Friday, June 6, 2008

Music and Dance

Tonight, Catherine and I going to Joe's Pub which is one of the tonier music venues in New York. It's actually a rather long evening: we're having dinner there and hearing Pablo Aslan Avantago Sextet at 7:30; then at 9:30, David Parker and The Bang Group is performing in the Dancenow/NYC: Show Down. Pablo is married to director Alex Aron, who we've known for years and who has contributed to a couple of PWP events; and I've known Jeffery Kazin, the lead dancer and general manager of The Bang Group, since we first worked together at The Village Copier in 1989 (he's also a PWP board member). So even though the drinks and food will be a kinda pricey, I'm really looking forward to it.

We've never heard Pablo's music performed live—he's written music for plays that Alex has directed and we have one of his CDs, I'm pretty sure. He's an Argentinean composer/bassist and his set tonight will be 1920s and 30s tangos that he's arranged. I'm especially eager to hear this set because one of our numbers in The Beggar's Opera is a tango, and I've just started working on the staging for it, so I'm trolling for ideas.

On the other hand, we've seen The Bang Group just about every time they've played in NYC since 1993 or so. David is an incredibly skillful modern choreographer with a great sense of humor that he incorporates into his dance beautifully (some might say all modern dance is funny, but they would be philistines). Over the years, David has put Jeffery in ballet pointe shoes, white tie and tails (but no pants); a girdle, bra, satin gloves and pointe shoes; a suit made entirely of one side of velcro (to dance a duet with David, wearing a suit made from the other side); and a red cocktail dress. The Group's shows are always great fun to watch—not just for their humor but because of the incredible skill of the dancers: while David creates very funny work, he uses highly-skilled performers who make the clearly difficult choreography look amazingly easy. Every time I see their work, I swear that I'm coming back as a choreographer in the next life...  

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