By Walter Rutledge
This weekend spring has finally sprung! As we begin to thaw out from the winter doldrums we find a diverse offering of arts related activities to choose from. Two spectacular dance companies culminate their seasons, culture take to the streets of Harlem, and an opera diva graces the Apollo stage. Here are a few of the many events taking place around the city and in our community.
The Apollo Theater and MSM present Ask Your Mama, Saturday, March 23 at 8 p.m. This multi-media work brings to life Langston Hughes’ epic poem Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz. The production will feature music encompass the diaspora from Africa to the Americas, the South and the North, opera, jazz, gospel to be-bop. This collaboration between Grammy Award-winning soprano Jessye Norman and Emmy Award-winning composer Laura Karpman also features jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon. This performance of Ask Your Mama brings the Manhattan School of Music: Harlem Nights series to the Apollo.
Tickets are $35, $55, $75, $125 an can be purchased in person at the Apollo Theater Box Office, by telephone at Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000 and online by visiting Ticketmaster.com.
The Ailey II 2013 New York season concludes this weekend at the Ailey Citigroup Theater located at 405 West 55th Street. The highly anticipated first season of Artistic Director Troy Powell runs through Sunday March 24. The remaining six performances will feature two programs entitled All New and Returning Favorites. The All New program features four works, three premieres and one new production, by four emerging and established choreographers; Malcolm Low, Jessica Lang, Benoit-Swan Pouffer and Amy Hall Garner. The Returning Favorites offers three previously presented works by choreographers Troy Powell, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Artistic Director Emerita Judith Jamison and Alvin Ailey.
The schedule for the first weekend is: Thursday March 21 at 7:30pm- All New, Friday, March 22, 2013 at 8pm- Returning Favorites; Saturday, March 32, 2013 at 3pm– All New; Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 8pm- Returning Favorites; Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 3pm– All New; and Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 7:30pm– All New. Tickets are now on sale at $49. To purchase tickets, season updates and a complete schedule of performances visit http://www.AlvinAiley.org/AileyII or call 886- 811- 4111. Tickets can be purchased at The Ailey Citigroup Theater box office located at 405 West 55th Street.
Harlem One Stop’s very successful walking tour, Harlem’s Black and Jewish Music Culture 1890- 1930 Exhibition has been extended through April 30, 2013. Described as “Graphically spectacular”, the exhibit displays sheet music associated with performers, composers and musicians who resided in Harlem and performed at area venues dating back to the 1890’s and continuing into the period of the Harlem Renaissance. For many of the Jewish composers like Gershwin, Hammerstein, and Richard Rodgers, as well as their African American counterparts, Ellington, W. C. Handy, James Reese Europe and others, Harlem was not just home, but the place where they honed and showcased their talents. The walking tour includes historic Marcus Garvey Park and the neighboring 125th Street community and is conducted by Harlem historian and exhibition curator, John T. Reddick.
The tours take place every Saturday and Sunday and depart from Ristorante Settepani 196 Lenox Ave and 120th Street at 1:00pm. The price of the tour is $25 per person. For reservations and information call (917) 583-410 or email tourS@harlemonestop.org.
Paul Taylor Dance Company three-week New York season, at the David H. Koch Theater, will also come to an end on Sunday, March 24th. The season presented twenty works spanning seven decades; celebrating Taylor’s artistic achievements from the 1950s through the present day. Highlights include the New York premiere, To Make Crops Grow, set to music by Ferde Grofé, and the World Premiere of Perpetual Dawn, which marks Taylor’s 138th dance.
In addition the season will feature the revival of Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rehearsal), the 50th anniversary of Scudorama; and the 25th anniversaries of the exuberant Brandenburgs, and his Emmy Award-winning Speaking in Tongues. Every program this season will present one of the Taylor’s six masterworks set to music by Johann Sebastian Bach; Junction, Brandenburgs, Esplanade, Musical Offering, Cascade and Promethean Fire. The remaining schedule is: Thursday, March 21, 7pm- Speaking in Tongues • Esplanade; Friday, March 22, 8pm- Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rehearsal) • The Uncommitted • Promethean Fire; Saturday, March 23, 3pm- Kith and Kin • The Uncommitted • Promethean Fire; Saturday, March 23, 8pm- Musical Offering • Perpetual Dawn • Offenbach Overtures and Sunday, March 24, 3pm- Beloved Renegade • To Make Crops Grow • Esplanade
Ticket prices for all performances are $10, $30, $55, $80, $110 and $160. Tickets and a complete season schedule are available through David H. Koch Theater box office or by visiting http://www.ptdc.org/tickets.
Always thank you for letting me share my world with you
In Photo: Ziegfeld Follies sheet music 2) Jessye Norman 3) Anne O Donnell 4) Ailey II 5) Darktown Follies sheet music 6) Jamie Rae Walker, Laura Halzack, Michelle Fleet, Parisa Khobdeh 7) Francisco Graciano, Michelle Fleet, Robert Kleinendorst and Julie Tice
Photo Credit: 1&5) from the collection of John T. Riddick 2) Courtesy of the Apollo Theater 3) Pierre Wachholder 4) Eduardo Patino 6&7) Paul B. Goode