Into The Soldier’s Tale
April 19, 2012, 1:59 pm
Filed under: Dance, Music, New York City, Theater

Left to right: Niall Powderly, William Vaughn and Chuck Furlong

We’re often told that starting a business with your family is a dangerous thing. Work brings out the best in us, but the worst pokes its nasty head out just the same. So we turn to working with our friends whenever we can afford to, because the bonds between us aren’t as loaded, and it’s a logical step towards what should be guaranteed fun. It’s like a family without all the strings attached.

Niall Powderly, William Vaughn and Chuck Furlong, who met as freshmen at NYU, put that plan into action pretty early on in their friendship. Now that their NYU careers are ending, they are putting on a production of Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat, or The Soldier’s Tale, from May 3rd to 5th at Access Theater in Tribeca, as the 100 Proof Arts Collective.

Originally a Russian folk tale, The Soldier’s Tale they’re producing brings the narrative to the present and combines a seven-piece orchestra playing Stravinsky’s complex music, with acting of C.F. Ramuz’s text and dancing to tell the story of a soldier returning home from deployment in Afghanistan. The three of them have had to learn the ins and outs of how each other’s fields worked (Furlong is a musician, but Vaughn and Powderly are actors) but in the end, it seems they’ve managed to make it work.

The Soldier’s Tale will be performed May 3-5 each night at 8pm at Access Theater, located at 380 Broadway (2 blocks South of Canal) on the 4th Floor.For more on this production, visit 100 Proof’s website,, where you will find information about tickets and all the other ways in which you can support the collective.

The Brodmann Areas- a new ballet from Norte Maar


On our show, on our blog Citywide has frequently appreciated the way the North Brooklyn and Bushwick art scenes are coming together. We’ve painted a picture of individual artists scrapping together to instill bygone industrial regions with beauty and poetry. We’ve admired these communities for providing evidence of the heart and purpose emitting from a generation of artists that many have ascribed a bleak future to.

It’s a gross misestimation to believe that arts in New York and Brooklyn in particular have been “played out,” have been “sold out.” The individual artists that collaborate in collectives such as Norte Maar prove that there is a pool of ingenuity brewing in the streets, the lofts, the studios, the reclaimed spaces of Brooklyn. The fact that emerging artists with incredibly different backgrounds such as Paul D’agostino and Audra Wolowiec are working with experienced art producers and curators such as Jason Andrew and Julia Gleich (co-founders of Norte Maar) shows that Brooklyn– and Bushwick in particular– is a place for people with the hard-to-grasp questions of today to go and explore previously untouched concepts and perspectives.

These are all artists contributing work to The Brodmann Areas premiering April 12th at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn, a new ballet produced by Jason Andrew and directed by Julia Gleich which pontificates on the sensory faculties of the human brain at the very same time that it produces the very stimuli in its audiences of the various mechanisms it represents via multiple art forms. It is an all-encompassing sensory experience based on the region of the cerebral cortex called the Brodmann Area, a structure closely correlated with vision, movement, language, and memory. The ballet is choreographed to both simulate and stimulate brain activity. Aspects of the performance also include video projection meant to hypnotize the spectator in correlation with the movement of the dancers. One portion of the performance asks the audience to focus on a point beside the stage and observe the activity of the performers in the periphery. At one point a dancer attempts to recite the number pi up to as much as 250 decimal points with movements corresponding to each particular digit. Music director Ryan Francis has put together a soundscape of cerebral music by Henri Dutilleux along with original music composed to correspond with the themes of the program.


Dancers (L to R): Morgan McEwen, Jace Coronado, Abbey Roesner

It is a thoroughly thought-out and invested event of performance and spectatorship that poses questions as it proposes interpretations. Listen to the interview to hear the project’s directors and performers talk about the motivation for putting the ballet together, their own brain experiences in carrying it out, and their personal ideas on art and the human brain. It’s amazing.


Lucas Green

The Brodmann Areas, A new ballet from Norte Maar-

produced by Jason Andrew
directed and choreographed by Julia K. Gleich
musical direction by Ryan Francis
décor and costumes by Tamara Gonzales
with collaborating artists:
Paul D’Agostino
Lawrence Swan
Denis Pelli
Audra Wolowiec
Margo Wolowiec
and others

danced by Dylan Crossman, Michelle Buckley, Jace Coronado, Morgan McEwen, and Abbey Roesner

Apr 12-15, 2012

Center for Performance Research
361 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn

Directions: L Train to Graham Avenue (3rd Stop in Brooklyn). Exit right out of turnstile, Left down Graham Avenue, Left on Jackson Street, Right on Manhattan Avenue

Mikhail Baryshnikov archives at the New York Public Library
December 15, 2011, 1:17 pm
Filed under: Dance, Exhibition, New York City | Tags:

I’ve said it before: Mikhail Baryshnikov is my hero in many ways. And the little time that I got to spend at the Library of the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center looking through the archival preview of the newly donated archives of video, letters, magazines, pictures and books of him reminded me once more of the endless number of reasons why.

From very early videos of him dancing as a child in the USSR, to his dancing duet with Gregory Hines in White Nights, his performance in Roland Petit’s Carmen, or even just by looking at his handsome face in his old yearbook, his magnetism radiates through the various screens and vitrines of the exhibit.

I realize that I sound like a little fan girl, but I’m not the only one who’s excited about him and his talent. Take a listen to the conversation I had with Jan Schmidt, the curator of the dance division, after I met with Kate Stober, a press representative of the New York Public Library.

You can visit the this delightful little archival preview at the Library for the Performing Arts, the NYPL branch located at Lincoln Center, until December 20th. After that, they’ll be getting processed and entered into the collection over a few years. For more information on the library and when to see the exhibit, visit the branch’s website,

And for your viewing pleasure, the man at work with Zizi Jeanmaire, dancing Carmen:

Vicky Shick and Barbara Kilpatrick for “Not Entirely Herself”
March 10, 2011, 1:00 am
Filed under: Art, Dance, Theater | Tags:

When I told my co-host Zoe that I would be interviewing Vicky Shick and Barbara Kilpatrick for Citywide, she chuckled and told me, “You really like interviewing people called Barbara,” alluding to my very first guest on the show, visual artist Barbara Lubliner. And although I don’t discriminate in my choice of guests by name, her comment stuck with me because as the interview went on that evening, I realized that there has been a common thread between all my interviews: the idea that art and culture are and should always be in motion. The additional component this interview adds to this perspective: this fluidity associates it with a certain level of uncertainty and ultimately keeps it interesting.

Vicky and Barbara came into the studio straight after a rehearsal for Not Entirely Herself, which will premiere at the Kitchen next Wednesday, March 16th. In scheduling the interview, Elise Kermani, the sound designer, was also invited to come but could not make it that specific night. During the interview, I learned they were probably in the most stressful period of production; it was a few days before they loaded into the theater, the show was still shifting… but it never felt like it would not get to where it should be. Maybe that came from the amazing complicity and trust between Vicky and Barbara…

In the interest of time – if you’d asked me when I started doing interviews for Citywide that I’d end up thinking that, sometimes, a 30-minute interview was too short, I would have laughed – I had to cut out the last question I asked Vicky and Barbara. I’ll transcribe it here instead. The answers translate some anxiety, but they also show their passion, the mood of the piece and again, the inspiring notion that art is not set and works as an exchange, both in its preparation and its performance.

Q – What is the one, single most important thing we should know about Not Entirely Herself before we see it?

A – Vicky: For me, maybe… it’s to not work too hard to figure out what it’s about and to slow down the breathing and have a look and you know, maybe some of it will be pleasurable.

Barbara: I would have to say that… to be open hearted and have an open mind and see it as a visual art form that will unfold in lots of different ways… you know, be attentive to the detail and enjoy the incredibly generous, beautifully gifted dancers.

Not Entirely Herself, featuring Marilyn Maywald, Jimena Paz, Maggie Thom (pictured), Neil Greenberg, Vicky Shick and live sound mixing by Elise Kermani, opens next week, March 16th, and runs until March 19th. For more information, visit

Sedera Ranaivoarinosy