A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place this weekend in the greater Berkshire region, including a string quartet; an acrobatic feminist dance troupe; photography from Burma; Haitian music; noir-folk; 17th century Dutch painting; and a whole lot more.
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – The Escher String Quartet will perform works by Mendelssohn, Bartok, and Beethoven at the Mahaiwe on Saturday, April 15, at 6pm, as part of the Close Encounters With Music series. The concert marks the critically acclaimed rising quartet’s Berkshire debut.
The program includes three landmark works of chamber music: Mendelssohn’s gripping Quartet in E minor, opus 80, saturated with poetic melancholy and written in memory of his beloved sister Fannie; the Bartók Quartet No. 3, a fusion of folk and Western art music; and Beethoven’s “Razumovsky” Quartet in E minor, opus 59, No. 2, resplendent in its cosmic grandeur.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Theatrical movement troupe LAVA performs “A Goddessey,” a program suitable for the entire family, in the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA on Saturday, April 15, at 3pm. A survival story that vaults the audience from a patriarchal present into a rainbow-colored feminist future, “A Goddessey” – developed in part at MASS MoCA – is the amalgamation of 15 years of empowering performances exploring the human body as a social landscape, featuring ropes, nets, hoops, mats, and trapeze.
(LENOX, Mass.) – Award-winning photographer Scott Barrow presents “Mystical Myanmar,” a new exhibition of photographs taken on his first visit to Southeast Asia this past winter, at the Scott Barrow Photography Gallery from Saturday, April 15, through Thursday, June 15. There will be a free opening reception for the exhibition, featuring photographs from Myanmar, formerly Burma, on Saturday, April 15, from 5 to 7pm.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Haitian band Lakou Mizik performs in Chapin Hall at Williams College on Wednesday, April 19 at 8 pm. The concert is free and open to the public. Lakou Mizik is a multigenerational collective of Haitian musicians formed in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. The group includes elder legends and rising young talents, united in a mission to honor the healing spirit of their collective culture and communicate a message of pride, strength, and hope to their countrymen and to the world.
(BECKET, Mass.) – Brooklyn-based folk-noir duo Charming Disaster brings its darkly comic duets about love, death, crime, and the supernatural to Dream Away Lodge on Sunday, April 16, at 8pm. Admission is free. Charming Disaster’s songs explore different sorts of trouble two people can get into with a ukulele and a guitar, playing out against a backdrop of nightclubs, car chases, circus tents, the afterlife, and beyond.
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) — “Fiddlefest,” showcasing the Curtis Institute of Music’s violin students, takes place at Saint James Place on Friday, April 14 at 7pm. The program, designed by internationally acclaimed violinist Ida Kavafian, showcases classic works as well as virtuosic showpieces, and features a broad range of styles, from the Baroque master Telemann to modern icons Toru Takemitsu and Luciano Berio. Also included is the folk charm of Bartok, the zest of Prokofiev, and a set of variations by Dancla on the well-known and loved “Twinkle, Twinkle.”
(WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – “30under30,” a multimedia exhibition featuring works by 30 young artists hailing from or currently living in or around the Berkshires, is on view at No. Six Depot Gallery through Sunday, April 30. The exhibition is curated by Mika Mintz.
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – An exhibition of hand-thrown porcelain by Berkshire-based artisan Daniel Bellow is on view in the BerkshireNow gallery space at the Berkshire Museum now through Monday, May 22. The work by the accomplished potter, remarkable for its exquisite glazes and intriguing textured surfaces.
For this solo exhibition, Bellow has created sculptural forms in porcelain and imagined a detailed scenario about their origin. According to Bellow’s backstory, scale models of rocket ships, supposedly created during the Song Dynasty in China at the command of Emperor Gaozong, have recently been discovered by archaeologists.
The unique sculptural “rocket ships” in the exhibition echo the work of the Song dynasty potters, whose smooth, dense porcelain ware was praised for its simplicity of shape and understated decoration.
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – “Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning” features the work of the creative team behind such memorable Saturday morning cartoons as “The Yogi Bear Show,” “The Flintstones,” and the “The Jetsons,” on view at Norman Rockwell Museum through May 29, 2017.
Before the rise of basic cable, Saturday mornings for many children in America were spent watching cartoons on one of three available television channels. From 1958 through the 1980s, a majority of those cartoons bore the imprint of Hanna-Barbera. Creating scores of popular series such as The Yogi Bear Show, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, and Scooby-Doo, Hanna-Barbera was an animation powerhouse and its bountiful creativity is beloved to this day.
(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.
(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.