NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is pleased to announce the second annual Visions+Voices Global Performance Series, which will focus this spring on China.
Running February 20–May 12, 2014, Visions+Voices: China includes:
• Tao Dance Theater’s 4 and the U.S. Premiere of 5 (February 20–22); the works continue
choreographer Tao Ye’s journey of pushing the boundaries of corporeal expression.
• The all-female ensemble Hangzhou Yue Opera Company transform two classic Ibsen plays into lyrical adventures with Hedda (February 25) and The Lady from the Sea (February 26).
• From March 26-30, the National Theatre of China, one of the new faces of 21st century Chinese theater, will debut a production of Richard III.
• On April 12, “The Piano in a Factory,” a film by Zhang Meng, will be screened.
• The series will close on May 12 with Tan Dun’s The Map performed by the NYU Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Cyr and featuring cellist Wendy Sutter.
• The series will open with an outdoor vitrine art exhibit featuring the works by Zhang Jianjun and Zhang Huan (presented in partnership with The Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Wu Jian’an (presented in partnership with Chambers Gallery).
The Visions+Voices Global Performance Series is an annual performing arts series held at the
NYU Skirball Center that creates a unique opportunity to celebrate and closely examine a singular world culture through a wide-ranging artistic lens. This year’s focus is China and highlights several artists who build upon cultural tradition while embracing modern perspectives. NYU Skirball believes that rich international programming not only excites New York audiences and the NYU community, but also serves as a catalyst for international dialogue and education. Celebrating the richness of NYU’s global network of campuses, future seasons include partnerships with Germany, Israel, Abu Dhabi and London.
Michael Harrington, the center’s Executive Director, said, “Each year Visions+Voices gives us the opportunity to explore and highlight the culture and creativity from a featured locale within NYU's Global Network. This year’s Chinese artists and performers will showcase numerous works never before seen in America and we are thrilled to present them here in New York and offer opportunities for cultural discovery and understanding.”
2013-14 marks the tenth season for NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. In its first decade, NYU Skirball has made substantial contributions not only to the community surrounding the country’s largest private university, but also to a broader cultural landscape. In recent years, Michael Harrington has used the 860-seat venue to provide a platform for artists from around the world to practice their craft on a larger scale from the facility’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.
In addition to multiple-night and week runs (“Cirkopolis,” “Othello,” “Waiting For Godot”), NYU Skirball Center hosts a range of singular events, such as a dialogue between David Byrne & Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson, and Stephen Sondheim & Tony Kushner, comedians such as Zach Galifianakis and Aziz Ansari, and musicians such as Esperanza Spalding and The Derek Trucks Band.
Tickets for Visions + Voices and the complete NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts season may be purchased online at www.nyuskirball.org, by phone at 212.352.3101 or 866.811.4111, or in person at the NYU Skirball Center Box Office: Tuesday-Saturday, 12-6 p.m. The NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, New York, New York 10012. For more information, visit www.nyuskirball.org.
Complete listings for the Visions+Voices: China are as follows:
Tao Dance Theater
4 and 5 (U.S. Premiere)
February 20–22 at 8pm
“Tao Ye is emerging rapidly as a force to be reckoned with, as well as the most exciting name in
modern dance.” – Time Out Beijing
One of China’s premiere contemporary dance companies boldly stretches the boundaries of the human physical form.
After a sold out run at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2012, TAO Dance Theater returns with 4, a continuation of choreographer Tao Ye’s exploration of the potential of the human body as a visual element, devoid of story-telling or representation. Four dancers seem to be propelled by a magnetic wave that pulls them apart, and then seems to push them together again, without ever touching.
In the U.S. Premiere of 5, which received standing ovations in Amsterdam at its world premiere, the dancers engage in physical contact, in fact, they move in an indistinguishable kaleidoscopic mass of limbs and light, never dispersing even for a moment.
Hangzhou Yue Opera Company
Hedda (U.S. Premiere)
February 25 at 8 p.m.
The Lady from the Sea (U.S. Premiere)
February 26 at 8 p.m.
An all female ensemble transforms two Ibsen classics into lyrical and musical adventures, with superbly stylized theatricality in one of the most popular Chinese opera genres.
Performed throughout China and Europe, Hangzhou Yue Opera Company’s contemporary opera adaptations have been well-received across the globe. Hedda (based on Hedda Gabler) focuses on a highly intelligent woman, recently wed for practicality rather than love, whose jealousy leads her down a path to tragedy. The Lady from the Sea also examines a woman in a strained marriage, asked for the first time to truly examine her own desires. The pieces have been adapted to be set in China and their costumes, makeup, symbols and staging reflect a distinctive Chinese sensibility.
Yue Opera, performed by all female actors, is one of the most popular traditional operas in China.
Beginning as a form of storytelling and ballad singing, it has evolved into a theatrical genre with the addition of dramatic structure and an orchestra. Yue Opera is particularly strong in its lyrical touch, with singing and gesturing as its main acting modes. Its arias follow certain patterns, which are delicate and beautiful, reflecting the special aura of southern China.
National Theatre of China (U.S. Company Debut)
Richard III (U.S. Premiere)
March 26–30 at 8pm
“It scores for its intense confrontations and for a fascinating, mercurial villainy that needs no translation.” –The Arts Desk (UK)
Shakespeare’s tale of ruthless ambition is reinvigorated through a highly dramatized Chinese adaptation where traditional props, wigs, masks, costumes and musical instruments come together to create a horrific world where madness aches for power. Richard III marks National Theatre of China’s first visit to the United States.
This production of Shakespeare's wicked horror-show of power and paranoia, was an audience favorite and critical hit during London’s Globe to Globe Shakespeare festival and Cultural Olympiad in 2012. Performed in Putonghua, or Mandarin, with English supertitles, the plays fundamental themes of desire, power, ambition and jealousy, are potent reminders of humanity’s ongoing struggles. National Theatre of China stages work in three different performance spaces in Beijing and works with the finest playwrights and directors in China. Their trailblazing productions reveal the new face of 21st century Chinese theatre.
THE PIANO IN A FACTORY
By Zhang Meng
Presented in partnership with Reel China @ NYU
April 12 at 7pm
“First rate cinematography, set design and editing are in perfect sync with the director's comic intent.” - The Hollywood Reporter
Set among the “lost generation” of workers in the heavy industrial area in northeastern China who were hit by the policies of reform and economic openness in the 1990s, we see them rekindle their skills and rediscover the joy of working. When Chen’s estranged wife (QIN HAI-LU) reappears asking for a divorce and custody of their daughter, the young musician decides she will live with whoever can provide her a piano. When efforts to borrow money and even steal a piano fail, Chen (WANG QIAN-YUAN) concocts a preposterous plan – to make a piano from scratch! He persuades a bunch of reluctant but loyal misfit friends to help him forge the instrument in a derelict factory from a heap of scrap steel.
NYU Symphony Orchestra
Composed by Tan Dun
Video designed by Tan Dun
May 12 at 7 p.m.
“Tan Dun first attracted attention with skillfully wrought concert works in which ancient Chinese folkloric instruments and techniques mingled in potent collusion with a Western avant-garde vocabulary.” –New York Times
The NYU Symphony Orchestra will perform Tan Dun’s masterpiece, The Map in a one-night only concert performance. The renowned Chinese composer created the work as a response to his 1999 tour of the eastern part of Hunan Province. The Map was premiered by Yo-Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra and has toured more than 30 countries worldwide. Its manuscript has been included in the Carnegie Hall Composers Gallery. The field video recordings used in The Map capture passionate antiphonal singing, intriguing tongue singing, emphatic percussive dance and other images of ethnic musical life. The interaction of audio-video and live music connected generations and cultures across years and over continents.
A winner of today's most prestigious honors including the Grammy Award (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Tan Dun's music has been played throughout the world by leading orchestras, opera houses, international festivals, and on the radio and television. The one-night only concert performance includes special guests, Grammy-nominated conductor Andrew Cyr and soloist Wendy Sutter heralded as “one of the great leading cellist of the classical stage” by the Wall Street Journal. The evening will also feature Tan Dun’s "Concerto for String Orchestra and Pipa" featuring pipa virtuoso Zhou Yi. Performed by the NYU Symphony Orchestra.
Beginning January 20, displayed in numerous large window vitrines found along LaGuardia Place and West 3rd Street, passersby will be able to view the work of contemporary artists Zhang Jianjun and Zhang Huan and Wu Jian’an. These works by Zhang Jianjun and Zhang Huan are currently on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art through April 6, 2014, as part of the exhibition Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China. The work by Wu Jian’an is presented in partnership with Chambers Gallery.
About NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts
NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Led by executive producer Jay Oliva (President Emeritus, NYU) and executive director Michael Harrington, the programs of NYU Skirball reflect NYU's mission as an international center of scholarship, defined by excellence and innovation and shaped by an intellectually rich and diverse environment. A vital aspect of the Center's mission is to build young adult audiences for the future of live performance. For more information, please visit www.nyuskirball.org.