 18, 8:00, and Sunday, October 19, 2:00
Wayne McGregor | Random Dance: Far, choreographed by Wayne McGregor in collaboration with the dancers
Pontus Lidberg Dance: New Lidberg, choreographed by Pontus Lidberg
Aakash Odedra Company: Nritta, choreographed by Aakash Odedra
The Sarasota Ballet: Les Patineurs, choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton



Documentary reveals how Elizabeth Streb and her Extreme Action Company (including Jackie Carlson, seen here) take dance to a whole new level

Film Forum
209 West Houston St.
September 10-23 (extended)

Over the last several years, New Yorkers have gotten the chance to see Elizabeth Streb’s Extreme Action Company perform such dazzling works as Ascension at Gansevoort Plaza, Kiss the Air! at the Park Avenue Armory, and Human Fountain at World Financial Center Plaza as her team of gymnast-dancer-acrobats risk their physical well-being in daring feats of strength, stamina, durability, and grace. In addition, Streb herself walked down the outside wall of the Whitney as part of a tribute to one of her mentors, Trisha Brown. Now Catherine Gund takes viewers behind the scenes in the exhilarating documentary Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity, going deep into the mind of the endlessly inventive and adventurous extreme action architect and the courage and fearlessness of her company. Gund follows Streb as she discusses her childhood, her dance studies, the formation of STREB in 1985, and her carefully thought out views on space, line, and movement as her work stretches the limits of what the human body can do. “I think my original belief and desire is to see a human being fly,” Streb says near the beginning of the film, which includes archival footage of early performances, family photos, and a warm scene in which the Rochester-born Streb and her partner, Laura Flanders, host a dinner party in their apartment, cooking for Bill T. Jones, Bjorn Amelan, Anne Bogart, Catharine Stimpson, and A. M. Homes.

Elizabeth Streb

Elizabeth Streb and her partner, Laura Flanders, prepare for a dinner party in new documentary

Gund also speaks with current and past members of the talented, ever-enthusiastic company — associate artistic director Fabio Tavares, Sarah Callan, Jackie Carlson, Leonardo Giron, Felix Hess, Samantha Jakus, Cassandre Joseph, John Kasten, and Daniel Rysak — who talk about their dedication to Streb’s vision while using such words as “challenge,” “velocity,” “endurance,” “magic,” “invincibility,” and “risk” to describe what they do and how they feel about it. Gund focuses on the latter, as virtually every one of Streb’s pieces is fraught with the possibility of serious injury, as evidenced by their titles alone: Fly, Impact, Rebound, Breakthru, and Ricochet, not to mention the use of such materials as spinning I-beams, plastic barricades, dangling harnesses, and a rotating metal ladder. “I have to be able to ask someone to do that and be okay about it. Those aren’t easy requests,” Streb explains. “Knowing where you are is how you survive the work,” adds former STREB dancer Hope Clark. Gund goes with Streb to her doctor, where the choreographer describes what happened to her gnarled feet, and also meets with former dancer DeeAnn Nelson Burton, who had to retire after breaking her back. The film concludes with an inside look at STREB’s spectacular “One Extraordinary Day,” a series of hair-raising site-specific events staged for the 2012 London Olympics at such locations as the Millennium Bridge, the London Eye, and the sphere-shaped city hall, photographed by documentary legend Albert Maysles. In her Kickstarter campaign, Gund (Motherland Afghanistan, A Touch of Greatness) said, “Action architect Elizabeth Streb has reinvented the language of movement. [Born to Fly] will rewrite the language of documentary.” That’s a bold declaration, but the film does have a lot of the same spirit that Streb displays in her awe-inspiring work. Born to Fly opens September 10 at Film Forum, with Gund, Streb, and company members participating in Q&As following select shows September 12-16.


“Rococo Hut” is one of three sculptural pieces that make up Rachel Feinstein’s “Folly” in Madison Square Park (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

“Rococo Hut” is one of three sculptural pieces that make up Rachel Feinstein’s “Folly” in Madison Square Park (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Madison Square Park
23rd to 25th Sts. between Madison Ave. & Broadway
Wednesday, September 3, free, 5:30 - 8:30
Exhibition continues through September 7
folly slideshow

At first look, Rachel Feinstein’s site-specific “Folly” installation in Madison Square Park appears to be a trio of fragile ornamental structures, seemingly crudely made out of paper (they began life as handmade paper models), that could serve as backdrops for a high school play. Echoing fairy-tale-like nonfunctional garden decoration from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe as well as Nymphenburg porcelain, the three pieces — “Cliff House,” inspired by Ballets Russes sets; “Rococo Hut,” influenced by Marie Antoinette’s château Le Petit Triannon; and “The Flying Ship,” based on a Commedia dell’arte skit about Punchinello — are actually constructed from powder-coated aluminum. The works, which also give nods to Federico Fellini, Marlene Dietrich’s portrayal of Catherine the Great in The Scarlet Empress, and Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s real and imagined landscapes, might look like they could collapse at any moment — “Rococo Hut” features crooked steps, “The Flying Ship” uses a tree for balance, and “Cliff House” looks supremely unsafe — but they are sturdy enough to be home to a wide-ranging collection of performances on September 3. “The Madison Park Conservancy has given me the opportunity to marry my early interest in theater and performance with my later obsession with the handmade in one of the most spectacular settings. I picture ‘Folly’ as an empty Fellini-esque set dropped into the middle of a lush green wonderland in the historical Flatiron district of New York City,” the New York City-based Feinstein (“The Snow Queen”), who was born in Defiance, Arizona, and raised in Miami, said in a statement. “I have always been driven by the stark contrast between good and evil in old fairy tales. Having this setting, a hidden natural jewel situated within the tall skyscrapers of yesterday and today, will be the perfect backdrop for my theater, where the real people who occupy the park every day will stand in as Commedia dell’arte performers.”

Rachel Feinstein’s “Folly” will be home to a wide-ranging performance festival on September 3 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Rachel Feinstein’s “Folly” will be home to a wide-ranging performance festival on September 3 (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

On Wednesday, “The Last Days of Folly” will consist of My Barbarian performing its “Broke Baroque Suite”; a procession through the park led by artists Allison Brainard and Cara Chan; musical segues by Jarvis Cocker based on Maurice Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé for the Ballets Russes; Sofia Coppola directing six Joffrey Ballet School ballerinas dancing to Isao Tomita’s version of one of Claude Debussy’s Arabesques; a sound-and-movement piece from multidisciplinary artist Tamar Ettun; Little Did Productions’ magic lantern interpretation of parts of the Ramayana with Luke Santy on sitar and Jessica Lorence on vocals; an improvised dance by Lil Buck set to music by Paul Cantelon and cellist Wolfram Koessel; Kalup Linzy’s “Romantic Loner” and “One Life to Heal,” with live music by Mike Jackson; Molly Lowe’s nude costume incorporating numerous performers; a music set by Angela McCluskey and Cantelon, joined by Lil Buck and others; a puppet show from Shana Moulton; a new video work by Tony Oursler collaborating with Constance DeJong; a sound installation by Carlos Vela-Prado; and “Folly”-inspired fashion from Giles Deacon, Duro Olowu, Zac Posen, Narciso Rodriguez, Cynthia Rowley, Proenza Schouler, and Madeline Weinrib. We have no idea how this is all going to be squeezed into a mere three hours, but we can’t wait to find out.


Fernando Rubio’s “Everything by My Side” takes place on seven beds in Hudson River Park as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line festival

Fernando Rubio’s “Everything by My Side” takes place on seven beds in Hudson River Park as part of FIAF’s Crossing the Line festival

French Institute Alliance Française and other locations
Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
FIAF Gallery, 22 East 60th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
September 8 - October 20, free - $35

One of the best multidisciplinary arts festivals every year, FIAF’s Crossing the Line is back for its eighth season, featuring another exciting lineup of dance, theater, music, installation, exhibitions, and hard-to-describe events. Cocurators Lili Chopra, Simon Dove, and Gideon Lester explain it thusly: “This year’s edition of Crossing the Line brings together fifteen extraordinary international artists and companies, each of them offering unique perspectives on the world we all share. We invite New Yorkers to explore their meticulous and deeply considered work, both the familiar and the unknown, and find inspiration, provocation, and pure pleasure.” Hosted by the French Institute Alliance Française and taking place there as well as several other locations, CTL offers numerous opportunities to “find inspiration, provocation, and pure pleasure.” Palais Galliera director Olivier Saillard gets seven former supermodels to open up in Models Never Talk, a world premiere at Milk Studios. Trajal Harrell continues his Twenty Looks or Paris Is Burning at the Judson Church with a week of special performances at the Kitchen. Justin Vivian Bond is joined by special guest Miguel Gutierrez for the one-night-only Love Is Crazy, consisting of songs and stories about love and romance.

Prune Nourry’s “Terracotta Daughters” will stand guard at 104 Washington St. for eighth edition of CTL

Prune Nourry’s “Terracotta Daughters” will stand guard at 104 Washington St. for eighth edition of CTL

Patti Smith, her daughter, Jesse, and Soundwalk Collective examine the death of Nico in unique ways in Killer Road at FIAF. Swiss choreographer Gilles Jobin and German visual artist Julius von Bismarck use motion-sensor technology and lighting to delve into physics in Quantum at BAM Fisher. Jessica Mitrani and Pedro Almodóvar regular Rossy de Palma pay tribute to Nellie Bly in Traveling Lady at FIAF. The audience is encouraged to participate in Aaron Landsman’s free Republic of New York: Perfect City Discussions at Abrons Arts Center. Fernando Rubio’s Everything by My Side is a fifteen-minute rotating performance on seven beds in Hudson River Park. The works of French choreographer Xavier Le Roy will be re-created at MoMA PS1. Prune Nourry’s “Terracotta Daughters” exhibition at 104 Washington St. challenges gender roles in China and the world. Julie Béna’s site-specific “T&T Consortium: You’re Already Elsewhere” at the FIAF Gallery puts visitors into a fantastical setting. The star of the festival is Japanese electronic artist Ryoji Ikeda, whose Park Avenue Armory installation “The Transfinite” dazzled New York back in 2011; the mathematical mastermind will present the immersive, multimedia Superposition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a gallery exhibition at Salon 94, and “Test Pattern [Times Square],” which can be seen on nearly four dozen screens in Times Square as part of the “Midnight Moment” program each night in October from 11:57 pm to midnight. CTL is also one of the most affordable festivals, with nothing costing more than $35, so you have no excuse not to check out at least a few of these ultracool events.


Spectacular costumes are all part of the fun of annual West Indian American Day Carnival on Labor Day in Brooklyn (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Spectacular costumes are all part of the fun of annual West Indian American Day Carnival on Labor Day in Brooklyn (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Eastern Pkwy. from Schenectady Ave. to Grand Army Plaza
Monday, September 1, free, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
2013 parade slideshow

Every Labor Day, millions of people line Eastern Parkway, celebrating the city’s best annual parade, the West Indian American Day Carnival, waving flags from such nations as Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, the Cayman Islands, Antigua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Aruba, Curaçao, and many more. The festivities actually begin on August 28, with special events (listed below) every day leading up to the parade. The Labor Day partying commences at 2:00 am with the traditional J’Ouvert Morning, a precarnival procession featuring steel drums and percussion and fabulous, inexpensive masquerade costumes, marching from Grand Army Plaza to Flatbush Ave. and on to Empire Blvd., then to Nostrand Ave. and Linden Blvd. The Parade of Bands begins around 11:00 am, as truckloads of blasting Caribbean music and groups of ornately dressed dancers, costume bands, masqueraders, moko jumbies, and thousands of others bump and grind their way down Eastern Parkway to Grand Army Plaza, participating in one last farewell to the flesh prior to Lent. This year will feature a special tribute to Nelson Mandela. Don’t eat before you go; the great homemade food includes ackee and saltfish, oxtail stew, breadfruit, macaroni pie, curried goat, jerk chicken, fishcakes, rice and peas, and red velvet cake. The farther east you venture, the more closed in it gets; by the time you get near Crown Heights, it could take you half an hour just to cross the street, so take it easy and settle in for a fun, colorful day where you need not hurry. In addition, be prepared to see a whole lotta twerkin’ going on.

Thursday, August 28
Caribbean Woodstock: A Celebration of Light, with Tarras Riley, Skinny Banton, Ricardo Drue, Adrian Dutchin, Mr. Famous, Surrette Bon Bon, Statement, Mikey, Boodoosingh Tassa Drummers, Problem Child, Zouk & the Gang, DJs After Dark, Barrie Hype, and an Ole Mas costume contest, hosted by Susan Kennedy, Dr. Bob Lee, and Jemma Jordan, Brooklyn Museum, $30, 7:00

Friday, August 29
The Official Stay in School Fest, with live performances and college fair, Brooklyn Museum, free, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Brass Fest 2014, with Machel Montano HD, Patrice Roberts, Lyrikal, Mr. Killa, Rayzor, Skinny Fabulous, Teddyson John and the TJ Project, Blakk Rasta, Red Fyah Band, Farmer Nappy, Da Big Show, DJ Sounds 4 Life, DJ Stephen, DJ After Dark, and DJ Spice, and Boodoosingh Tassa Drummers, hosted by Gizelle D Wassi One and MC Wassy, Brooklyn Museum, $55, 8:00

Saturday, August 30
Junior Carnival Parade, St. John’s Place between Kingston & Brooklyn Aves. to Brooklyn Museum at Washington Ave., 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Steelband Panorama 2014, showdown between steel orchestras from New York and Toronto, with Cross Fire Steel Orchestra Inc., Despers USA, Adlib Steel Orchestra, Metro Steel Orchestra, CASYM, Sonatas Youth Committee, D’Radoes, Sesame Flyers/Steel Explosion, Pan Fantasy, Harmony Music Makers, Pantonic, DJ One Plus, MC Godfrey Jack, and Jemma Jordan, Brooklyn Museum, $45, 8:00

Sunday, August 31
Diamanche Gras: The Legends Are Coming! with the Mighty Sparrow, Lord Nelson, David Rudder, Leon Coldero, Lennox Picou, Lima Calbio, Something Positive Dance Troupe, Sunshine Band, Kings and Queens of the Bands, and others, Brooklyn Museum, $40, 7:00


flaming creatures

Coney Island USA Sideshows by the Seashore
1208 Surf Ave.
Friday, August 8, $15, 10:00

In 1964, experimental filmmaker Jack Smith’s forty-three-minute Flaming Creatures was shown at the Gramercy Arts Theatre to underground acclaim and governmental obscenity charges. Jonas Mekas called it “the most luxurious outpouring of imagination, of imagery, of poetry, of movie artistry,” while Smith himself considered it “a comedy set in a haunted music studio.” (You can watch the crazy, most definitely NSFW film here or catch it at the Museum of the Moving Image on August 10 along with Barbara Rubin’s Christmas on Earth.) So it is more than appropriate that Dr. Lucky’s Surrealist Burlesque will be paying tribute to Smith and his film at Coney Island’s Sideshows by the Seashore on August 8 with an evening of live performances by an impressive group of underground artists: Carmelita Tropicana, Dirty Martini, Jennifer Miller, Jason Mejias, Julie Atlas Muz, Peekaboo Pointe, Poison Eve, and Dr. Lucky himself. In previous years, Surreal Burlesque has adapted Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle, the Dada Manifesto, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and Salvador Dali’s “Dream of Venus” as only it can. For this sixth annual presentation, Dr. Lucky has chosen another great subject, so expect the unexpected during what should be a wild and unpredictable event.


Park Ave. & 72nd St. to Foley Square
Saturday, August 2, 9, 16, free, 7:00 am – 1:00 pm

Now in its fifth year, Summer Streets takes place the next three Saturday mornings, as Park Ave. will be closed to vehicular traffic from 72nd St. to Foley Square and the Brooklyn Bridge from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, encouraging people to walk, run, jog, blade, skate, and bike down the famous thoroughfare, getting exercise and enjoying the great outdoors without car exhaust, speeding taxis, and slow-moving buses. There are five rest stops along the route (Uptown at 52nd St., Midtown at 25th, Astor Pl. at Lafayette St., SoHo at Spring & Lafayette, and Foley Square at Duane & Centre), where people can stop for some food and drink, live performances, fitness classes, site-specific art installations, dog walks, bicycle and parkour workshops, ziplining, wall climbing, and other activities, all of which are free. Below are only some of the many highlights.

August 2, 9, 16
Cigna Recovery Zone classes: Bendable Body (7:00), Sunrise Salutations (7:30), Body Art (8:00), Balanced Body Yoga (8:30), Yoga Unplugged (9:00), Brazilian Burn n’ Firm Pilates (9:30), Pon De Flo (10:00), Ab Attack (10:30), Retro-Robics (11:00), Hard Knocks (11:30), Masala Bhangra (12 noon), Astor Place Rest Stop

“The Course of Emotions: A mini-golf experience by Risa Puno,” nine-hole miniature golf course in which each hole represents a different emotion, Uptown Rest Stop, 7:00 am – 1:00 pm

“Dive by Jana Winderen,” site-specific sound installation turning Park Ave. Tunnel into an underwater environment, line begins at Park Ave. & 32nd St., 7:00 am – 12:30 pm

August 2
Live music by the Poor Cousins (9:30), Yaz Band (10:00), Mecca Bodega (10:30), Robert Anderson Band (11:00), Uptown Rest Stop

Live performances by Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theatre (10:00), Salsa NY (11:00), Underground Horns (11:30), NY Laughs (12 noon), Feraba (12:30), Foley Square Rest Stop

“Matt Postal, Midtown Modern Tour,” two-hour MAS tour, Uptown Rest Stop, northwest corner of 52nd St. & Park Ave., 10:30

Food demos and talks by Veggiecation (10:30), Seeds in the Middle (10:50), Omowale Adewale (11:10), Jenne Claiborne the Nourishing Vegan (11:25), Creative Kitchen (11:45), Asphalt Green (12:07), Midtown Rest Stop

“Trumpet City: Park Avenue by Craig Shepard,” ninety-one trumpeters join musician Craig Shepard, lining up between 45th & 72nd Sts. on Park Ave., playing a one-hour piece that interacts with such natural sounds as traffic, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

August 9
Live performances by Salieu Suso and Malang Jobateh (9:00), Caty Grier: NYC Subway Girl (9:30), Leah Coloff (10:00), TAANY Santaizi Troupe (10:30), Charly and Margaux (11:00), Afrikumba (11:30), Karikatura (12 noon), Uptown Rest Stop

Live performances by Salsa NY (10:00), Harmony Program (10:30), Cherub Improv (11:00), Improv 4 Kids (12 noon), Foley Square Rest Stop

Abolitionist Walking Tour, African Burial Ground, National Park Service tour, Foley Square Rest Stop, southwest corner of Duane & Lafayette Sts., 10:00 (also August 16 at 10:00 and 12 noon)

“Peter Laskowich, New York City: A Gateway,” two-hour MAS tour, Foley Square Rest Stop, southwest corner of Duane & Lafayette Sts., 10:00

“Tilt Brass by Chris McIntyre,” interactive sound installation using infrared technology and live trombones, trumpets, and drums, Foley Square Rest Stop, 10:30 – 1:00

Food demos and talks by Sally Graves the Supermarket Fairy (10:30), Omowale Adewale (11:10), Seeds in the Middle (11:25), Taza Chocolate (11:45), Midtown Rest Stop

August 16
“My (Our) Way by Nick Tobler,” interactive musical event in which Tobler will hand out between fifty and a hundred music boxes for a mass performance of “My Way,” Astor Place Rest Stop, 8:00 and 10:30

Live performances by Seya (10:00), Exit 12 (10:30), Salsa NY (11:00), Darrah Carr (12 noon), Foley Square Rest Stop

Food demos and talks by Yoli Ouiya (10:12), Creative Kitchen (10:30), Omowale Adewale (10:50), Chris Santos of Morningstar Farms (11:10), Min Liao from Culinary (11:45), and Seeds in the Middle (12:07), Midtown Rest Stop

Live performances by Matt Pana (10:30), Yung-Li Dance Company (11:00), the Vocalists (11:30), Cupcake Ladies Productions comedy wrestling (12 noon), Uptown Rest Stop

“Judy Richeimer, Public Art in New York’s Civic Center,” two-hour MAS tour, Foley Square Rest Stop, southwest corner of Duane & Lafayette Sts., 11:00