Sun

2/18

Mon

2/19

Tue

2/20

Wed

2/21

Thu

2/22

Fri

2/23

Sat

2/24

Today

Sun

2/18

Film

Fight the Power: Black Superheroes on Film

Photo: Blade / Warner Bros. Entertainment

The past five years have seen a surge in the representation of Black superheroes, starting with the small screen and such shows as Netflix’s Luke Cage or, more recently, CW’s Black Lightning, both of which have crucially filled a historical void in television. And, of course, after having gravitated in the margins of Captain America: Civil War, it is now time for T’Challa to get front and center at the multiplexes for Ryan Coogler’s much-anticipated Black Panther. But if Black Panther is rightfully significant, specifically because it is a mega-budgeted Hollywood production helmed by a young Black auteur, it is in no way an anomaly. At least, this is part of what the people at BAMcinématek seem to be saying with their current series, “Fight the Power: Black Superheroes on Film.” Through an eclectic selection of nearly thirty films covering everything from blaxploitation B movies to horror classics to auteur flicks, the program attempts to trace an original history of the Black — and sometimes “super” — hero.

Fanta Sylla

Dance

Bryn Cohn + Artists

This company of five has been performing Bryn Cohn’s work since 2012. Their first evening of repertory, The Art of Loss, includes the world premiere of A Perfect Union, inspired by the current political quagmire and featuring a score that mashes speeches by Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. Completing the program are the recent 4AM, to a collage score; the 2016 HOME, to music by Kevin Keller; the 2015 Skin, also to a Keller score, that explores how to build a person; and the 2012 If You Sink, to Chopin, that examines archetypical models of heteronormative relationships. Director Cohn is a graduate of CalArts, and is pursuing an MFA at UW-Milwaukee.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Performance

Avant-Garde-Arama

Vaudeville had an East Village renaissance in the early years of PS122, starting nearly 40years ago; on regular mixed bills, New Yorkers got their first look at such acts as Spalding Gray, Taylor Mac, DANCENOISE, Reggie Watts, and other figures you can now catch on cable and beyond. Carmelita Tropicana, Lucy Sexton of DANCENOISE, and Ikechukwu Ufomadu host a free, six-hour, multi-theater celebration of the series in Performance Space New York’s impressive new home; also on the roster are Adrienne Truscott, John Kelly, Mr. Watts, Penny Arcade, Sibyl Kempson, and dozens more, in from all over the country to celebrate with programmer Salley May. (On Saturday at 4, PSNY hosts an opening ceremony called Welcome to Lenapehoking, led by indigenous artists and leaders of the Manhahtaan-centered Lenape people.)

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Film

Modern Romance

“You’ve heard of a no-win situation: Vietnam, this.” So Albert Brooks informs his perplexed girlfriend (Kathryn Harrold) in the first of several obsessive-compulsive break-ups and make-ups that form the structure of 1981’s unfairly neglected Modern Romance. Although he has reductively been termed the “West Coast Woody Allen,” Brooks is in fact completely sui generis — a belligerent, cowardly, narcissistic, chronically unhappy Little Tramp looking for somebody (a woman, an audience) to love him. Even some admitted Brooks fans tend to think of the comic-turned-filmmaker primarily as a writer and not a director, to which I offer Modern Romance‘s astonishing six-minute-long tracking shot in which a quaalude-high Brooks stumbles through his Los Angeles apartment and several rambling midnight phone calls. Like Brooks’s legendary stand-up routines, his films key into the audience’s discomfort zone between the comedy of embarrassment and the embarrassment of comedy, between what’s supposed to be funny on purpose and what’s funny precisely because it isn’t supposed to be at all.

Scott Foundas

Film

Escape From New York

John Carpenter’s 1981 pastoral yearns for a mythical, idealized Manhattan, an anarcho-syndicalist utopia with a reliable mass-transit infrastructure, almost no traffic in midtown, and an authentic sense of culture. In short, a time when an overly sanitized Times Square was but a gleam in a developer’s eye. (Oh, and when our mayor would be Isaac Hayes.) True, you might get dragged underground by cannibal hordes at the Chock full O’ Nuts, but you might also get a cab driver who plays swing music and knows all off-the-menu routes over the Hudson, and the solution to congestion on the Queensboro Bridge (land mines) could serve as an example for today’s City Hall innovators. Perhaps too pricey to be considered a cult film, Escape From New York is a beautiful dystopia, restless and artfully grimy, and Carpenter’s intractable meanness renders it somehow ageless.

Jaime NChristley

Mon

2/19

Film

India: Matri Bhumi

Photo: Youtube

Jean-Luc Godard, who often wrote reviews in Cahiers du cinéma as if he was about to succumb to fever, called Roberto Rossellini’s 1959 documentary “more socratic than Socrates,” and promised to prove to readers that India: Matri Bhumi was not only twenty years ahead of everybody else, but that its director had created no less than the world anew. No work of art could possibly live up to such claims, but if anybody had a shot, it was Rossellini. Filmed using the short-lived Gevacolor process, India: Matri Bhumi is a leisurely-paced ninety minutes that nevertheless covers an astonishing amount of ground, with a tireless sense of contrasts at every leg of the journey. Poised at the precipice of Rossellini’s self-asserted abandonment of classical cinema, India is a work of stealth density, repaying the viewer who is as patiently curious as the traveler who made it.

Jaime NChristley

Film

After Tiller

If Americans have grown more conservative on abortion, it’s a good bet the trucks have something to do with it. If you’ve seen them you’ll never forget them: white vans or delivery vehicles plastered with grisly photos of red, pulpy tissue, clots of dead life distinguished with rough drafts of fists and eyes and a heart-sickening human aspect. No single image in After Tiller can compete on that gut-punch level. But, as a whole, Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s wrenching, humane film is as convincing a brief as I can imagine in favor of that most controversial of all pregnancy-terminating procedures: third-trimester abortions, which today are performed by only four American doctors.

Alan Scherstuhl

Tue

2/20

Film

Mother of George

Photo: Oscilloscope

The inability to have a child is often treated as a white-people problem, the province of middle- and upper-class couples who end up resorting to expensive fertility treatments. But Andrew Dosunmu’s supple, observant drama Mother of George puts a different spin on this anguishing issue: A woman who longs for a child and finds herself unable to conceive is probably suffering enough already. What happens when her fertility — or lack thereof — becomes everybody’s business but her own?

Stephanie Zacharek

Dance

Jennifer Monson

For thirty-five years, Jennifer Monson has made dances grounded in natural forces, exploring relationships between movement and the environment. She has tracked the migration of birds and of whales, and founded the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance (iLAND). In her new bend the even, she collaborates with composers Zeena Parkins and Jeff Kolar, lighting designer Elliott Cennetoglu, scene designer Regina Garcia, costume designer Susan Becker, and dancer Mauriah Kraker to explore “the indeterminate phenomena that exist on the edges of human perception.” Rehearsing outdoors before dawn generated connections among light, music, and movement, creating sensation experienced through the skin and ears as well as through the eyes. The piece, she says, creates a “contemplative environment that shifts from the imperceptible to the sudden.”

—Elizabeth Zimmer 

Wed

2/21

Film

Embrace of the Serpent

Photo: Oscilloscope

Colombian director Ciro Guerra’s Embrace of the Serpent is a legitimate stunner, a river-trip that will mesmerize and jack with you, leaving you not quite certain, at its end, how to go about the rest of your day. The film is beautiful and ferocious, calm and torrential, a plunge into the ol’ heart of darkness and then some organ darker still. It’s both an adventure movie — one as hardy and demanding as The Revenant but less preening about it — and a thorough brief on the horrors that civilization has wrought upon indigenous peoples. With a clever double-journey narrative that spans the first half of the twentieth century, Guerra traces the devastating impact of white interlopers upon Amazonian tribes across generations. It’s Apocalypse Then…and Later.

Alan Scherstuhl

Dance

Bebe Miller / Susan Rethorst

Two of America’s wisest choreographers, Bebe Miller and Susan Rethorst, share a program called The Making Room, as well as a process for developing new work. Each shows a new piece developed as part of Miller’s investigative process, and audiences are offered many perspectives on that process before, during, and after the Chelsea season. Miller’s piece, In a Rhythm, takes literary inspiration from Gertrude Stein, Toni Morrison, and David Foster Wallace, exploring how syntax and tone bring meaning. Its cast of six includes dancers from across the country and the modern universe. Rethorst juxtaposes fragments of work from the past thirty years, assessing, in a duet created for Gabrielle Revlock and Gregory Holt, how the pieces work with or against each other.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Jennifer Monson

For thirty-five years, Jennifer Monson has made dances grounded in natural forces, exploring relationships between movement and the environment. She has tracked the migration of birds and of whales, and founded the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance (iLAND). In her new bend the even, she collaborates with composers Zeena Parkins and Jeff Kolar, lighting designer Elliott Cennetoglu, scene designer Regina Garcia, costume designer Susan Becker, and dancer Mauriah Kraker to explore “the indeterminate phenomena that exist on the edges of human perception.” Rehearsing outdoors before dawn generated connections among light, music, and movement, creating sensation experienced through the skin and ears as well as through the eyes. The piece, she says, creates a “contemplative environment that shifts from the imperceptible to the sudden.”

—Elizabeth Zimmer 

Thu

2/22

Dance

Bebe Miller / Susan Rethorst

Two of America’s wisest choreographers, Bebe Miller and Susan Rethorst, share a program called The Making Room, as well as a process for developing new work. Each shows a new piece developed as part of Miller’s investigative process, and audiences are offered many perspectives on that process before, during, and after the Chelsea season. Miller’s piece, In a Rhythm, takes literary inspiration from Gertrude Stein, Toni Morrison, and David Foster Wallace, exploring how syntax and tone bring meaning. Its cast of six includes dancers from across the country and the modern universe. Rethorst juxtaposes fragments of work from the past thirty years, assessing, in a duet created for Gabrielle Revlock and Gregory Holt, how the pieces work with or against each other.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Tatyana Tenenbaum

Brooklyn-based Tatyana Tenenbaum’s remarkable oeuvre combines movement with voice. The descendent of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, she grew up in Western Massachusetts considering Broadway musicals her personal folklore, and spent her early years writing musical plays. She now describes herself as both a choreographer and a composer, and calls her new Untitled Work for Voice a “backstage musical.” How, she asks, “can we implicate our cultural patterns of yearning, catharsis, and individualism in order to forge an illicit future?” Her collaborating cast includes Marisa Clementi, Pareena Lim, Emily Moore, and Jules Skloot; the extraordinary Claire Fleury provides the costumes and Kathy Kaufmann the lighting design.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Jennifer Monson

For thirty-five years, Jennifer Monson has made dances grounded in natural forces, exploring relationships between movement and the environment. She has tracked the migration of birds and of whales, and founded the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance (iLAND). In her new bend the even, she collaborates with composers Zeena Parkins and Jeff Kolar, lighting designer Elliott Cennetoglu, scene designer Regina Garcia, costume designer Susan Becker, and dancer Mauriah Kraker to explore “the indeterminate phenomena that exist on the edges of human perception.” Rehearsing outdoors before dawn generated connections among light, music, and movement, creating sensation experienced through the skin and ears as well as through the eyes. The piece, she says, creates a “contemplative environment that shifts from the imperceptible to the sudden.”

—Elizabeth Zimmer 

Music

Mokoomba + Mandingo Ambassadors

Photo:

African dance music, a known therapeutic modality, will raise dopamine levels when Zimbabwean sextet Mokoomba and local Guinean groovers Mandingo Ambassadors kick off BRIC’s new weekly music series, “House Sessions.” Heavy on percussion, with a fine guitarist and bassist in Trustworth Samende and Abundance Mutori, respectively, Mokoomba is fronted by the spitfire singer Mathias Muzaza. The band’s two albums blend gracefully spirited Zimbabwean folk and rock rhythms with an international potpourri that includes reggae, funk, and South African township moves. Their song “Njawane” offers advice on dealing with lions (look them in the eye while walking backward). Acclaimed Guinean griot guitarist Mamady Kouyaté’s Mandingo Ambassadors, a guaranteed pleasure machine of interlocking rhythms and bliss-inducing guitar lines, have been energizing the cozy back room of Park Slope’s Barbès nearly every Wednesday night since 2008.

Richard Gehr

 

Fri

2/23

Music

Tal National + Kaleta & Super Yamba Band

Photo: Tal National / JASON CREPS

Fans of the Sahara’s boogieing Tuareg guitars who wish they’d crank it up occasionally will find much to mosh over in Tal National. Niger’s most popular band is a hard-rocking combo formed in 2000 by guitarist (and municipal judge) Hamadal “Almeida” Moumine. Tal recently released its fifth album, Tantabara, a typically polyglot collection of tunes in the Fulani, Hausa, Songhai, and Tuareg tongues. High-speed contrapuntal guitar lines, hard chikita-chikita beats, an mbalax-flavored talking drum, a charming female vocalist, and a traps drummer who can’t/won’t stop, even as his kit is being disassembled around him, all make for a terrifically engaging take on Afrobeat with a hardcore bent. They’re joined here by Kaleta & Super Yamba Band, a local Afro-funk group fronted by the screamingly soulful Benin-born singer Leon Ligan-Majek, a.k.a., Kaleta.

Richard Gehr

Dance

Panta Rei Dance Theatre

Norway pays a visit to New York with this American premiere by eighteen-year-old Oslo-based dance theater troupe Panta Rei. Directed by Anne Ekenes, the company arrives downtown with the two-year-old Lullaby, for a trio of men (Gareth Mole, Johnny Autin, and Matias Ronningen), cellist Emery Cardas, and pianist/composer Sverre Indris Joner, sharing the stage with a bunch of chairs. Lively and athletic, it juxtaposes powerful movement (choreographed by Ekenes, Pia Holden, and Hélèn Blackburn) with tender music by Joner, and is said to be a metaphor for our current international political situation.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Bebe Miller / Susan Rethorst

Two of America’s wisest choreographers, Bebe Miller and Susan Rethorst, share a program called The Making Room, as well as a process for developing new work. Each shows a new piece developed as part of Miller’s investigative process, and audiences are offered many perspectives on that process before, during, and after the Chelsea season. Miller’s piece, In a Rhythm, takes literary inspiration from Gertrude Stein, Toni Morrison, and David Foster Wallace, exploring how syntax and tone bring meaning. Its cast of six includes dancers from across the country and the modern universe. Rethorst juxtaposes fragments of work from the past thirty years, assessing, in a duet created for Gabrielle Revlock and Gregory Holt, how the pieces work with or against each other.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Tatyana Tenenbaum

Brooklyn-based Tatyana Tenenbaum’s remarkable oeuvre combines movement with voice. The descendent of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, she grew up in Western Massachusetts considering Broadway musicals her personal folklore, and spent her early years writing musical plays. She now describes herself as both a choreographer and a composer, and calls her new Untitled Work for Voice a “backstage musical.” How, she asks, “can we implicate our cultural patterns of yearning, catharsis, and individualism in order to forge an illicit future?” Her collaborating cast includes Marisa Clementi, Pareena Lim, Emily Moore, and Jules Skloot; the extraordinary Claire Fleury provides the costumes and Kathy Kaufmann the lighting design.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Abby Z and the New Utility

They look more like a wrestling team than like your average dance troupe, but, oddly, they never seem to touch one another. Nine powerful figures in shorts, knee pads, and sneakers storm the stage in Abandoned Playground, a new work by Abby Zbikowski, who teaches at the University of Illinois Champaign at Urbana and last year won the juried Bessie Award. Deeply rhythmic, with glances at tap, hip-hop, post-modern, and West African styles, the company might be a platoon of marines, or Olympic … oh, never mind. Just go to this opening salvo of this year’s five-week Harkness Dance Festival, and watch them let loose.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Jennifer Monson

For thirty-five years, Jennifer Monson has made dances grounded in natural forces, exploring relationships between movement and the environment. She has tracked the migration of birds and of whales, and founded the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance (iLAND). In her new bend the even, she collaborates with composers Zeena Parkins and Jeff Kolar, lighting designer Elliott Cennetoglu, scene designer Regina Garcia, costume designer Susan Becker, and dancer Mauriah Kraker to explore “the indeterminate phenomena that exist on the edges of human perception.” Rehearsing outdoors before dawn generated connections among light, music, and movement, creating sensation experienced through the skin and ears as well as through the eyes. The piece, she says, creates a “contemplative environment that shifts from the imperceptible to the sudden.”

—Elizabeth Zimmer 

Sat

2/24

Music

Amy Rigby

Photo: Ted Barron

Few singer-songwriters invite you into their lives as completely as Amy Rigby, who augments her casually autobiographical albums with a charmingly intimate blog. Two decades after Diary of a Mod Housewife, which established her bo-homebody persona and should have made her a household name, the former Sham is back with Old Guys, her first solo release (there’ve been a few with hubby Wreckless Eric in-between) since 2005’s Little Fugitive. The titular geezers include Philip Roth, Bob Dylan, and Robert Altman — artistic idols for the ages. There’s also a lesser-known cast of more neighborly blasts from Rigby’s past, whose stories she recounts sympathetically in her honest and fragile voice. And, as always, there are a couple of brutally honest glances in the mirror. Songwriter, producer, author, and Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye kicks things off with a rare solo set.

Richard Gehr

Dance

Abby Z and the New Utility

They look more like a wrestling team than like your average dance troupe, but, oddly, they never seem to touch one another. Nine powerful figures in shorts, knee pads, and sneakers storm the stage in Abandoned Playground, a new work by Abby Zbikowski, who teaches at the University of Illinois Champaign at Urbana and last year won the juried Bessie Award. Deeply rhythmic, with glances at tap, hip-hop, post-modern, and West African styles, the company might be a platoon of marines, or Olympic … oh, never mind. Just go to this opening salvo of this year’s five-week Harkness Dance Festival, and watch them let loose.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Just in Time

A pair of Berlin-based choreographers who travel under the moniker deufert&plischke have spent the last few years collecting hand-written “letters to dance” from kids, seniors, dancers, travelers — anyone in Berlin, Tel Aviv, and New York whom they could cajole into sharing memories, experiences, and anecdotes about their favorite moments and movements. Folks who attend this free intergenerational community ball will be invited to perform the contributions of other New Yorkers, and some pretty dazzling dance-world icons are showing up, including street dancer Brian “Hallow Dreams” Henry, beloved ballet teacher Janet Panetta, and octogenarian dancer and actress Valda Setterfield. Pianist Alain Franco accompanies Setterfield, and deufert&plischke company member Kareth Schaffer acts as master of ceremonies. Dress to move!

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Panta Rei Dance Theatre

Norway pays a visit to New York with this American premiere by eighteen-year-old Oslo-based dance theater troupe Panta Rei. Directed by Anne Ekenes, the company arrives downtown with the two-year-old Lullaby, for a trio of men (Gareth Mole, Johnny Autin, and Matias Ronningen), cellist Emery Cardas, and pianist/composer Sverre Indris Joner, sharing the stage with a bunch of chairs. Lively and athletic, it juxtaposes powerful movement (choreographed by Ekenes, Pia Holden, and Hélèn Blackburn) with tender music by Joner, and is said to be a metaphor for our current international political situation.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Bebe Miller / Susan Rethorst

Two of America’s wisest choreographers, Bebe Miller and Susan Rethorst, share a program called The Making Room, as well as a process for developing new work. Each shows a new piece developed as part of Miller’s investigative process, and audiences are offered many perspectives on that process before, during, and after the Chelsea season. Miller’s piece, In a Rhythm, takes literary inspiration from Gertrude Stein, Toni Morrison, and David Foster Wallace, exploring how syntax and tone bring meaning. Its cast of six includes dancers from across the country and the modern universe. Rethorst juxtaposes fragments of work from the past thirty years, assessing, in a duet created for Gabrielle Revlock and Gregory Holt, how the pieces work with or against each other.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Tatyana Tenenbaum

Brooklyn-based Tatyana Tenenbaum’s remarkable oeuvre combines movement with voice. The descendent of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, she grew up in Western Massachusetts considering Broadway musicals her personal folklore, and spent her early years writing musical plays. She now describes herself as both a choreographer and a composer, and calls her new Untitled Work for Voice a “backstage musical.” How, she asks, “can we implicate our cultural patterns of yearning, catharsis, and individualism in order to forge an illicit future?” Her collaborating cast includes Marisa Clementi, Pareena Lim, Emily Moore, and Jules Skloot; the extraordinary Claire Fleury provides the costumes and Kathy Kaufmann the lighting design.

—Elizabeth Zimmer

Dance

Jennifer Monson

For thirty-five years, Jennifer Monson has made dances grounded in natural forces, exploring relationships between movement and the environment. She has tracked the migration of birds and of whales, and founded the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature, and Dance (iLAND). In her new bend the even, she collaborates with composers Zeena Parkins and Jeff Kolar, lighting designer Elliott Cennetoglu, scene designer Regina Garcia, costume designer Susan Becker, and dancer Mauriah Kraker to explore “the indeterminate phenomena that exist on the edges of human perception.” Rehearsing outdoors before dawn generated connections among light, music, and movement, creating sensation experienced through the skin and ears as well as through the eyes. The piece, she says, creates a “contemplative environment that shifts from the imperceptible to the sudden.”

—Elizabeth Zimmer