An Old Master

October 25th, 2009 § 1 comment

Leonard Cohen

If I had to make two assumptions about Leonard Cohen based simply on his stage persona, seen during last night’s concert from a very distant seat at Madison Square Garden, I would assume he is deeply humble and too spry for a man of 75. Hat in hand as he bowed to his band, or waltzing on and off the stage during a ridiculous number of encores, stretching the concert out into a three hour ordeal, it was undeniable that Cohen was having fun. Somehow I would expect the youthful Indie bands I venture out to see to be full of grateful energy rather than an aging Canadian folk singer who’s reputation needs no confirmation, but I realized as I sat listening last night that Cohen was brimming with enjoyment. Speaking to the crowd after a few opening songs, he deep voice rumbling throughout the arena, he thanked us for coming, for braving the rain and the traffic, and said, “I don’t know when I will be passing this way again, so I want you to know….we are going to give you everything we’ve got tonight.” As the crowd surged I thought he had summed up exactly why I was there: who knows when Leonard Cohen will be passing through town again in concert.

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The Rorschach Island

October 12th, 2009 § 2 comments

“The island is one-fifth the size of Central Park, and more than twenty times the size of Bryant Park. It is less than half a mile from Manhattan, and even closer to Brooklyn.”

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Governors Island was touted this spring in everything from the nytimes to the new york magazine as the cities newest summer destination—the great “undiscovered” location for all summer activities. After spending a recent Saturday wandering the perimeter and interior of the island, I discovered that it feels much more like a historical ghost town than the most popular location citywide to spend a sunny weekend. The islands history makes it sound like one of those hand-me-downs no one wants to wear and keeps passing onto younger siblings and cousins. This summer the island was finally passed down to the public. Governors Island—where no governor has ever lived—is an extremely odd mix of bits and pieces left behind from the numerous different hands of ownership it has passed through since it was first inhabited in 1613, and while it does not function yet as the urban park it is trying to become, it is aesthetically fascinating because of its oddities.

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Published-On Maya Lin & Storm King

September 8th, 2009 § 0 comments

maya_lin

The latest review about a wonderful trip upstate.

Endless Summer

August 31st, 2009 § 0 comments

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I have a sneaking suspicion that the arrival of Labor Day, lovely as the long weekend promises to be, officially marks the end of summer. Offices such as mine end their summer hours and the magic of half-day Fridays revert back to those painful hours stretching themselves out before the weekend officially starts. Retailers have begun selling fall coats and winter skirts, and even though the weather should hold out for another month, people are making plans for that last summer trip before considering early holiday preparations. This summer was slow in coming, perhaps the east coast rain disguised it, but I have a feeling I was simply too preoccupied to realize it was here. Without the schedule of school semesters summer is now denoted by weather rather than time to spare. Still, it was perhaps the busiest summer of all.

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Pilobolus — Varying Degrees of Dance

August 28th, 2009 § 0 comments

I recently saw Pilobolus at the Joyce Theater for the first time since watching vhs tapes at a summer dance camp when I was perhaps ten. The athletic dance troupe reminded me of a quote by photographer Sally Mann, “art for fun, if you can imagine that!” as the night’s performance shifted between being fun, funny, and fantastic. Substituting the word dance for art in Mann’s statement, seems to question dancegoer’s expectations and how they are denied or satisfied by what they see—questions that are relevant to this particular dance company as they constantly question the boundaries of dance itself. The company’s great strengths and the inherent weaknesses lie entangled, like the bodies onstage, within issues of expectation. The great thing about being able to see all of these different companies I know too much about through hearsay and too little through actual experience, is that I have been surprised every time and by every company. Seeing a verity of dance that all fits within the genre of modern dance, helps to define what the range of modern dance can be. Learning dance groups, and their devoted audiences, is like learning movie genres. If you like horror films and are used to that set of cinematic conventions, you might not enjoy a romantic comedy designed to melt the hearts of easily entertained women. I began wondering about this after the opening number, the premier of the Pilobolus’s latest choreography utilizing shadows, when the couple sitting next to us exchanged an ugly look and the words, “well, it’s not Swan Lake.”

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