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Langrishe, Go Down

How is it that a nearly 25-year-old British television film is just getting an American theatrical release? To put it another way, how is it that Langrishe, Go Down, adopted from a novel by Aiden Higgins by that lion of British theater and cinema, Harold Pinter, did not make it to these shores in the first place?

Part of the answer—to both questions—is related to the film’s stars, Judi Dench and Jeremy Irons. Unknown to U.S. audiences in 1978, Irons was a couple of years away from his breakthrough, and Dench was 15 years away from ascending to her current status as a perennial Oscar favorite. Unbankable then, art-house gold now. Another explanation? Moviegoing habits were changing in the late ’70s: Foreign films were less likely to get a distributor, even with the impeccable Pinter pedigree. Pinter himself didn’t get another of his own projects to these shores until 1983—Betrayal, also directed by Langrishe’s David Jones, which starred an Oscar-hot Ben Kingsley and Irons, fresh from the success of Brideshead Revisited.

As for the lack of a PBS showing, the film may have been a bit too erotic for public TV. Langrishe tells the story of a torrid affair between Otto (Irons), a poor German student, and Imogen (Dench), one of three unmarried, middle-aged sisters living on a moldering estate in the Irish countryside in 1937. The sisters are perpetually at cross-purposes, with decades-old grudges to maintain; the student is heedless and pretentiously overbearing. At any moment, the sisters may lose their home to the taxman. Dench and Irons have earned stellar, if belated, reviews for their work, as has Annette Crosbie for her portrayal of the most profoundly frustrated of the sisters. As per Pinter’s style, the dialogue is oblique but the mood is sharply delineated. As Paul Schrader was quoted in the film’s New York Times review, “Pinter’s characters are always saying one thing and meaning another.” Look for the writer himself in a small role as a drunken Dublin bore.

Langrishe, Go Down will be screened Friday (Nov. 1) at 7 PM, Saturday (Nov. 2) at 8 PM, Sunday (Nov. 3) at 7 PM, and Nov. 7 through Nov. 9 at 7 PM, at Time & Space Limited (434 Columbia St., Hudson). Tickets are $7, $5 members. For more information, call 822-8448.

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

The season-opening concert of the Troy Chromatic series promises fans of classical music both a taste of tradition and a generous sample of innovation by hosting the renowned Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at the Troy City Savings Bank Music Hall on Sunday.

Simply by attending a Troy Chromatic concert, audience members participate in a tradition that dates back to the late 19th century. The first subscription season of the Troy Chromatic Club—an organization of local musicians and aficionados previously hosting performances in private residences and small halls—opened in November 1894, at the Young Women’s Association Hall at 33 Second St. As audience size increased, a number of different venues were employed. And as larger spaces became available, bigger names were enlisted to perform: Koussevitzky, Paderewski, Efram Zimbalist, Marian Anderson, Mario Lanza and Leontyne Pryce all performed under the auspices of the organization. And still, a century later, the big names gather: Recent performances by Pinchas Zuckerman, Yo-Yo Ma, the Waverly Consort, Kathleen Battle and a host of eminent classical musicians have maintained and bolstered the international reputation of the series.

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra fits in that tradition nicely; but we’ll stop short of calling it traditional. The orchestra is singular in that it performs works without a conductor, relying on the (now registered) Orpheus Process of “democratic artistic collaboration” to “infuse orchestral repertoire with chamber music principles.” Lest you make the mistake of thinking this is just the classical equivalent of a novelty hit, be informed that this revolutionary process has been the subject of research by a Harvard professor of social and organizational psychology, the results of which will soon be published by the Harvard School of Government. (The orchestra has also been the subject of a documentary film by Academy Award-winning director Allan Miller, Orpheus in the Real World)

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will perform at the Troy City Savings Bank Music Hall (7 State St., Troy) on Sunday (Nov. 3). Tickets for the 4 PM performance are $32 and $28. For more information, 273-0038.

Brave New Dances

As eba gears up to celebrate its 30th anniversary, the crew over at the dance studio has been concocting its annual collection of original works called Brave New Dances, presented by Maude Baum and Company. Baum, the artistic director at eba, has coordinated a program of works by both new and experienced choreographers.

The show will include an assemblage of four solos created by Baum, based on different “faces of Eve,” representing images of womankind as they have been contorted in choreography, media, film, etc., accompanied by the music of Nino Rota.

A community celebration dance for eba’s 30th anniversary is also being created by Baum. Anyone who has been involved with eba over the years is invited to participate in a fun, easy-to-learn dance.

Eba faculty member Deb Rutledge and Sarah Schmidt, who performed in the company’s Spring Salon Concert, have teamed up to co-choreograph an as-yet secret dance, and another faculty member, Carla Domenico, has choreographed her first work for Brave New Dances. Domenico’s work is based on hiphop style, infused with hints of jazz and modern dance. Longtime company member Vanessa Paige-Swanson, will present three works, one of which is based on her personal experience after Sept. 11, called Feed the Birds. Baum will perform the solo.

Brave New Dances will be held this weekend (Saturday, Nov. 2, at 8 PM and Sunday, Nov. 3, at 4:30 PM) and next weekend (Friday, Nov. 8, at 8 PM and Saturday, Nov. 9, at 8 PM) at the eba Theatre, Lark Street and Hudson Avenue, Albany. Tickets for all performances will be $7 adults, $5 seniors and students. For reservations, call 465-9916.

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