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Arts & Culture

Rogovoy Report 7/27/18

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include Middle Eastern music, contemporary Spanish dance, 19th century Russian opera, American roots, and a whole lot more.

World-music icon Farah Siraj brings her trio and her unique blend of Middle Eastern, flamenco, jazz, bossa nova, and pop to PS21 in Chatham, N.Y., tonight at 8pm. Described by TimeOut New York as the "Norah Jones of the Middle East,” the Jordanian native is as well known for her humanitarian efforts and as an advocate for women's rights, refugee rights, and animal rights, as she is for her sinuous, alluring sounds.

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steve Reich is the featured guest at this year's Bang on a Can Summer Marathon at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., bringing the curtain down on the annual Bang on a Can Summer Festival on Saturday from 4 to 10pm. The eclectic six-hour program includes works by Reich along with numbers by Gregg August, Michael Gordon, Jonathan Bailey Holland, David Lang, Ligeti, Missy Mazzoli, Iannis Xenakis, Julia Wolfe, and Pamela Z.

Madrid-based contemporary dance company Compañía Sharon Fridman makes its U.S. debut in the Doris Duke Theatre at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Mass., this weekend. The Israeli artistic director and choreographer Sharon Fridman founded his dance company in Madrid in 2006 as a way to work with and develop movement based on the language of contact, the social dimension of dance, and breaking the fourth wall.

Anton Rubinstein’s opera “Demon” opens tonight at Bard SummerScape, in a new production by Thaddeus Strassberger. Anchored by the American Symphony Orchestra under music director Leon Botstein, the new staging represents a rare opportunity to see one of 19th-century Russia’s most popular operas. “Demon” runs for five performances between tonight and August 5. Best-known as a piano virtuoso and star teacher whose students included Tchaikovsky, Anton Rubinstein was also a prolific composer. “Demon”, the most popular of his 20 operas, depicts a fallen angel, or demon, who falls desperately in love with a mortal princess named Tamara, and tries everything in his power to seduce her. Tamara’s struggle to resist him becomes a battle not only for her soul but for the fate of the earth itself.  

Also at Bard Summerscape this weekend, the Bard Spiegeltent features two living legends of entertainment. Tonight, the original mononymous pop star, Melanie - one of only three women to perform solo at the 1969 Woodstock Festival – revives the folk-pop sound of the late-1960s. Then on Saturday night, Broadway superstar Chita Rivera will be accompanied by her long-time trio in a cabaret program of selections from musicals including West Side Story, Sweet Charity, Chicago, Kiss of The Spider Woman; Bye, Bye, Birdie; and others.

This Saturday starting at 3:30 and running late into the night, the SuperTone Music Festival, featuring a unique blend of eclectic rock, honky-tonk and roots music, takes place at the Roe Jan Park in Hillsdale, N.Y. This year’s lineup features over a dozen acts, including hard-rock girl band Bat Fangs, New Orleans jump-blues outfit Jon Hatchett Band, Erika Lewis’ Lonesome Doves, Thelma and the Sleaze, Donny and the Drag, Burt Murder, Black Lake, The Nice Ones, and El Front.

Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com

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