Naming an improv troupe The Show means it’s destined for many, many Abbott and Costello “Who’s on first?”-style jokes. That bit was a classic, polished routine, but the new comedy team at The Box Performance Space & Improv Theatre lives in the unscripted and unexpected.
Church of Beethoven’s older, cocktail-swirling brother
By Summer Olsson
When I found out I could hear live classical music and drink a beer and not get up “really early” on Sunday morning, I was totally in. Club Beethoven is the afternoon version of Church of Beethoven, the long-running Sunday morning event featuring classical music and a bit of spoken performance, usually poetry. The Club is held in the afternoon, at Casablanca, inside the Hotel Andaluz.
Rusty Rutherford celebrates another year of underground comedy shows
By Summer Olsson
There is an “anything goes” vibe at the Third Thursdays Comedy Contest, a stand-up comedy night Rusty Rutherford has hosted monthly, in venues around Albuquerque, since 2007. At each event, he does a short set to kick off the night and then 10 other comics take turns performing. The audience votes to determine the night’s best three, and Rutherford invites these comics back the following month. He also schedules seven new performers. The anniversary show will feature the winning comics of the past year.
If you're looking to do some heavy lounging and hearty laughing tonight, check out the Smokes and Jokes Stand-up Showcase. Terrene Hookah has a lot of pillows, smooshy chairs and other stuff you'd like to loll around on. The establishment allows in customers 18 years and over, but I have yet to see a giant crowd of dingbats wearing idiotic clothing flitting around in front, so you're probably safe from that. Smoke a hookah, play some cards and even surf the web if you want. And hear some jokes. These fine comics will be performing:
Rusty Rutherford, who has performed across America, including on NBC's Last Comic Standing. He is known as a "comedic genius." By his mom.
Matt Peterson, who appeared on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and played a lead role in the comedic film Bigfoot Election.
Curt Fletcher who won the Great Southwest Laff Off in 2003, beating out 21 other comics. In 2007, he advanced to the semifinals of HBO's Lucky 21 contest. He also advanced twice to the semifinals of the New Faces contest at Comedy Works.
James Morrow has performed on multiple occasions at Terrene’s 3rd Thursdays Comedy Contest and is a regular at Hallenbrick Brewery’s Young, Dumb and Full Comedy show. Morrow can also be seen Saturday nights on My50 TV’s Duke City Comedy League.
The show starts at 7 p.m. and $10 gets you admission and bottomless hookah! Terrene Hookah is at 106 Vassar SE. TerreneHookah.com or facebook.com/Rusta
Hakim Bellamy, Carlos Contreras, DJ Diles and Idris Goodwin: heavy hitters from the arts and music scene with many fingers in many pies at all times. Their newest confection, Urban Verbs, is a video, audio and physical performance piece that is dialogued entirely in poetic verse. Bellamy and Contreras play characters and interact, weaving over and under live electronic DJing from Diles—and under the sharp direction of Goodwin. The actor/creators call Urban Verbs an alternative to the brainless, heartless hip-hop of violence and exclusion. The Friday show also has live art creation, an auction and a DJ. Saturday’s show has a keg and musical guests BrokenBreadWinner.
These are bitty bios of the performers:
Hakim Bellamy – two time national champion slam poet, father, rapper, political journalist, community advocate and organizer.
Carlos Contreras (left) and Hakim Bellamy in poetic action
Diles – Professionally certified, passionately motivated sound engineer, producer, beat junkie, rapper, and all around chemist of sound.
Carlos Contreras – Two time national champion slam poet, educator, artist, community organizer and activist, host of the NHCC’s Voces program.
The typical formula for theatergoing is pretty simple in the States: You buy a ticket, are ushered to a seat, eat your Toblerone, watch the show and are ushered out. Aside from clapping, the experience is about as interactive as a game of solitaire.
Marjorie Neset is a self-described "obsessive traveler and geographer." In 2008, a research grant landed her in Maputo, Mozambique, to investigate the local dance scene. There she connected with Panaibra Gabriel Canda—one of the country's foremost dance figures. A few weekends ago, Neset found herself on an 800-mile road trip from Los Angeles to Albuquerque, delivering Canda and his guitarist, Jorge Domingos, to the 11th annual installation of Global DanceFest.
Sean Christopher Lewis says he came to Philadelphia after graduate school to work at a local theater company. While he was in town, he was asked to participate in the mural program at Graterford Prison. The inmates, mostly people serving life sentences, constructed murals on cloth that were hung around the city.
A lot of you out there are already sold on flamenco. That's great. Get thee to the National Institute of Flamenco's "Festival Flamenco Internacional." You've probably already got tickets.
Now, the rest of you. What's your problem? I hope it's not some kind of misguided idea that traditional equals boring. Here's the thing. You probably think you know something about flamenco, but there's a lot more to learn. That's right, grab your glasses and a notebook, it's time for a lesson.
First, flamenco isn't Spanish dance. It's an Andalusian musical style that's accompanied by movements with gypsy, Moor, Byzantine, Andalusian (and a few others) roots.
Wait, what? The Moors. Those are Muslims, right? Yuppers, you got it. Back in the day, when this little thing called the Crusades was going on, Muslim armies came to Spain where they got along pretty well with the Christian natives. (One big difference was that no one levied taxes on those of other faiths.) So the two groups shared music and art, making some really unique stuff. Like flamenco.
That's fascinating! What else?
So glad you asked. Flamenco flourished during the late 1800s, with guitarists and dancers performing in public, rather than the previous when-the-mood-strikes kind of get together.
In the 1920s Federico García Lorca, a huge flamenco fan, organized a festival called "Concurso de Cante Jondo," which featured flamenco from many different traditions, rather than just the popular ones that were seen by the public. After Lorca's fest, flamenco got all sort of theatrical and there is a plethora of academic drama about whether it lost its spark, which I shall spare you. Your welcome.
Today, flamenco is often known for its bright red costuming and dramatic style. It has these things, yes, but flamenco isn't just some stuffy performative art. It is style itself. So now that you've got your little history lesson, go check out some flamenco!
"Festival Flamenco Internacional" runs from Wednesday, June 9 to Sunday, June 13. Tickets range from $20 to $90, depending on the performance. A complete schedule is available right here.
After he lost his ability to walk, in 2001, Japanese dancer Kazou Ohno simply danced in his wheelchair.
Sadly, the dance is now over, as Ohno, at 103, passed away yesterday. Not exactly a household name, Ohno's image crept into pop culture early last year as he graced the cover of Antony and the Johnson's The Crying Light.
But avant garde art fans are likely to know Ohno as the emotional force behind butoh, a dance form that originated in Japan in the late 1950s and gained popularity in the west in the 1980s.
Ohno is one of those artists who lived life like it was art itself, which probably explains why his work is so captivating. Though he didn't begin to dance until he was nearly 30, once he did, he never stopped. In 1933 he began to study modern dance, an activity that was derailed by his being drafted into the Imperial Army during World War II. After his release from a New Guinea prisoner of war camp after the end of the war, in which he'd spent 9 years, he immediately returned to the artform.
In 1960 Ohno teamed up with dancer Tatsumi Hijikata, who had created controversy the year before with his new style of dance. Together the two created one of the most otherworldly styles to hit the stage.
To watch butoh is to see a dancer move with a ghostly presence. The action is sometimes so slow it's barely intelligible, though at other times dancers hop along a stage in a series of painful-looking movements.
Sometimes considered performance art rather than dance form, butoh's legacy is not without controversy. But lets not get into that. Lets, instead, just remember a master, one of the most graceful performers to ever take the stage. The man who, two years ago, said "On the verge of death one revisits the joyful moments of a lifetime. One’s eyes are opened wide-gazing into the palm, seeing death, life, joy and sorrow with a sense of tranquillity."
The 10th annual Revolutions International Theatre Festival
By Julia Mandeville
The mark of brilliance may just be that it stays with you. It affects the way you think about something or, perhaps, the way you look at everything. You contemplate it after you’ve engaged with it. Your future actions and interactions are, in some regard, altered by having experienced it. As it so happens, this is also the mark of revolution. Coincidence? Certainly not in the case of the Revolutions International Theatre Festival.