[Updated.] Arts Fuse critics select the best in dance, music, and film that’s coming up this week.
By The Arts Fuse Staff
Boston Ballet La Bayadère
October 24-November 3
Boston Opera House, Boston, MA
In 1877, great classical choreographer Marius Petipa imagined an ancient India replete with gentle temple dancers, dashing warriors, bejeweled elephants, and an ensemble of ghostly wraiths in La Bayadère. Boston Ballet restages Paris Opera Ballet etoile Florence Clerc’s adaptation with Lia Cirio, Lorna Feijóo, Ashley Ellis and Misa Kuranaga alternating in role of Nikiya and Lasha Khozashvili, Nelson Madrigal, Alejandro Virelles and Jeffrey Cirio alternating as her lover Solor during the two week run.
Woman in White: films by Dawn Kramer and Stephen Buck
Through December 7; Family Day October 26
Paine Gallery, MassArt, Boston, MA
Longtime local dance community stalwarts Dawn Kramer and Stephen Buck have been traveling the world creating brief poetic site specific dances on camera. Seven works created during her recent European sabbatical in Italy, Ireland, and Sicily are on view in a twenty-seven minute loop as part of a larger, sixteen artist MassArt exhibit. On Saturday afternoon October 26, a special family event encourages children from ages four through teens to create their own creative responses to some of the works.
Luis Bravo’s Forever Tango
October 29-November 2
Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston, MA
Hot, intricate, and popular all over the world, tango gets a high-gloss appreciation by fourteen world-class performers and crackerjack on-stage orchestra in a show that tracks the dance and its scintillating music from the dangerous docks and brothels of nineteenth century Buenos Aires to posh European nightclubs of the 1920s and ultimately the form’s revival and commercialization on the world’s stages, social halls and social media. Take a date.
And further afield…
Shen Wei Dance Arts
Hunter Center for the Performing Arts at Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA
The gifted Shen Wei, raised in a family of Chinese opera artists and now based in the United States, brings together a range of traditions and media in a distinctive painterly theatrical language. He staged the memorable opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics and for this year’s centennial of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, has revised his 2003 version of the score. Rite will be seen along with a new work, Collective Measures, costumed by Project Runway boldfacer Austin Scarlett. These performances are coproduced by Jacob’s Pillow and Mass MoCa and coincide with the last days to see of Xu Bing’s Phoenix, a twenty ton sculpture fabricated from materials salvaged from Beijing construction sites.
— Debra Cash
Mark-Anthony Turnage premiere and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde
Presented by the Boston Symphony Orchestra
October 24-26, 8:00 p.m.
Symphony Hall, Boston, MA
With the Adés concert and Charles Dutoit’s dates, this is one of the four most intriguing programs on the BSO’s calendar. Conductor Daniel Harding makes his BSO debut, leading the first US performances of Turnage’s Speranza, a piece whose title translates as “hope.” Mahler’s song cycle-cum-symphony, Das Lied von der Erde, concludes the evening.
Dreams and Legends
Presented by the New England Philharmonic
October 26, 8:00 p.m.
Tsai Performance Center, Boston, MA
Richard Pittman and the NEP begin their thirty-seventh season with a rich program of twentieth and twenty-first century fare. Elliott Carter’s Pocahontas and Janacek’s Sinfonietta bracket pieces by John Harbison (his Cello Concerto, with soloist Jan-Müller Szeraws) and Carl Schimmel (the winner of the orchestra’s annual Call for Scores).
— Jonathan Blumhofer
Chiara String Quartet
October 25, 8:00 p.m.
John Knowles Paine Concert Hall, Harvard, Cambridge, MA
Presented by Harvard University Department of Music and with the stellar pianist Robert Levin, the Chiara String Quartet will perform works by Adorno and Haydn, as well as Dvorak’s lovely Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 81. Free but tickets are required.
A Tudor Legacy: The Heyday of English Sacred Music
October 26, 8:00 p.m.
First Church in Cambridge, Cambridge, MA
The superb Music Sacra presents A Tudor Legacy: the Heyday of English Sacred Music. The “Magnificat” and “Nunc Dimittis” from William Byrd’s Great Service and selections from Thomas Morley’s First Service, will be performed, as well as motets by Tallis, Weelkes, and Gibbons.
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
October 27, 1:30 p.m.
Gardner Museum, the Fenway, Boston, MA
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center travels to Boston to play Bliss’s Quintet for Oboe and Strings, Szymanowski’s Nocturne and Tarantella for Violin and Piano, Op. 28., and Britten’s Phantasy Quartet for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello. The society includes oboist James Austin Smith, the terrific pianist Gloria Chien, and others.
David Finckel, cello and Wu Han, piano
October 27, 3:00 p.m.
NEC’s Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
The fabulous cellist, a founding and longtime member of the Emerson Quartet, David Finckel, and pianist Wu Han will perform The Complete Sonatas for Piano and Cello of Beethoven. Presented by Celebrity Series.
October 27, 5:00 p.m.
Boston Conservatory, Seully Hall, Boston, MA
The excellent guitarist plays a program, Music of East and West, an evening of dances and serenades, lullabies and re-imaginings of popular American songs, with music by American, Japanese, and Spanish composers. Fifteen dollars, general admission.
Boston Chamber Music Society
October 27, 7:30 p.m.
Sanders Theater, Harvard, Cambridge, MA
Boston Chamber Music Society plays Mozart’s Violin Sonata in A major, K. 526, Schubert’s Fantase in F Minor for Piano Four Hands, D. 940, and Walton’s Piano Quartet in D minor.
— Susan Miron
XL Center, Hartford, CT
The last of three area Pearl Jam shows this month. The first two, which took place in Worcester, combined songs from the band’s new release, Lightning Bolt, with old hits, old fan favorites, and of course covers. The Greatest Cover Band of All Time (as dubbed by me) trotted out “Last Kiss,” “Crazy Mary,” “Sonic Reducer,” and “Baba O’Riley” over two nights at the DCU Center. No “Fuckin’ Up”? No “Throw Your Arms Around Me”? Perhaps in Hartford.
Justin Townes Earle
The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
Okay, let’s get this out of the way: Justin Townes Earle is the son of Steve Earle.
Now, let’s get down to what’s actually important: Justin Townes Earle is 100 percent his own man. He’s got his own sound, he writes his own songs, and the songs he writes are wonderful, a little bit country, a little bit punk, a little bit rockabilly, a little bit folk, a little bit blues, a little bit hip hop (in attitude if not sound), a little bit…well, everything. If it’s American, it’s in Justin’s music. And he’s a snappy dresser to boot. Does it get better than all of that?
My Bloody Valentine (11/7/2013, House of Blues); Kanye West (11/17/2013, TD Garden); MGMT (12/5/2013, Orpheum Theatre); Queens of the Stone Age (12/13/2013, Agganis Arena); Dinosaur Jr. (12/14/2013 and 12/15/2013, The Sinclair); The Breeders (12/18/2013, Paradise Rock Club); Jake Bugg (1/11/2014, House of Blues); Jay Z (1/18/2014, TD Garden); Pixies (1/18/2014, Orpheum Theatre)
— Adam Ellsworth
Roots and World
The Mondo Zombie Boogaloo
The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
This Halloween triple bill features the three bands who contributed to a recent horror-surf-garage compilation on Yep-Rock Records. Swamp rockers Southern Culture on the Skids and garage true believers the Fleshtones join surf heroes Los Straitjackets – who probably show up for Halloween in their trademark Mexican wrestling masks year after year. Expect “(Sock It To Me Baby) In The House Of Shock,” “It’s Monster Surfing Time,” and instrumental versions of the themes from “Ghostbusters,” “Young Frankenstein,” and “Halloween.”
Metromedia Sound System featuring Sky Juice
Kay’s Oasis, Dorchester, MA
Earlier this month the highly anticipated World Clash pitted eight reggae sound systems against each other. A sound clash is won by the selector who can deploy the most impactful “dub plates” – essentially remakes of reggae hits voiced especially for the sound system by a reggae star. This year the crown went to Metromedia, a long-running sound led by Sky Juice, an entertainer known as the “Big Belly Man” thanks to his habit of going shirtless while playing records. Metromedia’s victory lap takes them to this Dorchester dancehall tonight.
Wilbur Theater, Boston, MA
Mandolin virtuoso Bush has made a career out of being on both the outside and the inside of bluegrass at the same time. He founded Newgrass Revival and still carries a loud, jam-oriented band with drums, but he’s also one of the foremost experts on Bill Monroe-style playing, and his voice is among the most soulful of all southern singers.
UPDATE: This show has been postponed until March. Bush happens to be a vocal Cardinals fan. Coincidence?
Victory Chapel, 301 Columbia Road, Dorchester, MA
One of traditional gospel’s standard bearers, this Mississippi vocal group make their first visit to Boston in years. Hopefully they’ll sing their tear-jerking version of country music star Red Sovine’s CB-radio yarn “Teddy Bear.”
Great Scott, Boston, MA
From his collaborations with Lee “Scratch” Perry to the many excellent discs he’s cut with British reggae and electronic music artists, Neil “Mad Professor” Fraser is an icon of dub reggae. It seems a bit silly that such a revered veteran has to cater to current trends by embarking on a “Roots of Dubstep” tour, but then again his smart business sense has kept his Ariwa label afloat for over three decades.
— Noah Schaffer
The 7th Annual Boston Palestine Film Festival
October 18 – October 27
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
This annual series is “a global showcase of compelling films offering independent views of Palestine’s history, culture, and geographically dispersed society.” See schedule for list of films and times.
Ang Lee, Close Up
October 25 – October 28
Harvard Film Archives, Cambridge, MA
It is hard to pick which of Ang Lee’s early films to recommend because his distinctive variety and skill as a filmmaker. His movies include The Ice Storm, Ride With the Devil, Eat, Drink, Man, Women, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. But if you plan early, Lee will be in person presenting Lust, Caution on Friday the 25th, and onSunday evening atwo rare short Lee films will be screened, Pushing Hands and Fine Line.
A World Not Ours
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
No longer at the Brattle Theater, The Doc Yard series will take place at several new venues. The current film is an “intimate, humorous, portrait of three generations of exile in the refugee camp in southern Lebanon,” a place hastily built in 1948 that now houses seventy thousand refugees in one square kilometer. Based on a wealth of personal recordings, family archives, and historical footage, the film is a sensitive and illuminating study of belonging, friendship, and family.
Halloween Double Feature
Somerville Theater, Somerville, MA
The Exorcist (7:30 p.m.) and Kathryn Bigelow’ vampire western, Near Dark (10:00 p.m.) really are two horrific classics worth spending your Halloween with. The great Somerville Theater will screen them on 35mm film, another reason to get on down.
— Tim Jackson
A double-header in late October? There’s a tempting one in Inman Square this Saturday. Start out at the Lily Pad with the elegant compositions and arrangements that pianist Pablo Ablanedo has created for his excellent octet (with trumpeter Jerry Sabatini, flutist Fernando Brandão, reedmen Daniel Ian Smith and Todd Brunel, guitarist Eric Hofbauer, bassist Fernando Huergo, and drummer Bertram Lehmann).
Then, after dinner, head around the corner for …
… tabla master Badal Roy. Roy has played with John McLaughlin, Miles Davis, Pharoah Sanders, Dave Liebman, and, in the 1990s, Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time, where he got to know pianist Dave Bryant. Outpost 186 brings the two back together, along with saxophonists Tom Hall and Neil Leonard, and bassist Jacob William.
The influence of gospel music is highlighted in two major jazz events this fall. The annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert is a month in the future (and we’ll have more on that event as November 23rd approaches), but on Sunday the focus is on Symphony Hall. The Celebrity Series of Boston brings the JLCO together with Damien Sneed and Chorale Le Chateau for a performance of the Mass that Wynton Marsalis composed in 2008 in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.
Latin America Vive Music Festival
October 29, 8:15 p.m.
Berklee Performance Center
As part of the Latin Music Culture Celebration and Hispanic Heritage Month, on Tuesday Berklee launches its new Latin America Vive Music Festival. Organized by executive producer (and bassist) Oscar Stagnaro, artistic producer (and vocalist) Sofia Rei, musical director (and pianist) Nando Michelin, and advisor (and vocalist) Mili Bermejo, an 11-piece student ensemble will showcase a baker’s dozen performance and composition projects representing styles from across Latin America.
For something on a much more intimate scale, head to Central Square for an evening of traditional and modern Brazilian instrumental improvisation. Veterans of numerous Boston-area choro groups, Trio Choro Brasil (flutist Fernando Brandão, cellist Catherine Bent, and 7-string guitarist Adam Bahrami) are joined by accordionist Evan Harlan, whose inspired collaborations with Brandão literally go back decades. With the accordion on board, don’t be surprised if some of the music has distinct tinge of the Northeast (Brazil, that is).
The midweek emphasis on fusions of jazz and traditional Latin American styles continues as guitarist and composer Claudio Ragazzi is joined by fellow Argentinians Fernando Huergo on bass and Franco Pinna on drums, along with honorary Argentinian Nando Michelin–he’s from neighboring Uruguay–on piano. These four musicians have performed and recorded together in numerous permutations, so the level of spontaneous interchange among them should be very high, indeed. And if you know how to tango, so much the better.
— J. R. Carroll