On October 18, Wendy Whelan will end her 30-year career at New York City Ballet with a farewell performance. It sold out in minutes, and plenty of her fans won’t be able to watch in person. Over the weekend, a petition was started on Facebook to get New York City Ballet to live stream the performance. The page already has more than 1,000 likes. If you support this effort, go ahead and give it a thumbs up. It will be quite a win if City Ballet listens and moves forward with live streaming. And it would surely be memorable and meaningful for Whelan’s fans around the world.
This Wednesday, October 8, choreographer Alexei Ratmansky, who is the current Artistic Director of the Bolshoi Ballet and Artist in Residence at American Ballet Theatre, will sit down with Paul Holdengräber to discuss his career. Get tickets here. The event is a co-presentation with NYU’s new Center for Ballet and the Arts.
Sitting in the dark on Thursday night at Town Hall, radio host Ira Glass and dancers Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass can be heard debating how to start their show. Ira suggests a segment not unlike what listeners hear on This American Life. The dancers prefer something with more sparkle and pizzazz. They get their way, bursting out from behind a red curtain in sequenced dresses with confetti showering onto the stage. So begins Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host, which the trio has been touring across the country and made its NYC debut this past week.
Today, the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts), the non-profit organization that contributes to the cultural vitality of the nation by supporting the artistic development of talented young artists, is celebrating YoungArts Awareness Day, a nationwide initiative to help “keep arts alive.” Encouraging everyone who has a creative instinct to take part, YoungArts Awareness Day is featuring pop-up performances and events in Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, and New York City.
Throughout the day, YoungArts invites all artists to share their work and tell their personal story of why the arts matter on social media and to connect with YoungArts Awareness Day through the tags #keepartsalive, #youngarts, and #youngartsawarenessday.
In New York, YoungArts Alumni will be doing “Pop-Up” performances at Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle from 12:00-1:30 PM EST. YoungArts Alumni include:
- Pascal LeBoeuf (2004, Jazz Keyboard)
- Josh Page (2008, Classical Voice)
- Bihn Park (2014, Cello)
- Gabe Schnider (2011, Jazz Guitar)
- Third Story, featuring alumni Elliott Skinner (2013, Jazz Voice), Richard Saunders (2008, Jazz Voice) and Ben Lusher (2010, Jazz Voice)
- Caleb Teicher (2011, Tap)
- Grace Weber, (2006, Pop Voice)
- Mark Whitfield, Jr, (2009, Jazz Percussion)
I had the pleasure of seeing Monica Bill Barnes & Co. perform with Ira Glass, host of This American Life, at Carnegie Hall last year when they opened for comedian Mike Birbiglia. The combination of radio and dance – which “have no business being together”, according to Glass – was funny, touching, and heartfelt. Since then, the dance company and radio host have expanded their show and taken it on the road to 30 cities, and now (finally!) they’re bringing Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host to NYC. Tickets are on sale for the September performances at Town Hall. Get ‘em while you can, and check out the trailer below.