Archive for August, 2010
Join the Navarasa Dance Theater in their World Debut of “Encounter”: an Artful Marriage of Contemporary Dance and Drama: September 24 – Ocotber 2nd, Friday & Saturday Evenings (8:00 – 9:45 p.m.)
I just love these multi-dimensional productions, and the world premier of Encounter as presented by the Navarasa Dance Theater looks to be quite intriguing and entertaining indeed. This dramatic showcase of contemporary Indian dance is the creation of world renown artists Apara Sindhoor, Anil Natyaveda, and S. M. Raju, also lead dancer in the production. Follow the anguished struggles of an indigenous Bengali woman as she “encounters” the various social injustices which plague her existence and subsequently marvel in the development of her strengthening character as she survives each one. The story unfolds in the form of poems by the Sufi poet Kabir and the bhakta Akka Mahadevi, songs by reggae legend Bob Marley, and stories by the writer Mahasweta Devi. Performed to live singing and drumming, the accompanying choreography is heavily characterized by modern Indian dance moves, yoga, and the martial art form of Kalari ppayatto.
Founded in India in 1991, the Navarasa Dance Theater has been touring internationally, presenting to audiences its unique interpretation of dance theater which is a combination of numerous performance elements including Indian dance (classical, traditional, and contemporary), world music, martial arts (Kalari ppayatto), theater, storytelling, aerial movements, and yoga. Aparna Sindhoor and his cohorts, Anil Natyaveda, and S. M. Raju continue to create thoroughly innovative, leading edge, emotionally gripping masterpieces which often attract sell-out crowds. Even though each show presents choreography which is highly intricate, they all manage to successfully capture audiences world-wide with their universal appeal. This is due in part to the themes around which they are centered that portray common every day life circumstances to which we can all relate. I can personally attest to Sindhoor’s mastery as I had the fortune of attending a performance of the Aparna Sindoor Dance Theater (see previous post) here in Boston last year at Warren Sender’s world-benefit concert Playing for the Planet. So, if you have the fortune of attending this Boston performance of the Navarasa Dance Theater, I guarantee you that you will be treated to a once in a life time showtime experience that should easily keep you happily engaged and entertained from beginning to end.
Mojitos dance club is the only all Latin venue of its kind in the Boston area. It is no surprise then, that it is a top entertainment choice among the local crowd seeking a good taste of the Latin nightlife. The folks at Mojitos have earned themselves this laudable reputation via a commitment to exposing their patrons the very latest in innovations from the nighttime entertainment world, in order to create a dance party atmosphere that is not only exciting, but unique as well. In fact, as a result of extensive cutting-edge renovations as of late, they will proudly inform you that they have indeed introduced to the rest of the nightlife industry a “new era of luxury Latin entertainment”.
One of the nicest things about this venue, is that it is both a lounge and a nightclub. There are two dancefloors equipped with extraordinary lighting features, and surrounded by other ultra-modern entertainment amenities. The lounge provides an atmosphere that allows for music and dancing enjoyment, while at the same time giving those seated in the bar area ample opportunity to converse with ease. I, myself, like the sounds of this little feature. Speaking from past experience, it sure sounds great to actually be able to talk with your companions without shouting at them for hours. Who wants that scratchy throat the next morning as a painful memento of a great night out! Of course, if you want a more all out-and-out dance party experience, you can hit the nightclub to enjoy a much livelier atmosphere. Nothing wrong with that! At Mojitos the word is, to each his own.
A typical night at this venue, which is hosted by a dj, starts off with a complimentary dance lesson (9:00 – Fri. & Sat.), then time for a little socializing (10:00 – 11:00), to be followed by the official dance party which lasts until 2:00 a.m. Other features include dance exhibitions, light shows, live percussion performances, and the club’s award-winning mojitos for which they are named. See their website for further details on the evening’s activities. You can even host your next party here. So, experience an evening out at Mojitos, conveniently located in downtown crossing, and find out why they have such a loyal following of regular customers. And who knows … you may just become one of them yourself!
Hours: Thursday (10:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.) / Friday & Saturday (9:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.)
Location: 48 Winter Street (Downtown Crossing)
Admission: $10.00 cover charge (Without discount)
Call or text for event, group, or VIP reservations: 617-834-0552 AND/OR Sign-up for the guest list
More Info: 617-834-0552
Explore the Exotic and Intriguing Culture of Sri Lanka, Right here in Massachusetts!: September 19th, Sunday (4:00 – 8:00 p.m.)
For one Sunday evening in September, an area of Acton’s NARA Park (North Acton Recreational Area) will be transformed into a Sri Lankan cultural haven. Come celebrate the 2nd Annual Sri Lanka Day with the Sri Lanka Association of New England (SLANE) and the Town of Acton. Last year’s festivities were a big hit, so the event has become an annual affair. Enjoy an early evening of native music, dance, food, and crafts. There will be an exhibition of popular and traditional dances accompanied by native music, featuring a Sri Lankan drum ensemble. Items for sale will include silver gemstone jewelry, native clothing and handicrafts, tea, and spices. Make sure you work up an appetite so that you can sample some of Sri Lanka’s native cuisine, which is known for its spiciness and distinctive flavor. Food vendors will be offering such tasty treats as seafood dishes, fast foods, curries, and biryani. Traditional Sri Lankan beverages will also be available. In addition, there will be special exhibits to explore and family style activities for all ages to enjoy. Many of the things that you will experience at this event are characteristic solely of Sri Lanka and are to be found in no other culture. The country’s name comes from the Persian word serendib which refers to the English serendipity. It is in this spirit that all the participants in this special event can count on at least one serendipitous experience before the night is over! Hmmm ….. that should make for quite an interesting evening.
OK world music fans. I wanted to say a few words here about the featured ensemble for the evening. Pancha Thurya is a very well-respected group of Sri Lankan drummers from the local area. In fact the group is so large, that they are actually referred to as a “drum orchestra”. They represent an ancient performance art which has been in existence since 504 B.C. which maintains its unique sound as a result of the material from which the instruments are made and the playing techniques used to produce sounds from them. But what makes the ensemble itself even more special and notable is their knack for blending the music of other cultures with their own in order to produce a variety of original sounding world fusion genres, all of which are uniquely theirs. To them, this is a true representation of the beauty of cultural harmony. Quite frankly, I couldn’t agree with them more!
It is truly a joy for the sponsors of Sri Lanka Day to be able to share the country’s unique and beautiful culture with the greater public. They have taken note of the wonderful atmosphere of learning this special evening provides for its participants from other cultures and hope to make this year’s event even bigger and better than last year’s.
When: September 19th, Sunday (4:00 – 8:00 p.m.)
Where: NARA Park (North Acton Recreation Area)
More Info: 978-263-5519 / 508-648-5104 (Phone) OR 978-455-0179 (Fax) OR SLANEUSA2001@yahoo.com
Come Celebrate a Very Special Musical Reunion of Klezmer and Roma Cultures @ Johhny D’s Uptown: August 31st, Tuesday (8:00 – 11:00 p.m.)
World music history in the making can be witnessed at Johnny D’s Uptown at the end of this month! World fusion ensemble The Other Europeans is embarking upon their first North American tour and they are coming to Boston. What makes this band’s music so monumental is the fact that it represents the revival of a long-lost valuable cultural partnership between the Jews and the Roma people of Moldova. These two ethnic groups shared a strong bond between each other back in the old country that resulted in an artful blending of various elements of their two distinctive heritages, one of course being the traditional music. However, thanks to armed conflict, persecution, and eventual evacuation efforts, this precious cultural affiliation ended, sadly enough. Fortunately, through the concerted efforts of the European Union and a number of festival and cultural project committees, this age-old genre of klezmer/gypsy fusion music has been brought back to life through the formation of group of very talented and highly accomplished musicians, all of whom are considered established virtuosos of their instrument.
The Other Europeans is a group of 14 klezmer or lautari performers hailing from 7 different countries. The band’s instrumentation includes: piano, cimbalom, accordions, trombone, trumpets, tuba, violins, double basses, flutes (some of ethnic character), clarinets, saxophones, and percussion. While the ensemble’s music has managed to re-capture the true traditional flavor of the old European sound it also displays a distinctly modern interpretive flare giving it a fresh new character. The Other Europeans have thus managed to successfully re-established the old, once extinct, Jewish/Roma cultural ties through their intense, emotionally charged music. This rare fusion of the klezmer and gypsy genres makes for quite an interesting listening experience indeed. Come on out to Somerville and experience it for yourself.
When: August 31st, Tuesday (8:00 – 11:00 p.m.)
Where: Johnny D’s Uptown (across from the Davis Square T stop)
More Info: 617 – 776 – 2004
Sample the Food and Music of the Middle East Complete with Live Entertainment @ The Red Fez: Saturday Evenings (9:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.)
As far as fine Middle Eastern cuisine is concerned, The Red Fez eatery offers it in a rather unique fashion, unlike anything I, myself, have ever experienced before. I understand that this type of meal service is a cultural thing, at least in Lebanon and Syria, but as for one that has dined in many an Arabic establishment, well … I’m intrigued. Just take a look at their rather extensive menu along with the little blurb explaining the cultural background behind it, and you’ll see what I am talking about. But, of course, it wouldn’t be the food alone that would bring me to this place. Every Saturday night in the lounge at The Red Fez, you can enjoy live Arabic music complete with a dance floor and intermittent belly dance entertainment. Just look at everybody having such a good time. Go ahead and read the customer reviews! During warmer months of the year, you can enjoy dinner out on their patio, haled as one of the biggest in the South End, before the show begins. Be aware however, that a minimum of $30.00 or more in food expenditures per table is expected of dinner guests. Reservations are excepted and they don’t mind huge numbers at the table, even on a moment’s notice- so, why not bring the crowd along. If you’re in the market for the total Middle Eastern cultural experience, head on over to The Red Fez on Saturday evenings.
When: Saturday evenings (9:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.)
Where: The Red Fez (South End)
Admission: No cover charge
More Info: 617-338-6060 (Phone) OR 617-338-6666(Fax)
Experience the Cultural Heritage of China’s Guizhou Province Like It has Never Been Experienced Before at the Wind of Colorful Guizhou Spectacular: September 5th, Sunday @ 7:00 p.m.
The Wind of Colorful Guizhou cultural extravaganza has already left its overseas audiences in absolute awe and now thankfully its our turn to be razzled and dazzled here in the US. This powerful award-winning production showcases, and I mean literally showcases, seventeen different cultural minorities of China’s Guizhou province in grand theatrical style in the form of folk songs and dances, drama, and poetry.
Follow along with national singing star A Youduo, known to fans as the “Miao Nightingale”, as she introduces you the various native dress, ceremonies, and overall ways of life of the local people of the region. She will be accompanied by a star-studded cast of performers who will entertain you with lyrical ancient Chinese solo and choral folk songs and intricately choreographed folk dances complete with acrobatics. All this will be highlighted with spectacular stage effects and over 500 exquisite and highly colorful costumes.
The show has already toured successfully in Europe and China, as well as other parts of Asia. In fact, it was a big hit and therefore it should come as no surprise that the director just happens to be none other than Ding Wei, who was responsible for that all-spectacular opening ceremony at the summer olympics in Beijing. Furthermore, this already great show has since been redone and made even better with added choreography, which is now even more intricate than before. So, come see what all the buzz is about and be amazed along with the rest of the world as you experience the cultural pageantry that is the Wind of Colorful Gizhou.
When: September 5th, Sunday @ 7:00 p.m.
Where: John Hancock Hall (Downtown Boston)
Tickets: $25.00, $30.00, $50.00 (VIP)
Purchase online here
Boston Book Shop (617-451-1309)
China Bookstore (617-426-0888)
C-Market (III) (617-338-8811)
Kam Man Food (617-328-1533)
Chinese Language Schools
More Info: 617-610-3636
Sail Off into the Sunset in Grand Celtic Fashion with Thomas O’Leary & Friends: August 22nd, Sunday (5:30 – 8:00 p.m.)
That’s right, another cruise! … But this one’s a little bit different. (See video) Come and experience the more intimate atmosphere aboard the Thomas E. Lannon as you sail around Gloucester harbour taking in the lovely sunset. This boat is a schooner, so you will be sailing with the group, rather than the crowd. And if you get lucky, they’ll even let you hoist a sail or two! But wait, I haven’t gotten to the best part yet. Well of course, the music.
Your entertainment hosts for the Celtic Music Sail will be Michael O’Leary & Friends. They will be presenting to the audience what the Celts would term a “seisiun”. This means a highly informal performance designed for audience participation. So, be prepared to sing-along and have a rollicking good time all around! O’Leary is a long time resident of the area and an accomplished vocalist, currently performing at weekly seisiuns, local festivals, and numerous additional events. He has trained with the best of Celtic singers including Frank Harte, Andy Irvine, and others. He was also awarded a scholarship by the Massachusetts Cultural Council to study with Bridget Fitzgerald who founded the internationally renown, highly successful, Irish-American ensemble Cherish the Ladies. His “friends” will be accompanying him on fiddle, pipes, guitar, whistle, concertina, and other traditional instruments. This looks to be a cruising experience which is definitely out of the ordinary and a lot of fun too! You can enjoy dinner before or after the cruise at the conveniently located Gloucester House Restaurant. Check out the menu here.
When: August 22nd, Sunday (5:30 – 8:00 p.m.) (See website for additional sailing dates)
Purchase tickets at least 30 minutes prior to boarding!!!
Where: 7 Seas Whale Watch Wharf (Gloucester)
Wharf located next to the Gloucester House Restaurant
Tickets: $47.50 (Adults) / $45.50 (Seniors) / $38.00 (Children) [On site purchase in Gloucester House parking lot]
Purchase online here
More Info: 978-281-6634