Bossa Nova Project Kicks Off Brazilian Day

by Brian Slattery | Jun 23, 2017 1:02 pm

Brian Slattery Photo At 11:45 Friday there was almost no one on the New Haven Green. That changed in 15 minutes as the members of the Bossa Nova Project took the Green’s mainstage, starting off the second-to-last day of the International Festival of Arts and Ideas.

“Feel free to dance. Feel free to sing. Feel free to have fun with us today,” pianist and singer Isabella Mendes said with a wide smile. Without further ado the band launched into a light, fleet groove, piano and guitar and bass weaving in and out from one another while Mendes’s vocals and lines from the flute floated over the top.

As guitarist Joe Carter took a lyrical solo, the people who had already parked themselves on the Green bobbed their heads and smiled. Meanwhile, people who were just walking by decided to linger.

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Troker And Fulaso Bring The Fun — And The Music

by Brian Slattery | Jun 18, 2017 1:33 pm | Comments (5)

There was no particular sign that the New York City-based Fulaso was going to be a party band when it took the stage at the International Festival of Arts and Idea’s first big show on the Green Saturday evening.

The trombone player blew a few notes into his microphone. The band members took their positions. Someone counted off. “One, two.” And boom: instant groove.

“Now I like salsa, and I like the mambo too,” singer Erica Ramos crooned. “but nothing gives me that fever like doing the bugaloo.”

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Carnivores Ponder Life’s Meaning

by Lucy Gellman | Jun 16, 2017 7:33 am

Lucy Gellman Photo What are a shark’s most existential questions, and how can a particularly emotional lion help answer them?

In what universe can a quarter-dissolved marshmallow and a tutu-boasting hippo become problem-solving buddies and crusaders for environmental justice?

If a gummy bear and lamp-bound genie meet on a tropical island, will either of them get their wishes?

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“Black Girl” Kicks Up Dust, Memories — And Questions

by Brian Slattery | Jun 16, 2017 7:32 am

Christopher Duggan Photo Black Girl: Linguistic Play — running for one more night at the University Theater on York Street as part of the International Festival of Arts and Ideas — began Thursday with the bass, just Robin Bramlett and her instrument, laying down big notes. Pianist Scott Patterson joined her, laying down sweeping cascades of melody.

A lone dancer appeared on stage, exuding childhood, the sense of freedom, of not being sure what to do with her limbs and not caring. She tapped in her sneakers. She did the running man. And at last, she began kicking up chalk dust. It rose around her, still dust, but in the light, it looked a little like steam, too, or like smoke.

For just a minute, it seemed as though the dancer was tapping across the surface of a hot skillet. Like if she stopped moving, she’d be cooked. So the dancer’s exuberance had danger in it. Her joy was an end in itself. But maybe it was necessary for her survival, too.

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Magical History Tour Evokes Corsets, Slave Auctions, & Department Stores

by Allan Appel | Jun 14, 2017 12:00 pm | Comments (3)

Allan Appel Photo New Haven shop girls could attain the Victorian hourglass figure they craved when Strouse, Adler & Company finally came up with an affordable corset with stays made from metal, not from expensive whale bone.

And when the very last slave auction was held on the New Haven Green, back on March 23, 1825, a mother and daughter —  40-year-old Lois Tritten and her 16-year-old daughter Lucy —  were sold at a bargain price, two for ten dollars. Their buyer, Anthony Sandford, a member of Trinity Church and an abolitionist, immediately freed them.

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