The Season of Enlightenment Returns

The Season of Enlightenment Returns|The Season of Enlightenment Returns

Summer’s over and the arts scene is bursting back to life, easing the transition back to school, work, and the primary residence. Here are some of the more inspiring items on the arts and cultural calendar before the next round of holidays.

Visual Arts

NANCY BURSON Technology is still catching up with Burson, a pioneer in the field of computer-generated composite photographs who made a major contribution to the technique called morphing. From her “Beauty Composites,” to “The Human Race Machine,” she has consistently questioned social and cultural norms and stereotypes. “The Hand of God”—which includes images captured using a gas discharge visualization camera—is the artist’s first formal exhibition since 2002, and her first in a commercial space in almost a decade. It’s also the inaugural show at Clamp Art’s new, larger ground floor space at 521-531 W. 25th St. Sep. 7 – Oct. 7. Opening reception Sep. 7 6-8 p.m. 646-230-0020.

RAFAEL-LOZANO HEMMER Working at the crossroads of architecture and theater, of public and private, Lozano-Hemmer’s interactive installations redefine the relationship between art and viewer. His work taps into the technology of data networks, robotics, sensors, cell phones, projections and other devices to create ‘connective, participatory experiences.’ Bitforms gallery, 529 W. 20th St. Sep. 15-Oct. 21. Opening reception Sep. 15. 6-8 p.m. Artist’s talk Sep. 12. 7 p.m. (reservations 212-366-6959).


Hollywoodland Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, and Ben Affleck star in an exploration of fame and identity, inspired by one of Hollywood’s most infamous real-life mysteries. The story follows a 1950s private detective who, investigating the mysterious death of “Superman” star George Reeves and his affair with the wife of a studio executive, uncovers unexpected connections to his own life as the case turns more personal. Opens Sep. 8, wide release.

Sexual Dependency This film follows five teenagers in Bolivia and the U.S. as each becomes victim to their own sexual dependencies, self-perceptions, and illusions. Thematically structured around issues of femininity, masculinity, virginity, rape and sexuality, each teen struggles to make sense of their own identity. Plays Sep. 7 and 9, MoMA.

SHORTBUS “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” director John Cameron presents a movie to “demystify” sex by explicitly showing it on the screen in several scenes. The movie follows a group of New Yorkers caught up in their romantic-sexual milieu who converge at an underground salon infamous for its blend of art, music, politics, and carnality. It stars Canadian singer and radio/TV personality Sook-Yin Lee as one of the few professional actors. Opens Oct. 4.

Wrestling With Angels Playwright Tony Kushner Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Angels In America” Tony Kushner takes a trip through his life and times, from his childhood in small-town Louisiana to his development as a writer, politically active gay man, and globetrotting force for a more literate and compassionate world. The film opens in 2001 as Kushner is beginning production of “Homebody/Kabul” and ends three years later, as he works on John Kerry’s presidential campaign, gets married and opens “Caroline, Or Change” as a Broadway musical. Plays Oct. 4 – 17, Film Forum.

MARIE ANTOINETTE From the imagination of Oscar-winning writer/director Sofia Coppola comes a vibrant retelling of the classic story of Marie Antoinette, the naïve Austrian princess, who is thrown into the scandal-ridden world of the French aristocracy when she is betrothed to King Louis XVI. While still a teenager, Marie Antoinette conquers her fears and becomes France’s iconic queen. Marie Antoinette stars Kirsten Dunst in the title role with Jason Schwartzman as King Louis XVI. Oct. 20.

VOLVER Raimunda lives in Madrid with her daughter Paula and her perpetually drunk husband Paco; she and her sister lost their parents in a fire in their birth village years ago. Their aunt Paula remains in the village, and continues to speak about their mother as if she is still alive. When the old aunt dies, the situation changes and the past come back in a twist of mystery and suspense. Opens Nov. 2.


The Metropolitan Opera

212-362-6000 or

IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA One of the greatest Rossini tenor of our time, Juan Diego Flórez, sings the role of Count Almaviva in The Met’s first new “Barbiere” in 25 years. Diana Damrau and Joyce DiDonato share the role of Rosina, Peter Mattei is Figaro, Samuel Ramey is Don Basilio and John Del Carlo sings the role of the hapless Dr. Bartolo. Directed by Bartlett Sher and designed by Michael Yeargan, this is a “Barbiere” that is light on its feet, with mobile sets that allow the comic action to swirl from stage to audience and back again. Maurizio Benini conducts. Nov.10-May 11.

DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE Mozart saved some of his most sublime music for “Die “Zauberflöte,” his personal favorite and final opera. Julie Taymor’s dazzling production features Nathan Gunn and Rodion Pogossov sharing the role of Papageno. The casts include Jonas Kaufmann, Michael Schade, Matthew Polenzani, Morris Robinson, Isabel Bayrakdarian, René Pape and Kurt Moll. Oct. 7-Mar. 8.

CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA/ PAGLIACCI Razor-sharp and raw, this verismo thriller made its 26-year-old composer famous overnight. Majestically-voiced artists Maria Guleghina and Dolora Zajick share the role of the hot-blooded Santuzza. Generations of top tenors have lined up to sing the role of Canio, the tragic clown, and his famous arioso, “Vesti la giubba.” The dynamic Salvatore Licitra sings the role for the first time at The Met. Patricia Racette, whose portrayal of Roberta Alden in “An American Tragedy” moved audiences last season, sings Nedda. Lado Ataneli sings the role of Tonio. Marco Armiliato conducts. Oct. 20-Feb.10.

New York City Opera

212-870-5570 or

SEMELE Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. According to Ovid, neither does heaven. His mythological tale of a goddess’s vengeance is the source of this erotic Handel opera. The City Opera premiere of “Semele” marks the 11th production in the company’s unprecedented Handel cycle and the opera’s first professional staging in New York City. Sep.13-Oct. 4.

THE ELIXIR OF LOVE Is it love? Or is it all in their heads? Find out in Donizetti’s male twist on the Cinderella story. A triumph since its premiere in 1832, “The Elixir of Love” now is re-imagined by legendary opera and theater director Jonathan Miller. This charming production is sure to leave audiences punch-drunk in love with this most intoxicating of operas. Oct.7-Nov. 16.

Così fan tutte With “Così fan tutte,” City Opera celebrates two great occasions: the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth and the return of the legendary conductor Julius Rudel to the company he helped found. Singing the virtuosic role of Fiordiligi is Pamela Armstrong, a City Opera favorite who delighted audiences recently in Strauss’s “Capriccio” and Puccini’s “La rondine.” Oct. 21-Nov. 17.


New York City Center

W. 55th St. btwn Sixth & Seventh Aves.

212-581-1212 or

Fall for Dance Festival New York City Center’s third Fall for Dance Festival will showcase 30 companies from across the country and around the world; five companies will perform on each night. Sep. 28 – Oct. 8.

PUSH After two sell-out seasons at Sadler’s Wells London, garnering five-star reviews, “PUSH” featuring French ballerina and dance superstar Sylvie Guillem comes to New York City. This unique collaboration with the contemporary choreographer and dancer Russell Maliphant features four works performed by Guillem and Maliphant. Oct. 11– 15.

American Ballet Theatre From Twyla Tharp’s pas de deux “Sinatra Suite,” to Mark Morris’ “Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes,” to “Clear” choreographed by Stanton Welch, and Balanchine’s legendary “Symphonie Concertante” set to Mozart’s score, every performance promises an extraordinary experience. Oct. 18 – Nov. 5.

Symphony Space

212-864-5400 or

SUGAR SALON This inaugural performance features four world premieres by women at the forefront of contemporary choreography. Susan Marshall & Company perform alongside Yanira Castro + Company, Ivy Baldwin Dance, and Dana Ruttenberg. This important new series is dedicated to mentoring, commissioning and presenting the next generation of women choreographers. Presented by Williamsburg Art neXus (WAX) and the Barnard College Department of Dance. Oct. 10.

Japan Society

212- or

CANDIES The all-female performance troupe YUBIWA Hotel from Tokyo makes its U.S. debut in the dance/performance work “CANDIES: girlish hardcore.” This erotic, grotesque dance-performance work delves into girlhood beyond the sweet lace and frills to uncover what might lie beneath. Sep. 14-16.

Dance Theater Workshop

212-924-0077 or

BRIAN BROOKS MOVING COMPANY The genial pop-physicist/choreographer and his equally affable troupe presents “again again,” mining detail, precision, repetition, and configuration to mesmerizing and amusing effect. Oct. 3- 7.

Andrea Haenggi/AMDaT Swiss-born, New York-based Andrea Haenggi mixes live feeds from hidden cameras with projected films that are layered over raw, energized movement, creating odd and provocative parallels and transformations. Oct. 24-28.


718-636-4100 or

STEVE REICH @ 70 This month-long celebration hosted by BAM, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center features a premiere at each venue, along with a wide variety of earlier pieces, including collaborations with artists in other media. The BAM program, underscoring Reich’s status as one of the most choreographed living composers, begins with an acclaimed work from 1982 by the great Belgian choreographer Anne Therese de Keersmaeker, “Fase, four movements to the music of Steve Reich,” and continues with the U.S. premiere of “Variations for Vibes, Pianos and Strings,” an instrumental and dance work by the London Sinfonietta and Akram Khan Company. Oct. 3-5, 7.

DAVID DORFMAN DANCE Dorfman’s latest work “underground” uses the late 1960s-70s political activist organization Weather Underground as a starting point for this work that raises questions about the perception of activist affairs in the current environment of terrorism propaganda. Nov. 14, 16-18.

PINA BAUSCH The übermater of Tanzteatr returns to BAM for her 10th appearance with the exclusive U.S. engagement of “Nefés” (breath), an ode to Istanbul, known as the city of water. Dec. 8-10, 12, 14-16.

The Joyce Theater

212-242-0800 or

SHEN WEI DANCE ARTS Darling of the American Dance Festival and Lincoln Center Festival, the company makes its Joyce debut with the New York premiere of “Re-,“ a work based on the spirituality of the Tibet. “The Rite of Spring,” which put Shen on the critics’ map, completes the program. Sep. 26-Oct. 1.

PHILADANCO This crowd-pleasing, virtuosic troupe from Philadelphia brings an eclectic program of new works by Ronald K. Brown, Christopher Huggins, and “Pulse,” by Daniel Ezralow. Oct. 3-8.

DOUG VARONE AND DANCERS A world premiere and a New York premiere are the highlight of this company’s 20th anniversary season, which will also feature guest performances from former Varone company members, the sublime Gwen Welliver and the indomitable Larry Hahn, and guest Peggy Baker, former principal with Lar Lubovitch. Oct. 24-29.

Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church

212-674-8194 or

BORIS CHARMATZ AND DIMITRI CHAMBLAS These two French choreographers appear in the U.S. premiere of “A bras le corps,” their unflinching duet created in 1993 when the two were teens; the work has continued to evolve. In an intimate space, the pair squelch any opportunity for escape, offering an intensely private perspective of their strenuous tumbling, lurching, and grappling. Oct. 26-29.

RISA JAROSLOW & DANCERS In “Resist/Surrender” Jaroslow peels back the veneer of cultural assumptions about maleness and masculinity. Drawing from experiences of gay teens, senior adults, NYC firefighters, transgendered men, butch lesbians, corporate lawyers, ex-cons, batterers and abusers she challenges us to reconcile the assumed power of man. Nov. 30-Dec. 3.

The Chocolate Factory

212-352-3101 or chocolatefactorytheater,org

YANIRA CASTRO + COMPANY Two new movement installations inspired by divergent stories of conjoined twins, “(fetus) twin” addresses the universal experience of loss, union, and separateness in the body through movement, text, costumes and space. With performances by Castro’s steadfast collaborators, the awesome Pamela Vail and the beguiling Nancy Ellis. Oct. 19-21.


THE TREATMENT Culture Project presents Impact Festival 2006, a New York City-wide arts festival focusing on human rights, social justice, and political action. The 42-day festival, with more than 50 events, will take place at Culture Project (45 Bleecker Street) and at venues throughout the city, including the Public Library, The Knitting Factory, El Museo Del Barrio, and Town Hall. The festival opens with the world premiere of Eve Ensler’s new play “The Treatment. “ Starring Dylan McDermott and Portia and directed by Leigh Silverman, “The Treatment” is a two-character drama that delves beneath the layers of power, fear, and intimacy between a traumatized soldier (and former military interrogator) and the female psychologist Colonel who is assigned to give him a routine treatment. What follows is a blunt exploration of torture, accountability and a soldier’s “duty” to commit atrocities in the name of democracy. Sep. 12 – Oct. 22. 212-253-7017.

A CHORUS LINE One singular sensation. Opens Sep 18.