Currently on view at the Studio Museum in Harlem is Stephen Burks: Man Made, the industrial designer’s first solo museum show in New York. It includes objects conceived by Burks and created by New York artisans using Senegalese basket-weaving techniques. The collaboration highlights Burks’ commitment to working directly with traditional handicraft groups around the world and closer to home. Burks brings his singular vision to basket tables, lamps and chairs, fusing modern design and vernacular craft. Visitors to Man Made can see these functional and experimental objects and installations made of materials ranging from natural sweetgrass to man-made plastics. They can also follow the design process from inspiration to completion.
Avi Scher and Dancers
In dance, Avi Scher and Dancers returns for its second New York season. Choreographer Avi Scher founded his company to build new audiences for classical and contemporary ballet by presenting new works with exceptional dancers in small, affordable venues. This season’s program will reprise Utopia, which premiered last year with guest artists Ashley Bouder and Marcelo Gomes, but this year will include dancers from the Boston Ballet. Scher will also present two world premieres, including Mirrors, a work about self perception, featuring Carla Korbes and Seth Orza of Pacific Northwest Ballet. Dreamscapes pairs San Francisco Ballet principal Sofiane Sylve with New York City Ballet’s Savannah Lowery. City Ballet’s Tyler Angle and Ana Sophia Scheller also join the cast. Avi Scher and Dancers will perform at the Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater April 23rd to the 25th.
In theater, Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia” is back on Broadway. Actor Billy Crudup returns to the play that brought him to prominence over 15 years ago. The drama is set in one stately home in England, but the action is split between 1809 and modern times. In the past, a young pupil, with the aid of her tutor, is on the verge of discovering some things about math and love. While in the present, a set of academics seeks to solve the mysteries of the house’s former inhabitants and everyday life. Crudup, who played the role of a 19th Century tutor in the play’s Broadway debut, now takes on the role of his counterpart, a modern-day professor at a university. Stoppard’s play is full of big ideas, and even bigger passions, whether for science or literature, or even those that can’t be expressed.
Passion in Venice
Passion of a very different nature is the subject of an exhibition at the Museum of Biblical Art. “Passion in Venice: Crivelli to Tintoretto and Veronese” examines the depiction of the “man of sorrows” — the haunting figure of the dead Christ on the cusp of resurrection. The exhibition traces the origins and evolution of the figure in the works of Venetian masters like Tintoretto and Vernonese, which are among more than 60 objects on display. The exhibition includes panel and oil paintings, sculptures, prints and illuminated manuscripts. “Passion in Venice” is on view at the Museum of Biblical Art through June 12th.
Tribeca Film Festival
This week a New York institution returns to lower Manhattan, the Tribeca Film Festival, now in its tenth year. Beginning Wednesday, you can catch established and emerging directors, and see a wide assortment of feature films, documentaries, world cinema and shorts, including free events and screenings. But if you just can’t make it to the festival, a selection of features, including some of the most anticipated titles, will also be available online and on demand. Opening night kicks off at the World Financial Center with the premiere of Cameron Crowe’s documentary The Union, a film about Elton John’s remarkable collaboration with the legendary session musician and songwriter Leon Russell. A performance by Elton John himself will follow the free outdoor screening. The Tribeca Film Festival runs from April 20th to May 1st
Spring has finally arrived in the city, and with it a partial thawing of U.S.-Cuba cultural relations. Fourteen New York city institutions host “¡Si Cuba!,” a festival of Cuban arts and culture. Festival events will take place across the city from the Brooklyn Academy of Music to the World Music Institute and will include musical concerts from son to hip hop, film screenings, talks by and about Cuban thinkers and writers, and exhibitions of visual artists working in a wide range of media. Cuban dance groups in many genres are represented, from the National Ballet of Cuba to lesser-know groups like the Ballet Folklorico Cutumba and Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, which is making its first trip to the United States. The festival, which runs through June 16th, is sure to provide all New Yorkers with an opportunity to discover the creative spirit of Cuba, in forms both old and new.