Dance Theater of Harlem to start auditions for revived troupe

BAM Note: There’s good news from the dance world in the following piece from the New York Times ArtsBeat blog.  Share and comment!

By DANIEL J. WAKIN

Dance companies are supposed to be shrinking, not starting up in these recessionary times. Not so at the Dance Theater of Harlem, which closed its company in 2004. Theater officials on Wednesday announced the start of auditions to create a new stripped down troupe of 18 dancers, which will begin rehearsing in August and touring in October and aims to return to a New York stage by April 2013.  Read more.

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Binghamton University Kafka expert links teaching and research

From our “Food for Thought” file comes the following article by Rachel Coker published Dec. 5 in the blog Discover-e, Insights & Innovations from  Binghamton University.

Kafka scholar Neil Christian Pages does more than encourage his undergraduate students to engage in research. He gives them the tools they need to demystify the literary academy.

A tiny figurine made out of thread — a former student’s representation of the character Odradek from Franz Kafka’s “The Cares of the Father of the Family” — hangs from one of Pages’ bookshelves. It’s material proof of the way Pages’ students engage with Kafka in his classroom and beyond it.   Read more.

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Give the arts for the holidays

By Barb Van Atta

Still stumped in your Santa duties? Hustling for one more Hanukkah gift? Look no more. Your best gift idea — one that truly keeps on giving — is something artistic. Visit a local gallery for everything from pottery to photos to note cards. (Not sure of someone’s taste? Give a gift certificate.) Buy tickets to plays or concerts. Make a donation to an arts organization in the name of your hard-to-shop-for friend. Why not celebrate the holidays by supporting the arts?

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What music is part of your holiday? ‘Messiah’ is part of mine

By Barb Van Atta

Have you attended a concert or pageant to get into the holiday spirit? Or, like me, have you been too busy rehearsing to be in an audience? Either way, BAMirror welcomes your comments and reflections on seasonal music.

As I said, I’ve been in rehearsal, as has my son, for the Downtown Singers’ presentation of Handel’s Messiah on Friday and Saturday (Dec. 16 and 17) at The Forum in Binghamton. Here is a link to a Good Times story that features chorus members who have been around since Alan Crabb and the Rev. Hugh Miller of the former Centenary United Methodist Church in downtown Binghamton came up with the idea of the Downtown Singers: http://tinyurl.com/ccv3qfd.  (One adjustment to the article: Bruce Reed thought he sang with the group in 1993; it actually was 1992.)

 

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Why support non-profit arts and the United Cultural Fund

Broome County Arts Council’s United Cultural Fund opened its 2012 Campaign on November 3rd with “An Artful Evening with NPR’s Susan Stamberg, a fundraising event at the Binghamton Riverwalk Hotel, featuring National Public Radio’s premier arts correspondent. UCF 2012 is the only combined campaign for the arts in the region and seeks to raise $308,325 for competitive grants to non-profit arts and cultural organizations, community non-profits and individual artists in Broome County. In a speech to Binghamton Rotary #64 yesterday (December 13th), BCAC’s Executive Director Sharon Ball explained how the UCF helps sustain arts non-profits for the benefit of the entire community.

Thank you very much. I’m grateful for the invitation to speak to you this afternoon. I know the good work that Rotary does all over the world and I commend you for the good work that Rotary does here in this community.

What a year it’s been for our community! First the economy, then the economy, then the economy, and then the second 100 year flood in 5 years. Another hit, another blow to the body of this already challenged region and the people who are determined to stay here, to do business here, care for their families and friends here, and maintain their neighborhoods – right here in the once renowned “valley of opportunity”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Met’s new ‘Faust’ is a mixed bag

Reviewed by Tony Villecco

I attended my first live-from-the-Metropolitan Opera, HD, big-screen production last Saturday (Dect. 10). One has to applaud the Met’s foresight to bring opera to the masses this way, up-close and personal and far more reasonably priced than an orchestra seat. Gounod’s Faust opened the Metropolitan back in 1883. This latest production was, overall, a fine one with some excellent singing–  despite the director Des McAnuff’s decision to transplant the opera to the 20th Century, between the world wars. Read the rest of this entry »

New Museum of Innovation getting funding

“More than $500,000 from the Regional Economic Development plan will fund the construction of a world-class museum.

It is hoped to serve as a major tourist attraction for those driving through Binghamton.”

Read and see more from WBNG Action News

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Levine withdraws from conducting at the Met, until at least 2013

“James Levine, the Metropolitan Opera’s ailing music director, has withdrawn from conducting at the house this season and the next, the Met and Mr. Levine said on Friday (Dec. 9). Levine cancelled the last remaining dates on his schedule — two cycles of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in April and May — and withdrew from all productions he had planned to lead next season.”

Read more about this at Arts Beat, The New York Times Arts section.

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Have you been sampling the holiday arts?

Did you enjoy a festive First Friday (or First Satuday)? Were you at the CHOW concert, Amahl, a tree lighting or a church pageant? BAMirror’s Rebecca Sheriff attended The Nutcracker (see review below); how about you? I was once again wowed by the choral performers at Union-Endicott High School. How have you been sampling the arts in this holiday season?

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Grigorian ‘Nutcracker’ enhances holiday season

Reviewed by Rebecca Sheriff

I was looking forward to attending the Russian Nutcracker performance at The Forum in Binghamton this past Sunday (Dec. 4). The Nutcracker is a holiday tradition conveying the magic of the season, and it had been several years since I’d participated in this holiday event.  Sunday’s audience included many ballet enthusiasts and little girls dressed in holiday attire and a few more casual theater-goers. (A side note: In my humble opinion, jeans are not suitable attire for the theater, even for a matinee.) Read the rest of this entry »

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