A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place this weekend in the greater Berkshire region, including a legend of postmodern dance; Shakespeare outdoors; Frances McDormand and Suzzy Roche get early Shaker spiritual; abstract art at the Clark, and a whole lot more.
(BECKET, Mass.) – Trisha Brown Dance Company performs in the Ted Shawn Theatre at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival from Wednesday, August 16, through Sunday, August 20, representing the work of one of the seminal choreographers of the 20th century. The company will pay tribute to the late choreographer performing a version of Opal Loop (1980) prepared especially for Jacob’s Pillow, featuring former dancers of the company and an original cast member. The company will also perform more recent choreography, including Groove and Countermove (2000) and L’Amour au théâtre (2009).
NONA HENDRYX BRINGS ART-FUNK to MASS MoCA
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Nona Hendryx, a founding member of 1970s trio Labelle and backup vocalist on hits by Peter Gabriel, Prince, Yoko Ono, and Talking Heads, brings her distinctive art-funk and her Dream Opera – The Sound of Dreaming to MASS MoCA on Saturday, August 19, for a two-part performance collaboration with Nick Cave: a gallery performance in the exhibition “Nick Cave: Until” at 7pm, and a general admission concert in the Hunter Center at 8pm.
(NEW LEBANON, N.Y.) – Cellist Inbal Segev and pianist Alon Goldstein will perform works by Brahms and Dvorak in the Tannery Pond Concerts series at the Tannery on the grounds of Mount Lebanon Shaker Village and Darrow School on Saturday, August 19, at 8pm. The program explores the relationships among these Romantic composers and the ways in which they influenced each other – as friends and as mentors. The duo will also perform Ravel’s Kadish in memory of Leslie Teicholz — long-time president and board chair of Tannery Pond — who passed away in 2015.
The program includes Brahms’ Sonata in F Major and Six Songs, Dvorak’s Rondo Op. 94, and solo piano works by Liszt/Wagner.
(CHATHAM, N.Y.) – Monica Bill Barnes & Company performs a two-night preview performance of “One Night Only (running as long as we can)” at PS21 on Friday and Saturday, August 18 and 19, at 8pm. The evening-length work, part of PS21’s Chatham Dance Festival and which draws on sports competitions for inspiration, features Barnes and her longtime dance partner Anna Bass.
(LENOX, Mass.) – William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” will be staged in-the-round in the new, outdoor Roman Garden Theatre at Shakespeare & Company from Thursday, August 10, through Sunday, September 3. Directed by newly appointed company artistic director Allyn Burrows, the play features longtime Shakespeare & Company actors Nigel Gore and Jason Asprey alongside Thomas Brazzle, Deaon Griffin-Presley, Tamara Hickey, Ella Loudon, Josh Aaron McCabe, Bella Merlin, and Mark Zeisler. The creative team includes Jim Youngerman (set designer), Govane Lohbauer (costume designer), and Arshan Gailus (sound designer).
Showtimes are at dusk: 5:30pm through August 20; 5pm August 21-September 3.
Likely the final piece that Shakespeare penned alone, “The Tempest” tells the story of Prospero, a betrayed duke and magician bent on justice and revenge until he sees, through his daughter, the power of love and forgiveness. The events of the story unfold amidst the elements of the island, a perfect fit for a Berkshire evening in the open air of the Roman Garden Theatre.
(NEW LEBANON, N.Y.) – Frances McDormand and Suzzy Roche, a member of the celebrated experimental theater collective The Wooster Group, will perform at the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon gala on Saturday, August 19. McDormand?and Roche, along with director Kate Valk, will present an excerpt from? Early Shaker Spirituals: A Record Album Interpretation, a performance based on the record album of the same name recorded by the Sisters of the Sabbathday Lake, Maine, Shaker Community in 1976.
Early Shaker Spirituals: A Record Album Interpretation?premiered at The Performing Garage in New York City in 2014. The New York Times?called the performance “profoundly affecting…. a kind of phantasmal possession of the present by the past or, if you prefer, the eternal.”
(LENOX, Mass.) – Internationally acclaimed tenor saxophonist Benny Sharoni brings his quintet and his straight-ahead jazz stylings to The Mount on Friday, August 18, from 5 to 8pm. The event is free and held on The Terrace. Sharoni’s quintet features bassist Todd Baker, drummer Steve Langone, and guitarist Mike Mele.
A mainstay on the international jazz scene, Sharoni is a straight-ahead player who fuses together the classic bop influences of Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, and Steve Grossman, among others, flavored with Latin rhythms. In addition to performing worldwide with his own band, the Israeli-born Sharoni has appeared with Joshua Redman, Danilo Perez, Kenny Garrett, and Larry Coryell. The consistent hallmark of Sharoni’s playing is the deep warmth and beauty of his tone and his lyrical phrasing.
(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) – Polish composer Fryderyk Chopin, who transformed the aesthetic potential of the piano, will be celebrated at the Bard Music Festival, running for two weekends (August 11-13 and August 18-20) in the Fisher Center at Bard College. Twelve themed concert programs will be complemented by pre-concert lectures, panel discussions, two special events, and expert commentary.
Robb is best known for his lenticular photographic work focusing on the female nude and abstract forms in space, which he makes in series. Robb is regularly testing possibilities with the lenticular medium and creating new immersive experiences using three-dimensional imaging and cutting-edge technology within this and additional mediums.
(LENOX, Mass.) – “Weathered to Perfection,” a new exhibition of photographs by Scott Barrow, is on view at Scott Barrow Photography Gallery through August 18.
“Weathered to Perfection” reveals the efforts of time, with seasons of wind, rain, and sun on what was — once — shiny and new, made by human hands, and longed for by human hearts, transformed into the subtle beauty that only age can bestow.
Some see junkyards and a blemished landscape; Barrow sees mysterious fields of former power houses: well-used, well-loved icons of transportation, vehicles waiting patiently to have their acquired patina rediscovered. Fantastic with rust and peeling paint, metal takes on the colorful iridescence of a fine silk. Hood ornaments gleam even as their chrome plating fails. On city walls and at amusement parks and zoos that stand long beyond their popularity, fading paint reveals a visual history of heart-stopping rides, ice cream parlors and drinking Coca-Cola. Now, weathered to perfection, they are new again.
(HANCOCK, Mass.) – Works by an all-star team of contemporary artists, including Gregory Crewdson, Don Gummer, Stephen Hannock, Jenny Holzer, Maya Lin, and David Teeple, is on view at Hancock Shaker Village, in Making: Then and Now, a landmark exhibition of contemporary art that explores the connection between artists today and an historic utopian movement in the Berkshires, a place both have called home.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – No Rules: Helen Frankenthaler Woodcuts, an exhibit exploring the artist’s inventive and groundbreaking approach to the woodcut, and As in Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings, which focuses on nature as a long-standing inspiration for the artist, are on view at the Clark Art Institute.
The No Rules exhibition, on view through Sunday, September 24, includes 17 large-scale prints, on loan primarily from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation and the Williams College Museum of Art, presenting the full range of Frankenthaler’s experimentation with the medium from the 1970s through 2000s. No Rules celebrates the pioneering spirit that expanded the possibilities of the woodcut and established Frankenthaler (American, 1928–2011) as one of the medium’s great innovators.
The exhibition explores the artist’s collaborations with printers, publishers, woodcarvers, and papermakers that pushed the medium in new directions. In 1994, during an interview with printer/publisher Ken Tyler, Frankenthaler stated, “There are no rules, that is one thing I say about every medium, every picture . . . that is how art is born, that is how breakthroughs happen. Go against the rules or ignore the rules, that is what invention is about.”
As in Nature: Helen Frankenthaler Paintings, which focuses on nature as a long-standing inspiration for the artist, is on view in the Lunder Center at Stone Hill from Saturday, July 1, through Monday, October 9.
The As in Nature exhibition comprises a selection of large paintings by Frankenthaler from the 1950s through the 1990s, focusing on nature as a longstanding inspiration. Like many abstract artists, Frankenthaler continually tested the constraints of the genre, at times inserting into her compositions elements of recognizable subject matter that throw the abstract elements into relief. The paintings in this exhibition represent the full range of styles and techniques that she explored over five decades of work; while all are primarily abstract, they also contain allusions to landscape, demonstrating how Frankenthaler’s delicate balance between abstraction and a nuanced responsiveness to nature and place developed and shifted over time. As Frankenthaler once commented, “Anything that has beauty and provides order (rather than chaos or shock alone), anything resolved in a picture (as in nature) gives pleasure—a sense of rightness, as in being one with nature.”
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World, a fully immersive exhibition exploring all aspects of one of the most enduring musical icons of the last 200 years, is at the Berkshire Museum, on view through Monday, September 4.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Nick Cave, the artist known for his wearable sculptures called Soundsuits, turns expectations inside out at MASS MoCA in “Until,” a massive immersive installation. Cave uses MASS MoCA’s signature football field-sized space to create his largest and most overtly political installation to date, made up of thousands of found objects, a rich sensory tapestry. The sheer volume of material that has been gathered is astounding — 16,000 wind spinners; millions of plastic pony beads; thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals; 13 gilded pigs; more than 10 miles of crystals; 24 chandeliers; 1 crocodile; and 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — MASS MoCA has unveiled its newly renovated campus with the opening of Building 6, the third phase of campus development that encompasses 130,000 square feet of interior renovations to the museum’s 19th-century mill buildings. The new galleries include works by Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, James Turrell, Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson, and Gunnar Schonbeck (Bang on a Can), among others.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Works by Pablo Picasso are on view at the Clark Art Institute, along with an exhibition devoted to painter-designer Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Picasso: Encounters includes paintings and prints by the 20th century visionary and is on view through Sunday, August 27.
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) — On the surface they might seem like an odd couple from two different universes, but for the first time Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol come face to face in “Inventing America: Rockwell and Warhol,” at the Norman Rockwell Museum. With 100 works of art, a selection of archival materials, and objects relating to their work and lives, the exhibition will show how both of these internationally celebrated image-makers — among America’s most important visual communicators — created enduring icons and opened new ways of seeing.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – An Inner World: 17th-Century Dutch Genre Painting is on view at the Clark Art Institute now through Sunday, September 17. The exhibit brings together paintings from the Clark and The Leiden Collection, among the largest and most important private collections of Dutch Golden Age paintings in the world. The exhibition features seven exceptional genre paintings by Dutch artists working in or near the city of Leiden in the 17th century.
An Inner World explores the work of Gerrit Dou (Dutch, 1613–1675) and his contemporaries by considering tradition and innovation in the representation of figures in interior spaces, individuals in moments of contemplation or quiet exchange, and the enduring taste among collectors for works created by fijnschilders, or fine painters.