(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Balkan Beat Box, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, and the already sold-out Jeff Mangum (of Neutral Milk Hotel) top the upcoming Winter/Spring performance series at MASS MoCA, which will also feature exhibitions of work by Mark Dion, Tom Phillips, and Johnny Carrera, as well as a short-films (as in one-minute) installation.
After the Jeff Mangum concert on Saturday, February 16, 2013, MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center hosts Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal in a co-presentation with Jacob’s Pillow on Saturday, March 2, and Sunday, March 3. This renowned troupe offers a thrilling fusion of dance styles from ballet to street dance, and will perform pieces by Wen Wei Wang, Cayetano Soto, and Barak Marshall.
The first big event of the season is FREE Day on Saturday, February 9. This annual event attracts thousands to MASS MoCA for a full day of art-making, tours, contests, demonstrations, performances, and more. The galleries are open from 11 am to 8 pm, and a Psychedelic Latin Dance Party with the band Chicha Libre caps off the day at 8 pm.
Opportunities to dance abound with two dance parties scheduled: one following FREE Day on Saturday, February 9, and another as part of the special 3-2-1! Celebration on Saturday, April 6.
Electronic composer and indie icon Dan Deacon gets the audience dancing in the Hunter Center on Saturday, April 20, at 8 PM. Deacon offers up his new iPhone/Android app, which concert-goers can download for free before the show. The app turns a cell phone into a source of synchronized light and sound that changes depending on the cell phone’s location within the venue.
The high-energy Balkan Beat Box, which combines contemporary sounds with traditional Balkan melodies and rhythms, perform on Saturday, March 16, 2013, and regional up-and-comers Darlingside hold forth on Saturday, April 13.
Those who venture up to MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 can look forward to new discoveries on Saturday, February 2, with the funky and infectious electronic sounds of the band Superhuman Happiness; on Saturday, February 23, with the catchy beat-driven music (and elaborate illuminated antics) of the band My Robot Friend; on Saturday, March 9, with the singular blues of FreshGrass 2012 favorite Mamie Minch; on Saturday, April 13, with regional superstar band Darlingside; and on Saturday, April 27, with Futurity, a rock opera performed by The Lisps.
MASS MoCA’s Thursday night Cinema Lounge five-film series is titled Compete!; most screenings are followed by Q& sessions with filmmakers.
In the galleries, there will be an opening reception for three new exhibitions, all curated by Denise Markonish, on Saturday, April 6: Mark Dion: The Octagon Room, One Minute Film Festival: Ten Years, and Life’s Work: Tom Phillips and Johnny Carrera. All three will be on view beginning on Saturday, March 23.
Life’s Work: Tom Phillips and Johnny Carrera originates with the idea of a project that an artist continually goes back to, which simultaneously becomes a trace of that work and a career. Both projects in the exhibition span decades and generations, and also function as re-inventions of existing texts.
In Mark Dion: The Octagon Room, the artist investigates the blurred boundaries between art, society, and history, as well as the homogenized methods of their presentation and consumption.
One Minute Film Festival: 10 Years celebrates an event that took place annually in a barn in upstate New York from 2003 to 2012. At the festival, one-minute films were screened – many without credits – after a potluck supper and before dancing; the festival stressed relaxed social interaction rather than the competitive nature of many other film festivals.
The 3-2-1! Celebration on Saturday, April 6, will mark the opening of these three exhibitions as well as the closing of Oh, Canada. The 3-2-1! Celebration begins with a cocktail reception in the galleries, which will be followed by a benefit dinner and silent auction in MASS MoCA’s massive Building 5 gallery. The 3-2-1! Celebration culminates with a dance party in the Hunter Center with special guest DJ King Khan, spinning a mash-up of vintage soul, classic R&B, and wicked funk. Tickets are available for the entire evening or for each event separately.
MASS MoCA’s commitment to nurturing new work by providing artist residencies continues this season, with a residency and work-in-progress dance showing by LeeSaar The Company. On Friday, February 8, the group presents grass and jackals, a new dance work about the extreme conditions of military life.
Other events on tap include a special Valentine’s Day Date Night on Thursday, February 14; couples can spend a romantic evening strolling through the museum after hours and enjoying a candlelit dinner from Lickety Split. Parents can leave their children at Kidspace for an evening of art-making activities followed by pizza. Reservations are required in advance.
Families will also enjoy a show for kids with Mamie Minch on Saturday, March 9, at 11:30 am; February Vacation Art Camp in Kidspace; and a series of morning workshops in Kidspace during the week of April school vacation. Space is limited for these events; reservations are strongly recommended in advance.
The Thursday night Cinema Lounge series titled Compete! will feature five documentary films about winning, losing, and, most importantly, playing the game. Screened in Club B-10, drinks and snacks will be available before and during the films. Most of the films will be followed by Q&A sessions with the filmmaker. The series consists of The Other Dream Team on Thursday, January 24; Brooklyn Castle on Thursday, February 21; Kings of Pastry on Thursday, March 7; Buzkashi! on Thursday, April 4; and The Human Tower on Thursday, April 25.
Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams, open from 11 AM until 5 PM every day except Tuesdays. Tickets can also be purchased by phone at 413.662.2111 during Box Office hours or online at MASS MoCA.