Walter’s World: Weekend Art, Dance and Theatre Picks January 7, 2012

By Walter Rutledge

The holidays may be over but there are enough arts events this weekend to chase away the post holiday blues. Here are a few of the exciting and varied cultural happenings this weekend. As you will see two of the “uptown” events are free to the public.

The Studio Museum in Harlem located at 144 West 125th Street is offering a free gallery tour: The Bearden Project, as part of the Target Free Sunday series this Sunday January 8, at 1 PM. Enjoy an interactive and informative tour of The Bearden Project led by a knowledgeable Studio Museum educator. The Bearden Project brings together new work by contemporary artists who have all been influenced by the twentieth-century master Romare Bearden. The tour will have something for everyone: adults, families and kids of all ages are welcome.

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Harlem Dance Works 2.0 Series presents Fractured Beauty by choreographer Francesca Harper on Sunday January 8 at 3pm and Thursday January 12 at 6:30pm. This new work explores neoclassicism, loss and renewal to an original score composed and performed by Earl Maneein and Resolution 15. These are free showings, with an opportunity to “meet the artist” after the performance. Dance Theatre of Harlem is located at 466 West 152nd Street.

FOCUS DANCE is a celebration of U.S. based dance, featuring performances by eight companies in a repertory schedule. The series is comprised of four programs featuring eight choreographers/companies: Keigwin and Company, zoe | juniper, Abraham.In.Motion, Kate Weare Company, Monica Bill Barnes and Company, Joe Goode Performance Group, Trey McIntyre Project, and Jason Samuels Smith & Company. FOCUS DANCE will run from January 3-8, 2012 at The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue, NYC. Tickets are $10-39 and are available at 212-242-0800 or www.joyce.org. The schedule of performances is as follows:

Saturday, January 7 at 2pm: Monica Bill Barnes & Company presents Mostly Fanfare (2010 Jacob’s Pillow) and Everything is Getting Better All the Time (Gotham Dance Festival 2011) with Joe Goode Performance Group’s The Rambler (2011 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts).

Saturday, January 7 at 8pm: zoe | juniper with A Crack in Everything which premiered in 2011 at Jacob’s Pillow, and Keigwin + Company with Triptych (2009), Mattress Suite (2005), and Runaway (2008).

Sunday, January 8 at 2pm: Jason Samuels Smith & Company with Anybody Can Get It (2010 Jacob’s Pillow) and excerpts from Chasing the Bird, Charlie’s Angels: a tribute to Charlie Parker that premiered in 2009 at The Kitchen and Trey McIntyre Project with The Sweeter End (2011 New Orleans Ballet Association) and In Dreams (2007 Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

Sunday, January 8 at 7:30pm: Choreographer Kyle Abraham’s company, Abraham.In.Motion, and Kate Weare Company’s Garden, which premiered at the 2011 Gotham Dance Festival at the Joyce Theater.

The new streamlined production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess continues its preview performances and will officially open on Thursday January 12, 2012. This two and a half hour version of the American folk opera is now a most audience friendly musical adaptation. The production stars four time Tony Award winning actress Audrey McDonald and Norm Lewis and includes David Alan Grier as Sportin’ Life, Nikki Renee Daniels as Clara and Phillip Boykin as Crown, and features the choreography of Ronald K. Brown. For tickets, visit Ticketmaster.com. The Richard Rodgers Theatre is located at 226 West 46th Street.

Stickfly is now at the Cort Theater, 138 West 48th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. Producer Alicia Keys, Director Kenny Leon and Playwright Lydia R. Diamond bring to the stage a glimpse of middle class black life. It was suppose to be a relaxing weekend on Martha’s Vineyard … until the baggage got unpacked. Meet the LeVays. When two adult sons independently choose to introduce their girlfriends to the parents on the same weekend, sibling rivalries flare, opinions clash, class distinctions divide and family secrets unravel. For ticket information call: inside the NY metro area (212) 239-6200, 
outside the NY metro area (800) 432-7250 and at Telecharge.com.

These are a few of the art and entertainment events taking place around the city. Thank you for letting me share my world with you.

In Photo: 1) Studio Museum 2) Francesca Harper 3) Kyle Abraham 4) Cast of Porgy and Bess 5) Cast of Stickfly