The Architecture of Proximity

Zullo/Raw Movement’s production The Architecture of Proximity is an immersive dance and performance experience exploring the relationship between the architecture of spaces and the physical, psychological and emotional effects of space on the body.

We asked Artistic Director of Zullo/Raw Movement, John Zullo a few questions about his new piece opening in the Theater at the 14th Street Y this Wednesday, October 28th.

Zullo Raw Movement

How would you describe this show to someone that has never experience immersive dance or theater? 

This performance is different from most other performances because there is no seating, therefore the audience is asked to stand during the duration of the performance with freedom to walk around the space. I liken the experience to being at a museum or gallery where you are moving through actively looking and engaging with the works. This allows for a more intimate experience of the work and to actually become part of the whole performance experience.

How did you first become involved with the Y?

I first heard about the Theater at the 14th Street Y when I was at the APAP conference last January.  I visited their booth, and  was able to talk to your staff to learn more about the space.  I like spaces that are unexpected.  My company has been performing mostly in the East Village, and I didn’t know that the Y had this venue.  I think this space allows for the piece to have a blank slate without the space defining the piece.  Instead, this piece is able to define the space.

What do you feel is an important theme of this piece?

In this case, it is playing with borders and boundaries that separate us and erasing them to find communality amongst individuals. It is creating an experience that forces people to deal with and negotiate the relationships that they have with each other and spaces.  Then, we are able to see how physical spaces can affect people physically, emotionally and psychologically.  In this piece, which I think more of as a movement based installation, is immersive through the convergence of movement, sound, architectural spaces, and light.  Through this, we are able to explore the possibility of it all working together– the movement is indicative of the spaces in our lives.

Is there anything else the audience should expect?

My goals for the audience are that they first, experience something that they have never experience before, and second, that they are transformed by the end of the installation.  I hope that the audience is able to find  a sense of openness, and are open to going on this journey with the performers.  The audience becomes part of the work as they are physically engaged in the piece.  Also, I encourage the audience to take photographs (no flash only) during the performance and tag @zullorawmovement on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

 

The Architecture of Proximity will be playing at the Theater at the 14th Street Y

October 28th-Nov. 1st

Buy Tickets Here

ORIENTED: Thoughts from Director, Jake Witzenfeld

“I’m figuring out where I stand on a lot of central identity issues:

what being Jewish means to me,

what Israel means to me… “

A few thoughts by the Director of the ORIENTED, Jake Witzenfeld:

other media 2other media 1

How did the making of the movie come about?

Jake : I came across a YouTube video by a group called Qambuta. It was a stylish protest piece by a group of visibly Palestinian 20-somethings pointing the finger at the heteronormative values of their community in Israel. I was so intrigued by that identity complex: too gay for the Arab sub-community in Israel, too Palestinian for the Jewish majority… a minority inside a minority. I was able to reach out to Khader, the ring leader, through my roommate at the time. We went for drinks, he told me that there was “a Palestinian Woodstock” cultural revival kicking off in Israel, he captivated me with charisma and a nonchalant yet fierce desire for change. I asked him if I could begin shooting him and his world and he agreed. Two years and a little change later, we had a film!

 

What is a surprising fact that you discovered during the making of Oriented?

Jake: When I started making the film, I felt that I was really capturing a peaking of social activism – like I was following Rosa Parks to the back of the bus. But as the boys did not deliver a revolution, I became frustrated and began questioning that feeling and my own disappointment that they weren’t “giving me” a radical crescendo of change. That’s when I discovered that social change isn’t made the way it is recorded in text books. While successful social action influences macro-narratives, it is made up of micro-actions, attitudes and decisions: where are you partying, who are you dating, what are you posting… that’s what informed the film’s primarily personal approach and storytelling decision.

 

What world did you discover in Tel Aviv that you didn’t know about?

Jake: The underground gay Palestinian scene. I was aware of it but after Khader welcomed me to begin shooting, I met everyone and saw every spot and really got a 360. We transitioned into friendship very seamlessly and the filmmaking become a very personal journey for all of us.

 

How has it changed you?

Jake: I believe that I achieved a reflexivity with my subject that required me to mute my own cultural baggage and pre-conceptions. And you don’t just switch that off after final cut and go back to your old ways. I’m figuring out where I stand on a lot of central identity issues: what being Jewish means to me, what Israel means to me… I’ve never felt more unsure on any of those things but, simultaneously, I feel that this new web of interactions and conversations that I’ve entangled myself in has an underlying optimism to it. So let’s see.

 

What questions will you have afterwards?

Come see ORIENTED November 7th at 8pm at the Theater at the 14th Street Y

Stay after the screening for wine & conversation with the filmmakers and protagonist, Khader Abu Seif

For tickets to ORIENTED click here

USE  CODE: LGBTQ for $9 Tickets

Find out more about other screenings at The Other Israel Film Festival here

 

 

This Weekend at the Y: Purim Fun for Everyone

by Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein, Executive Director

Purim is a holiday that is a thankful and joyful affirmation of Jewish survival, focused on joy and hope. We celebrate an ancient tale–the Book of Esther (aka the Megillah)– to remind us that we celebrate our remembered escape from persecution by generous acts towards those who are currently in need.

At the Y, we are excited to invite everyone in the neighborhood to celebrate together this weekend, at Pause/Play on Saturday, 2/28 and at a LABAKids concert on Sunday, 3/1. 

Saturday’s Pause/Play  will feature many celebratory Purim themed activities such as juggling, art (making masks), games and sports with our wonderful New Country Day Camp staff. Kids are encouraged to come in costume and join in a Purim Parade.  Adults can participate in activities with their children, or separately in two very special activities just for them.

Childcare and kid drop off activities are available!

On Sunday, enjoy LABAKIDS Purim concert together with your kids. Come in your favorite costume, make masks for an animal parade and take snapshots with our photo booth!

Each of these events are fun and accessible ways to get into the Purim spirit.  Everyone is welcome.

Traditionally, there are four observances for Purim–and each one has ways to engage at the 14th Street Y:

  1. Retelling the Purim story, frequently with humor and levity, dressed up in costumes as the characters in the story. This weekend at the Y, you can wear a costume to Saturday’s Pause/Play, bring toddlers in costume to our singalong at 4:00PM with Debbie Brukman, and party at the LABAKIDS concert on Sunday.
  1. Having a majestic celebratory feast, which traditionally includes healthy adults getting drunk. We hope that you will come enjoy delicious snacks at Pause/Play sponsored by Colson Patisserie and Sweet Loren, and that adults will drop off their kids at NCDC classes and come to the whisky tasting at 4:45PM with Dan Friedman.
  1. Giving financial gifts (tzedakah or charity) to those in need (matanot l’evyonim)
  2. Giving care packages of food and other treats to our friends and neighbors (mishloach manot).

As you decide how to give to your friends and to those in need, come chat with NY Times “Your Money” Columnist Ron Lieber as he discusses his new book, The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids who are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money–and think with your neighbors about how to raise kids with excellent values who know how to save, splurge, and give in meaningful ways.

We hope to see you all this weekend for a wonderful celebration!

Keeping it Green at the 14th Street Y

Kids in our After School, Preschool, and “Now We Are Three” program are always busy learning, growing and thinking about ways to be kind to the world and to each other.

Recently, all of these programs spent some time creating green themed projects, Preschool and Now We Are Three in honor of Tu B’Shevat, the Holiday for trees, and After School as part of a whole day of greening.

After School  Counselor Mauricio had the idea to create carnival games out of recycled cardboard.
After School Counselor Mauricio had the idea to create carnival games out of recycled cardboard.
wack a clown
After School kids spent 13 weeks planning and creating games like this one.  The entire After School community got a chance to try them out on ‘greening day’!
bin it to win it
Would you know where to bin it? After School kids play “Bin it to Win it”, and learn when and how to recycle. And when to compost!
house 301 tree
House 301 in our Preschool created this beautiful tree in honor of Tu B’ Shevat. We like to remember the good work the trees are doing to bring us fruits and leaves when spring comes back again.
tree preschool
Preschool House 305 made this ‘present tree’ which you can see when you climb the stairs at the 14th Street Y!
trees tu b'shevat
There are so many ways to use the beauty of nature in the art that we do. We are looking forward to spring!

Pause/Play: Join us this Saturday, December 13th!

Did you make it to Pause/Play: Saturday Afternoons at the 14th Street Y last month?

If not, there’s another opportunity this Saturday, December 13th, 2:00-6:00PM.  Though each Saturday has a different menu of items, each experience is designed to help you connect, play and refresh, depending on what you, or any member of your group or family most want to do. All ages!  Keep in mind that though the 14th Street Y always has great programs for kids and families, this month we’ve got some specialty items especially for adults!  Included this Saturday will be Acro Yoga with Thai Massage, Community Discussions, Meditation, and  “Why do Jews Love Whiskey?”  A tasting by Dan Friedman–though as with all Y programs you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy it! (Remember, Babysitting is available all afternoon if you need it.)

See our full schedule for this Saturday here.

Pause/Play is FREE for Members.  Tickets for General Public are available here!

Below, check out a few highlights from last month.  Hope to see you on Saturday!

Photo Credit- Bridget Badore

Your friendly greeters!  (striped shirt optional)
Your friendly greeters! (striped shirt optional)
Making our own pickles with LABA artist Shawn Shafner
Making our own pickles with LABA artist Shawn Shafner
Photograph by Bridget Badore
Amichi Lau-Lavie leads a discussion on a Digital Sabatical.
Kids love GAGA! (the fun of dodgeball without the pain)
Kids love GAGA! (the fun of dodgeball without the pain)
(kids really love GAGA)
(kids really love GAGA)
Parents and toddlers sing and play together.
Parents and toddlers sing and play together.
(it was a big crowd)
(it was a big crowd)
Photograph by Bridget Badore
Storytime with PJ Library came right before….
PLAY in the 4th floor playroom!
PLAY in the 4th floor playroom!
Kids did Martial Arts,
Kids did Martial Arts,
bonded over making pizzas
bonded over making pizzas,
played basketball with their family,
played basketball with their family,
made beautiful art,
made beautiful art,
And had snacks in the lobby from Colson  Patisserie.
And had snacks in the lobby from Colson Patisserie.

Why We March. People’s Climate March Sunday, September 21st

 There are so many reasons to March.  We’ve got a few to share, as well as details about where to go, when to be there and what to expect.

eliza
“I’ll Miss the polar ice caps when they melt”

WHERE TO GO:

Enter at 58th Street and 9th avenue because that is where everyone from the Jewish People’s Climate contingent will be, including the 14th Street Y!  We will be on 58th Street between 8th and 9th avenue, but be sure and enter at 9th avenue!

Look for the 14th Street Y banners!

 

WHEN TO BE THERE:

Be prepared to show around 11AM, the march is scheduled to begin promptly at 11:30AM.

 

OTHER THINGS TO NOTE:

  • To learn more about the narrative of the march and the groups, visit the lineup page here.
  • At 12:58pm a moment of silence in commemoration of the victims of climate change worldwide will be held – and at 1:00pm they will sound the ” climate alarm.

 

WHERE WE’LL WIND UP: 

  • The march will end on 11th Avenue, where there will be a huge celebration of everything we just accomplished — a massive People’s Block Party.
  • The block party will have six different areas, one for each of the march’s themes, where you’ll be able to learn about the many issues connected to the climate crisis and connect with other people who want to continue to organize around them after the march.
  • There will be dozens of food trucks parked nearby, stages with music, poetry and performances from around the world, community groups displaying the art they made for the march, and a powerful ribbon-tying ceremony where you can pledge to continue to take action on climate.
  • It’s going to be a huge celebration, not only of what we’ve done, but also of what we will do — it’s the time to talk and get inspired about what comes next after the People’s Climate March.

This link will allow you to share via facebook a declaration that you’re marching, and an image of the march route:

 

 

 

 

don't want 2B underwater
“I don’t want to be underwater”
teach my kids to fish
I want my children to be able to teach their kids to fish”
we have to share the universe
We have to act to save the universe”
my children
My children
jane
“I want my children to be able to breathe”

From Elvis to The East Village

At the 14th Street Y, we like to offer fitness experiences that are fun, energetic, and addictive.  

Because you don’t always have time to try all the classes that interest you, we offer additional fitness intensives every month to give you a chance to try something different.  In April (this Saturday, in fact!) we’re excited to offer NIA, a great combination of energy, dance, flexibility and strength training that also happens to be very, very fun.  Especially when it’s taught by Yvonne!

 

 Presentation1

1.  How did you get into Nia?
I was waiting to take a Body Sculpt class at a Fitness Club and was amazed to see the members dancing like no-one was watching. Being a dancer, I knew that class was for me. And so…byebye Body Sculpt.

 

2.  What do you love about teaching Nia?

I love teaching the Joy of Movement. (Nia motto) and spreading the joy through dance arts, martial arts and healing arts.

 

3.  What do you find special about teaching at the 14th Street Y?

I find the members of the 14th Street Y a uniquely joyful bunch. I sense them anticipating the fun of the routine we’re going to share every Tuesday. I can see them thinking…’wonder what she’s going to teach us tonight?’

 

4.  Is there anything you would say to people who may be interested in trying NIA but haven’t yet?

I have much to say to people who may be interested in trying Nia but haven’t yet. First, many people say to me, they can’t dance and have two left feet. I say to them, come in and bring both your left feet! I tell them, Nia means, No Inhibitions Allowed and to leave their inhibitions at the door. There’s no right or wrong. I encourage them to move ‘their body’s way’ I am there for guidance. “Life’s a Dance You Learn As You go…sometimes you lead…sometimes you follow…That’s my slogan. 

 

5. I heard you had a hip surgery and that you were back to teach very quickly. Tell me more. I had a hip replacement in December. Osteoarthritis. Dance was not the issue. I was given the okay to teach 4 weeks later by my doctor. And so I did. I recovered quickly because I was in good physical condition from the get-go. Also have taken good care of my health throughout my life.

 

6. You had a brush with Elvis, yes? I danced in 2 films with Elvis. ‘Kissin’ Cousins’ and ‘Roustabout”. I did not date him. I dated his cousin. I became a professional dancer when I was 18. I lived in Hollywood, CA and was very lucky to work constantly during those years. I danced/acted in films, on television, in night clubs and musical theatre. I was fortunate to be cast with a group of entertainers by USO and traveled to Europe, and Southeast Asia, landing in Vietnam just after the bombing of Pleiku. I am also an award-winning playwright and have written a play about the journey to Vietnam. At 76, I will continue to ‘dance through life’.

 

Yvonne teaches NIA   every Tuesday night at 6:15pm at the 14th Street Y.