5 Things to Do This Weekend
New Adventures With Some Old Classics
In 1995, the British choreographer Matthew Bourne audaciously reimagined the revered 19th-century ballet “Swan Lake,” transforming the ethereal female bevy into a flock of feral men. The production, a blend of contemporary dance and Broadway spectacle, became an international sensation and, a quarter century later, was one of the last seen on New York City Center’s stage before Covid-19 arrived.
Now it’s the first of four full-length performances that make up Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures Festival, available through April 4 on the City Center website for $15 each, or $50 for all four.
“Swan Lake,” online through Sunday, is followed by “The Car Man,” which transplants Bizet’s “Carmen” to an oil-stained garage and diner in 1960s America (Friday to March 21). Then come Bourne’s “Cinderella,” set in London during the Blitz (March 19-28), and his “Romeo & Juliet,” which commits the star-crossed lovers to an institution for troubled youth (March 26-April 4).
Ways to Mark a Lost Year
Theater is steeped in almost sacramental rituals, from the repetition of rehearsal to the communion of performance. When a house is empty, a ghost light keeps spirits at bay. When a luminary dies, marquees are dimmed. And when a big anniversary rolls around, people gather to observe it — because in an art form built for evanescence, it’s important to tend to the history.
There is no sugarcoating the sadness of marking one year this week since the pandemic shutdown of the theater. With assembling en masse to commemorate it still unsafe, we are left to make our separate ceremonies, solemn or celebratory. Take your pick.
For my own, there will be music: Shaina Taub’s buoyant, funny demos for her adaptations of “Twelfth Night” and “As You Like It” (both on Bandcamp); the “Hamilton” cast album, of course; and the cast album of Tim Minchin’s playful, longing “Groundhog Day,” because here we are, a year later, still trapped in a pandemic.
Pop & Rock
Helping Fellow Musicians in Need
Before the glam teams swoop in and the red carpet is unfurled, several nominees at Sunday’s Grammy Awards will lend their talents to a virtual benefit concert for the Recording Academy’s charitable wing, MusiCares, which provides financial and medical support to musicians in need.
Among the performers are Jhené Aiko, whose sensuous third record, “Chilombo,” is a contender for album of the year, and the sister group Haim — Aiko’s competitors — who will flaunt the breezy Californian rock that earned them a nomination for “Women in Music Pt. III.” H.E.R., a Recording Academy darling up for song of the year with her protest track “I Can’t Breathe,” will supply contemporary R&B flecked with old soul. BTS and John Legend are also on the bill. To supplement the new performances, MusiCares plans to air archival footage featuring Stevie Nicks, Tom Petty and more.
Tickets to the broadcast, which starts at 8 p.m. Eastern on Friday, are available for $25 at musicares.org.
From Poses to Pi
Children often want to move when you’d like them to relax. So why not try some relaxing movement?
That’s the purpose of “Yoga Dreamland,” a new release from Putumayo World Music that consists of an album of soothing international melodies accompanied by a booklet featuring yoga poses for children 4 and older. (Parents can order the physical CD and booklet for $14.98 or download them for $10 on Putumayo’s website.)
On Saturday at 7 p.m. Eastern time, Sean Johnson, the project’s co-creator, will stream a free Facebook Live celebration of its debut from Wild Lotus Yoga, his New Orleans studio. (A recording of the event will remain on Putumayo’s Facebook page afterward.) While hearing album tracks from places like Senegal and Tibet, youngsters will learn moves like the child’s pose, the bridge and, ultimately, the restful savasana.
Want to stretch their minds, too? On Sunday, visit the National Museum of Mathematics’ virtual Pi Day 2021 for an exploration of that intriguing number. (Details are on the museum’s website.)
Resonant Bodies, Revisited
The Resonant Bodies Festival featured an excellent lineup of vocal virtuosos during its run between 2013 and 2019. Some level of surprise was always around the corner, since invited singers enjoyed a free hand regarding programming. But the New York-based organization’s quality control also produced a reliably top-notch roster.
For those who missed out on the festivities, an archival release from the festival’s founders is due out on Friday, on the New Focus imprint. Two preview tracks, available online at the label’s Bandcamp page, give a sense of the festival organizers’ widely ranging appreciation for contemporary vocal music.
Pamela Z’s 2018 set offers a take on her early, Minimalist-influenced composition “Badagada,” as well as the less-often heard soundscape work “Quatre Couches.” And an excerpt from the singer Arooj Aftab’s improvised performance with the pianist Vijay Iyer and the bassist Shahzad Ismaily — from the final festival in 2019 — exhibits both the poise and the pan-stylistic curiosity familiar from her studio albums.
SETH COLTER WALLS
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