Sep 29

“Machine” Delivers a Bumpy Ride


Presented by Arts Emerson
Director, Co-Writer, and Original Idea by Vincent Dubé
A Machine de Cirque Production

September 21 – October 2, 2016
559 Washington St
Boston, MA 02111
Machine de Cirque on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Boston, MA) In the face of the neon polish standard that is Cirque de Soleil in the Canadian acrobat scene, Machine de Cirque’s simplicity is real, grim, and refreshing. Here, the stage is covered in junk—bicycles, drums, stripped down scaffolding, juggling pins. The performers who encounter each item play and experiment, piecing the fragments into an act. It’s stunning. Perhaps a bit dark, too, as a viewer is left to wonder where, exactly, these performers are. Are these homeless young men in a junk yard? Or has the apocalypse come and gone, and they’re left with nothing but pieces in the dust of the cataclysm?  Continue reading

Jul 18

Some Like it Hot: CUISINE & CONFESSIONS

CAPTION: ANNA KICHTCHENKO & MELVIN DIGGS Photo Credit: Alexandre Galliez

Anna Kichtchenko & Melvin Diggs; Photo Credit: Alexandre Galliez

Presented by The 7 FingersArtsEmerson and Jonathan Reinis Productions
Created and Staged by Shana Carroll and Sébastien Soldevila

July 12 – August 7
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont St. Boston
The 7 Fingers on Facebook
ArtsEmerson on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) I’ve noticed a really exciting trend in Circus arts lately.  The Circus, in many ways, is going through a pivotal transitional period: as animal acts continue to dwindle in reaction to the many valid concerns about humane animal treatment, circus performers are finding more and more creative ways to showcase not just the feats of inhuman strength, flexibility, and dexterity that we’re used to seeing, but also the humanity of the performers themselves.  Story telling is becoming more and more central to the outstanding circuses touring the world and I couldn’t be more excited to have a front row seat to the incredible fruits of this transition. Continue reading

Jun 09

Cirque du Soleil’s “Kurios” Packed with the Usual Curiosities

Presented by Cirque du Soleil 
Written and directed by Michel Laprise
Director of creation – Chantal Tremblay
Compositions and music direction by Raphaël Beau
Compositions and arrangements by Guy Dubuc and Marc Lessard
Acrobatic choreography by Andrea Ziegler, Rob Bollinger, Yaman Okur, Ben Potvin, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Susan Gaudreau, Germain Guillemot, Boris Verkhovsky, Danny Zen

May 26th (premier) – July 10th, 2016
Suffolk Downs
525 McClellan Highway
East Boston, MA 02128
Kurious on Facebook

Review by Gillian Daniels

(Suffolk Downs, Boston, MAKurios, unlike the other two Cirque du Soleil shows I’ve reviewed for The New England Theatre Geek, is tied to a world of technology and innovation. In 2012, Totem offered meditations on natural history, complete with frogs. Amaluna came to Boston in 2014 and involved a shipwreck on an island wild with magic, a loose adaptation of The Tempest. Kurios, though, is centered on 19th century trains, gramophones, laboratories, and aerial machines. Continue reading

Mar 24

Defying Gravity: CIRQUE ZIVA

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(c) Amitava Sarkar

Presented by World Music CRASHArts
And the Golden Dragon Acrobats
Directed by Danny Chang
Choreographed by Angela Chang

March 21, 2015
Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont St. Boston
World Music CRASHArts on Facebook
Golden Dragon Acrobats on Facebook

Review by Danielle Rosvally

(Boston, MA) World Music CRASHArts has been hard at work, as usual, rounding up some of the most spectacular traditional and not-so-traditional companies from around the world. They bring these companies right here to Boston for local audiences to enjoy, and boy did CRASHArts hit a home run with the Golden Dragon Acrobats. Cirque Ziva is precisely the one-of-a-kind experience that CRASHArts labors so diligently to produce on the Boston stage; it was an absolute treasure of a performance and certainly not to be missed. Continue reading

Mar 09

The Harm that Lust Can Do: TRISTAN & YSEULT

overs Tristan (Dominic Marsh) with Yseult (Hannah Vassallo) Kneehigh’s Tristan & Yseult Photo by: Richard Termine

Lovers Tristan (Dominic Marsh) with Yseult (Hannah Vassallo).  Photo by:Richard Termine

Presented by ArtsEmerson
Directed and adapted by Emma Rice
Written by Carl Grose & Anna Maria Murphy
Performed by Kneehigh Theatre Company
Composed by Stu Barker
Sweet Band: Lizzy Westcott, Justin Radford, Pat Moran, James Gow

March 5 – 15, 2015
Cutler Majectic Theater
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Kneehigh on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) In 2006 Twentieth Century Fox released a film bastardization of the Tristan and Isolde myth, Tristan & Isolde. It was headlined by James freakin’ Franco, directed by Kevin Reynolds, and produced by Ridley Scott. It was terrible but sweet, innocent youths flocked to the theater because, then “It” boy, James Franco (Tristan) participated in naked sexy times with Sophia Myles (Isolde) and they wanted to see it. These poor kids assumed that T&I were star crossed lovers with good intentions and bad luck. The truth lives thousands of miles away from the inane crud Reynolds and Franco brought to screen.

Kneehigh Theatre Company’s Tristant & Yseult presents a more true interpretation of the medieval French tale. Tristan (Dominic Marsh with a dodgy French accent), Yseult (Hannah Vassallo) and King Mark (Stuart Goodwin) are caught in a love triangle. Tristan loves and serves the English King Mark like a father. In return, Mark loves Tristan like a son. After defeating the Irish royal Morholt (Niall Ashdown),  Tristan sails to Ireland to capture Morholt’s sister, the fair Yseult, and bring her back to England at Mark’s behest. Upon seeing her for the first time, both men fall deeply in love with Yseult. Yseult gives her sensible heart to Mark but her hormonal lady bits to Tristan. The actions are narrated by the elegant White Hands (Kirsty Woodward) and the patrons of the Club of the Unloved, the omniscient ensemble dressed in snoods, thick glasses, and windbreakers (snood dudes). There’s betrayal and laughs aplenty. Continue reading

Dec 08

A Tangible Metaphor: THE SLEEPRUNNER

Sleeprunner_4

Merli V. Guerra and the cast perform Luminarium Dance Company’s The Sleeprunner. Photo: Ryan Carollo.

Presented by Luminarium Dance Company
Choreography by Merli V. Guerra & Kimberleigh A. Holman
Music arranged by Merli V. Guerra, Kimberleigh A. Holman, Christos Zevos

December 5 – 13, 2014
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second St, Cambridge MA
Luminarium on Facebook

1hr, 20 mins. no intermission

Review by Kitty Drexel

“Well dreams, they feel real while we’re in them, right? It’s only when we wake up that we realize how things are actually strange. Let me ask you a question, you, you never really remember the beginning of a dream do you? You always wind up right in the middle of what’s going on.”

-Cobb, Inception (2010) written and directed by Christopher Nolan

(Cambridge, MA) In the director’s note, Merli V. Guerra and Kimberleigh A. Holman describe the most relatable elements of the Sleeprunner as “sleep, dreams, and the surreal.” The production incorporates the human need for sleep, modern dance, and tech design to create a tangible metaphor for a universal experience. At times grotesque but always beautiful, this production explores through motion what it is to experience a deep, meaningful rest. Continue reading

Nov 13

Luminarium Dance Presents: The Sleeprunner, December 2014

sleep runner

THE SLEEPRUNNER
December 5 . 6 . 12 . 13 @
Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second Street
East Cambridge MA
BUY TICKETS
Luminarium Dance on Facebook

Don’t miss Luminarium’s largest production of the season during its two-weekend fall run. The production will take place at the beautiful and historic Multicultural Arts Center (41 Second Street, East Cambridge MA), highlighting the company’s signature imaginative choreography, lighting, and scenic design, while complementing the caliber of its past feature productions Mythos:Pathos (2012) and Secrets & Motion (2013).

What makes Luminarium uniquely dance & theatre?
  • Luminarium is the first dance company to be invited for, then granted, a Bob Jolly Charitable Trust Award, for its productions’ masterful theatricality in addition to dance. (All previous awards have gone to theatre companies and individuals.)
  • Luminarium was featured as one of 10 “Unsung Heroes” in the Boston performing arts scene, alongside New Repertory Theatre and Company One, by Improper Bostonian magazine.
  • Costumes for The Sleeprunner are being created by rising New York costume designer Sueann Leung, whose work was most notably featured in the runway section of the Wall Street Journal.
  • Luminarium’s The Sleeprunner marks another first for the local dance community as one of the smallest/youngest Boston-based companies to be adopting a theatre performance format, expanding to a two-week run.
  • Its performers come from an energetically-eclectic background that include a nationally-acclaimed colorguard performer, professional voice actor, internationally-touring classical Indian dancer, tap-dancing winner of the World Cup in Germany, and (just to add to the diversity) even a PhD candidate in Biology who is an aerial circus artist on the side.
  • The Sleeprunner will be lit and co-choreographed by professional theatre lighting design and choreographer Kim Holman, who does lighting design and choreography for local Boston theatre companies ranging from Babson College to the Boston Public Schools.
Jun 09

Luminarium Dance Company’s 4th Anniversary Gala & Showcase

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Luminarium’s 4th ANNIVERSARY GALA & SHOWCASE
Come celebrate Luminarium’s 4th anniversary with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and special performances!
Sunday . June 22 . 5–8pm
CENTER FOR ARTS AT THE ARMORY

Luminarium Dance Company is proud to announce its 4th Anniversary Gala & Showcase, celebrating four successful years in the Boston dance community. The evening will feature delicious foods from local establishments, speeches from collaborators and local art innovators, a silent auction, and exclusive 2014 Season announcements. Enjoy live performances of favorite Luminarium repertory, as well as footage and sneak peeks of the company’s latest works and projects. Don’t miss this chance to mingle with Luminarium’s Artistic Directors, dancers, and supporters, while taking in the beautiful Armory space (191 Highland Avenue, Somerville MA).

TICKETS
Tickets are now on sale!
This year there is a special “Young Professional” discounted ticket that’s only $20.
Advance purchase of tickets recommended. Available at door until capacity is reached.
Email tickets@luminariumdance.org or call 617.477.4494 with questions.

Please note: For this event, we are not taking reservations. In order to ensure your seat, please purchase your tickets in advance. Thank you!

Luminarium’s 2014 Season features the choreography of Merli V. Guerra and Kimberleigh A. Holman, with performers:
Rose Abramoff
Jess Chang
Melenie Diarbekirian
Elena Greenspan
Jessica Jacob
Amy Mastrangelo
Katie McGrail
Jennifer Roberts

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Mar 03

Do the Research Before Enjoying: MAN IN A CASE

Presented by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage
Adapted from Two Stories by Anton Chekhov
Adapted and Directed by Annie-B Parson & Paul Lazar/Big Dance Theater
Choreographed by Annie-B Parson
Featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Tymberly Canale, Chris Giarmo, Paul Lazar and Aaron Mattocks

February 25 – March 2, 2014
Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre
219 Tremont Street
Boston, MA
ArtsEmerson on Facebook
Baryshnikov Productions on Facebook
Big Dance Theater on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

My apologies to ArtsEmerson, Big Dance Theatre, Baryshnikov Productions and anyone else I forgot to mention for the tardiness of this review. I was waylaid by illness this weekend and couldn’t complete my review.

(Boston) Man in a Case is effective theatre that turns Chekhov on its head while retelling the two classic stories “Man in a Case” and “Almost Love.” It does not bridge the 19th and the 21st centuries as advertised. It does, however, transport the viewer into an existential dreamspace/nightmare of meta and experimental theatre. Just in case one is mislead by my description, this was an interesting, thought-provoking performance but it’s not light fare for a family hoping to experience “culture” in the city. Man in a Case could be considered “weird” and weird theatre can be exquisite. It all depends on perspective. Continue reading

Oct 02

Rhythm of Rajastan Promo

Promo by Gillian Daniels

On Friday, October 4th, 7:30pm at Johnny D’s, Rhythm of Rajastan will be performing as part of WORLD MUSIC/CRASHarts.

The Indian band is unusual, deriving its music from two separate cultures in the North Indian Thar Desert, the Langas and the Manganiar.  Both approach their music with different styles. The Langas are more dependent on melody and their voices, using the sindhi sarangi (lute) and algoza (double flute) instead of percussion due to Sufi influence. “Langa” means “song giver.” The Mangiar, meanwhile, are dependent on the frantic, deep rhythm of the dholak (the double headed barrel drum) and the bowed kamayacha.
These two musical dialects have been combined by folklorist Nitin Nath Harsh.  The band was formed in North India and have played throughout North America, including the Chicago World Festival and the 5th Annual New York Gypsy Festival. They have also performed in Shanghai, Beijing, and Jordan.
A dancer will be present at their performance Friday.
World Music, a non-profit organization that attempts to showcase world culture for the benefit of New England, launched CRASHarts in 2001. They present upwards of 70 concerts a year in an attempt to educate and bring diversity to performances in the Boston area.