George Condo and Lynda Benglis at the New Museum
The New Museum’s current exhibitions provide a look back as well as forward in featuring retrospectives of the work of two American artists. “George Condo: Mental States” presents a select survey of this artist’s work over the past thirty years. Each section examines a particular theme or genre, revealing a singular tragicomic vision. Works range from Condo’s many examples of portraiture to his expansive abstractions. Also on view is the work of sculptor Lynda Benglis, spanning forty years of her career and a wide range of materials. The sculptures take on sumptuous forms that look like geological flows, ceremonial totems or abstract paintings.
Hungarian Echoes: A Philharmonic Festival
A unique music festival runs from march 10th to the 26th at Lincoln Center. The New York Philharmonic will play several programs combining works by Haydn, Bartok and Ligeti, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, Salonen brings a particular passion for Bartok to Hungarian Echoes: A Philharmonic Festival. The programs with the New York philharmonic will explore the connections between these three composers who shared strong ties to Hungary. Highlights include the three Haydn symphonies written while that composer enjoyed the patronage of the Esterhazy princes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Guest artists include pianists Marino Formenti and Olli Mustonen playing Ligeti and Bartok’s piano concertos, as well as mezzo-soprano Michelle de Young and bass Gabor Bretz.
Perforations Festival New York at La MaMa
Earlier this year the theater world lost Ellen Stewart, founder and director of La MaMa Experimental Theater Club. She was a guiding light in the development and nurturing of the avante garde. But La MaMa goes on, with a festival of Balkan theater that is a perfect partner for this Lower East Side institution. Ellen Stewart was a long-time supporter of new Eastern European theatre, introducing Jerzy Grotowski and others to America as early as 1967. Now in association with the Perforations Festival in Croatia, La MaMa presents works by some of the leading contemporary performing artists from Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and Macedonia. The festival includes a range of artists working in performance art, theater and dance who often blur the borders between these genres, and frequently take on contemporary issues. Examples of the festival fare include “Damned Be the Traitor of His Homeland,” an improvisational work by the Madinsko Theater, and “Ma and Al”, a piece inspired by various J.D. Salinger texts where the audience is drawn in by the playful hysteria of the actors. Works in the festival are presented in English or with subtitles. Perforations Festival New York runs March 11th through the 20th at La MaMa.
Catherine Deneuve films at BAMCinematek
March is Catherine Deneuve month, with BAMCinematek honoring one of French cinema’s greatest stars with a 4-week-long, 25-film tribute. The films range from Jacques Demy’s candy colored “Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” which brought the 20-year old Deneuve international attention, to her most recent, “Potiche,” where she plays a trophy wife who steps in to manage her husband’s factory. Deneueve is an iconic figure, set apart by her serene self-possession, even in ensemble films, and when paired, as she sometimes is, with the earthy Gerard Depardieu. Her beautiful face, uncommon sophistication and mystery, all served her well in films like Roman Polaski’s “Repulsion” and Luis Bunuel’s “Belle de Jour.” Deneuve’s roles have taken her from a musical merry-making inguenue to widespread recognition as a French institution.
Doug Varone and Dancers
Spring brings many options for dance lovers looking to discover something new. Doug Varone and Dancers come to the Joyce Theater March 15th to 20th for the New York premiere of “Chapters from a Broken Novel.” The work unfolds in a sequence of 20 intimate portraits, using Varone’s visceral movements and detailed gestures, each revealing moments of human nature at its most vulnerable. “Chapters” is set to an original score composed by David van Tiegham, which will be performed live.
Mark Morris Dance Group
Mark Morris Dance Group celebrates its 30th anniversary by presenting three premieres over a two-week period in New York and New Jersey. Among the premieres being shown at both the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn and the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, is “Petrichor.” Set to music by Heitor Villa-Lobos. It is Morris’ only dance solely for women. Princeton audiences will also get a chance to see the classic Morris work, “Grand Duo,” set to music by Lou Harrison.