A weekly, highly personal and subjective list of performances and artists we want you to know about:
Many organizations talk about the importance of multi-culturalism, but FIAF, the French Institute Alliance Française, makes that commitment manifest in their annual “Crossing the Line Festival.” This year, among many international offerings, the work of remarkable Congolese performance artist, Faustin Linyekula, is the festival’s focused performer. The choreographer/ dancer takes on the issues of his country – the violence, trauma, and uncertainty – and uses myth and dreamscape to investigate the humanity of his homeland. This weekend, Linyekula and the dancers of Studios Kabako present the U.S. premiere of a fable based on their own histories, “In Search of Dinozord” (Sur les traces de Dinozord) at NYU Skirball Center. In French, with English subtitles, the performance will also include live opera (and fragments of Mozart’s “Requiem.”) Also this weekend, Linyekula, with Moya Michael and 20 hip-hop dancers, offer free performances of new explorations in a world premiere, “Festival of Dreams.” At NYU Skirball, “Dinozord” opens on Friday, September 22 at 7:30 pm. The free festival is shown on Saturday, September 23 at 3 pm at Roberto Clemente Plaza, South Bronx, and on Sunday, September 24 at 3 pm at Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn.
Sarah Michelson is one of the most important voices in performance art today. Her works are brainy, obsessive, labyrinthine, and demanding. I always want to see what she’s doing and sometimes I’d rather stick needles in my eyes than see what she’s doing. For the past four years she’s been working with students at Bard College; “September 2017/\” is the result of that journey with her professional dancers and four students, from freshman year past graduation. Michelson’s work with non and quasi-professional dancers has been riveting for its determination, the way she pushes people could easily go wrong, but instead, breaks barriers. If you can’t see the piece up at Bard this weekend, Michelson says it’s the beginning of a new chapter in her work, so expect to see it in The Big Apple before long. Opens Friday, September 22 at 6 pm and runs through September 24.
This week at The Kitchen, the Stanley Love Performance Group is putting 25 candles on its cake. I was on the periphery of the same artistic circles as Stanley Love in the ’90s; he so perfectly crystallizes that time that it’s hard to fathom it’s been a generation. Love’s genius was in his does-he-or-doesn’t-he seeming lack of discipline, the ADD performances to snippets of pop songs abruptly cut off, but then repeated so many times that it drove home that no, he really was paying attention. If “Brings Swings, Sings Chimes Rings Wings, Flings Zingahlings-Spirit Party Things,” is typical of his work (and he says it is) it will be a large-scale, low-budget, wooly and joyous mash-up of a talent show, drag ball and dance concert. See it for three nights from Thursday, September 21 at 8 pm.
Cover: Faustin Linyekula in “Sur les traces de Dinozord.” Photo ©Agathe Poupeney.
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