By Walter Rutledge
From the lyrics of the late great Barry White, “It may be winter outside but in my heart its spring” this weekend promises to provide some much needed artistic heat despite the frigid weather. We have dance in Midtown and Chelsea; art and theater in Harlem, and Disco downtown. Here are a few of the events happening around the city and in our community.
Artistic Director Roberto Villanueva’s Balasole Dance Company presents VOCES, a program of original works by ten dancer/choreographers on Saturday, January 26, 8pm and Sunday, January 27, 5pm at Ailey Citigroup Theater located at 405 West 55th Street. Tickets are $25 general admission and $18 for students and seniors. For Reservations call 212.868.4444 or online at www.smarttix.com
Founded in 2010, the New York-based BalaSole Dance Company’s mission has been to showcase emerging dancers, choreographers and dance companies. Villanueva is also committed to offering visibility to under-represented artists in the field of concert dance because of body type, age, or genre/style. Diversity and individuality are the keywords of BalaSole. Voces was originally scheduled for the first week of November, but postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. Choreographing and appearing in “Voces” are: Lauren Alpert, Elijah Avraham, Nicole Calabrese, Jessica Cipriano, Sarah Ewing, Aaron Gregory, Morgana Rose Mellett, Andrew Nemr, Emily Pacilio, and Roberto Villanueva.
Art in Flux Harlem, the mobile gallery, which literally “pops up” in under utilized spaces throughout the Harlem community will present a new exhibit entitled Expressions from Friday, January 25th to Sunday, January 27th. The present location of the gallery is 1961 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd at 118th Street.
Expressions will explore the realm and complexities of human emotion. The exhibit is curated by the interns at Art In FLUX Harlem, whose artwork will also be on display. Exhibiting Artists include Danniella Carter, Dykeisha Hill, Elina, Erin Murphy, Jacqueline Jones, Kachine Moore, Kathy Veliz, Ken Weisensee, Marie Demple, Raven Willis and Rebecca Alvarez. There will be an opening night reception on Friday January 25. For more information about Expressions and upcoming events call 646-340-3479 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bryonn Bain’s Lyrics From Lockdown begins a limited engagement from Febuary 2 through February 24 at the National Black Theatre, 2031 Fifth Avenue between 125th & 126th Streets. Preview performances are Friday, January 25th and Saturday, January 26th at 8pm; and Sunday, January 27 at 4pm. The Saturday, February 2, 8pm opening night is a gala event for Raise the Age, a special initiative of the Correctional Association of New York.
Written and performed by Brooklyn activist, educator and performing artist Bryonn Bain and directed by Mei Ann Teo, Lyrics From Lockdown weaves the voices of over 40 characters. This multimedia production uses a live band and video DJ, fusing hip hop, theater, spoken word, rhythm and blues, calypso and classical music, to tell the unbelievably true story that followed an unbelievable case of racial profiling, mistaken identity and wrongful incarceration.
Tickets are $50 for opening night, $35 for preview and regular performances with discounts available for senior, students and groups. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.smarttix.com, by calling 212.868.4444, or at the National Black Theater box office.
This Friday, January 25 from 6pm to 10pm, Disco Party Fundraiser will present the 9th Annual Appreciation Party at Santos Party House 96 Lafayette Street. Disco Party Fundraiser was started on October 3, 2003. It was supposed to be a one time fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and was simply called Disco Party. Now ten years later Disco Party Fundraiser presents six events per year.
In 201o founder Ron Lester formed the William Saxon Jr. Foundation, named afters his late father who died of colo-rectal cancer in 2004. The foundation is set up to give grants to not for profits in the arts and education, and chooses two charities per year as grantees. The free Appreciation Party is the organization’s way of saying thank you to the general public for their continued support.
Come out and listen to great music by DJs Trevor Fox and Wil Milton; and for those who want to show their dance skills there is a Soul Train line dance contest. So unlock your pop, get the rust out of those Robot joints, and break out your polyester pants and platform shoes! This is fun for a good cause.
Parsons Dance concludes their Joyce Theater performances this Sunday January 27. The program features five works including two premieres, Dawn to Dusk by Artistic Director David Parson and Black Flowers by former Parsons Dance dancer Katarzyna Skarpetowska. The Mozart-inspired work, Wolfgang; David Parsons’ stroboscopic masterwork, Caught; and In The End, with music by Dave Matthews Band complete the program.
Dawn to Dusk Parsons’ newest multimedia work celebrates the diverse people and landscapes of Southern Florida. The work is set to the music of Grammy-Award winner Andrew Bird and Miami’s legendary Tiempo Libre, integrating choreography with streaming high-definition video footage. Skarpetowska was last season’s guest choreographer and will explore her Polish roots with music by of Frédéric Chopin. Six dancers will guide the audience through a traditional mourning ritual.
The performance schedule is: Thursday January 24 and Friday January 25 at 8pm; Saturday January 26 at 2pm and 8pm; and Sunday at 1pm and 5pm. The Saturday, January 26 2pm performance is a special family matinee. For tickets call JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800, tickets can also be purchased online at www.joyce.org.
As always, thank you for letting me share my world with you.
In Photo: 1) Sarah Ewing (VOCES) 2) Disco Party Fundraiser (Halloween Party) 3) Steven Vaughn (Dusk to Dawn)
Photo Credit: 1) Maggie Picard 2) Courtesy Disco Party Fundraiser 3) Andrew Propp