Khan Dance Company
Khan, the hot resident choreographer of London’s Royal Festival
Hall, brings his dance company to Jacob’s Pillow this weekend
to perform the American premiere of Kaash.
In Kaash (Hindi for “if”), Khan’s sleek, modern choreography
shows traces of his training in classical Indian dance.
Khan says Kaash was inspired by “Hindu Gods, black
holes, Indian time cycles, tablas, creation and destruction.”
Already, the work has gotten raves in the U.K. press: The
London Sunday Times’ Dave Dougill wrote that “[Khan]
and his four fellow dancers scythe and slice, spin and whirl
through this force field with breathtaking momentum.”
Like Khan’s choreography, Nitin Sawhney’s original score
combines traditional and contemporary elements by blending
instruments from world music and electronica. Sawhney has
written both classical music and songs for pop musicians
like Paul McCartney. Internationally acclaimed painter and
installation artist Anish Kapoor provides the stage design’s
hanging background of luminous color-field squares.
Akram Khan Dance Company will perform Kaash
at Jacob’s Pillow today (Thursday, Aug. 14) through Sunday
(Aug. 17) in the Doris Duke Studio Theater (358 George Carter
Road, Becket, Mass.). Performances are Thursday-Saturday
at 8:15 PM, with matinee performances on Saturday at 2:15
PM and Sunday at 5 PM. Tickets are $20. For more information
or tickets, call (413) 243-0745 or visit www.jacobspillow.org.
shows with impressive lineups are always something of a
mixed blessing: The shows for good causes often bring together
performers whom you’d not likely see all on one stage in
one evening, and that’s a big score for the music fan; but,
of course, as a benefit, there’s very likely a sad story
behind the whole affair. That is certainly the case with
Tired Skin: An Alejandro Escovedo Benefit, which will be
staged at Valentine’s on Saturday.
Escovedo is a legendary—if cultishly so—figure in American
music. As a member of the band Rank and File back in the
early ’80s, he was a pioneer of the form that would later
become known as No Depression. The magazine of the same
name, which still serves as the bible of the genre, named
Escovedo its performer of the decade in the ’90s, a testament
to the man’s ongoing relevance as an artist, both in later
bands and as a solo act. If you substitute for Lou Reed’s
urban, claustrophobic misanthropy a kind of heartbreaking
existential crisis under a big sky, you’ve got Escovedo.
Unfortunately, the kinship with Reed isn’t just metaphoric,
and like many artists of the pre-AIDS era, Escovedo led
a life on the road that was less cautious than was prudent.
The recklessness of Escovedo’s younger years caught up with
him, however, and he was recently diagnosed with Hepatitis
C. On April 26, after a show in Phoenix, Escovedo collapsed
and was hospitalized due to complications related to his
illness. Like many other artists and musicians, Escovedo
has no health insurance.
To help raise money to defray the expenses of the treatment
Escovedo must undergo, local musician Mike Eck (who got
to know Escovedo while working with him in a record store
in Austin, Texas) has organized this benefit, one of several
being staged around the country. Other area fans have eagerly
agreed to lend their talents, including Hamell on Trial
(who also became friendly with Escovedo during a stint in
Austin), Greg Haymes, Hayseed and Stephen Clair.
The Alejandro Escovedo Benefit will take place at Valentine’s
(17 New Scotland Ave., Albany) on Saturday (Aug. 16). Tickets
for the 8 PM show are $10, all proceeds go directly to Escovedo
through his management. For more information about the show,
432-6572. To make an additional contribution, www.alejandrofund.com.
Eden and Solo: Lisa
Center for Photography at Woodstock is opening two photo
exhibits this week. Managing Eden, curated by Kate
Menconeri and Ariel Shanbag, is a statement about the delicate
balance of the Earth and our environment, and about how
we need to address environmental issues and recognize that
there will be consequences if we don’t. This group show
looks at a variety of environmental concerns—everything
from genetically altered foods and pollution to animal habitat
management and natural disasters—and according to the curators,
provides viewers with an opportunity to consider their own
involvement with their environment. For example, Joann Brennan,
one of the featured artists, uses her images to examine
issues like the debate of intervention versus wildness (for
example, leaving the environment to its own natural reaction
to human presence or using human involvement to try and
a solo exhibition by Lisa Klapstock, is a collection of
work that uses knotholes in backyard fences to frame small
circles of the life beyond one’s own backyard. Her colorful
photos reflect the boundaries between private and public
space, and twist subjects of urbanity into art.
Both Managing Eden and Threshold will open
at the Center for Photography at Woodstock (59 Tinker St.,
Woodstock) on Saturday (Aug. 16) and will run through Oct.
12. There will be an artists’ reception on Saturday from
5 to 7 PM, and an artist’s talk with Lisa Klapstock at 5:30
PM. For more information, call (845) 679-9957 or visit the
center’s Web site at www.cpw.org.