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Stunning Gala Performance of Hungarian Opera & Ballet

Photo by Attila Nagy.
The marvelous Hungarian State Opera and Hungarian National Ballet presented a wonderful gala performance at the David Koch Theater on the evening of Sunday, November 4th, as part of its American debut tour which thus far has been a revelation.
The audience stood with the chorus for Ferenc Erkel’s moving “Himnusz”, the national anthem of Hungary, after which the winsome mistress of ceremonies addressed the guests followed by the appearance of celebrated soprano and former star of the Metropolitan Opera, Éva Marton, who spoke about her career. Legendary Placido Domingo delivered a recorded greeting and then the Hungarian Secretary of State for Culture, Peter Fekete spoke as well.
The excellent Overture to Erkel’s famous opera, Hunyadi László, preceded two further excerpts from the same work: La Grange’s aria, sung by Orsolya Hajnalka Rőser, and the Act I Finale, “Meghalt a cselszövő”, sung by István Horváth. Two excerpts from the same composer’s magnificent Bánk Bán followed: Petur’s aria sung by Zoltán Kelemen and Bánk’s aria, “Hazám, hazám”, sung by Boldizsár László. Contemporary choreographer Hans Van Manen’s effective Trois Gnossiemes, set to glorious piano music by Erik Satie preceded the thrilling Whirling—choreographed by András Lukács and set to music by Philip Glass—which was reminiscent of the work of Twyla Tharp and exquisitely closed the first half of the program.
After intermission, the dancers were electrifying in the fabulous Pas de trois from the superb Marius Petipa ballet, Le Corsaire. Piano soloist József Balog then took the stage to play Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Fantasy and also played another work by the same composer while accompanying a lovely acrobat performing a remarkable aerial show.
The General Director of the company then recounted the impressive number of Hungarian conductors that have led major American orchestras after which the evening concluded with extraordinary music by the great Hungarian composer, Zoltán Kodály. First, there were two excerpts from the renowned opera, Háry János: “Szegény vagyok”, sung by Erika Gál, and the Intermezzo accompanying an astonishing quintet of folk dancers. Two numbers from The Spinning Room followed: “A csitári hegyek alatt” sung by Horváth and Zita Szemere, with more acrobatics; and the work’s memorable Finale which featured the company as a whole. The audience was invited to sing another of Hungary’s national anthems which it did with appropriate solemnity. This exceptional event was a fine tribute to the nation’s outsized contribution to world culture.

Cirque du Soleil ‘s "Volta" Strikes in Long Island May 17 - July 1


The new big top show from international entertainment behemoth Cirque du Soleil, Volta, with an energy-jolting focus on space-age extreme sports, plays Long Island May 17 – July 1. Its new eco-friendly white and grey “grand chapiteau” has risen adjacent to NYCB Live/Nassau Veterans Coliseum in Uniondale. The show is so colossal it took 16 creators to assemble it.

VCirqueSpecolta, written and directed by Bastien Alexandre (concept artist, Cirque’s Zumanity) under “director of creation” Jean Guibert, tells “a spellbinding story of transformation, about being true to oneself – fulfilling one’s true potential to be free to blaze your own trail.” Alexandre says it’s inspired, in part, “by the adventurous spirit that fuels action sports.”

The show stars a cast of international athletes who provide the adrenaline rush of jawdropping acrobatics against the visually striking production, driven in the tried-and-true Cirque tradition by a pulsating score. The band is under music director and international electronic composer Anthony Gonzalez, of the French band M83. Vocalists are Darius Harper and Camilla Bäckman. Julie Perron (Cirque’s Delirium, Viva Elvis, and Wintuk). is choreographer. Rob Bollinger and Philippe Aubertin are the acrobatic performance designers.

The story-line follows Waz, a game show contestant who’s lost touch with himself. He goes on the show in search of fame, thinking that will bring him love and acceptance, but finds fame isn’t the answer. Was begins a personal quest to find his true self. Along the way, he’s encouraged by an amazing group of free spirits to help him recognize the power to make it possible.

CirqueUnicycleDuoAmong those that make his journey extraordinary are unicyclists, roller skaters, precision tight rope walkers, military-style parkour [running, climbing, swinging, vaulting], BMX (bicycle motocross) daredevils, a woman swirling through the air suspended by her hair, Swiss ring and bungee artists, shape divers [sailing through gymnastic hoops and rings), and one of the most incredible acrobatic ensembles in Cirque’s history.

A highlight of every Cirque show is the costuming and the designs of acclaimed Emmy-winning Filipino-American fashion designer Zaldy (Goco) (Cirque’s Michael Jackson ONE, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball) may be the most colorful and daring of their 41 original productions [since 1984].

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“The Next Generation of Dance” Continues the Ailey Legacy When Ailey II Takes the Stage at the Ailey Citigroup Theater

 AAADT in Alvin Ailey's Revelations. Photo by Paul Kolnik

Sometimes you just have to sit back, shake your head and absolutely thank the “God’s of the Arts” that you live in New York City.  To salute the legacy of dance that’s helped make Broadway—“Broadway”— Morgan Stanley presents “Lights on Broadway.” Taking place in Times Square this event will spotlight six decades of Ailey inspired dance moving from Times Square to the Ailey Citigroup Theater. 
In February to celebrate Black History Month Morgan Stanley “Lights on Broadway” salute made it easy for New Yorkers and tourists alike to express their support  #JoinTheDance along with a remember that #MSGivesBack. The campaign in the “Crosswords of the World” highlighted Ailey’s status as “Cultural Ambassador to the World,” and recognized the organization’s six decades of “celebrating the African-American heritage and the modern dance tradition,” and its offerings of “performances, training, and education programs that enlighten all.”
Alvin Ailey’s mission has always been clear and that’s to celebrate our common humanity and to showcase the spring to life as the talented young dancers of Ailey take the stage at the Ailey Citigroup Theater March 14-25.  Renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country's best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today's most outstanding emerging choreographers, the second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to New York for an exciting two-week season. Led by Artistic Director Troy Powell, these talented young dancers will prove why “there’s nothing like an evening spent with Ailey II” (The New York Times). Audiences will have the opportunity to see “the next generation of dance” in a diverse range of works, including three striking 2017-18 season premieres: Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Road To One, about embracing the journey; Juel D. Lane’s Touch & Agree, exploring love, commitment, and identity; and Renee I. McDonald’s Breaking Point, an intense work about being pushed to the limit. 
Heads up, New Yorkers of all ages and levels will have a rare opportunity to learn from Troy Powell, when he leads a one-night-only Ailey Extension Horton Workshop on Wednesday, March 7 at 6 pm, just a week before the second company’s New York season. Powell was selected by Mr. Ailey himself to receive a scholarship to The Ailey School, before joining Ailey II and later Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and eventually becoming only the second person to lead Ailey II. Participants will learn movement based on the technique created by Alvin Ailey’s mentor, Lester Horton, which is the foundation for many classic Ailey works – including his signature masterpiece, Revelations. Designed to expand Alvin Ailey’s life-long commitment to bringing dance to everyone, Ailey Extension classes and workshops impart the rich history of Ailey’s signature style, which changed the perception of modern American dance around the world. 
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APAP NYC: Performing Arts & Dance Trans


Every January, APAP NYC is where performing arts professionals gather to explore and present the best and newest of dance, music, theater---all disciplines and genres---at APAP’s annual membership conference and pre-conference.Happening January 12 - 16, 2018 with more than 1000 world-class artist showcases held around the city; an EXPO Hall boasting nearly 400 booths, the world’s largest performing arts marketplace; dozens of professional development sessions, keynote speakers including well known and cutting edge artists and arts leaders; and pre-conference forums, many of which are free and open to the public. Events are being held at the New York Hilton Midtown (1335 6th Ave) and the Sheraton New York Times Square (811 7th Ave).

This year’s conference theme, trans.ACT, focuses on the transformative power of the arts.

APAP is the national service, advocacy and membership organization dedicated to developing and supporting a robust performing arts presenting field and the professionals who work within it. More than 1600 APAP members represent leading performing arts centers, municipal and university performing arts facilities, culturally specific organizations, foreign governments, artist agencies, managers, touring companies, consultants and self-represented artists

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January 12 - 16, 2018

New York Hildton Midtown
1335 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10019

Sheraton New York Times Square
811 7th Ave.
New York, NY 10019

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