Gregory Maqoma, the South African choreographer of William Kentridge’s The Head & the Load, returns to the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., with Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro, performed by the Vuyani Dance Theatre, on Saturday, February 1, at 8pm. The work weaves a narrative of greed, power, and the pain of mourning with a moving live score interrogating Ravel’s music through South African vocal traditions. This event is co-presented by Jacob’s Pillow.
Musicians and cultural figures including Richard Barone, David Amram, Milton, Marc Black, David & Jacob Bernz, Steve Addabbo, Lydia Adams Davis and others team up for a program called “Music + Revolution: Greenwich Village in the 1960s,” at the Towne Crier Cafe in Beacon, N.Y., on Friday, January 31, at 8:30pm. Even before the “Beatnik Riots” of 1961, New York City’s Greenwich Village was the epicenter of a revolutionary movement in the history of American music and culture. In the early 1960s and throughout the decade, a new wave of writers and performers, inspired by the folk revival of the fifties, created socially aware and deeply personal songs that changed the notion of what a song could be. These writers – Bob Dylan, Richard Fariña, Janis Ian, Phil Ochs, and the like – changed the “folk” repertoire from traditional songs to songs sprung from personal, contemporary experience and the nation’s headlines; raising the level of political self-expression to high art.
The Crescendo music series hosts “Thanksgivings for Life and Love: 16th Century Spanish Polyphony and Contemporary Latin American Folk Music,” a program that illustrates a parallel between spiritual issues set to music by Spanish Renaissance masters, and social justice and human rights matters expressed musically in a merging of folklore themes, popular songs and classical contemporary works by famous 20th century Latin American composers, on Saturday, February 1, at 4 pm at Saint James Place in Great Barrington, Mass., and again on Sunday, February 2, at 4 pm, at Lakeville United Methodist Church, in Lakeville, Conn. Six to eight-voice motets by some of Spain’s most remarkable Renaissance composers, such as Tomás Luis de Victoria, Francisco Guerrero and Alonso Lobo, are featured, along with choral and instrumental arrangements based on Latin American folk melodies by Carlos Guastavino (Argentina), Violeta Parra, Victor Jara (Chile) and others. The Crescendo Vocal Ensemble is joined by Alturas Duo (Carlos Boltes, charango and viola, Scott Hill, guitar) and Gonzalo Cortes (quena, flute, zampoña and percussion), and tenor and quena player Ignacio Ugarte from Barcelona, Spain. Christine Gevert directs from the organ, with Hideki Yamaya on theorbo.
Stupid F*%king Bird, a new adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull written by Aaron Posner, runs at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, N.Y., now through Sunday, February 2. Directed by Kirk Jackson (A Walk in the Woods, The Book Club Play, Rigoletto, Gianni Schicci) and produced in partnership with Bennington College, is “…an accessible and unfailingly delightful jaunt into misery …. absorbing in its every glance and revealing in its every sigh,” according to the Washington City Paper. The play runs Fridays-Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Saturdays-Sundays at 2pm.
Next weekend, The Orchestra Now performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica, in the Fisher Center at Bard College on Saturday, February 8, at 8pm, and Sunday, February 9, at 2pm. The program, under the direction of Leon Boststein, includes The Consecration of the House overture and Piano Concerto No. 4, featuring soloist Anna Polonsky.