Posts Tagged ‘lincoln center’

Let’s Dance: NYPL for the Performing Arts

Friday, June 11th, 2010

My favorite library in NYC is the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, no contest. I was there today picking up an obscure dance book for some summer reading (fun, right?), and was reminded of just how great this place is. Not only does it have the most extensive library of dance books, periodicals, photos, and videos, but it also celebrates the arts in an important way. This library is not your standard collection of resources – it contains information on all types of performance art, and also has installations and events to celebrate the artists found within the vast collections of books and other resources in this library.

When you enter from the Lincoln Center Plaza entrance (which is almost completely done with construction, and looks GORGEOUS, by the way), straight ahead you will see a room that is home to changing displays. I have seen a display of Cunningham costumes, a musical celebration, and many other exhibits here. Currently, it is under construction, but it’s always worth poking a head in to see what is being showcased – you might learn something, and there will certainly be something to look at or listen to.

If you enter from the Amsterdam Avenue entrance across from La Guardia High School, you’ll walk in and see another small exhibition center to your right and a theater to your left. Two years ago, one of my teachers curated an event on the Dance Theatre of Harlem. In the room to the right we got to see video of past performances, examples of costumes and documents, and posters of the dancers both past and present. As part of this exhibit, I also attended a panel discussion in the auditorium across the hall and got to listen to Arthur Mitchell, one of the creators of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, talk about his experience in the dance world. Obviously, the exhibit has since changed – they change every couple of weeks, and the latest exhibits can be found here.

As if these exhibits weren’t enough, there are also performances constantly happening at this library. Weekly concerts, movie showings, and speakers are all common events. And in addition to these being educational and truly well-done events – they’re FREE!! I’ve always loved libraries, but one complete with performances and exhibits really takes the cake.

So head over to the Performance Arts library, located at 40 Lincoln Plaza (65th Street, by Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues) and check out the exhibits, performances, and books. And if there’s no upcoming events that pique your interest? Consider going into the research archives and watching a historic performance. I’ve spent entire days there watching their footage of William Forsythe‘s choreography – it’s not the same as seeing it live, but at least it’s free and accessible!

-Meghan Q

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Relax Your Mind and Feel Good

Friday, May 14th, 2010

As a student, it may sometimes seem that stress is never-ending, especially in New York City, which, based on data from is the third most stressful city in the country. The difficulties in balancing school, work, and our relationships can increase stress to the point where it has a negative affect on our physical and mental well-being. According to WebMD, “People who don’t manage stress well can have headaches, stomach pain, sleeping problems, illness, and depression.” However, if it is managed effectively, stress can be defeated, allowing us to live a healthy and more fulfilling life.

Cost Effective Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Life

Workout at the Gym for Free– Many gyms offer guest passes that vary from one day to two weeks for non-members. Colleges and Universities around the city also offer students free access to their facilities. This is a great way to work out without coming out of your own pocket. Just contact your local gym for more details or click on the link below for access to another way to get fit for free.
Shape Up NY

Talk to Someone– Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. Contact your school’s mental health center for details on what services are available to you free of charge. It may also help to find a clergy, relative, friend, or therapist that will listen to you; afterward you may feel relieved to have let it all out. If you still feel a sense of urgency, you can always call 1-800-LIFENET.

Meditate– Look for a quiet place to relax, put your body in any position that you feel comfortable in; stand up, sit down, or lie down and take deep breaths, keeping the focus on your breathing. Continue to do so until you feel the stress melt away. For more information on meditation courses in New York City, take a look at the link below or go to your local library for some books on the topic.
Meditation in New York

Listen to Music– Ever wonder why music is a universal language, it’s because no matter what culture or background you come from tunes can speak to you. Just turn on the radio and before you even realize it, you’ll be dancing and singing or humming and bopping your head. There are also places throughout the city where you can listen to free music. Check some of them out below:
Music at Madison Square Park
Music at Licoln Center
Music at Central Park

-Shana H

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Let’s Dance: MMC Spring Repertoire 2010

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Each semester, the dance department at Marymount Manhattan College produces two shows. The first is a student-choreographed exhibition, and the second is choreographed by established dancers. In the Fall, our teachers choreograph, and in the Spring, we have outside artists come in.

This semester, the annual Spring Repertoire at MMC featured a work by the newly-appointed head of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Robert Battle, as well as works by Lar Lubovitch, Kate Weare, Erick Hawkins, and Benoit-Swan Pouffer.

It was an eclectic show that ranged in style, from 1986 Lubovitch excerpt “Concerto Six Twenty-Two” to the several world premieres such as the hauntingly beautiful “Channels” by Battle and the edgy work “for all of us” that Pouffer set on the MMC Dance Company.

My personal favorite is tied with Pouffer’s “for all of us” or Kate Weare’s “Primavera.” Both works were exciting and upbeat, with a lot of personality displayed by the individual dancers. in Pouffer’s work, there was a distinctly contemporary movement vocabulary, and it was obvious that the students enjoyed the movement: which is always a pleasure to watch. Similarly, Weare’s piece engaged the students in both group work and series of duets and solos, all of which were interactive and intensely physical and exciting to watch. The dancers at MMC have strong personalities, and they were definitely allowed to shine in these pieces.

It’s always interesting to see student performances; I highly recommend it. Although they may not be perfect and as technically stunning as a night at Lincoln Center, you do get an opportunity to see the up and coming generation of artists. Shows produced at MMC, Juilliard, NYU and the like are of extraordinary quality – it’s no middle school talent show. Seeing performances at my own school is particularly interesting, because I take class with most of the performers. It’s a very different perspective to see your peers perform, but I walk away from almost every show in awe of the talent… and this semester was no different.

So next time you’ve got some free time, see if there are any student performances going around in the city. Not only is it cheaper than a normal performance (they often accept donations, have student rates, or are free), but it’s also sure to be of interest to the college aged crowd. You know going in to it that it won’t be a pitch out of left field – they are meant to educate the students performing through experience, so it must be something topical to our generation. Although I suggest first attending shows at your own school (it’s a great way to see a whole new side of your peers!), branching out and visiting other schools is always a fun time to see something completely different, since each school in NYC has a very different style. Whether it’s dance or theater, or even an art exhibition – check it out!

-Meghan Q

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