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NYC-ARTS.org Top Picks, Week of October 17, 2011

Books & Authors: Aesthetic of the Cool: Afro-Atlantic Art and Music, by Dr. Robert Farris Thompson
Studio Museum in Harlem
Thurs, Oct 20

Since 1958, the author and Yale University professor has devoted his life to the serious study of the art history of the Afro-Atlantic world. On Thursday,  he discusses his latest book on his concept of “the cool” with Dr. Lowery Stokes Sims, curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, and former president of the Studio Museum in Harlem.

Lute player Bassekou Kouyate opens the festival with a free performance. Photo: Thomas Dorn.

White Light Festival
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Thurs, Oct 20–Sat, Nov 19

This festival focuses on the spiritual dimension of music, from early Christian sacred music to an electronic score by members of Portishead and Goldfrapp for the silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). The afterlife of Othello characters is envisioned by Rokia Traoré, Toni Morrison and Peter Sellars, and Philip Glass gives a free talk on “Soul Music.”

DanceNOW Joe’s Pub Festival
Joe’s Pub
Wed, Oct 19-Sat, Oct 22

The small stage at the freshly-renovated Joe’s Pub amplifies the bite-size choreographic gems from 40 of New York City’s most innovative dance makers. With pieces of five minutes and less, the artists compete for presenter DanceNOW’s grant, rehearsal space and residency award. Different groups perform each night, including Camille A. Brown, Sean Curran, David Parker and The Bang Group, Terry Creach, Gina Gibney Dance, Nicholas Leichter Dance, Jane Comfort and Company, Doug Elkins and ZviDance.

Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel
Irish Repertory Theatre
Thurs, Oct 20-Sun, Dec 11

The Broadway production of Dancing at Lughnasa won the 1992 Tony Award for Best Play. Regarded as Brian Friel’s masterpiece, it is set in 1936 and is the study of five unmarried sisters, named for Friel’s mother and sisters, who live in a modest cottage in Donegal, Ireland. This 20th anniversary production has its official opening on October 30.

Lee Mingwei: The Travelers and The Quartet Project
Museum of Chinese in America
Thurs, Oct 20, 2011-Mon, March 26, 2012

Taiwan-born American artist Lee Mingwei works at the forefront of participatory art. The Travelers began in 2010 when Lee and MOCA released 100 artist-designed notebooks, inviting each recipient to write stories of “leaving home.” The books were passed on like a chain letter, returned to MOCA a year later. The Quartet Project is a sound installation in which viewers’ movements dictate in real time how Antoine Dvorak’s American String Quartet is orchestrated.

Molly Hatch: “mon plaisir”
Greenwich House Pottery
Thurs, Oct 20-Thurs, Nov 17

Hatch creates sophisticated, baroque-like porcelain objects. The Massachusetts-based artist channels Mod, boutique culture and Rococo. She’ll give a workshop discussing her techniques as part of the Pottery’s Masters Series workshops. Selections from this exhibit will be seen at ArtMiami 2011.

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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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