This post is about two events. The first is Sadler’s Wells’ 10th Anniversary Breakin Convention – an international salute to hip-hop – performed at the Apollo theater on Saturday, June 15th along with a reception beforehand at Red Rooster Harlem. The second event is a theater outing to see Horton Foote’s theatrical masterwork, “The Trip to Bountiful” on Wednesday, May 8th at 2 pm.
U DOWN WITH THIS ? : Those of us who were kicking around a pretty down-and-out NYC in the late 1970’s can’t help but remember our exhilaration when B-Boys arrived on the scene. One summer late in the decade the phenomena hit – young black men laid claim to stretches of sidewalk, threw down an impromptu dance floor, flipped on a boom-box and started “dancing” in a way that no one had ever seen before – a captivating combo of stunning athleticism, gymnastics, dance, art, theatrics and contortionism all rolled into one. And just like that, an international movement was born – and it spawned a host of other urban art forms. Think graffiti, rap, dj-ing and funk. From the ashes of that period, these young, non-conformist, unclassical performers declared: we may be down but we’re not out – we have things to say and show to the world and we’re doing it our way. The very confidence and newness of their art infected the city with its bravado and physical exuberance and reminded us during that difficult period that it’s New York’s infinite creative spirit that really makes it tick.
SO – fast-forward about twenty or so years to a time when hip-hop culture is recognized and interpreted all over the world. Enter Sadler’s Wells, the UK’s foremost dance house, which embraces this and in 2004 starts producing an annual international festival of hip hop dance theatre and culture called, Breakin Convention. And this year, for their 10th Anniversary, they are celebrating this landmark with performances from some of the world’s greatest poppers, lockers, house dancers, B-boys and B-girls. And, just to bring this movement full circle, they’re bringing it home – to New York’s famous Apollo Theater ! And the MWC has been invited – to the performance and to a reception beforehand at celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s mighty popular Red Rooster Harlem along with Sadler’s Well’s artistic director, Alistair Spalding, and some of the performers. Tickets will be around $175 – we will send you all a reservation / payment link with the exact figure – but for now we want to give you this heads-up. This will be a high energy evening of technically brilliant dance – so muss your hair, rim your eyes in kohl and break out the skinny black jeans and leather. You’ll be all set!
BOUNTIFUL, INDEED : Meanwhile, Horton Foote – Texas’ beloved, wildly prolific and pre-eminent chronicler of small-town American life in the South – is being represented on Broadway this Spring with an all-star cast in his acclaimed “The Trip to Bountiful.” Starring Cicely Tyson, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Vanessa Williams and Condola Rashad, the MWC is attending on Wednesday, May 8th at 2pm. Not seen on Broadway for the last 30 years, Cicely Tyson (remember her in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman?) offers up this rare chance for us to see her as she inhabits Carrie Watts, the role for which Geraldine Page won an Academy Award in this gentle play about “memory, mortality and yearning for home.” Gooding and Williams are, respectively, her bossy son and daughter in-law and Rashad (daughter of Phylicia Rashad) is the girl befriended by Carrie as the older woman tries to make her way to the home of her youth. Horton Foote, author of over 50 plays, winner of two Academy Awards (for To Kill A Mockingbird in 1962 and Tender Mercies in 1983) and also the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (for The Young Man from Atlanta), is a writer whose intense emotional acuity but tender voice seeps into your consciousness and makes you want to explore his huge body of work. Shortly after we publish this post, we will be sending you a reservation / payment link to secure your tickets to this event. Tickets will be $101.