How to Break at HERE.

Above: Dan Domingues as Aden and Amber Williams as Ana

         How to Break, HERE’s most recent production, centers on the revolving story of a doctor, 2 patients (one with leukemia, the other with sickle-cell anemia) and a well-meaning artist in residence at a hospital. The show, while focusing on hip-hop, freestyle culture, more complexly focuses on the decision facing a person, particularly a young person, with a fatal disease and a moment of “breaking” for both strength and freedoms sake.
         The show itself is incredibly well suited for adolescents (highly recommend for high school classes,) slightly dull at times for the older crowd, but Jafferis writing is fast paced, funny, if never completely emotionally raw. Part of this may be the nature of utilizing freestyle throughout the piece. While this is definitely a central component in understanding a big part of the “break” of the piece, at times it makes difficult moments funny or more lighthearted than necessary. For anyone who has had, or known someone with cancer, you can’t help but wonder when the true “break” is going to happen and think that when it does…it’s probably not going to rhyme. That being said, grain of salt included, we all cope in our own ways and Christopher V. Edwards says in the director’s note “Everyone involved in the initial collaborative process has been inspired by hip-hop. Some of us breathe it and eat it for breakfast….” so it’s hard to fault her for utilizing freestyle throughout the piece that is based on it. Likewise, the age of the patients also make the flirtatious insult on the playground behavior more realistic and the piece itself, written in part by actual hospital patients through the Mixing Texts Collective project, does speak to Jafferis claim to portray “breaking” as “inspiration, courage, and possibility.”
         The standout actors included Dan Domingues and Amber Williams who portray both the over involved doctor (a bit of a fantasy no doubt) and leukemia ridden Ana, popper, design student, and love interest of Joel played by Perdro Morillo, a professional break dancer who is admirably comfortable in his first acting role.
         The set, a series of medical curtains that range from translucent to opaque were used to highlight the beatboxer Yako 440, playing a nurse character who provided beatbox accompaniment (written by Adam Matta) and sometimes comic relief, as well as the canvas for graffitiesque sketches. Yako 440 definitely could have been utilized more fluidly with the other characters on stage. One of the most interesting moments comes at the start of the play when he tells Ana to “breathe” into the microphone and creates a series of loops from it. And while the setup was interesting and the cast navigated the curtains flawlessly, the opening and closing did at times get distracting. Likewise one wanted to see more physical moments to accompany the soundtrack which was often lost behind the curtains.
         Overall this piece feels like a very dynamic moment set within the context of a beautiful but sometimes misunderstood artistic culture, as well as the experience of facing mortality head on. What is lacking is visceral emotion, is often made up for in surprising moments of writing and acting, and it’s this combination that speaks to the strength of the creators and the cast.

READ MORE ABOUT THE SHOW or BUY TICKETS.

THE WEEK: Oct 24-28.

MONDAY:

BROOKLYN FOLK ARTS DAY
Brooklyn Arts Council, in partnership with The Cultural Strategies Institute invites your participation in a Folk Arts Town Hall Meeting celebrating and strengthening folk and traditional arts in Brooklyn. This first of a kind meeting will inaugurate Brooklyn Folk Arts Day, an annual gathering of Brooklyn’s traditional artists, traditional arts organizations and communities they serve, teaching artists and educators, funders, elected officials, and other friends of folk and traditional arts. Moderated by BAC Folk Arts Director Kay Turner, this gathering will address ways to preserve, sustain, encourage, and expand traditional arts practices in Brooklyn. In town hall fashion, we hope to hear ideas and concerns from a wide range of people attending. The reception provides further opportunity to meet and greet across Brooklyn folk arts communities and genres of practice.

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THE WEEK: SEPT 6-9.

WHITE SWALLOW READING SERIES: B.C. EDWARDS LL BEN FAMA LL ELY SHIPLEY @ CORNELIA.
Tuesday, September 6 · 6:00pm – 7:30pm

B.C. EDWARDS lives in Brooklyn. He is the recipient of the 2011 Hudson Prize put out by Black Lawrence Press which will be publishing his collection of short fiction, The Aversive Clause in 2012 and his collection of poetry From the Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes in 2013. His work can be found in Red Line Blues, The Sink Review, Food-i-Corp, Hobart and others. His short story “Illfit” is being adapted into a piece by the Royal Ballet of Flanders. BEN FAMA is the author of the chapbook Aquarius Rising (UDP 2009) and NEW WAVES (Minutes Books). He is the founding editor of Supermachine Poetry Journal. His work has been featured in GlitterPony, notnostrums, LIT, Poor Claudia, and on the Best American Poetry Blog, among others. He has contributed tips to gawker, words to urban dictionary, and has an ongoing correspondence with Lady Gaga. ELY SHIPLEY’s first book, Boy with Flowers, won the 2007 Barrow Street Press book prize judged by Carl Phillips, the 2009 Thom Gunn Award, and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. His writing appears in the Western Humanities Review, Prairie Schooner, Diagram, Gulf Coast, and elsewhere. He holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah and currently teaches at Baruch College, CUNY. Hosted by Angelo Nikolopoulos $7 cover includes a house drink.

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THE WEEKEND: Sept 2-5.

BRIAN M. VIVEROS: RETURNING ART TO THE UNCLEAN @ LAST RITES.
Opening Reception: Saturday, Sept 3rd, 7:00pm-11:00pm.  Show runs Sept 3rd thru 25th, 2011.

Known for his strong and sensuous depictions of women, Brian M. Viveros is a master of contemporary iconography paying homage to the femme fatale. While he almost exclusively paints portraits, within the expressions of his women is conveyed such deep emotion and overwhelming sexuality that his work is undeniably erotic. Often without even a hint of nudity, the viewer is seduced with a mere pout and gaze from his subject’s faces.

In what will be Brian’s second showing at the gallery, the opening will feature an all new collection of original paintings, as well as special rare prints from the artist’s own collection; poster giveaway and signing; live “Smoking Army” performance; screening of Brian’s films along with his new short, and much more.

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THE WEEKEND: July 1-4th.


The Architecture of Devotion
GOWANUS BALLROOM
June 24 – July 3, 2011
Closing Party Saturday at 5:00pm – Sunday at 12:00am
Show starts at 7pm

The Architecture of Devotion group show continues this Friday, July 1st with a night of great music by returning players: Apocalypse Five and Dime, Morgan O’kane, and Crooks and Perverts. These guys put on an amazing show with us back in April with moments like these:

Apocalypse Five and Dime will be releasing their new album “Ballads for the End Times” on July 1st, this is your first chance to get your hands on it!

If you missed the show last weekend or just need a healthy dose of seconds, come on out and join us!

Performances begin at 7pm.
Free Sangria from 6-8
$10 admission after 7pm

ABOUT THE SHOW:

The Architecture of Devotion is a large scale group art, music and performance event hosted by the Gowanus Ballroom.

The exhibition transforms the cathedral-like Gowanus Ballroom, a nineteenth century steel mill and current home of Serrett Metalworks, to interrogate various representations of the sacred and profane.

Works including stained glass, paintings embellished with gilt adornment, modern reinventions of medieval retables, a cabinet of curiosities, and an enchanted grotto form an installation that explores themes of spirituality, mysticism and religion. Revisiting historic interpretations of divine presence through a contemporary lens allows artist and audience to reconsider what might at first glance appear mundane.

Federico Ughi Quartet/Killer Bob
CAFE ORWELL
Friday, July 1st.
9 pm

Kae Reed Ensemble/Brad Balliet
CAFE ORWELL
Saturday, July 2nd.  Exotic Post-Classical Magic Spells and an Electronic Bassoon.
8:30 pm.

THE MOVIE LIBRARIANS FILM SCREENING WITH A.G. GRAHAM
DUMBO ARTS CENTER
JULY 1 ZARDOZ, dir. John Boorman. 1974
4pm

“If nothing is happening in your community library, it’s not a library.”
– Institute of Museum and Library Services

Dumbo Arts Center’s current exhibition is (The Missing Library). This summer, artist Annie Shaw has invited five artists (Jen Kennedy & Liz Linden, Marie Lorenz, Michelle Rosenberg and Angie Waller), an architect (Lori Brown) and two librarians (A.G. Graham and web-specialist Nate Hill) to turn DAC into a civic, non-commercial public space in the form of the Dumbo neighborhood’s first library. The project encourages contemplation on how libraries’ function, physical space, and role within communities is changing as the content libraries have traditionally housed migrates to a digital form.

PABLO MALURIE
BARBES

MONDAY JULY 4th

PABLO MALAURIE. Pablo Malaurie hails from Buenos Aires playing original folklore on banjo and ukelele, songs that are sweet, timeless and oddly global. Soaring melodies evoke geisha girls and Buddy Holly in equal parts. He scored a Romanian film that premiered at this year’s Cannes, Loverboy, and released El Festival Del Beso in Japan. Pablo’s voice can pierce through you in a painful tremelo and then soothe your broken heart with a pleasing, unexpected harmony. KCRW’s Jose Galvan says, “Malaurie combines both Japanese and South American folk rhythms with a minimalist approach. Some songs recreate traditional Japanese melodies simply using a mandolin banjo and a haunting falsetto. Others integrate rhythms more akin to indigenous music of the Andes. Add to that introspective lyrics and his affected Argentine accent and you’ve got the perfect soundtrack for a road trip in the Japanese countryside a la Motorcycle Diaries.”

Rob Curto’s PE DE SERRA ALL-STARS.
BARBES
SUNDAY JULY 3rd

Accordionist Rob Curto’s band plays Northeastern Brazil’s traditional “forró pé de serra” with a style born out of New York City’s diverse and dynamic musical culture. Forró is the accordion-based party music of the sertão, the dry interior of the Brazilian Northeast. Accordion master Rob Curto leads this ensemble which combines the classic brazilian Northeast forros of Luis Gonzagua and Jackson do Pandeiro with original compositions and improvisation rolled into an amazing dance party

Migration: MIN HYUNG, EUNAH KIM, MERIDITH PINGREE, GENEVIEVE WHITE
FREIGHT AND VOLUME
June 23 – July 30, 2011The life of an artist can be a nomadic one, for any number of reasons, amongst them financial, emotional and spiritual. In many instances, artists find more support and camaraderie in large urban areas, and for quite a few all roads eventually lead to New York (or London or Berlin). The four artists comprising “Migration”, the summer show opening June 23rd at Freight+Volume, are no exception.


PETER EDWARDS: SPECTER FLUX

FLUX FACTORY
Dates: July 1 – 3, noon – 6 pm

Flux Factory is proud to present Specter Flux , an interactive environment and performance by artist-in-residence Peter Edwards, aka casperelectronics. The installation consists of three suspended orbs that glow at varying hues according to the sounds of its surroundings, including the ambient noise of the space and those made by the viewer. Its interior mechanism – a hybrid circuit using both digital and analogue electronics – transforms sound into an evolving display of multicolored lights. The performative element includes a constructed pyramid centered around a complex sound and light synthesizer that the artist plays. Viewers are invited to interact with the machine throughout the show.

HACKPOSIUM
FLUX FACTORY
Saturday July 2 4pm

This day-long event explores the practical, philosophical, and playful applications of the term “hacking.” Presentations and workshops will cover topics such as circuit bending, culture jamming, dumpster diving, email encryption, and the repurposing of waste items into useful tools. The symposium is geared towards providing visitors with foundational information in order to become hackers themselves. Hackposiumis part of Flux Factory’s Summer School program and is curated by Jaime Iglehart via New Age Beverages, in collaboration with Pete Edwards of Casper Electronics.

Demos of hacked objects and freegan snacks start at 4pm.
Talks and presentations start at 6 pm, and are followed by musical performances.

Hamyul/Hamlet
La Mama
June 23 – July 10, 2011
“A highly stylized adaptation of Hamlet performed in Korean, Hamyul feels like a traditional drama that could have been performed in the ancient Korean court.” – nytheatre.comThursday – Saturday at 7:30pm
Sunday at 2:30pm

Hamyul/Hamlet is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. The play is set in one of the ancient dynasties in Korea. The original Prince Hamyul, a Korean adaptation of Hamlet by William Shakespeare was presented to Western audiences in the United States and Europe in 1977. Adapted and directed by Minsoo Ahn, Prince Hamyul was the first Korean theatrical production ever performed outside Korea, making an indelible mark on the history of Korean theater thanks to the late Ellen Stewart at La MaMa.

MORE:
Michael Attias’s CLINAMEN ORCHESTRA@ THE STONE
SMALL TOWN MURDER SONGS @RERUN (DUMBO.)
THE TIGER AND THE SUNFLOWER: DECORATIVE TRADITIONS AND CONTEMPORARY VOICES IN JAPANESE ART @SCHROEDER ROMERO & SHREDDER
.
MIDNIGHT HORROR SAT JULY 2 12AM @SPECTACLE THEATER
STEVE DALACHINSKY SHRINE IN HARLEM JULY 3 AFTER 8 PM
ILLUMINATING FASHION: DRESS IN THE ART OF MEDIEVAL FRANCE AND THE NETHERLANDS @THE MORGAN MUSEUM AND LIBRARY.
FILMS AND RED HOOK RAMBLERS @ JALOPY.