Wednesday, May 1, 2024

John Adams’ "El Niño" at The Metropolitan Opera and Philip Glass' "Glass Pieces" at The New York City Ballet: Apr 23 - May 18

This year, in a rare deviation from the recurring patterns of the month of May, rather than attending the Seattle International Film Festival, I will be in New York City. The trip to the metropolitan hub of the arts and culture on the east coast is to attend new and major canonical works by John Adams, Philip Glass, theatre, dance, film, museums, galleries, and music performances. Among the most singular of these, Japan Society is in the midst of presenting a two-part major retrospective of the films of Hiroshi Shimizu. The second installment in the series, following "Hiroshi Shimizu: The Shochiku Years" at the Museum of the Moving Image, which was covered by, "Tomorrow There will be Fine Weather: A Hiroshi Shimizu Retrospective", is to feature his rarely screened, "Hiroshi Shimizu: The Postwar and Independent Years". Also on offer in the way of cinema, Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan, founding members of the band, SQÜRL, will be introducing the films of Man Ray at IFC. Across the way, to mark the publication of the first English-language edition of Chris Marker's "Le Dépays", The Metrograph is featuring a  series on "Chris Marker in Japan". Again back in Manhattan at Lincoln Center, the film society is presenting "Ryûsuke Hamaguchi I & II", featuring both "Evil Does Not Exist", and its silent film alternate twin, "Gift", with a live score by composer Eiko Ishibashi and ensemble. In the way of live music, Dirty Three percussionist, Jim White, alongside indie-folk songwriters Marisa Anderson, and Myriam Gendron are performing at Le Poisson Rouge. On the other side of the Brooklyn bridge, noiserock titans Swans perform two nights of majestic and unrelenting music at the Music Hall in Williamsburg. More mellow fare will be found with every day being closed out by rotating trios in late-night sets at Midtown's Tomi Jazz.

There will be very little time alloted for theatre, but I will be seeing “A Starry Cast Navigates ‘Uncle Vanya'”, in a new translation of the Anton Chekhov at Lincoln Center Theatre, followed by two nights at the opera and ballet at Lincoln Center. These two evenings will feature New York City Ballet's presentation of a showcase of "Contemporary Choreography I", highlighting "Glass Pieces' and 'Pictures at an Exhibition' Draw Us into their World". The major work of the week will be the final performance of a premiere the proceeding night, in the form of “John Adams’s ‘El Niño’ Arriving in Lush Glory”, at The Metropolitan Opera. Being in the big city, galleries are a must, and Chelsea offers both Delcy Morelos' "El abrazo" at Dia: Chelsea, and Lucas Arruda's "Assum Preto", at David Zwirner. And no week in New York would be complete without a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a visit to the current exhibitions on, "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion", and "Before Yesterday We Could Fly: An Afrofuturist Period Room". The unmissable array of 12th to 17th century paintings on display, and the classic 19th and early 20th century paintings, on offer in the Robert Lehman Collection. Similarly, The Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection on view on the fourth and fifth floors, spanning 1880s-1940s, and 1950s-1970s respectively, are the historic gems of the museum. While there, I will also be taking in the Joan Jonas' "Out Takes". Across the bridge at the Brooklyn Museum, Takashi Murakami presents his take on Hiroshige’s 100 Famous Views of Edo”, and back in Manhattan, the Guggenheim's grande rotunda is adorned with Jenny Holzer's "Light Line", showing concurrently with an array of work from, "By Way Of: Material and Motion in the Guggenheim Collection".