On Saturday October 3rd, award-winning cellist Elad Kabilio of 12th Night Klezmer and MusicTalks will present a concert of Klezmer music for Sukkot at The Theater at the 14th Street Y – MusicTalks: Klezmer Celebration. We sat down with Elad to talk all things Klezmer and bringing classical music to modern audiences.
Tell us a little about your experience with Klezmer and Gypsy music.
12th Night Klezmer‘s musicians are coming from all sorts of musical backgrounds – Classical, Jazz, Pop, World Music – but none of us had actually dealt with Klemzer. Moreover, in Israel where all of our musicians are originally from, Klezmer music has a hassidic-only connotation and is not that popular at all. We were curious to explore this genre of music which is the closest to us by identity as Jewish/Israeli artists. We have had such a great ride with exploring the roots of Klezmer music, understanding it, and finding our own expression in it.
What is the history of MusicTalks and 12th Night Klezmer?
MusicTalks was founded five years ago with the mission to bring more people into the world of Classical music. We all know nowadays that the world of Classical music is shrinking and we are losing lots of people. Instead of blaming the audience for not being interested in Classical music, we tried to understand what might draw people back. Our concerts are very intimate and personal. Each piece of music gets an introduction so you (the audience) can understand it better and our artists always share anecdotes about their personal reactions to the music. The reaction to MusicTalks was so great that we decided to do the same with other music styles. We recognize that people don’t know much about Jazz, Klezmer, and many other styles and would love to be exposed to exciting music.
What are you hoping audiences will take away from the concert?
The fantastic story of Klezmer music its essence combining joy and sorrow – which is so Jewish. We would love for the audience to get to know our musicians and maybe get inspired by this incredible music just like we did when we embarked on this journey.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I was interviewed by the Jewish Week in 2014 abut 12th Night Klezmer – check it our here!
MusicTalks: Klezmer Celebration
Saturday October 3rd at 7:30pm at The Theater at the 14th Street Y.
Tell us about what makes this production of Macbeth unique.
David: This is not your classic or traditional Shakespeare production. Macbeth has always been one of my favorite plays. It certainly is one of the most quoted texts in the English Language. But to me, it always smacked of sexism and there are only so many all white productions my palate can handle these days. It’s just not representative of our world. So when the idea began, to swap the sexes of several major characters and change only simple pronouns, our team got very excited. Suddenly the qualities ideal in a man are also ideal in a woman, and the bad choices made in the play are not grounded in gender. You’ll find women fighting men while wielding battle axes; not doing the laundry. Also, the chance to create an ethnically diverse world is exciting.
What about playing Husband Macbeth is most exciting to you and what is most challenging?
David: I am excited about the “love story” aspect of the play. To play Husband Macbeth opposite my real life husband truly grounds me in the fact that everything I say must come from a place of truth and love. Also, as a gay man, I am often asked to put on a masculinity I find false–especially when doing Shakespeare. But with all gender roles basically thrown out the window, I get to be myself and find the honesty of every moment. What is most challenging is the amount of energy this play demands.
As a playwright yourself, what do modern audiences have to learn from Shakespeare’s plays?
David: Shakespeare’s stories are timeless. I think modern audiences often disconnect from them because they are treated with an almost biblical reverence. In truth, Shakespeare was anything but reverent. He challenged authority, rewrote history, invented words, and completely influenced the world. I think audiences can still find the poetic truths of Shakespeare if they are presented as irreverently as he intended them to be.
Is there anything else you want us to know?
We love the 14th Street Y! And for Y Members, we are offering our lowest price: $10! Just write in the discount code “YMember” in the unlock code box. I hope to see you there!
David Stallings has been involved with New York theater for ten years as an actor and playwright. Acting Credits include: New York Theater: Sweet Sweet Spirit (MTWorks), Farewell to Sanity (Planet Connections Festival, Winner Best Actor in a Leading Role), Somdomite: The Loves of Oscar Wilde (Nominated Best Actor by Thespis Theater Festival), The Picture of Dorian Gray (Played Lord Henry, Directed by Glory Kadigan), A Home Across The Ocean (Theatre Row), Folie A Deux (MTWorks), Big Love (Theater for a New City), Book of the Dun Cow (Prospect Theater Co.), Merry Wives of Windsor (Prospect Theater Co.), Romeo and Juliet (Wooden O Productions), The Maids (The Independent Theater), Love and Garbage (Blue Heron Theater), and many more. Favorite Regional Roles include: Tuzenback (Three Sisters), Jack (Into the Woods), and Joshua/Gerry (Cloud Nine). David also performed in The Santa Fe Opera’s production of The Beggar’s Opera, as Jimmy Twitcher. The author of 15 full length plays and numerous shorts, David’s plays have reached audiences across the US. Most recently his play about the Louisiana oil spill told from the perspective of the animals, Dark Water, premiered at the 14th Street Y and won the 2014 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Best Full Length Script
“He’s (David Stallings) a powerful actor, slight in build, but riveting in his intensity. His humanity shines like a diamond” NY Theater Now onSweet Sweet Spirit
“Lord Henry (David Stallings), is a joy to watch and listen to; his comments are skillfully filled with the sarcasm and unrelenting wit you would expect from the character. He influences Dorian in a masterful way, presenting a lifestyle which mostly values beauty and the gratification of the senses.” -Theatre Is Easy onThe Picture of Dorian Gray
Macbeth (of the Oppressed) October 8th -24th at the 14th Street Y
2015-2015 Season Launch of Arts & Culture events at the 14th Street Y
This season, the 14th Street Y is proud to present a wide variety of arts and cultural events for audiences of all ages. From dance, to wine tasting, to film, to musicals, to visual art and Shabbat experiences for the whole family, there is something for everyone this year at the 14th Street Y!
Our Dance Series brings diverse styles of dance including Flamenco, Ballet, Modern, Immersive, Tap and Contemporary to the downtown community. Tickets are available at 14streety.org/dance.
The 14th Street Y is participating in the 9th annual Other Israel Film Festival. Award-winning films and engaging conversations focusing on the lives and diverse stories of Arab citizens of Israel and minority populations. Visit www.otherisrael.org for updates.
Pause/PlayNov. 14, Dec. 12, Jan. 9, Feb. 6, Mar. 12
Pause/Play is an innovative Saturday afternoon of Shabbat programming, once monthly at the 14th Street Y. Activities will include New Country in the City camp programming for kids; toddler sing-a-longs; adult conversations and learning; LABA/rts sessions; meditation; music; family and adult fitness and aquatics for all ages. Free for Y members.
LABALive DRUNKJan. 21
You’ve seen wine paired with food, but how about wine paired with texts? Join LABA fellows, ancient text scholars and a sommelier as they explore the relationship between wine and time through teachings, tastings and performances. A sensual mash-up indeed. Ticketed event.
LABALiveFeb. 25, Mar. 17, Apr. 7, Jun. 2
Join us for a presentation of new works in progress by the LABA Fellows and teachings surrounding this year’s theme of Beauty. LABALive events will include dance, theater, visual art, literature and immersive performances. Ticketed event.
Into the Night a contemporary spin on Tikkun Leil Shavuout presented by Downtown Jews at the 14th Street Y. Join us for a nocturnal journey through culture, conversation, ritual and cheesecakes featuring LABA Fellows, artists, teachers, musicians, and rabbis. Free.
What excites you most about teaching Intro to Jewish Music?
Uri: It is always exciting for me to teach music, and to teach a hands-on class is what I enjoy the most. I am looking forward to have a group of people who have never played together before, and some of whom haven’t touched their instrument for a while, and help them sound good! I will teach various styles and genres within Jewish music and focus on building practical performance skills the students can continue developing and using beyond the class. This program is geared toward performance, and we will have a few of my colleagues join us and enrich our perspective on performance throughout the semester.
Tell us about your experience with Jewish music.
Uri: I have been involved in the Jewish music world in New York for many years. This summer only I was in Mexico playing Moroccan Jewish music with the master Emil Zerihan, and the following week, teaching up at KlezKanada. I went from a van in the Mexican desert where everybody but me spoke Moroccan to a camp where pretty much everybody is interested in Yiddish…
How did this idea come about?
Uri: For the past few years I have been running the Tikun Leil Shavuot jam session at the 14th Street Y. It is one of my favorite nights here in the city, where musicians meet and create a new piece of music together, in the middle of the night, with the support of amazing crowds of all backgrounds. More than once I had people approach me and say something like – ‘I used to play the accordion, but never like that…how do you guys do it?’ Well, this class is all about that. Ronit (Ronit Muszkatblit, Artistic Director of LABA) was always very supportive of my music and so the class was a natural collaboration for us.
What do you hope to accomplish with the class?
The main goal is to get students of all levels who are playing an instrument, even if not professionally, to gain deeper insight into Jewish music and ensemble playing. We will explore a different genre every week or two. The level of the class, the chosen repertoire, and the demands from the students will be based on the level of the student and their participation. We will do everything possible to accommodate students of all levels and instruments.
The Theater at the 14th Street Y is proud to host the Sonia Olla Flamenco Dance Company, presenting two programs: Tablao Sevilla and Por Los Caminos, Wednesday September 9th to Sunday September 13th, 2015.
Sonia Olla, a native of Barcelona, is an internationally recognized dancer and choreographer, known for her impeccable technique and riveting stage presence. She, along with singer Ismael Fernandez, recently worked with Madonna on integrating flamenco into her upcoming international Rebel Heart Tour. You will be able to catch a preview of the program on September 3rd at 8:00pm on PBS’s NYC-Arts.
Of the two programs being presented, Por Los Caminos is an abstractly autobiographical piece, and will reflect the cultural blend of Latin America, the Middle East, and other dance forms that influence flamenco.
In Sonia’s words:
POR LOS CAMINOS está dedicado al gran poeta emblemático español de la generación del 98 Antonio Machado. Hacemos referencia a las estrofas que pertenecen a la sección «Proverbios y cantares» del poemario Campos de Castilla (1912). CAMINANTE NO HAY CAMINO.
En POR LOS CAMINOS hay un conjunto de emociones que se cruzan en nuestras vidas, diferentes culturas etc, con las cuales hacemos una parada en el camino para investigar y compartir ritmos, melodías, y disfrutar de la magia que se crea y que nos ayudan a crecer pero sin olvidar de donde venimos, cual es nuestra raíz y quienes somos.
Está compuesto por 6 artistas cante más tradicional flamenco con una cantante Pakistany, una guitarra tradicional junto a otra más moderna y dos bailes flamencos capaces de conectar con otros mundos y donde se puede ver el flamenco desde el punto de vista masculino y femenino.
POR LOS CAMINOS is dedicated to Antonio Machado, the great emblematic poet of Spain. Antonio Machado was one of the leading figures of the Spanish literary movement known as “La Generación del 98,” the Generation of ’98, which consisted of a group of novelists, poets, essayists, and philosophers active in Spain at the time of the Spanish–American War in 1898. Sonia Olla and Ismael Fernández make reference to the stanzas that pertain to the “Songs & Proverbs” section of his great work Campos de Castilla (1912).
In POR LOS CAMINOS, there is an ensemble of emotions that connects to our own lives, and varied cultural experiences. We carry these on our path towards investigating and sharing rhythms, melodies, and enjoying the magic that is created and that we help to grow- without forgetting where we come from, our roots, or who we are.
It consists of 6 artists: a traditional flamenco singer, a Pakistani singer, a traditional flamenco guitarist side-by-side with a modern guitarist, and two flamenco dancers- able to connect to other worlds, where you can see flamenco from a male and female point of view.
Wednesday Sept. 9 – Tablao Sevilla at 8pm
Friday Sept. 11 – Por Los Caminos at 8pm
Saturday Sept. 12 – Por Los Caminos at 3pm & 8pm
Sunday Sept. 13 – Tablao Sevilla at 3pm
Caminante son tus huellas ….. The road you march, lonely wanderer
El camino, y nada mas ….. It’s just your tracks, nothing much.
Caminante no hay camino ….. There is no road, lonely wanderer
Se hace camino al andar ….. The road is made as you march
The Theater at the 14th Street Y is excited to announce our 2015-2016 Dance Subscription Series, $14 at 14Y. Join our subscription today and choose any 3 shows for $42 – that breaks down to just $14 per ticket!
Check out our eight professional companies below to create your custom series!
Zullo Raw Movement
BARE Dance Company
of bones || hollye bynum
Joffrey Ballet School
American Tap Dance Foundation
From The Horse’s Mouth
Sokolow Dance/Theatre Ensemble
Sonia Olla Flamenco Dance Company– Flamenco
As an Internationally recognized dancer and choreographer, Sonia Olla is known for her impeccable technique and riveting stage presence. Get a preview here.
Zullo: Raw Movement – Immersive Dance
Zullo/RawMovement is exploring ideas and concepts from our cultural landscape that are transformed into works that are expressive, imaginative and explosive. Check them out here.
BARE Dance Company – Contemporary
BARE’s versitile approach to movement has been described as “smart, effective, technically accomplished work.” – Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times. Watch now.
of bones || hollye bynum – Contemporary, Film
of bones || hollye bynum seeks to find commonalities between dance and viewer by introspectively exploring the human experience. See for yourself here.
Joffrey Ballet School– Ballet
The Joffrey Ballet School transforms passionate dance students into versatile, individualistic artists able to collaborate and evolve fluidly in a fast-changing society. Watch them here.
Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble’s aim is to recreate works choreographed by Anna Sokolow, continue her teachings, and develop her artistic vision for the purpose of passing on for posterity. See their work here.
From the Horse’s Mouth – Various
From the Horse’s Mouth celebrates the “heart and history of dance” with outstanding dancers and choreographers of all ages and traditions, performing together and telling their extraordinary personal stories. Catch a glimpse here.
American Tap Dance Foundation – Tap
ATDF is committed to establishing and legitimizing tap dance as a vital component of American dance through creation, presentation, education and preservation. Tap along here.
We sat down with Israel Bitton, an actor in the upcoming show KALEIDOSCOPE taking place July 15-19 2015 in The Theater here at the 14th Street Y. Kaleidoscopeasks and answers the question, What does Jewish look like? Effectively exploring and validating diversity with the Jewish community.
How did you get involved in KALEIDOSCOPE?
Several years back I stumbled upon HBO’s Def Jam Poetry when Vanessa Hidary appeared and so passionately delivered a great performance of her piece “The Hebrew Mamita.” It struck a chord. I was proud that she was ‘representin’ us, and at the same time it occurred to me that one day I’d love to do the same. Then I saw her post this project, and it was just an obvious and immediate entry point for me.
What has the creative process been like?
Challenging. Rewarding. Vanessa and Kendell, through the workshop portion of this project, have helped each cast member reach into our personal histories so that we can craft monologues that are both deeply personal and still entertaining for audiences.
How do you view and identify yourself?
The world would peg me as a Modern-Orthodox Sephardic American Jew, but I don’t believe nationality, culture or observance level to be an essential part of my identity. It’s only a flavoring, and therefore I simply identify myself as a Jew.
What would you say defines you as a Jewish identifying person?
My kippah. My name (Yisrael Barouch). My soul.
Can you tell us about what you will be performing at KALEIDOSCOPE?
I explore my journey from being one of the few Sephardic kids in an all-Ashkenazi school system, the trials and tribulations that come along with that experience, my attempt to invent a new identity for myself, to coming to terms with my name, and ultimately, accepting my full identity as a means for true personal growth.
What have you been most surprised about and/or learned the most about during this process?
Aside from the very practical enhancement to writing and performance skills, I’m most surprised by just how diverse our cast really is. As someone who has a unique backstory and perspective, I generally have a broad worldview that allows me to see people beyond the stereotypes. And still, I thought that there would be so many similarities between the cast members that some stories would be redundant. Not so. If you’ll see the first black Jewish cast member perform, and when the second comes up you’ll think you now know what to expect, well, you’ll be surprised at just how unique every individual is. The end lesson, even for me as a cast member, is that despite being told we’re too different, or not good enough, we’re all essentially one and the same. And though we share a common thread that essentially connects us, that connection doesn’t have to compromise our right to self-discovery and the assuming of our unique identities, backgrounds, stories and trajectories.
In the end, people that watch these performances will certainly be challenged to broaden their conception of what constitutes the Jewish identity.
The 14th Street Y and The Hebrew Mamita Present:
Developed and Directed by Vanessa Hidary
July 15-19, 2015
The World Premiere of Kaleidoscope, a multi-media project and monologue showcase sparked by a desire to highlight Jews of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and observance levels, will be presented at The Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 E. 14th Street, on July 15th and 16th at 8pm, and on July 19 at 3pm.
Through extensively crafted, deeply personal stories,Kaleidoscope will delve into the ever-popular question “What does Jewish look like to you?” The diverse and talented cast includes performers of a wide range of ethnicities, including Moroccan, British, Jamaican, Ethiopian, Libyan, and Puerto Rican.