Classical & Dance Preview

Twenty- and thirty-somethings can see the New York City Opera on the cheap.Photo: Mats Backer/Courtesy of the New York City Opera

A Maximalist Party
At 70, Steve Reich gets a birthday bash at nearly every cultural institution in town.
Steve Reich @ 70, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, BAM, and the Whitney Museum of American Art; throughout October.

Taking Flight
The next generation at NYCB and ABT.

Mixed-Media Artist
Hip-hop poetry, piano solos, a Jon Stewart rant: To Vijay Iyer, it all sounds good.
Still Life With Commentator, By Vijay Iyer; Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Harvey Theater; December 6 through 10.

Butterfly Takes Flight, on Opening Night
There’s been a regime change at the Metropolitan Opera, and new boss Peter Gelb has thrown out the decades-old tradition of kicking off the season with a superstar gala of repertoire excerpts.
Madama Butterfly, Metropolitan Opera; season opens September 25.

The Met’s New ‘Hero’
When Tan Dun moved to New York from China in 1985, the first Western opera he saw was the Met’s Turandot, with Plácido Domingo.
The First Emperor, By Tan Dun; Metropolitan Opera; opens December 21.

Music for Greens
David Dunn’s Driven Behaviors, which premieres at the “Ear to the Earth” festival this October.
The Ear to the Earth Festival, October 6 through 14; details at

The Best of the Rest
Choreography for iPods, City Opera on the cheap, Anonymous 4, and more.

The Best of the Rest
Choreography for iPods, City Opera on the cheap, Anonymous 4, and more.

Vladimir Feltsman
The Russian emigré, banned from performing in the Soviet Union for eight years after he announced his intention to leave in 1979, performs Mozart’s complete keyboard sonatas over five concerts, on a replica of an instrument by the composer’s piano-builder of choice.
The New School and Mannes College; September 28 through October 12.

Photo: Michael Cooper/Courtesy of BAM

Meredith Monk’s “Impermanence”
After 40 years in the biz, Monk must be getting reflective, judging by this multimedia “celebration of life and a meditation on death” for her ensemble.
Brooklyn Academy of Music; November 1 through 5.

American Composers Orchestra and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
As part of a new partnership, jazz pianist Marcus Roberts performs Gershwin’s seldom-heard original Rhapsody in Blue, on a program with Charles Mingus’s early composition Revelations. Plus a premiere by the fast-rising composer-in-residence Derek Bermel.
Rose Theater; November 16 through 18.

Anonymous 4
The superb all-female early-music vocal group, reunited and reinvented, will delve into folk and gospel songs from their new CD, Gloryland.
Merkin Concert Hall; December 7.

“Adriana Songs”
California native David Robertson, in his first year as an official guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic, leads the U.S. premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s music from her strikingly timely new opera, Adriana Mater, set in a war-torn country, with libretto by the Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf.
Avery Fisher Hall; December 14 through 16.

New Ballet Choreographers
The Miller Theatre breaks in its dance-friendly new stage floor with dancer-choreographers Tom Gold, Edwaard Liang, and Brian Reeder; their work will be performed by Wendy Whalen and Maria Kowroski (among others), to music by John Zorn, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, and more.
Miller Theatre; September 13 through 16.

Fall for Dance Festival
Now in its third year, the spectacular $10-per-night festival is on its way to becoming a New York institution. A sampling of this year’s 30 companies: ABT, New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet (led by NYCB retiree Peter Boal), Paul Taylor Dance Company, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, Random Dance, and Robert Moses’ Kin.
City Center; September 28 through October 8.

Merce Cunningham Dance Company
The postmodern pioneer has long been a Macintosh guy, and for the premiere of his new eyeSpace, audiences are asked to bring their iPods. Composer Mikel Rouse’s score is available on iTunes, and is included in the price of the ticket.
Joyce Theater; October 10 through 15.

City Center, having partnered with Carnegie Hall, is now joining up with London’s Sadler’s Wells theater. Their first collaboration brings choreographer Russell Maliphant’s 2005 Olivier-winning show to New York, featuring the French ballet star Sylvie Guillem.
City Center; October 11 through 15.

Photo: Andrew Eccles/Courtesy of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
For the past quarter-century, choreographer Karole Armitage has worked in film, fashion, and pop (Madonna!). As she turns her focus back to contemporary dance, Ailey’s exquisite dancers premiere Gamelan Gardens, set to Lou Harrison’s lovely music for bamboo xylophones, bronze chimes, and gongs.
City Center; November 29 through December 31.

Photo: Mats Backer/Courtesy of the New York City Opera

New York City Opera
Though the focus is naturally on the Met this year, it’s well worth noting the first real New York staging of Handel’s Semele, with the wonderful soprano Elizabeth Futral, as well as a new production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore by the overachieving director Jonathan Miller. A new “Big Deal!” program offers $30 seats—many in the orchestra—if you’re between 21 and 39.
New York State Theater; season opens September 13.

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