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Lincoln Center Festival, and Midsummer Night Swing, July 7 to July 25, 2009

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There is so much happening at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on this, its 50th anniversary, that it can be overwhelming. So let’s just focus on the Lincoln Center Festival, three summer weeks of theater, music and dance from around the world — Israel, Russia, Paris, China, Budapest, Mali, etc.

Trilogia della villeggiatura (High Season Getaway) from Italy
offerings from (top to bottom) Poland, Algeria/Morocco, Italy
A sample: Emanuel Gat Dance’s Silent Ballet, July 14, 16, 17, from Israel; Katona Jozsef Theatre’s dramatization of Checkov’s “Ivanov”, July 7-11, from Budapest; a concert of Afro-Blues, July 21, with Juldeh Camara from Gambia (who is a griot and plays the Ritti, a one-stringed fiddle) guitarist Justin Adams from the U.K., and percussionist, singer and versatile musician Issa Bagayogo from Mali. (From his Web site: “Issa first learned to play the daro, a sort of rustic iron bell that used to be rung noisilly behind farm workers to goad them into action. At the age of 12, he began learning the kamele n’goni (the young Malian’s guitar) as well as singing.”)

Actually there is a lot more — Ariane Mnouchkine and her collective Théâtre du Soleil from Paris with Les Éphémères, which is described as an examination of the threads that connect people universally; director Lev Dodin from Russia doing “Life and Fate”, July 21–26, about a family’s struggle on the Eastern Front in the 1940s. Shen Wei Dance Arts originally from China.

Chubby Checker
Chubby Checker
I’d go on, but I have to mention Midsummer Night Swing, also at Lincoln Center during the exact same three weeks of July 7 to July 25, and offering “swing, salsa, soul, tango, rockabilly and much more” at Damrosch Park. Let’s not forget rock n roll: July 8th features Chubby Checker at 8:30 and includes a dance lesson at 6:30, teaching 6 count swing – but only if you want it.
Issa Bagayogo, who will perform an Afro-Blues concert at Lincoln Center Festival.
Issa Bagayogo, who will perform an Afro-Blues concert at Lincoln Center Festival.