Archive: June, 2012
Last night the charming Irish folk-flavored "Once" scored multiple Tony Awards - including Best Musical. And today you can grab a free sneak peak of show composer Glen Hansard's latest album project.
The auspicious timing comes courtesy of NPR Music, delivering Hansard's solo debut "Rhythm and Repose" as one of this week's "First Listen" streams. You can find it at an NPR Music app, at NPR.ORG/music or most directly right here.
Based on the semi-autobiographical film also called "Once" in which Hansard played a struggling Dublin busker befriended and inspired by a tough nosed Czech pianist (played by Marketa Irglova), the film won the duo an Academy Award for best song (the melencholy "Fallling Slowly") and also sparked a touring/recording version of the couple as The Swell Season. And while he now seems to have given up on his prior, rocking group The Frames, Hansard recently scored a couple high profile, more vigorously uptempo contributions to "The Hunger Games" soundtrack.
With dance all over reality TV, in movies, and on music videos, one might think the interest would translate into theater as well. But concert dance still struggles.
Jerome Robbins’ 1958 piece N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz is a fine starter piece for hesitant viewers, a ballet in sneakers. Performed in casual street clothes, its format is that of a plotless ballet, with group sections, a pas de deux, several small solos, various patterns across the stage, and all thoroughly accessible.
Pennsylvania Ballet named the final program of its season for this company premiere, which opened Thursday night at the Merriam Theater. If you like West Side Story, Opus Jazz shares its choreographer and has a similar look and feel (minus the brawl). Dancers snap their fingers, shake their hips, shuffle around the stage in a circle, and strike a pose with a leg in the air in second position. (New York City Ballet’s filmed Opus Jazz, performed in gritty urban settings, aired in 2010 on PBS’s "Great Performance" series.)
By Merilyn Jackson
FOR THE INQUIRER
Dance of the lower-case companies! Kate Watson-Wallacer, and Jaamil Kosoko are dancer/choreographers who recently formed anonymous bodies, and Megan Bridge and Peter Price, who make up a team they call fidget, have paired up this weekend at Christ Church Neighborhood House. Both partnerships engage in dance theater, live music, on-site installation, multi-media, social justice and political themes, and audience involvement. In a trend that’s been growing, if diminutively, they titled their show “us.”
By Wendy Rosenfield
FOR THE INQUIRER
Michael Ogborn’s new musical Tulipomania, commissioned by the Arden Theatre, has been through six years of development, several scripts, plus the addition and eventual subtraction of playwright Michael Hollinger (Opus, Ghost-Writer). Its story, pegged to the 17th-century Dutch tulip craze, remains a topical match for any number of parallels: subprime mortgage crisis, real estate bubble, Facebook IPO.