Thursday, October 8, 2009

Bryant Park Fall Festival-- September 28 to October 9

Two days left of the Bryant Park Fall Festival. And it's going to be extraordinary.

Bryant Park is one of the few public parks in New York that is lucky to be nestled among the most beautiful skyscrapers but at the same time provide a leafy retreat from the crowded sidewalks of Manhattan. Bryant Park's midtown location also makes it close enough to nearly every train. It is also of Fashion Week fame (the tents are set up right on the lawn each year). So when a free event rolls around, offering the sights and sounds of New York's best performance art and cultural institutions.. you know you've got to at least check it out.

Among the many notable performances featured in this year's Fall Festival was a dance ensemble, Ailey II. The dance group performed exerts from 7 dances part of the Ailey repertoire. The stage was lit in bright purples, reds, blues. The dancers performed in costume and the speakers amplified the music well enough to hear regardless of your seat location. The audience filled half of the great lawn with lawn chairs provided by the park. Some brought wool blankets, others brought snacks. Either way, each dance piece received enthusiastic applause and as well as bursts of approval when the dancers performed difficult combinations. Among the evening sky and crisp fall air, one could almost imagine that they were far off somewhere perhaps in Massachusetts or Upstate NY. However when the performance drew to an end, the subways and everything else Manhattan has to offer was still right there as if you never left.

Wednesday, Oct 7, 2009 -- Bargemusic at Bryant Park Fall Festival

The following night, instead of a dance performance, it was Brooklyn's Bargemusic that took the stage. The show featured classical as well as contemporary chamber music (violin, viola, cello, base, and piano accompaniment). Two contemporary composers -- David Del Tredici and DeBorge Pennington -- were even present, and one, Pennington, sang on stage. The neoLIT ensemble performed Cafe Music by Paul Schoenfield, a modern composer, while the Barge's own musicians performed Bach's Concerto No. 1, Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 12, and four movements from Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

The last two days of the Festival are set to feature the Brooklyn Philharmonic this evening-- Thursday, October 8, 2009 -- and Jazz at Lincoln Center tomorrow evening --Friday, October 9, 2009. All performances run from 6:00pm - 7:30pm.

For a full list of performances and more information visit the Bryant Park Fall Festival website.

No comments: