Pop Music: Sharon Van Etten in Manhattan
Feb. 9; msg.com.
Ten years after releasing her debut studio album, “Because I Was In Love,” the singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten seems to be making an effort to start fresh, again. Her latest album, “Remind Me Tomorrow,” released last month, shows a slew of new eclectic influences from the previously folk-pop-oriented singer.
There are more synths and drum machines on this set than on most of its dreamy predecessors. But the overall feeling is still raw and vulnerable, retaining the traits that make her music so irresistible. Arrangements from the producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Blondie) bolster the singer’s always deft songwriting while insuring that it retains its experimental edge.
Van Etten will stop at Beacon Theater in Manhattan in the midst of an 18-date national tour to promote the new release; Fred Armisen (in musical, not comedy, capacities) and Nilüfer Yanya will open. NATALIE WEINER
Film: Hoop Dreams in ‘High Flying Bird’
Feb. 7; filmlinc.org. Feb. 8; netflix.com.
On the heels of its success with Alfonso Cuarón’s Oscar-nominated “Roma,” Netflix is throwing its weight this year behind more big-name directors like Martin Scorsese, David Michôd and J.C. Chandor.
First up is Steven Soderbergh, whose latest, “High Flying Bird,” stars André Holland as Ray Burke, an agent in the midst of an N.B.A. lockout who proposes a bold business move to his rookie client and in the process tries to disrupt the infrastructure — namely, the rich white dudes — behind the sexiest sport.
Zazie Beetz, Melvin Gregg, Zachary Quinto, Kyle MacLachlan and Bill Duke co-star in this wily, slick drama, shot by Soderbergh on an iPhone 7 Plus from a script by Tarell Alvin McCraney (“Moonlight,” which starred Holland; and Broadway’s “Choir Boy”).
Netflix is releasing the movie online as well as in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, Feb. 8. The Film Society of Lincoln Center in Manhattan will screen it the evening before, with Soderbergh, McCraney and Holland, among others, on hand. KATHRYN SHATTUCK
Classical: Kronos Quartet vs. the Travel Ban
Feb. 8; carnegiehall.org.
It’s hard to imagine a time when the Kronos Quartet was not emphatically crossing musical boundaries, from its early days covering Jimi Hendrix to its most recent collaborations with Malian griots. But its latest project, which arrives at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall on Friday, responds cogently to an era of increasingly policed and politicized borders.
“Music for Change: The Banned Countries” is a rejoinder to President Trump’s first travel ban, featuring music from the predominantly Muslim nations the executive order targeted, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The sprawling program features arrangements of traditional music, Kronos staples like Franghiz Ali-Zadeh’s visceral “Mugam Sayagi,” a set with the Iranian vocalist Mahsa Vahdat, a new work by the Egyptian underground keyboardist Islam Chipsy, and the premiere of a Carnegie commission by Fatimah Al-Zaelaeyah. WILLIAM ROBIN
Dance: Hip-Hop in Shining Armor at the Met
Feb. 8; metmuseum.org.
Raiding the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Arms and Armor Department would be a dream for some artists. For members of It’s Showtime NYC! — a program that provides street dancers with legal alternatives to performing on the subway — it recently became a reality.
While generally displayed as static objects, medieval suits of armor are actually meant to be moved in. And who better to put these uniforms in motion than a group of super-swift and hyper-flexible dancers?
Combining the idea of a dance battle with the trappings of ancient combat, MetLiveArts presents “Battle! Hip Hop in Armor,” a Friday-night event that kicked off last fall and continues on Feb. 8. The battlefield is Gallery 371, where dancers from It’s Showtime gather to face off in chain mail, breastplates and other knightly attire. If you can’t make it this time, they’ll be back on March 22, April 12 and June 7. SIOBHAN BURKE
Art: Luxurious Ikats in Los Angeles
Through July 28; lacma.org.
The 60 stupendously colorful robes and panels in “The Power of Pattern,” an exhibition of the Central Asian textiles known as ikats at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibition, could easily be mistaken for a cutting-edge new fashion line from Paris or Milan.
But they date back to the late 19th and early 20th century, when ikats were made with a technique called “cloud binding,” in which bundles of tied-up threads are resist-dyed multiple times to create complex patterns. Even as their loud colors seize your attention, the soft edges of the textiles’ floating shapes convey an irresistible sense of comfort and luxury. WILL HEINRICH
TV: All Arts Brings Cultural Access to More
Jan. 28; allarts.org.
For many arts lovers, access — be it distant venues, soaring ticket prices or their own mobility — can be an issue. All Arts, a free streaming platform and television channel, wants to break down those barriers.
A creation of the New York-based WNET, the flagship station of PBS, All Arts will present programs in dance, film, literature, music, theater, visual art and design — some new, others culled from the WNET archives.
This week’s lineup includes the Theater of War’s production of “Antigone in Ferguson,” an adaptation of Sophocles’ tragedy conceived in the wake of Michael Brown’s 2014 death in Ferguson, Mo., starring Samira Wiley and Chris Noth (Feb. 3). Next is a 1964 conversation with Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian author of “Things Fall Apart” (Feb. 5). Then comes on Feb. 6 a performance by the jazz pianist Vijay Iyer; and a behind-the-scenes peek at the Broadway productions of “Once on This Island” and “Aladdin.”
All Arts can be streamed on platforms like Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV; it is also broadcast in New York on Optimum, Verizon Fios, Comcast, Spectrum and Digital Antenna (check local listings). KATHRYN SHATTUCK
Theater: Strindberg, Recharged
Through March 10; classicstage.org.
Relationships with women were not a strength of the Swedish playwright August Strindberg. Unlike his forward-thinking contemporary Henrik Ibsen, the thrice-married Strindberg took an exceedingly dim view of the opposite sex — and you can see it in his work. With feminism resurgent, this would not appear to be his moment.
But the pair of Strindberg plays currently in previews at Classic Stage Company, in the East Village, don’t come directly from his pen. “Mies Julie” is Yael Farber’s muscular and moving 2012 adaptation of his drama “Miss Julie,” set in post-apartheid South Africa as a white landowner’s daughter and a black servant navigate their mutual attraction. “The Dance of Death” is Conor McPherson’s version, also from 2012 — refreshed and invigorated, yet still a portrait of a marriage as a decades-long joust through a hellscape.
Performed in repertory, the productions open on Feb. 10, with “Mies Julie” staged by Shariffa Ali and “The Dance of Death” by the Tony Award-winning actress turned director Victoria Clark. LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES
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