Tag Archives: Studio 5

April 1 – April 7

 When attending Studio 5, my friend and I have a ritual: early supper in a Thai restaurant on 58th Street, jaywalking across the street into one of the City Center buildings and taking the ornate elevator to the fifth floor to a well lit rehearsal room surrounded on three sides of folding chairs. The early birds grab the center section. We sit on the stage right side. Studio 5 was invented by Damian Woetzel who is now the seventh president of Juilliard. The president has left the premises but he’s been succeeded by other ballet luminaries. This evening Kate Lydon, the Artistic Director of ABT Studio Company, moderated American Ballet Theatre: From Trainee to Luminary.  The average age of the dancers was nineteen. They discussed where they came from, what it was like training and living in ABT housing but the focus of the evening was when they danced. We were treated to excerpts from Giselle, William Tell and Le Jeune. So backstage, so NYC. 

 

 

Studio 5 ABT Dancers
Studio 5 ABT Dancer
Studio 5 ABT Dancers
Studio 5 ABT Dancers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next evening we went to Juilliard Jazz. Wynton Marsalis introduced A Tribute to Blue Note Records. In the playbill, there was a short interview with Conductor Marsalis in which he stressed the importance of jazz’s history for musicians and named some of the Blue Note musicians with whom he’d played: . Juilliard Jazz played nine pieces including Woody Shaw’s The Moontrane and Dexter Gordon’s Ernie’s Tune. The evening ended with Wayne Shorter’s Free for All with a tremendous drum solo.  

Juilliard Jazz
Juilliard Jazz
Juilliard Jazz
Juilliard Jazz
Juilliard Jazz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears a person fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie. 

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case?  It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

New York Mysteries Sept. 24— Sept. 30

Dancing Chicken, Crying Tiger, Swimming Duck. I bet you thought I’d spent the day at the Bronx Zoo. Instead, I spent an air conditioned hour in Topaz, a Thai restaurant, across 56th St. from City Center’s Studio 5. The first session of Studio 5 concentrated on ABT – Coaching Principal Roles. It was moderated by Kevin McKenzie, the artistic director of American Ballet Theatre. He coached Alban Lendorf and Devon Teuscher in roles they’ll be performing for the first time. McKenzie concentrated on Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.  Watching a master teaching new dancers is a thrilling, backstage experience and one of the reasons Studio 5 sells out quickly.

Kevin McKenzie coaching Devon Teuscher and Alban Lendorf

 

Kevin McKenzie and Daniel Waite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russian champagne was served at my hairdresser’s to celebrate a birthday. It’s near Coney Island and run by Russians. There’s a small, noisy Italian contingent. Great fun slurping Russian champagne and trying not to eat cheese cake on the first day of fall weather.

Russian Champagne

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

 

New York City Blog — Nov. 13- Nov. 19

Hasn’t it been a rocky week? How many conversations have begin with I don’t want to talk about the election and then you talk about it ad nauseam.

A Facebook friend posted this:
Kakistocracy
PRONUNCIATION:
(kak-i-STOK-ruh-see, kah-ki-)
MEANING:
noun: Government by the least qualified or worst persons.
ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek kakistos (worst), superlative of kakos (bad) + -cracy (rule). Ultimately from the Indo-European root kakka-/kaka- (to defecate), which also gave us poppycock, cacophony, cacology, and cacography. Earliest documented use: 1829.
From my limited Italian I recall that caca is Italian for poop.

Friends and I attended the second session of Studio 5. It  focused on The Creative Forces Behind the Nederlands Dans Theater.

 

NDT Dancers
NDT Dancers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To the Guggenheim. It’s one of my favorite museums. Most people take the elevator to the top floor and then walk down. I prefer to walk both ways. There isn’t a bad view in the place. The Moholy-Nagy exhibit was a beautifully mounted exhibit. The artist experimented with the innovative materials of the early twentieth century such as plastic. Alice Martin is the current show. At first I thought my lousy eyesight was kicking in. We walked closer to the blank canvases and I finally got it. It’s painting composed of grids and stripes. For me it was like a textile show. That’s one of the joys of the Guggenheim. There’s always the unexpected.

 

From the Met's Jerusalem exhibit: The Archangel Israfil
From the Met’s Jerusalem exhibit: The Archangel Israfil

From there we trotted ten blocks south to the Met. The Met has nerve. The exhibit, Valentin de Boulogne, was presented as Beyond Caravaggio. A more apt name would have been Way Behind Caravaggio. The Jerusalem exhibit was very moving. Wandering among the mounted artifacts of the many cultures that have passed through and being surrounded by the evocative photography of this ancient crossroads is moving and frightening.

 

 

To my shame, I almost skipped the Pierre Gouthière: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court at the Frick Collection. I didn’t. It’s wonderful. If you want a full rush of what the eighteenth century French privileged classes were buying, often without paying, from superb craftsmen and artists run do not walk to the exhibition. Keep in mind that Gouthière who handled gold all his working life died in poverty.

New York City Blog – Oct. 16 – 23

Sunday evening was spent for a few hours in The Frick Collection’s Music Room. The Carducci Quartet, two violins, one viola and one cello, played a lively selection of Mendelssohn, Shostakovich and Beethoven.The Anglo-Irish quartet plays across a gamut of classical and modern. The concert began at five p.m., ended around seven and then it was on to dinner at Le Charlot, a very snazzy, local French bistro.

Part of the City Center sprawl is the Studio 5 series that is presented in a 56th Street studio. It began with Damian Woetzel and Wendy Whalen, sitting on high chairs like life guards, talking to the 200 member audience sitting around the perimeter of the large, bare space. Whalen and Woetzel met in 1986 when both were fledgling dancers at New York City Ballet. Woetzel is now the Artistic Director of the Vail Dance Festival. The evening’s program focused on Remixing A Festival From Vail to New York. The workshop is the first of four about dance. The dancing began with Robert Fairchild preforming a solo dance that Woetzel critiqued. This was followed by Unity Phelan and Cameron Dieck, young NYCB dancers, demonstrating how to interpret various dance movements. Heather Watts joined in the discussion and led Phelan through a few suggestive steps. Cameron Grant was the pianist who tripped merrily along with the dancers.

Robert Fairchild coming round the bend
Robert Fairchild coming round the bend
Unity Phalen, Heather Watts, Wendy Whalen, Damian Woetzel
Unity Phalen, Heather Watts, Wendy Whalen, Damian Woetzel
Wendy Whalen, Damian Woetzel and Cameron Grant
Wendy Whalen, Damian Woetzel and Cameron Grant

It’s an immediate, behind-the-scenes experience. I can’t wait for the next three sessions.