Welcome to the Schimmel Center Blog!

The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts Blog Schimmel Center seeks to enrich and engage our audiences by bringing world-class talent to Lower Manhattan. Our programming features internationally-acclaimed talent in the areas of music, dance, film, cabaret and lecture.

26 August 2014 ~ 0 Comments

“What’s in a name?”

“… O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet….”

Such is the eternal question posed by Shakespeare and continually asked again and again by “Literature 101” classes and a slew of would be Juliets from every stage east and west of Shakespeare’s famous Globe theatre throughout the ages. The nefarious query has also been pondered by authors, playwrights, publishers, advertising executives and branding experts alike, searching for the catchiest, flashiest title to sell their product. When a group of us at Schimmel Center sat down to talk about our name, it was nothing new. Countless others have sat around tables and pondered the ageless question.

We did know that regardless of what we called ourselves, one thing would not change. Schimmel Center would continue to bring in the highest quality of entertainment in the areas of cabaret, world music, dance and lecture. We also planned to widen our playing field and expand our repertoire to world class family entertainment as well as a carefully curated film series. Now came the hard part; deciding whether the brand, “Pace Presents” was working for us. After weighing many possible options we realized that the brand, “Pace Presents” was confusing and contradictory to our overall goal of establishing Schimmel Center as your downtown destination for world renowned cultural experiences. “Pace Presents” was a series but we are an entity that brings about and showcases talent from around the globe. From now on, all of our related marketing materials will showcase the name “Schimmel Center,” but we will continue to bring you the same exciting programing that you have come to rely on. Thank you for you patronage!

See you at the Schimmel!

Michael Scott-Torbet

Schimmel Center 2014-15 Blogger

As always, be sure to check out our full calendar of events for our latest season of programming!

 

21 August 2014 ~ 0 Comments

“Everything’s Coming Up …..”

As the long Summer season starts drawing to a close, Schimmel Center looks forward to a season of new and exciting programing. We may have dropped the “Pace Presents” title but we are still dedicated to bringing our audiences the finest world class entertainment in the areas of music, cabaret, dance and lecture. This season, we will also expand our repertoire to include film screenings as well as family programming.

Cabaret highlights of the season include the incomparable Patti LuPone. The Grand Dame of Broadway will take to our stage in May for a special evening of music and anecdotes about her storied career which includes roles in Evita, Les Miserables, Sweeny Todd and Gypsy. Our foot lights will shine bright yet again for another member of Broadway’s royal court, on May 30, when we welcome Ben Vereen. With a decades-long career in such musicals as Hair, Pippin, Fosse, Jesus Christ Superstar and Wicked, Vereen is sure to bring magic to our stage. Of course Fred Barton, his glorious orchestra and star studded cast of Broadway performers will be back, twice this year, to celebrate the show stopping scores of composers Cy Coleman and Irving Berlin, respectively.

Patti LuPone, the grand dame of the Great White Way will grace our stage on May 2, 2015, with her cabaret show, "Far Away Places."

Patti LuPone, the grand dame of the Great White Way will grace our stage on May 2, 2015, with her cabaret show, “Far Away Places.”

This season we are excited to be presenting some exciting new dance companies and welcoming back old favorites. Become enchanted with the whimsical and athletic “Backhausdance Company,” take in the harmonious Eastern aesthetic of “Take,” and revel in the raw passion of “Koresh.” You will also have the opportunity to become reacquainted with the holiday tradition of Gelsey Kirkland’s The Nutcracker. Speaking of Gelsey Kirkland, the studio will also be unveiling their newest production, Don Quixote in the spring.

“Let’s go to the Movies!” Travel back to the days of movie houses and grand organs with Ben Model. Model, one of the nation’s leading film accompanists, has worked with the Schimmel to curate an exciting series of silent film classics. Come gaze on some of the greatest faces to ever come out of Hollywood: Clara Bow, Buster Keaton and Douglas Fairbanks are sure to entertain in Titles like It, 7 Chances and The Mark of Zorro. This November, you can actually become a part of one of the most beloved American movie musicals of all time. Join us for the sing along version of Grease! You can come dressed up in your “pink lady” or “T-bird” finest and sing along with the movie. The price of admission even includes a free “magic moments fun pack!”

The whole family will love our new family fun series! Come for critically acclaimed acts such as Gustafer Yellowgold, The Okee Dokee Brothers and The Peking Acrobats. The family fun series has been especially curated for young audiences and is a fun and exciting Saturday afternoon excursion!

We have teamed up once again with the folks at LiveSounds to bring you the best musical talent from across the globe. You only have to travel as far as the Schimmel to hear the world’s premiere sitar player, Amjad Ali Kahn. Straight from Nigeria, the group Tal National, “mixes energy and precision with an engagingly hybrid style.” On Friday April 14, we will pay special tribute to the ground breaking Chilean singer-songwriter Violeta Parra. Special guests will include the Andean folk group, Illapu, as well as Parra’s niece, Columbina Parra.

For the fourth year in a row, we will welcome back Dr. Janetta Rebold Benton for her ever popular Art History Alive lecture series. This years’ series will include lectures on great masters like Botticelli, Goya, Rodin and Chagall and architectural masterpieces, respectively. As always, the conversation continues afterwards with a luncheon complete with a menu based on the foods of the country being discussed.

Rounding out our incredible season of offerings is Emmy Award winning singer song writer, Loudon Wainwright III. Best known for his novelty song, Dead Skunk (In the Middle of the Road) as well as numerous appearances in the films of Judd Apatow and the NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation, Wainwright will bring his quirky antics to the schimmel stage for an amusing night of music and laughs.

Loudon Wainwright III brings his quirky musical repertoire to the Schimmel stage on Saturday, October 11th.

Loudon Wainwright III brings his quirky musical repertoire to the Schimmel stage on Saturday, October 11th.

In addition to following  our Blog, we have several exciting ways to stay connected to us throughout the 2014-15 season. You can like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Staying connected with us through our various social media outlets is a great way to ensure that you aren’t missing a moment of what our series has to offer! As always, you have the opportunity to join our Email Club. Friends receive our monthly e-newsletter, special discounted rates, first notice of additional shows added and a special discounted pre-announcement rate for our upcoming season. For full info on our incredible offerings, please be sure to check out our calendar page on the website. Please join us this season as we continue to pave the way for the downtown Manahttan cultural scene!

See you at the Schimmel!
Michael Scott-Torbet
Schimmel Center 2014-15 Blogger

20 May 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Life is a Dance: Inside “From the Horse’s Mouth” and Frederic Franklin

The 2013-14 Pace Presents’ season is coming to a close but we still have one last unique offering to bring you. May 30-June 1, will bring Tina Croll and Jamie Cunningham’s exciting dance/theatre event, “From the Horse’s Mouth.” The opening night, on May 30th,  will double as a special gala performance that will feature esteemed guest stars such as Marge Champion, Jacques d’Amboise, Arthur Mitchell and Carmen de Lavallade who will all be honoring the life and career of dance legend, Frederic Franklin.

A publicity still of Fredric Franklin in Agnes DeMille's 1942 ballet, "Rodeo."

A publicity still of Frederic Franklin in Agnes DeMille’s 1942 ballet, “Rodeo.”

“From the Horse’s Mouth,” is a one of a kind experience that combines the stories of dancers’ careers and lives, with movement from all genres, “from tap to ballet to Bharat Natyam to Irish step dancing and beyond.” The show was conceived back in 1998 by creative directors, Tina Croll and Jamie Cunningham. The two had known each other since 1966 when they met at the Dance Theatre Workshop. When they met up again in the late 1990’s for a concert they were performing in, they shared with each other their mutual passion for celebrating dancers of all ages, races and styles. The show has traveled globally to celebrate dancers from all types of communities. One of the team’s favorite productions was done in Hawaii with authentic hula dancing, music and stories. In June, the team will head to Toronto with actors, dancers, athletes and military to celebrate the stories of the LGBT community during World Pride month.

As mentioned previously, the production mounting at the Schimmel will celebrate the life of the great Frederic Franklin. When asked why they wanted to honor him, Croll and Cunningham had the following to say, “He was a major figure in the world of ballet.  He started off in tap and ballroom dancing and went on to dance star roles with every major dance company, continuing to be called up to do cameo appearances when he was in his 90′s!  In addition he had a photographic memory for movement and could remember a whole dance after seeing it once.  Balanchine called him in to help him reconstruct a dance from the 30’s that no one else, including Balanchine, could remember!  He helped many, many young dancers with their roles.” Croll and Cunningham had both met Franklin near the end of his life. When asked about him they remarked that he was, “amazingly lively at 98 when we met him.  He regaled us with stories.  He was full of light.” Cunningham has a particularly moving story about Franklin, “One story he told really stayed with me – Freddie said when he danced Stanley Kowalski in the ballet of Streetcar Named Desire, Marlon Brando came back stage and said, ‘If I could do with words what you’re doing with movement, I’d be a better Stanley.’ That’s the kind of artist he was,”

While all three performances will focus on stories about the legendary dancer, the opening gala performance on May 30th will feature an all-star cast of dancers who were closest to him. With the likes of Martine van Hamel, Gus Solomons Jr, Ella Baff and Xiomara Reyes sharing their personal stories, the gala promises to be a spectacular event. Audiences who come for the last two performances will have the pleasure of watching an all-male cast. When asked about the decision for an all-male cast, the two directors remarked, “ there is a lot of male energy on stage – clear and direct.  They all take care of each other and bond back stage!  The atmosphere is wild and wacky good humored and loving.  It’s important to celebrate men in dance.”

Beyond theatre and dance, “From the Horse’s Mouth” is really a celebration of life and community. Just as our primitive ancestors used to congregate around fires and tell stories to revere their common experiences, using dance and spoken word; Croll and Cunningham  continue the tradition in their work. While you are sure to take away a great deal from this experience, Croll and Cunningham do hope you take away at least one thing in particular, “an interest in dancers – their lives and their work.  It’s a special magical world.” Be there to experience this “magical world” with us!

To purchase tickets to this event, visit schimmel.pace.edu or call (866) 811-4111.

See you at the Schimmel!

Michael Scott-Torbet

Pace Presents’ 2013-14 Blogger

 

FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH

May 30th, 7:30pm | May 31st, 7:30pm | June 1st, 7:30pm
$95 | $40 | $35 | $25 (Please note all seats include a $1.50 facility fee)

GALA PERFORMANCE Friday, May 30 at 7:30pm – $95 Gala seats include VIP seating and reception. To purchase Gala tickets, click here
Featuring Jacques D’Amboise, Arthur Mitchell, Charles Askegard, Martine van Hamel, Gus Solomons jr, Carmen de Lavallade, Xiomara Reyes, Marge Champion and MoreGala proceeds to include the Frederic Franklin Scholarship Fund at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JK0) School at the American Ballet Theatre.Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1 at 7:30pm The Men Dancers: From the Horses Mouth.  These two evenings feature an All Male Tribute to Frederic Franklin.

 

 

 

 

22 April 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Dance Maker: Inside Taylor 2 and Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor is one of the last living legends given to us by the second generation of the twentieth century’s modern dance movement. His dance is more than movement and storytelling. His choreography moves the spirit by tackling hard-hitting issues, such as war, piety, spirituality, sexuality, morality and mortality head on.  In the early 1950’s, Taylor’s work was so controversial that it sent audiences running from the theatre and Martha Graham even dubbed him “the bad boy of dance.”Fb-esplanade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend, we are proud to have Paul Taylor’s chamber- sized dance company, Taylor 2 to present some of Taylor’s best known works in an intimate and personal presentation. One of those pieces is “AIRS.” When the piece originally debuted in 1978, some modern dance enthusiasts didn’t know what to make of the piece. They viewed it too “accessible” as it took its accompaniment from a classical composition by Handel. Many regard the piece as one of their favorites because of the light and breezy mood it evokes.

Our lucky audiences will also get to experience the New York premiere of one of Taylor’s latest pieces, entitled, “The Uncommited.” The piece debuted in 2011 at the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina in honor of the festival’s director, Charles L. Reinhardt . The New York Times described it as both “beautiful and raw.” Set to musical compositions by Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt, Taylor’s dance propels us into a world where the viewer learns that “loneliness is not the same as being alone.”

The third piece on the roster for this weekend’s offering is “Esplanade.” Taylor created this piece in 1971 to explore the beauty in every day, pedestrian movement. Inspired by contemporaries such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg who used “found objects” in their art, Taylor decided to create a dance that was comprised of “found movements” from the real people around him.

This weekend’s presentation is a rare treat for true Paul Taylor fans as well as a perfect sampling for those who have yet to discover this master’s work. Not only will our audiences get to watch three stunning pieces from three different era’s of the master’s career, they will also treated to live musical accompaniment by the esteemed Kenneth Hamrick and American Virtuosi. The six dancer ensemble brings about a never before seen or felt intimacy with Taylor’s choreography. Come join us for this truly amazing program.

To purchase tickets, visit schimmel.pace.edu or call (866) 811-4111.

See you at the Schimmel!

Michael Scott-Torbet

Pace Presents Blogger

An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the performance would include a piece titled “AUREOLE.”

TAYLOR 2

April 24th, 7:30pm | April 25th, 7:30pm | April 26th, 7:30pm
$40|$35|$25
Paul Taylor’s renowned Taylor 2 Company, composed of six professionals with a particular gift for his style, are headed back to the Schimmel! The program consists of three of Paul Taylor’s works; “AIRS” with music by George Frideric Handel“ESPLANADE,”with music by Johann Sebastian Bach, and “THE UNCOMMITTED” with music by Arvo Pärt.Live music for these performances is the result of a special collaboration with the distinguished American Virtuosi, an ensemble of period and modern instruments, conducted by Kenneth Hamrick Artistic Director.Come and see Taylor 2 and hear American Virtuosi. This is the way Mr. Taylor’s dances were meant to be experienced! 

Live music made possible by a gift from Dr. Frank L Ellsworth and Dr. Kristin L. Ellsworth 
and the American Virtuosi Foundation Inc. as part of the Live Music for Dance Initiative.  

 

18 April 2014 ~ 0 Comments

“Taylor Too”: Inside Taylor 2

Some of our favorite reviews of our next offering, Taylor 2

“Don’t think of it as a farm team. Think of it as Taylor Too. Taylor 2 is wonderfully intimate. Watching only six dancers perform Taylor works clearly reveals both structure and movement for an eye-opening appreciation of the master’s approach… It’s like hearing Mozart played on original instruments, or birds in the woods without traffic noise. There’s an authenticity about them that also speaks with the voice of authority: It’s easy to see why Taylor’s work stood out from the crowd right from the start. These dancers are every bit as skilled and delightful as the senior company and so eager, so ready to captivate, they can’t fail.” – Allison Tracy, The Berkshire Eagle

From the Taylor 2 Ensemble!

From the Taylor 2 Ensemble!

“Taylor 2 is a kind of a miracle… All of the dancers are considerable talents [who] unite fearlessness with skill.” — Gia Kourlas, New York Times

A major interest is in seeing how ingeniously Taylor has edited his work for a six-person ensemble — half the size of the original… This version of Company B is not a patched hand-me-down, but a lighter and more intimate creation that delivers the same emotional knockout.” — Robert Johnson, The Star-Ledger

With live music accompaniment, six astounding dancers and the breath-taking choreography of Paul Taylor, Taylor 2 will have you saying, “That’s Taylor too not Taylor 2.” Be sure to come down to the Michael Schimmel Center and see the works of Paul Taylor through new eyes!

To Purchase tickets visit schimmel.pace.edu or call (866) 811-4111
See you at the Schimmel!

April 24th – April 26th

TAYLOR 2

April 24th, 7:30pm | April 25th, 7:30pm | April 26th, 7:30pm
$40|$35|$25
Paul Taylor’s renowned Taylor 2 Company, composed of six professionals with a particular gift for his style, are headed back to the Schimmel! The program consists of three of Paul Taylor’s works; “AIRS” with music by George Frideric Handel“ESPLANADE,”with music by Johann Sebastian Bach, and “THE UNCOMMITTED” with music by Arvo Pärt.Live music for these performances is the result of a special collaboration with the distinguished American Virtuosi, an ensemble of period and modern instruments, conducted by Kenneth Hamrick Artistic Director.Come and see Taylor 2 and hear American Virtuosi. This is the way Mr. Taylor’s dances were meant to be experienced! 

Live music made possible by a gift from Dr. Frank L Ellsworth and Dr. Kristin L. Ellsworth 
and the American Virtuosi Foundation Inc. as part of the Live Music for Dance Initiative.