5 things to do this weekend

Flying Lotus’ headlining performance at Carnegie Hall marks a new level of mainstream acclaim for a beatmaker who’s crossed the Los Angeles hip-hop underground. It’s a career first, but not a family first: FlyLo (real name Steven Ellison) is, after all, the great-nephew of John and Alice Coltrane.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, Ellison takes the stage at Manhattan’s First Concert Hall as part of a month-long series celebrating Afrofutrism, a broad movement that anticipates futures shaped by black thought and cultural production. Her inclusion in the lineup reflects her position as the new torchbearer for a genre her great-aunt helped launch.

Ellison’s oeuvre extends beyond the restless, cosmic electronic compositions that made him famous. His recent work in television and film demonstrates his interest in world-building, and in concert he seeks to impress visually and sonically. Tickets for what is bound to be an immersive multimedia show start at $17.50 and are available at carnegiehall.org.

For its seventh edition, the Women in Theater Festival gave the following instructions to the five female playwrights it commissioned: Create a two-handed performance that an audience could enjoy in person and online.

Unfortunately, this year’s in-person performances were canceled due to the spread of the Omicron variant, but thanks to the festival’s directive to produce hybrid pieces, its lineup could seamlessly transition to a virtual setting – from “Rigged by Georgina Escobar and Kaaron Briscoe’s “#GirlPowerHour,” which features ordinary people seeking connection through digital media, to Amina Henry’s “Blackbox,” in which two actors must remember how to be safe again. scene. Eliza Bent’s “Serving Memory” examines how forgetting can feel like medicine. And in Erin Mallon’s moving “Middle C,” a piano teacher comes to terms with everything she’s learned of his favorite student.

These short works, as well as a series of monologues, will be available on demand until March 18; go to eventcombo.com and search for “Women in Theater Festival 2022”. Streaming passes, which cost $25, grant one-week access.

Classical music

If you’re still worried about attending the few in-person classical concerts that haven’t been postponed, tuning into the live streams can be an invaluable workaround. Even so, you may feel like you’re missing a key feature of the live experience. One way to mitigate this disconnect is to venture into the realm of acousmatic composition – since these performances use loudspeakers rather than live instruments.

One of the leading composers on the contemporary acousmatic scene is Natasha Barrett, whose works I enjoyed at Empac, an experimental performing arts center in Troy, NY. His latest full-length recording, “Heterotopia” (after Foucault), is a headphone-listening extravaganza and gives an exciting insight into his talent with immersive, surround sound designs. “Speaking Spaces No. 1” may first appear as a field recording of a nature walk – complete with birdsong and peak percussion rolls – until the piece seems to wander in an industrial landscape. The album, currently available for download on Bandcamp, offers exquisite musique concrete.

To dance

Seattle-based choreographer Donald Byrd has always created dances that focus on history: they respond to the past and document the present to confront the future. Among them is 2019’s “Strange Fruit,” which takes its name from the haunting protest poem that Abel Meeropol wrote in 1937 and turned into a song that Billie Holiday recorded in 1939 and performed memorably throughout. his career. Drawing on the music, the dance delves into the oft-overlooked history of lynchings in America while connecting them to modern racial terrorism; it is a rare work that belongs to the genre of horror.

Byrd’s company, Spectrum Dance Theater, will perform the piece this weekend at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University in New Jersey as part of the Peak Performances series. The dance lasts 40 minutes and is followed by a 30 minute discussion – Byrd considers community treatment an integral part of the production. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $50 and available at peakperfs.org.


You don’t have to be a French speaker – or even a Francophile – to enjoy the French Institute Alliance Française winter festival. It helps, however, to love animated films.

They’re the subject of Animation First, which runs Friday through Sunday in person at the institute’s headquarters in Manhattan, then online — with a vastly different roster — Monday through February 21.

Teen moviegoers will likely be drawn to opening night feature ‘The Crossing’, about two young people migrating through a menacing, war-torn landscape, as well as titles like ‘The Tower’ (online only), which focuses on an 11-year-old Palestinian refugee.

Much younger viewers also have options, such as “Dragon Princess” (Saturday), about a girl raised by the fire-breathing creatures, and “Wonderful Wacky Wolves,” a fur-filled streaming shorts program. (The full schedule is online.)

A full festival pass costs $80 to $120; an online pass only, $25. Tickets for individual in-person programs range from $10 to $25, and some are free, including panel discussions and Sunday’s closing feature, “The Summit of the Gods,” a teen-friendly mountaineering anthem .

James C. Tibbs