What’s a non-traditional student to do on spring break in New York? Sleep, homework and take in a little culture.
I had so much homework to do over spring break but I was determined to leave the house once or twice. I must admit — spring break in New York wasn’t exactly warm and sunny. It was more of a continuation of months of depressing gray skies, a serious chill, snow and even some rain. We’ll just call that incentive to stay in my warm home and study.
My first outing took place with some girlfriends at the start of the break. A groups of us made weekend plans around attending Raisin In the Sun on Broadway. Pre-show we caught up on life, work, school, etc…at Bar Centrale, a hidden gem in the crazy theatre district. Then we made the short walk over to the theatre, where Denzel Washington is currently playing Walter Lee Younger. Traditionally, someone much younger portrays this character so it was an interesting experiment with Washington in the lead. He was good; it was just a little odd if you are familiar with the story. He got four out of five ladies approval. The shining star for me though, was Sophie Okonedo who plays his wife Ruth. I did not even know she was in the play until she walked out on stage, but I am a fan of her work, so it was a pleasant surprise. Afterward, we had a late dinner at Pigalle – we closed the place down. The next day, we went to brunch at Upstairs at The Kimberly. Whether you are a local or visiting, it’s a great spot for brunch with an amazing view!
My pop culture moment came when I went to see the kickstarter funded Veronica Mars movie. I’ll admit, I didn’t watch the television series while it was on the air. I found it in syndication a few years ago and basically binge watched it. Kristin Bell’s character is my kid of girl. Anyhow, though the film probably won’t win any Oscars, it was definitely a nice distraction from writing research papers.
I also attended an evening of Paul Taylor Dance – The Diamond Anniversary program. My last Paul Taylor Dance experience was about a year ago when the company was on tour in Charlotte, NC. I caught a new and old piece during that run. For the night I attended in New York, the company performed: Perpetual Dawn, Fibers, Black Tuesday, and Troilus and Cressida. The great thing about companies such as Paul Taylor is they usually have varied nightly programs during their seasons, especially anniversary seasons. It’s great for me because I can pick nights where it’s all-new to me or maybe it’s a piece that I have previously seen and loved, and its great for the company because they can get more people in seats every night. The dancing and choreography was fabulous as always, but it was also wonderful to see Paul Taylor onstage to take a well-deserved bow.
Oh, I have a thing for Martha Graham’s choreography. Most of it is dark, serious and a little melancholy. Often melodramatic, which in these modern times can be perceived as absurd, and one time, uproarious. That one time occurred during a night I recently attended – the company performed the charming and silly Maple Leaf Rag. Also performed that night,Clytemnestra, with Katherine Crockett as the principal dancer. What I was most taken by was the Premiere of Echo by Greek choreographer Andonis Foniadakis featuring soloist PeiJu Chien-Pott, and new dancers Lloyd Mayor and Lorenzo Pagano. There were other dancers in this amazing piece as well and the choreography was gorgeous. But there is something otherworldly about PeiJu Chien-Pott. She is so fluid and her lines are extraordinary and breathtaking. Though, a newspaper that shall not be named whole-heartedly disagrees with me. Eye of the beholder…