Performing Arts Talks and Events Coming to NYC

By Alison Durkee

From Broadway stages to world-class music venues, New York City is home to one of the greatest performance scenes in the world. Discover all the city has to offerand get an in-depth look behind the scenesat these upcoming performing arts-themed talks and events.

Music lovers can get a primer on the history of jazz this February as One Day University takes a look at the rich art form February 24. To discover musical styles from across the Pacific, delve into Chinese opera at a talk and live performance March 2, or hear more about the shamisen, a three-stringed Japanese instrument, at a talk March 19. Musical performances will also be taking place around town this February; discover the breadth of the city’s music scene by taking in such diverse offerings as Ireland and America, a musical retrospective of Irish American history (February 22); an evening of Cole Porter standards (February 26); and MindTravel, an immersive installation using music meditation (February 24, above).

Image by M. Lamar

New Yorkers wanting more political fare, meanwhile, can check out Eco-Tripping, a musical and comedic showcase about modern ecology by hip hip-hop/performance art duo Killin H8 (February 23), or M. Lamar’s The Birth of the Negro Superman, a song cycle about the African-American experience (February 23). Performing arts fans can also challenge themselves with some performance art this February; enjoy a screening and live performance from legendary performance artist Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens as part of MoMA’s Modern Mondays February 25, or see a new work coming to life with a work-in-progress performance of the “participatory performance mashup” The Eye of the Beholder at BRIC February 22.

Theatre fans have countless shows to see in New York City, but those hoping to get a deeper perspective from this season’s theater makers will also be spoilt for choice this February and March. As the Broadway hit Come From Away celebrates its second anniversary, hear from the show’s creators and cast members as they appear in conversation at the 92nd Street Y March 3. The Guggenheim’s Works and Process series will include a look at Signature Theater’s upcoming world premiere musical Octet March 3, while the Museum of the City of New York will continue its partnership with New York City Center with a panel discussion February 25. The discussion, centered around City Center’s upcoming production of Rodgers and Hart’s I Married an Angel, will consider how collaboration can drive Broadway shows, particularly when dance is involved.

Tony Roberts (C) and cast taking a bow at the end of the the Broadway production of the musical “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway”.

Dance lovers can also enjoy several upcoming dance-themed panels at the Guggenheim Museum, including a conversation on the Washington Ballet with artistic director Julie Kent (March 10-11) and a panel discussion looking back at the Tony-winning Jerome Robbins’ Broadway February 24-25. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, currently home to an exhibition on Jerome Robbins, will celebrate the legendary director-choreographer as well with upcoming talks on his unproduced theatre piece Poppa Piece (March 21) and Robbins as a champion of the NYPL (March 7).

There are also plenty of dance performances coming up that go beyond the city’s biggest dance stages. Discover emerging artists creating innovative modern dance works with Zullo/RawMovement’s Liable to Change (February 22-23), which investigates systems of order and logic, and Dusan Tynek Dance Theatre’s Le Jardin Qui Rit (The Laughing Garden), which pays homage to Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (above). The surrealistic production will take place at Baruch Performing Arts Center from March 7-9. On February 26, Gibney Dance will support survivors of domestic violence with Power in Motion, a special recital and reception benefitting the nonprofit Sanctuary for Families. In addition to these contemporary works, balletomanes can get a first look at tomorrow’s ballet stars by heading to Ballet Academy East’s Winter Performance Series March 1-3 and the Valentina Kozlova International Ballet Competition (March 18), in which dancers from around the world vie for company contracts and scholarships to top ballet academies.

Of course, not all performing arts take place onstage. Television fans can delve into the cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer at a talk exploring the show’s radical feminism February 25, or see comedians who have appeared on TV take the stage for the stand-up showcase Wet Cash Comedy February 22. Movie buffs can head to the 92nd Street Y, where their Reel Pieces series will include upcoming preview screenings of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (February 26) and Gloria Bell (March 5). The screenings will also include conversations with the films’ creators and stars; director/actor Chiwetel Ejiofor will discuss The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, and actress Julianne Moore and director Sebastián Lelio will appear after the screening of Gloria Bell. Those who enjoy more auditory-based entertainment, meanwhile, can get a behind-the-scenes look at Serial March 23, as creators Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder share how they created the wildly popular podcast.

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