On the evening of June 7th, two modern dance companies will share the stage at the McKenna Theater at SUNY New Paltz in a program entitled “Welcome to the World” -- featuring groundbreaking choreography and a celebration of the human spirit.
Figures in Flight 4, a professional youth dance company made up of high school students from the Hudson Valley will be joined by Figures in Flight Released, a group of adult men whose dance training began through a rehabilitation program in prison. In spite of their obvious differences in race, age, and background, these two groups share something that shines through on stage and in rehearsal: a love of dance, and a commitment to mutual respect between people of all kinds.
They also share a dance teacher and choreographer. Both companies are being presented under the direction of renowned dance educator and artistic director Susan Slotnick.
Susan joins us now along with Charles Defraia, a promoter, fundraiser, and the father of a Figures in Flight 4 dancer.
Blue Gold: American Jeans is a feature-length documentary about how one unlikely garment ended up connecting us all. Following vintage jeans hunter Eric Schrader around the world, Blue Gold searches for the reason we all wear blue mining pants from the late 1800s.
An ambassador of Americana, Eric trades in the history, myth, and intrinsic values that have made blue jeans the most expensive and fetishized piece of vintage clothing on the planet. From fashion history and subculture aspiration to the lost tradition of American manufacturing, Blue Gold explores Americana in our globalized world, where cultural exchange and social responsibility demand greater transparency and inspire innovation.
Blue Gold: American Jeans will have its festival premiere at The Berkshire International Film Festival this weekend -- screening at 11:30am on Saturday at The Beacon in Pittsfield and again at 11:30am on Sunday at The Triplex in Great Barrington.
Cherien Dabis is a Palestinian American director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. When her debut feature-length film, Amreeka, was released in 2009, she was named one of Variety magazine's "10 Directors to Watch."
In the film, May Brennan (played by Dabis) returns from New York City to her childhood home of Amman, Jordan for her wedding. Shortly after reuniting with her sisters and their long-since divorced parents, myriad familial and cultural conflicts lead May to question the big step she is about to take.
Cherien Dabis is in The Berkshires ready for the screening at BIFF tonight and she joins us, now.
Kingston’s Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History is sponsoring the second annual Kingston Community Block Party on June 8th from noon to 4pm at Kingston's T.R. Gallo West Strand Park. The multicultural festival is a free, family-friendly, multicultural festival which will feature live ethnic music, dance and comedy, along with handicrafts and children’s activities, including arts and crafts, games, singing and storytelling.
Here to tell us more are Geoff Miller, chairman of Kingston’s Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, and Gerry Harrington.
Side By Side By Sondheim honors the genius of one of Broadway's foremost composer-lyricists. The showcase is an array of songs from Sondheim's hit shows includes: Company, Follies and A Little Night Music to name a few, plus collaborations with Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story), Jule Styne (Gypsy) and Richard Rodgers (Do I Hear a Waltz?).
Simple staging, a small cast and two pianos allow the songs to shine. To tell us more, we welcome Sean Allen, Director of Marketing for the Palace Theatre in Albany and Owen Smith is the producing Artistic Director of the Park Playhouse.
With the release of GODZILLA, the latest of countless mega-budgeted, special effects-laden blockbusters that seem to be dominating movie theaters these days, the original screen version of the story is well-worth recalling. This GODZILLA, of course, was wildly successful in its day. It was produced in Japan and released in 1954, and baby boomers may recall that the U.S. edition included added footage featuring a pre-PERRY MASON Raymond Burr. The full title of this version is GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS, and the monster in question is a giant, apparently unstoppable fire-breathing lizard who, like so many 1950s sci-fi movie creatures, was the byproduct of nuclear weapons testing run amok.
As you’ve probably heard by now, MASS MoCA in North Adams will mark its 15th anniversary on Saturday, beginning at 4pm with a series of events culminating in a huge dance party featuring the Bhangra funk of Red Baraat. The hours leading up to the dance concert, which takes place at 8:30pm, will feature pop-up performances by the likes of Mark Mulcahy, Cynthia Hopkins, and Bang on a Can’s Mark Stewart, and an opening reception for As Above So Below, a series of dynamic and immersive new works by Brooklyn-based artist Teresita Fernández.
Formed in 2008, Red Baraat is a pioneering eight-piece band from Brooklyn, New York. Conceived by dhol player, drummer and composer Sunny Jain, the group has drawn worldwide praise for its singular sound -- a merging of hard driving North Indian bhangra rhythms with elements of jazz, go-go, brass funk, and hip-hop.
Red Baraat will play MASS MoCA’s 15th Anniversary Party this Saturday in North Adams, MA and Sunny Jain joins us to talk about the show, the band, and his upcoming NPR Music/Make Music New York event in June.