Dancers Among Us
Jordan Matter’s Dancers Among Us presents one thrilling photograph after another of dancers leaping, spinning, lifting, kicking—but in the midst of daily life: on the beach, at a construction site, in a library, a restaurant, a park. With each image the viewer feels buoyed up, eager to see the next bit of magic. Organized around themes of work, play, love, exploration, dreaming, and more, Dancers Among Us celebrates life in a way that’s fresh, surprising, original, universal. There’s no photoshopping here, no trampolines, no gimmicks, no tricks. Just a photographer, his vision, and the serendipity of what happens when the shutter clicks.
The exhibition at Brookfield Place (230 Vesey Shops, 2nd level) features twenty large-scale aluminum and vinyl prints, and an incredible video compilation of behind-the-scenes film.
ABOUT JORDAN MATTER
Jordan Matter was selected as one of 2015’s “Top Emerging Artists” (Art Business News) and was recently honored as one of 2017’s “Top 100 Photographers on the Web” (XXLPIX). His book, Dancers Among Us (Workman Publishing, 2012), is a New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon which has been reprinted eight times. “In Jordan Matter’s photos, dancers make all the world their stage,” wrote The New York Times, and Diane Sawyer praised, “breathtaking photos to free your imagination!” His critically acclaimed follow up book, Dancers After Dark (Workman Publishing, 2016), was featured in media throughout the world. Matter and his work have been #1 on Reddit and featured on Buzzfeed, ABC World News, the Today Show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, the Tyra Banks Show, the BBC, NPR, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Oprah Magazine, New York Magazine, Cosmo, Lincoln Center, and the Savina Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korea. He is currently working on his next book, Tiny Dancers Among Us (Workman Publishing, 2018). Matter lives with his wife and two children in New York.
Floating above the Winter Garden, The Roof is a site-specific suspended sculpture by Thai artist, Pinaree Sanpitak that celebrates collaboration and coexistence. The Roof is composed of translucent canopies hanging among the Winter Garden palm trees that create a literal but temporary ‘roof.’ Made from raw silk, glass fiber, non-woven fabric, wires, hooks, chains and aluminum modular truss, The Roof was constructed to interact with the architecture of Brookfield Place — as well as the palms and the people who pass through each day, forming a delicate, surreal shelter within the walls of the Winter Garden.
ABOUT PINAREE SANPITAK
Pinaree Sanpitak is one of the most compelling and respected Thai artists of her generation, and her work can be counted among the most powerful explorations of women’s experience in all of Southeast Asia. Her primary inspiration has been the female body, distilled to its most basic forms and imbued with an ethereal spirituality. The quiet, Zen-like abstraction of her work owes something to her training in Japan and sets it somewhat apart from the colorful intensity of much Thai art. Her rigorous focus on the female form, explored through a variety of media – painting, drawing, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, performance, and culinary arts, to name but a few – has resulted in an astoundingly varied and innovative body of work. For the past twenty years, a central motif in her work has been the female breast, which she relates to imagery of the natural world and to the iconic forms of the Buddhist stupa (shrine) and offering bowl. Often called a feminist or Buddhist artist, she resists such easy categorizations, preferring to let her work speak to each viewer directly, to the heart and soul, with the most basic language of form, color, and texture. Her work is not lacking in a conceptual framework, but it is one informed primarily by a deeply felt spiritual sense rather than by rigid dogmas or ideological constructs.
Waves of Tradition
Mon. - Thurs. | 12:30 & 5:30PM
Fri. | 12:30 & 7:30PM
Arts Brookfield and Live Sounds present Waves of Tradition, a curated week-long celebration of New York City and the waves of immigrant cultures that make up its rich history.
Each day will focus on a different part of the world: West Africa, Japan, Ireland, the Middle East and Latin America. Artists will tell their stories through music and dance each afternoon and evening—with a culminating Friday night concert—making connections with fellow New Yorkers through traditions from the ancient to the contemporary. The series is curated by Isabel Soffer of Live Sounds.
MAY 1 | TRADITIONS OF AFRICA
African musician and poet, Salieu Suso joined by Ebrima Jassey will play traditional African instruments, the kora and balafon, throughout the day. The sound of a kora resembles that of a harp, though when played in the traditional style it bears a resemblance to flamenco and delta blues guitar. The balafon is an ancient wooden xylophone played in Africa since the 14th century, and has more than 20 keys that sit on calabash gourds that play melodic tunes.
MAY 2 | TRADITIONS OF IRELAND
Ensemble Jameson’s Revenge brings the luck of the Irish to day two. Led by four-time All-Ireland Champion, fiddler Denis McCarthy, joined by Andrew McCarrick on flute and whistles, John Walsh on guitar and vocals, Jameson’s Revenge is known for its hard driving jigs, reels and new compositions.
MAY 3 | TRADITIONS OF JAPAN
The premier Japanese classical dancer in the United States, Tokyo-born Sachiyo Ito and company perform a range of delicate and powerful traditional Japanese dances including Kabuki, Noh, Okinawan Court, and Jiuta-mai as well as contemporary choreographed works.
MAY 4 | TRADITIONS OF ARABIA
Zikrayat Ensemble perform music and dance from the Golden Age of Egyptian musical cinema (the 1940s to 1960s); traditional and classical compositions from the Arab world, as well as Raqs Sharki (Eastern Dance) often called bellydance and performed by both men and women for centuries at weddings, festivals and parties. Zikrayat (meaning “memories” in Arabic) is led by violinist, vocalist, composer and teacher Sami Abu Shumays and dancer Robin “Dameshe” Shumays.
MAY 5 | TRADITIONS OF LATIN AMERICA
The festival will come to a celebratory close with a special performance by Asthmatic Kitty artist Helado Negro (Roberto Carlos Lange) who blends the tropical lilt of Ecuador and the rich sounds and colors of the various Latin American cultures of his South Florida upbringing with the classical, folk-pop and electronica strains of his multifaceted artistic community. Helado Negro will perform “Ensemble Interpretations” during lunchtime and a version of “Brain Finger Composition” in the evening at 7:30pm, in which he controls musical parameters using yarn tethered to live musicians. The ensemble includes Angela Morris, Nathaniel Morgan, Jason Nazary, Eliza Bagg and Oliver Hill.
ABOUT LIVE SOUNDS
Live Sounds, founded by Isabel Soffer in 2011, produces, creates and curates international music and dance programs in New York and across the country. Devoted to preserving and cultivating innovative, thought-provoking traditional and contemporary performing arts from around the world to build bridges and engage audiences and communities. Live Sounds projects promote cultural understanding and appreciation for global traditions while supporting and preserving artists and their art forms.
New York Guitar Festival
Visit the Winter Garden at Brookfield place for a daylong Raga Marathon—free performances celebrating the vibrant sounds of South Asia as part of the 2017 New York Guitar Festival, the annual festival that explores virtually every aspect of the guitar’s personality!
In Sanskrit, the word “raga” literally means color, or musical tone. In traditional Indian and Southeast Asian music, it refers to a pattern of notes having characteristic intervals, rhythms, and embellishments, used as a basis for improvisation. “One of the unique characteristics of Indian and South Asian music is the assignment of definite times of the day and night for performing Raga melodies,” explains New York Guitar Festival Co-Founder and Artistic Director David Spelman. “It is believed that at certain hours in the spinning of the Earth, the Raga approaches the height of its melodic beauty and majestic splendor. There are some Ragas that are very attractive in the early hours of the mornings; others that enchant more toward dusk; and yet others reveal their fragrance only near the midnight hour. That’s how we’ve programmed this Marathon.”
Paying respect to tradition, ragas will flow in the Winter Garden from morning until night. An 8:30PM screening of the 1929 silent film A Throw of Dice: A Romance of India will be shown with live musical accompaniment of a world-premiere score, and DJ Rekha will cap off the night with a not-to-be-missed dance party from 10:30PM until midnight.
MAY 19 PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE:
8:00 AM Debashish Bhattacharya & Samir Chatterjee
Bhattacharya, one of the world’s preeminent slide guitarists, performs a morning raga with Chatterjee on tabla.
NOON Anupam Shobhakar
Anupam Shobhakar performs a noon raga with a sarod, a fretless stringed instrument that dates back centuries.
5:00 PM Gyan Riley, Krishna Bhatt, & Dan Weiss
Guitarist Gyan Riley, sitarist Krishna Bhatt, and jazz drummer Dan Weiss join forces for an early evening performance.
7:00 PM Debashish Bhattacharya & Samir Chatterjee
Bhattacharya and Chatterjee return in the evening with more melodious sounds.
8:30 PM A Throw of Dice with New Score by Rez Abbasi
Silent cinema returns to Brookfield Place with a screening of the 1929 film A Throw of Dice: A Romance of India, accompanied by a new score performed by guitarist Rez Abbasi’s trio. Based on a story found within the Sanskrit epic, The Mahābhārata, and filmed on location in Rajasthan, the movie stars Seeta Devi as the ravishing beauty Sunita. The composer Nitin Sawhney describes A Throw of Dice as a cross between Cecil B. DeMille, Chaplin, and early Bollywood.
10:30 PM DJ Rekha and Special Guests (to be announced!)
DJ Rekha and special guests spin an in-the-moment mash-up of ragas, EDM, and Punjabi pop until midnight.
ABOUT NEW YORK GUITAR FESTIVAL
Exploring virtually every aspect of the guitar’s personality, the New York Guitar Festival, since 1999, has presented many of the world’s most influential guitarists at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, (Le) Poisson Rouge, 92nd Street Y, Brookfield Place, and other iconic venues, large and small. From multi Grammy-winners to emerging artists, NYGF performers have included masters of the classical repertoire as well as blues & jazz, pop & indie rock, folk & Americana, sounds of Central & South America and genre-defying innovators.