A weekly, highly personal and subjective list of performances and artists we want you to know about:
A reunion with a little mystery: Wendy Whelan and Kathy Westwater knew each other as kids and dance students in the 1970’s. Whelan went on to become a principal dancer at New York City Ballet and a dance legend, Westwater became a contemporary choreographer who recently won the Solange MacArthur Award for New Choreography. The two of them are getting together again after four decades to create a new solo “Sophie,” but we don’t know much about it. They’ll unveil the piece and talk about their friendship and dance reunion on Friday, September 15 at 12 pm. A teaser is on the Y website: Wendy Perron described it to Whelan as “the most downtown thing you have ever done.” It’s part of the Y’s Fridays at Noon series, in a studio setting with limited seating. Tickets are only $10 in advance, and $20 at the door. That’s about the cheapest you’re going to pay to see Wendy Whelan up close and personal.
In another intimate performance, the startling and subtle dance artist, Jodi Melnick, appears for two weeks in Madison Square Park Conservancy’s free “Prismatic Park” exhibition. Melnick is the third and final artist to appear this season, which was curated by Danspace Project’s Judy Hussie-Taylor. The project starts with three large wood and glass sculptures by MacArthur Fellow Josiah McElheny, the latest offering of public art that is a focus of the park’s unique presence in New York. The performances are created around the sculpture, and Melnick has invited scores of other artists – including Sara Rudner, who will join her in the first performance – in creative explorations that depend on the shifting audiences and encounters of the space and the art. The schedule and Melnick’s performing partners will be listed daily from September 12 – 17. Opens Tuesday, September 12 at 10 am.
This week’s noteworthy celebration: the 25th Anniversary of Tribeca’s HERE Center for the Performing Arts. For the season’s opener, HERE Resident Artist Amanda Szeglowski presents the world premiere of “Stairway to Stardom,” a splashy send-up that “honors the wildly passionate but questionably talented among us.” What a wide swath that will cut! With a script drawn from hundreds of hours of conversation as well as TV and blogs, Szeglowski and the women who dance with her as cakeface explore the American Dream, in all its pathos, majesty, and absurdity. There will be much to celebrate. Opens on Tuesday, September 12 at 8:30 pm.
Cover: Wendy Whelan. Photo © Erin Baiano.
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