Naturalization, With An Artistic Twist

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 24, 2016 12:32 pm | Comments (2)

Lucy Gellman Photo On Friday just before noon, longtime New Havener Allison Parkes scored the hottest ticket at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas: A first-ever naturalization ceremony on the sun-soaked New Haven Green, where she and 25 other immigrants, representing 19 countries, became U.S. citizens.

For the now-naturalized citizen from Jamaica, a mother of two who takes care of her mother and works in food service at Yale-New Haven Hospital, that’s reason to celebrate. It’s been a year of submitting and resubmitting grueling paperwork after having lived in the city for years, she said, and she’s happy to have it behind her. 

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Whelan Has A Way With “Words”

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 24, 2016 7:02 am

Erin Baiano Photo In “First Word,” a silent solo that follows Tyondai Braxton‘s “ArpRec1,” acclaimed dancer Wendy Whelan rediscovers her body: Her arms, that have carried so many classical performances, are now unbound. Her long, dextrous torso reaches forward and snaps back. Her legs—how they bend so violently when asked!—delight in new configurations. Even her huge eyes, deeply expressive when they catch the light, convey a profound sort of reeducation. When fellow dancer Brian Brooks joins her onstage for an exercise in impossible synchronicity, it’s all that the audience can do to try to not blink, lest they miss something.

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Meg Bloom Doesn’t Have The Answers, Just The Art

by Allan Appel | Jun 24, 2016 7:00 am | Comments (1)

Allan Appel Photo It may be a haunted glade in a liminal forest. It may be the patterns of the universe. It may be the Grim Reaper and friends doing the hokey pokey, or the gossamer traces of a coven of witches. Or an old folks’ home for decaying lumps of cotton candy or wasps’ nest. Or it may be just what it is — artistically arranged soaked, cooked, and stretched fibers of the Thai kozo or mulberry tree.

Whatever it is, Meg Bloom is not about to tell you

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Chekhov, Squared & Rooted

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 23, 2016 7:19 am

Lisa Keshisheva Photo The cherry orchard must sit at stage right, tucked back into a corner. Across from it, Nina Zarechnaya can daydream on the damp grass beside a lake, where the moon flickers and she falls into bouts of deep thought. Moscow University will remain offstage. A birch grove will hang from the rafters; a hospital around center stage. A headstone, marked by brown bread and slowly-evaporating vodka, close to the audience. And the railroad must skirt the edges of town, hugging just one side of it like a locomotive bookend.

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Louder Than “A Thousand Words”

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 23, 2016 7:07 am

Erin Baiano Photo Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks have a message for New Haveners: Reinventing yourself should never stop, and should never feel completely comfortable. For Whelan, who gave her pointe shoes to Brooks sometime after retiring from the New York City Ballet (NYCB) two years ago, that sense of self-renewal is vital — and she wants to share it widely, through movement.

While that phase of her career began long before New Haven, there’s now a chapter of it in the Elm City, where she and Brooks arrived earlier this week to familiarize themselves with and rehearse on the Shubert Theater’s well-loved stage. Thursday and Friday night, they will appear there in the world premiere of Some Of A Thousand Words, a collaboration with the New York-based quartet Brooklyn Rider that takes off where Whelan and Brooks’ 2012 project Restless Creature ended. Where Restless Creature, a series of sketches, was danced to Brooklyn Rider’s take on several 20th-century composers, particularly Phillip Glass, Some Of A Thousand Words includes an original composition from the group’s violinist, who will perform onstage with the duo. The performance takes place as part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas

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A&I Gives Away “The Money”

by Donald Brown | Jun 23, 2016 7:00 am

Courtesy Arts & Ideas If someone handed you a sum of money — no strings attached — what would you do with it? You might know right away. But what if you had to get a group of other people to agree on how the money should be spent? Would you argue for a certain beneficiary? Would you let others call the shots? Would it depend on how much money?

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Art By Paula, Just Hold The Coffee Grounds

by Allan Appel | Jun 23, 2016 6:51 am

Allan Appel Photo Paula Konareski likes to make her walls beautiful with art for her customers. And only once, years ago, did she exercise a little censorship: when the photos on the wall displayed drains clogged with food scraps and gobs of discarded coffee grounds.

You can’t really blame her.

The walls in question are at Cafe George by Paula. It’s an eatery beloved and well patronized, and a bit of a hidden treasure at 300 George St.

For 14 years Konareski, as owner and eclectic curator, has offered the space free of charge to budding and accomplished artists to display their work during the busy breakfast and lunch times, and reap 100 percent of the profits from sales.

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Yang Hao Dances The In-Between

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 22, 2016 7:25 am

Judy Rosenthal Photo Just six or seven minutes into Pied à terre, dancer Yang Hao did something that the audience, bracing for a kinetic performance, may not have expected: He lay down. Prone, pressed right up against the floor as if totally exhausted. As if his body brought with it an immeasurable weight. The room fell into total silence. Everything up to this point had focused in on minute, measured but powerful gestures: the flick and flutter of fingers, clean snapping of wrists, arch of his back against his rolled shoulders. Was this an early admission of defeat, or something else?

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