Art Bath Overflows in New York
Wildly Original Programming Delights
By: Susan Hall - Mar 28, 2023
Art Bath at the Blue House
Music Inspires Drawing, Dance and Ecstasy
The producers of Art Bath, who dance together at the Metropolitan Opera, are warm individuals who make inspired selections for programs that range from conventional songs accompanied by live, drawn art to wild Moroccan sintir music which inspires accompanying clapping and ululation in joy.
These sold-out evenings are presented in autumn and spring. Each season brings three programs. In the first spring program bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi sang, courtesy of the Met Opera. He showed us his comic and lyric chops in four Broadway musical songs. His texts were illuminated by John Arida at the piano.
The extraordinary Michael Arthur improvised pen and ink drawing on a big screen resting beside the live artists. Mentored by Al Hirschfeld, he creates a fabulous world in an instant. Of his work, he says, “I'm a Pen and Ink Artist. I use no pencils and no rough drafts in my work; each drawing is a live reaction to the moment.”
You have to see him create to believe what he can do as you listen to the words of Tom Jones and Michael Stewart.
Part Two takes place in a Sunken Room where we hear Katinka Kleijn on cello inspiring two Butoh dancers are a round central stage. Vangeline and Azuni O E offer the excruciating gestures of Butoh. Movements are gripped by the body in beautiful moments which arise from agony. The billowing white gowns of the performers soften the often harsh impact of the movement
Art is hung in many of the Blue Building’s rooms. Perri Neri, Rob Strati and Paul Lorenz presented intriguing work.
The concluding concert was in a long room. A catwalk in front of the musicians provided a defined and brilliantly used space for dance.
Margret Glaspy accompanied herself on guitar in songs that impelled a group of Joffrey dancers. Maalen Hassam Banjaafar with Daniel Freedman on drums and Jason Lindner on keys had the audience clapping and ululating in joy. Two members of the Passion Fruit Dance Company dipped and frolicked on the room's dance catwalk.
Benjaafar sings to the accompaniment of his sintir, a three-stringed instrument covered with camel skin on which he explores musical regions you did not know existed.
The future spring programs are on April 29th and May 13th.