Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dance on a Dime

Major apologies for not blogging in - gasp - a week? Really nothing of note has been going on, and yet I still haven't had time to blog. Not sure how that happens but...ah well. Excuses.

Anyway, I just wrote this for my column in my ballet teacher's monthly newsletter that I edit, so I figured I'd post it here. Seemed to be a good way to incorporate some of the zillions of press releases I've been backed up on lately. Lots more to catch up on with reviews and so forth you go:

Dance on a Dime

Like everything else in today’s world, the arts are taking a serious hit from the dead muscle that is our economy. In the past month, 12 Broadway shows closed, several ballet companies cut back on tours, a major NYC dance studio announced it’s closure, and dancers everyone are struggling. The silver lining? Many dance events are selling cheaper for audience members, meaning more ballet for your buck (and other styles, too). Check out some of these performances you can attend on a budget this month to support American artists. Some great work came out of the Great Depression, so who knows what good things might come from these bad times!

Dance Conversations at The Flea is a FREE event once a month (this time Tuesday February 3 at 7pm) that allows movement artists to share work 
and engage in a discussion with a moderator, who is often a significant person in the dance field. This month,
 several groups perform with moderator and dance critic Gus Solomons Jr. 
at HERE Arts Center 
(145 Sixth Avenue between Spring and Broome)

A modern master’s work for FREE? It’s true, but you better get there early. Merce Cunningham’s Repertory Understudy Group performs at the 92nd Street Y on Friday Feb 6. Doors open at 11:40am, but seats are first come first serve. If you don’t make it you can always check out their new free master class webcast series, Mondays with Merce.

Balletomanes beware: New York City Ballet has often has student rush tickets for $12 if you hit the box office the day of the performance but you need a spout of luck. Sometimes last minute seats are way up or way to either side. If you can’t pass for a student, a seat in the fourth ring is a mere $20.

But why not spring an extra $5 for an orchestra seat? It’s worth the hassle. Thanks to the mysterious benefactors that care for good dancing, NYCB is offering 50 $25 orchestra tickets for each performance of their winter season (through March 1). Tickets are available at the box office of NY State Theater (now the David H. Koch Theater) on Mondays at 10am for that week’s shows, or through CenterCharge (212-721-6500) with code 25ORCH. An added bonus BARGAIN: choose the “20th Century Music Masters” program on Feb. 4, 7, 14, or 15 and you can see Jerome Robbins’ “West Side Story Suite” instead of paying outrageous prices for the new Broadway version, which opens in previews Feb. 23.

Dance festivals can be hit or miss, but if you’re not paying a cent why not give them a chance? Brooklyn’s WHITE WAVE is hosting the 6th annual Cool New York Dance Festival through Sunday February 8. There are two different FREE programs each night with over 30 small and unique dance companies/artists. Something’s bound to please. It’s held at WHITE WAVE's John Ryan Theater, located at 25 Jay Street in DUMBO (F to York Street, or A or C to High Street).

Another for the Brooklynites: Brooklyn Arts Exchange has a “Director’s Picks” program for as LOW AS $8, Feb. 20-21. Especially of note is Yasuko Yokoshi’s new work in progress, “Tyler Tyler.” After seeing her work at The Kitchen last year I’m a big fan.

Speaking of The Kitchen, they’re always offering intriguing programming. The premiere of Jodi Melnick and Burt Barr’s “Fanfare” is later in the month. The two-time Bessie award winning choreographer collaborated with sculptor and video artist Barr to provide a polychromatic setting for her meticulously designed movement. It’s ONLY $12 on February 19-21.

If you’re planning ahead, Jacob’s Pillow is offering a bunch of free stuff this summer. Inside/Out, the Pillow’s free outdoor performance space, will host over 25 dance companies, along with a full schedule of free events, exhibits, pre- and post-show talks, hour-long in-depth lectures and film screenings, classes, guided tours and more. My recommendations: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Pacific Northwest Ballet are both there this season. Road trip!

While we wait and wish for summer, there’s one more great way to get ticket discounts. New York Times dance critic (and friend) Claudia LaRocco has started a performance club (now in it’s second month) that brings together dance lovers who attend and discuss certain shows each month. She works to get group discounts, so check it out.
If all else fails, keep dancing!

1 comment:

Ann Rosenthal said...

Isaw Yasuko Yokoshi's work in progress of Tyler Tyler the other night at BAX and it was great -- looks like it will be an amazing piece -- Julie Alexander and Keyvan Pourazar are incredible, committed dancers!