Fall Arts Season Kicks off with an International Bent

photo: Gérald Kurdian. Courtesy Abrons Arts Center.

The Fall arts season is off to a great start here on the LES.  Some notable highlights opening this week:

Abrons Arts Center and PS 122 play host to two French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) festival events. This annual festival, now in its 6th year, showcases interdisciplinary works and performances created by artists from around the world. Abrons presents the Paris-based artist Gérald Kurdian and his newest work The Magic of Spectacular. Blending performance, pop music, and magical interludes, the piece takes a “whimsical” look at contemporary views of magic.

PS 122’s Habit, is a durational installation created by “provocateur” David Levine, who transforms the Essex Street Market’s building B into a a four-walled, fully furnished and functional American ranch house. Three actors go through the mundane tasks of everyday life: cooking; cleaning; washing, in a 90 minute drama that unfolds on a continuous loop for eight hours a day. Audiences are encouraged to stay as short or as long as they like.

Fitzgerald & Stapleton in WAGE at Abrons Arts Center.

Also opening this week at Abrons is another international collaboration—courtesy of Project Arts Centre Dublin and  Culture Ireland, the world premiere of WAGE, by the Irish dance theatre company, Fitzgerald & Stapleton.  This time around, Abrons’ Underground Theater will be transformed into a “shamanic space of solace and redemption.” Their website notes, “figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics tell us that in 2010, women who worked full time in wage and salary jobs had median weekly earnings of $669. This represented 81 percent of men’s median weekly earnings — $824. In respect of this, tickets are offered for female-identified audience members at a 19-percent discount.”   Note: This show contains nudity.

A few blocks away, Dixon Place presents the premiere of A Single Ride, a multimedia dance show that explores the complex relationships between New Yorkers and the subway. The piece is directed & choreographed by Ephrat ‘Bounce” Asherie with original music by Grammy winner Marty Beller.

A bit further north, playwright Jean-Claude van Itallie talks about Ellen Stewart, Occupy Wall Street, and the 60′s Off-Off Broadway movement, in the world premiere of his Confessions and Conversations at La Mama. The 8th Annual NY Gypsy Festival continues at DROM this Thursday with performances by the infectious New York Gypsy All-Stars.

In visual arts, the New Museum opens Come Closer: Art Around the Bowery, 1969–1989, featuring original artwork, ephemera, and performance documentation by twenty artists who lived and worked in New York’s Infamous Bowery Neighborhood.

  • The Magic of Spectacular Theater / Abrons Arts CenterSept 18 – 19 / 8pm / $15
  • Wage /Abrons Arts Center / Sept 18 – 23 / 8pm / Female-identified $12, Male-identified $15 – Very limited seating
  • Habit / PS 122 @ Essex Street Market, Building B / Sept 21 – 30 / free and open to the public, between 1 – 9pm daily
  • A Single Ride / Dixon Place / Thurs – Sat,  Sept 20 – 29 / 7:30pm /  $15 (advance), $18 / $12 stu/sen or TDF (door)
  • Confessions and Conversations / La Mama / Sept 20 – 22, 7:30, 23, 2:30 / $25, $20 stu/sen.
  • 8th Annual Gypsy Festival / Drom / through Sept 30 / $15 adv, $20 door
  • Come Closer: Art Around the Bowery, 1969–1989 / New Museum / Sept 19 – Jan 13 / general museum admission $14