Welcome to Podium! Issue 10. Podium publishes exclusive work by students who have participated in an Unterberg Poetry Center workshop or class— from first-time to seasoned. At the end of each semester, instructors select either a novel excerpt, short story, poem or other work by one student from each class to showcase his/her work in Podium.
From the Poetry Center Archive: Clare Cavanagh on Wisława Szymborska
In honor of Polish poet Wisława Szymborska, who died on Wednesday, 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center offers this tribute—a discussion of her work by Clare Cavanagh, her award-winning translator, on March 20, 2011 at 92Y. This clip also features a reading of the poem “Identification” in both English and Polish.
“I remember being at a conference in Poland with American and Polish poets,” Cavanagh recalled, “and somebody talked about Szymborska—one of the very well-known American poets (fortunately I don’t remember his name anymore)—as being a straight-speaker, and I just felt like slapping him. She’s the opposite of a straight-speaker. She’s a master of voice, and she listens to so many kinds of voices and creates the illusion of straight-speech while challenging what straight-speech even is.”
This year’s Harkness Dance Festival, wrote The New York Times, “brings exciting news: The slippery choreographer Doug Elkins has updated his 1990 dance ‘’Mo(or)town,’’ a play on Shakespeare’s “Othello” set to the music of Motown.”
This year’s 18th Harkness Dance Festival season, entitled STRIPPED/DRESSED, is being curated by choreographer Doug Varone, a former dancer with Lar Lubovitch, who opens the festival on February 17. Varone invited each artist to present a Stripped/Dressed evening. In the first half – “Stripped” – the artists show the skeleton and seeds of the full work, stripped of theatrical devices, as one might see it in a studio rehearsal. Then they present the work “Dressed” with costumes and lights in a more theatrical setting.
In addition to Doug Elkins Choreography, etc.: Mo(or)town Redux and Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, there will be performances by Peggy Baker Dance Project, Monica Bill Barnes & Company and Susan Marshall & Company.
This should be welcome news for anyone with budding musicians in their home, or anyone who might be considering learning how to play an instrument. And we have more good news: The 92nd Street Y School of Music open house is this Sunday, February 5. Explore the School of Music, meet members of our brilliant faculty and find out more about their instruments and pedagogical methods.
He doesn’t like to rush.
He doesn’t multitask.
That’s why he feels at home on Shabbat.
Who is it? Coco the sloth. His preference for moving very slowly makes Shabbat (the Jewish day of rest) his favorite day of the week, and by extension, Shababa™ at 92Y his happiest! Even if you don’t celebrate Shabbat, Coco is all about taking a break, slowing down and enjoying the people around you.
If you’ve never met Coco, here’s an introduction:
See more of Coco – and Karina Zilberman – at Shababa™ the Concert on February 5 (and still get home in time for the Super Bowl). And you can pick up a copy of the brand new Shababaland CD (which includes the full version of “Coco’s Song”). Coco is a regular at Shababa™, a warm, inclusive and growing Jewish community that gives families lots of different ways to explore and celebrate Jewish life and culture. Just think how Kristin Bell would react if she ever attended!
From the Poetry Center Archive: Discovering Mark Strand
Mark Strand’s first appearance at 92nd Street Y’s Unterberg Poetry Center took place back in April of 1965, when he was one of four winners (Robert David Cohen, Jim Harrison and Nancy Sullivan were the others) of that year’s “Discovery” poetry contest, which the Poetry Center continues to oversee to this day. That night, Strand was introduced by Robert Hazel, who praised his poems for “their urgency, released by forms unusually fanciful, unusually skillful. Grace and decorum are valuable qualities here, in their creation of dramatic effects involving a very considerable ironic wit. Best of all, it seems to me, is this poet’s dramatic insight—insinuating and mysterious and with a kind of ardent searching that is very important.”
Today’s featured recording is the entirety of Strand’s reading from that evening. You can download the MP3 here.
Mark Strand returns to 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center on January 30, for a reading with Susan Stewart. Stewart is making her Poetry Center debut, but Strand has been appearing here regularly for more than forty years—for readings with Borges, Paz and Brodsky (to name just a few), as well as Tributes to Elizabeth Bishop, Wallace Stevens and Zbigniew Herbert.
If dancing makes you smarter, the Dancing In The Cloud/Dancing For Small Screens panel discussion on January 27, with excerpts from Jacob Krupnick’s new video Girl Walk//All Day, will definitely make you a bit more intelligent than you were previous. Watch an early trailer from Girl Walk//All Day, above.
Dawn Paap, producer of the site VideoDanceTV, will join Richard Daniels, Peter Kyle, and James Garver on the panel, with 92nd Street Y’s Edward Henkel. They’ll discuss dance for small screens and how the forging of new collaborative territory can have a significant impact in creating uniquely personal experiences for the viewer.
In addition, Paap selected excerpts from Girl Walk // All Day for screening and discussion. Looking to “expand the boundaries around the idea of the traditional music video”, Girl Walk//All Day is a 71-minute dance music video of epic proportions, set to the tune of Girl Talk’s All Day.
Do the cold, dark days of NYC in the winter bring you down? Beat those Winter Blues on January 28 at the Winter Vintage Ball. Dance your way into a different century and feel history come alive in our unique 1929 Buttenwieser Hall ballroom as you learn and enjoy social dances and music from the Victorian era.
Refreshments will be served. Period or formal attire encouraged. See you there.
Over the last couple of decades, musicians have been reconstructing the legacy of composers who spent World War II in Terezin (also known by its German name, Theresienstadt), a garrison city near Prague that the Nazis turned into a concentration camp. About 140,000 Jews were sent there, starting in 1941, including an unusually large number of musicians, writers and painters.
The Nazis allowed these artists to create a cultural life and turned it into a propaganda tool. Terezin, as they presented it to visitors from the Red Cross, was a model camp: musicians gave concerts; children painted pictures and wrote poems. But behind that facade, Terezin’s inmates were used as slave labor in local mines and factories, and most — some 88,000 — were eventually sent to Auschwitz and other death camps.
The 92nd Street Y’s Will to Create, Will to Live: The Culture of Terezin, which opened on Tuesday evening, is an expansive monthlong series devoted to the camp, with concerts by the Nash Ensemble, the baritone Wolfgang Holzmair and the pianists Russell Ryan and Shai Wosner. It also includes panel discussions, readings, children’s programs, a film screening and an exhibition of posters, photographs, art and artifacts. If not for its subject matter, you would call it a festival.
Allan Kozinn, wrote in today’s New York Times: “Winning the Chopin Competition early in his career did not stop the pianist Garrick Ohlsson from insisting on musical challenges from styles and periods outside his specialty...At the moment Mr. Ohlsson has Liszt on his mind, mainly because this season includes the bicentenary of Liszt’s birth, though he has been known to mine the Liszt catalog in nonanniversary years too. In the 1998-99 season he played a three-concert series at Lincoln Center juxtaposing Liszt with Beethoven, Bach and Schubert. In one installment he undertook the draining feat of pairing Liszt’s monumental B minor Sonata with Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations. He revisits the sonata next Sunday as part of a Liszt recital at the 92nd Street Y...”
Lupa Poliak performs Beethoven Sonata No. 7, 1st movement
Join us for an afternoon of free concerts at 92nd Street Y. At 2 pm in the Weill Art Gallery, Luba Poliak will perform works by J. S. Bach, B. Bartok, M. Ravel, R. Schumann and C. Debussy. Ms. Poliak is a 92Y School of Music Faculty member who offers private instruction for adults and children.
Then at 5:30 pm, again in the Weill Art Gallery, School of Music students will perform in the Young Artists in Recital series. We welcome friends, family and the community to attend these concerts which are always free. Hope to see you soon!
Flamenco Festival Will Dance Its Way Through New York City
Flamenco Fans take note: The Flamenco Festival will be spinning through New York City, turning the city “into a point of cultural encounter”, wrote Deflamenco.com:
This year, the program is doing a complete about-face in its concept, adapting its contents to a new kind of festival in which, above all, multiculturalism reigns with young up-to-date performers.
Compared to earlier editions, this one has a wide range of artistic visions. The program of the 11th edition is made up of a series of artists who share the common bond of Spanish culture, but who also have developed a divergent style and a different way of understanding flamenco, whether music or dance.
This year, 92nd Street Y will present two amazing programs in partnership with the Flamenco Festival.
Acclaimed flamenco dancer Leilah Broukhim will perform Dejando Huellas (Traces): A Sephardic Woman’s Ancestral Journey in Flamenco Dance on February 25. Created by Ms. Broukhim, this highly personal work is an intimate expression of Ms. Broukhim’s roots, her personal journey and the history of her people.
On March 5, Unterberg Poetry Center will present Words & Music: Federico Garcia Lorca, a poetry recital of Lorca along with the “Canciones Populares” interpreted by Gema Caballero.
Get a head start on the Flamenco Festival on January 14 with Flamenco Ole! – An Interdisciplinary Exploration in Dance, Music, Visual Art, Social Studies and Literacy.
The acoustic duo Aztec Two-Step has been making amazing music together since 1971. That’s when two individual singer songwriters, Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman, joined forces after meeting in a coffee house in Boston. They took their name from a Lawrence Ferlinghetti poem and recorded
the first song ever written about Jack Kerouac’s iconic American novel, On The Road.
“If you cared about the music,” legendary DJ Pete Fornatale said in the documentary above, “you were always on the lookout for that fresh new sound… but that also had the potential to lunch new careers. And I always viewed the debut album by Aztec Two-Step as one of those records.”
To commemorate their 40th anniversary year, 2012 brings the official release of Fowler & Shulman’s studio CD Cause & Effect. Listen here.
And on January 10, join Aztec Two-Step with NY1’s Budd Mishkin at 92nd Street Y for conversation of their extraordinary career and friendship. Use discount code ACOUSTIC to receive 30% off the ticket price!
Elliott Carter and friends celebrate his 103rd birthday at 92Y
Did you miss Elliott Carter’s 103rd Birthday Concert at 92nd Street Y earlier this month? Head over to The New York Review of Books Blog to read Charles Rosen’s terrific review, which includes four audio clips from the concert. “Perhaps the flashiest piece on the program,” wrote Rosen, “was Hiyoku, a duet for two clarinets performed with astounding virtuosity by Ayako Oshima and Charles Neidich, which was dazzling and went by like a whirlwind.”
Dance has always been popular in Israel, but it’s taken different forms. Before independence in 1948, there was fervor among kibbutz artists and new city dwellers to find a way that the people could express their excitement about reviving the land and finding their pride of place. Israeli folk dancing became a signature phenomenon of the new culture and was such fun to perform that it spread internationally.
Today’s worldwide interest in contemporary Israeli dance is in watching it rather than participating. Its performers are astounding for their reckless, highly technical accomplishments: Choreographers are daring and relentless in the ways they capture an ennui, along with the frustration and abandonment of the older generations’ idyllic hopes. Their works are specific to Israel, but speak for many beyond its borders.
Is there a specific look to Israeli contemporary dance? Not exactly, because so many are creating it, though it’s noteworthy how easily dancers execute difficult technical moves and stops, sometimes perched on one leg with the other raised at an extreme angle, or suddenly drop to the floor backward, or snake their spines in a fluid ripple that might go sideways, or search behind their bodies like antennae. The performers are also acknowledged for their creativity, since many choreographers credit them as “co-creators,” in their printed programs.
Read the full piece here, where she offers a lengthy and enjoyable review of “International Exposure 2011,” the festival of contemporary Israeli dance.
Related, mark your calendars for Jan 6-8, when three nights of choreographed Israeli dance take place at 92nd Street Y, during APAP. Learn more here.