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5 Things to Do This Weekend

5 Things to Do This Weekend

Like many artists, the choreographer Dwight Rhoden felt an urgent need to respond creatively to the painful summer of 2020 following the murder of George Floyd, but was deprived of his usual platform: a stage. So, earlier this year, he turned to the screen and produced a dance film that spoke to the beauty and burden of Black Americans.

Now that live performance is back, the work has been reimagined for the stage and called “Snatched Back From the Edges.” On Tuesday, it kicked off a two-week engagement (through Nov. 28) at the Joyce Theater by Complexions Contemporary Ballet, the glossy, sexy company that Rhoden and the esteemed dancer Desmond Richardson founded in 1994.

“Snatched Back” is paired on Program A with “Love Rocks” (set to music by Lenny Kravitz), which also appears on Program B where it is joined by a suite of excerpts from recent Complexions repertory. Visit www.joyce.org for performance times, program details and tickets.
BRIAN SCHAEFER

Magical realism and matriarchal mysteries govern “Luciérnagas” by the playwright Javier Rivera DeBruin. The sensitive work, running at the 14th Street Y through Nov. 30, centers on Mal (Alexandra Taylor), a young queer woman who inherits a small cabin from her grandmother only to discover she shares the abode with a sprite-like being who has lessons to impart.

A celebration of Mexican, Afro-Latina and Indigenous women, the play, directed by Carlos Armesto, explores the things we must leave behind in order to become who we were meant to be. Funnily enough, “Luciérnagas” is also the perfect play to see before potential family dysfunction during the holiday festivities next week, as it shows “ultimately how we can begin to unravel inherited trauma through moments of reflection, catharsis, playfulness, and joy,” in the words of Rivera DeBruin.

General admission tickets to the National Queer Theater production are $25; proof of vaccination is required. Tickets are available at nationalqueertheater.org.
JOSE SOLÍS

POP MUSIC

The American Music Awards is among the most democratic of the awards shows, selecting its nominees based on fan popularity and handing out trophies decided by public vote. This year’s lineup of performers similarly aims for broad appeal, with a range of genres represented.

Pop chart-toppers including Olivia Rodrigo and BTS will take the stage, as will the reggaetonero Bad Bunny. A Nashville delegation includes the country singer Mickey Guyton — who is swiftly becoming an award-show darling after her gripping performance at this year’s Grammys — as well as Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean. Additional performers include the Italian glam-rock band Maneskin; Tyler, the Creator; and Diplo. And with the unfailingly funny Cardi B covering hosting duties, the ceremony may be as much a comedy special as a music event.

To watch, tune in to ABC on Sunday night at 8 p.m.; the full program will also be streaming on Hulu the following day.
OLIVIA HORN

Classical Music

Over the last decade, a new generation of singers has taken to the work of Robert Ashley (1930-2014). The experimental composer — inspired by myths, potboilers and the rhythms of American speech, as well as elements of pop and jazz — made operas like no one else. They often feature dreamy, electronic orchestrations, as well as chatty vocal performances that are crisply attuned to underlying harmonic designs.

Many of the operas combine to form an elaborate, interconnected narrative. But given the right performers, individual works can also charm and beguile. The latest proof is the October revival of “eL/Aficionado” at Roulette in Brooklyn. Though it takes place in the world of espionage, its surreal narrative drift resists the fixity of pulp beats and resolutions.

Now indefinitely (and freely) available to stream via the venue’s Vimeo page, the production brings the mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Butcher into the retinue of Ashley’s contemporary interpreters. As the character known as the Agent, her steely, melodically graceful mission-debrief steals the show. Along with the new audio recording made by this same cast, Butcher’s lead performance can serve as an ideal introduction to Ashley’s vast operatic universe.
SETH COLTER WALLS

Most theatergoers are expected to sit. But at New York Live Arts in Manhattan this weekend, they will be encouraged to crawl, stand, rock, toddle and even lie down.

That’s because Treehouse Shakers, a dance-theater troupe, intends to lure the youngest of audiences: children ages 6 to 18 months. Conceived and written by Mara McEwin and choreographed by Emily Bunning to a score by Anthony Rizzo, the company’s “Flutter: A Discovery Play for Babies” introduces the seasons through music, movement, touch and visual surprises.

Gathered on fluffy mats surrounding the dancers, little spectators will first experience summer in the form of puppets, including illuminated fireflies and soft caterpillars. (Patti Gilstrap created the designs.) As the 40-minute production progresses, they can handle felt autumn leaves and crocheted snowflakes, creep under a wintry parachute and observe what happens to a glowing cocoon that signals spring.

With performances on Saturday and Sunday at 10 and 11:30 a.m., “Flutter” also incorporates lullabies and rhymes from the Chippewa, Chinese and British cultures. Ticket prices, which are $35 for a caregiver-and-child pair ($18 for each additional adult and $15 for each additional child) also include less expensive options for low-income families interested in this around-the-sun whirl.
LAUREL GRAEBER


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