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NYC-ARTS.org Top Picks, Week of December 11, 2011

Ascension. Photo credit: Tom Caravaglia

STREB’s Kiss the Air
Park Avenue Armory – 643 Park Avenue
Wed, Dec 14, 2011 – Thurs, Dec 22, 2011

In Kiss the Water two dancers, suspended in bungee cords, soar like superheroes over a pool of water in the center of The Park Avenue Armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall. They kiss the air and occasionally splash down to perform intricate duets with dancers on the ground. And these are just the highlights of the evening program that pits performers against machines and gravity.

Ne(x)tworks & Zeena Parkins with JACK Quartet
The Kitchen – 512 West 19th Street
Fri, Dec 16, 2011 – Sat, Dec 17, 2011

Commissioned by Ne(x)tworks, Spellbeamed takes inspiration from literary critic Walter Benjamin’s Archive, a published trove of images, texts and ephemera collected by the author. For Parkins’s new composition, quotidian materials collected by each musician are utilized to form an animated score developed in collaboration with visual artist Cynthia Madansky.

A Christmas Carol
Abrons Arts Center – 466 Grand Street
Thurs, Dec 1, 2011 – Sun, Dec 18, 2011

A Christmas Carol is an imaginative and ghostly new show based on one of the most famous stories of all time by one of the most famous authors in the English language—Charles Dickens. Created and directed by acclaimed theater and new media artist Reid Farrington (of The Passion Project and Gin & “It”), this exciting work takes the form of a Victorian-era phantasmagoria, conjuring up ghosts of the past, present and future by integrating media and live theater with the well-known holiday classic.

Ballet Hispanico at the Apollo. Photo credit: Eduardo Patino

Ballet Hispanico at the Apollo
Apollo Theater – 253 West 125th Street
Sat, Dec 17, 2011, 2 pm, 8 pm

In their Apollo debut, the nation’s preeminent Latino dance company Ballet Hispanico, accompanied by Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, will astound audiences with three spectacles: the world premiere of Asuka, an exuberant homage to salsa legend Celia Cruz by artistic director Eduardo Vilaro, Club Havana with music from the Buena Vista Social Club, and Tito on Timbales celebrating Apollo legend Tito Puente.

American Christmas Cards, 1900-1960
Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture – 18 West 86th Street
Wed, Sept 21, 2011 – Sat, Dec 31, 2011

The exhibition and accompanying book argue the central premise that examining the images on Christmas cards used in the United States from the late 19th century to the end of the 1950s enriches our understanding of not only the American Christmas but also significant aspects of American culture. These cards constitute a category of American material culture that is rich in documentary potential yet has been nearly invisible in the scholarly literature.

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SundayArts is made possible in part by First Republic Bank and by the Rubin Museum of Art. Funding for SundayArts is also made possible by Rosalind P. Walter, The Paul and Irma Milstein Foundation, The Philip & Janice Levin Foundation, Elise Jaffe and Jeffrey Brown, Jody and John Arnhold, and The Lemberg Foundation. This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional funding provided by members of THIRTEEN.
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