Just Do Art!


Compiled by Scott Stiffler


It seems like a very long time indeed since the gleaming blades wielded by Samurai Sword Soul’s precise and intense cast graced the stage in a full-length production. When last we saw them — in the 2009 FringeNYC production “Scattered Lives” — Samurai Sword was slicing and dicing their way through an epic tale, well-served by their trademark minimalist technique (lots of blood and gore and death and mayhem, all done without the use of actual buckets of red stuff). Primal screams let loose in the heat of battle — and blades that generated a furious sound even though they weren’t made of metal — gave a literal kick to the proceedings.

Now, writer, director and fight choreographer Yoshihisa Kuwayama has cooked up what promises to be another relentless, imaginative series of violent encounters punctuated by moments of somber reflection. That reflection takes place 400 years ago in Japan, and comes in the form of a Samurai family baffled by rapidly changing times.

“Gekiryu: When the torrent takes their lives” happens Thurs.-Sat., Jan. 20-22, at 7:30pm and Sun., Jan. 23 at 3pm. At Dance New Amsterdam (DNA), 280 Broadway, 2nd floor (entrance on Chambers St.). Tickets are $18 in advance, $23 at the door. For reservations, call 212-625-8369 or visit dnadance.org. Also visit samuraiswordsoul.com.


This new dance piece, created by choreographer Sarah Michelson, is performed by the New York City Players and Michelson’s own dance corps. “Players,” by the way, is the theater company of director and playwright Richard Maxwell. “Devotion” was inspired by a story of Maxwell’s. Jan. 13-15 and 19-22, 8pm, at The Kitchen (512 W. 19th St. btw. 10th and 11th Ave.). For tickets ($15), call 212-255-5793 ext. 11. Visit thekitchen.org and nycplayers.org.


“Sosomuch” is a solo exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by NYC resident Carol Peligian. It continues Peligian’s “alchemical seduction” of materials which include aluminum, oil, enamel and latex. Rather than conjuring gold from lesser elements, Peligian’s use of organic and manufactured materials in service of the aforementioned alchemy seeks to create for the viewer an altered state existing somewhere between atmosphere and stratosphere. Through Feb. 12. At DEAN PROJECT. Hours: Tue.-Sat., 11am-6pm. At 511 West 25th St., Room 207. For info, call 212-229-2017 or visit deanproject.com.


As part of their 25th season, North River Music presents J.D. Parran, Kevin Norton and Peter Zummo — known on the street, and elsewhere we suppose, as “Ensemble Helacious.” They’ll be premiering “Untitled Number Nine.” Meant to express the artists’ connection to an eternal spirit, it’s a study in the generation, propagation and emotional reception of sound. Also scheduled to be performed is “MC 5” — inspired by the musical spirit of the legendary Detroit-based rock band of the same name. Thurs., Jan. 20, 8pm, at Renee Weiler Concert Hall, Greenwich House Music School (46 Barrow St/ btw. Bedford St. & 7th Ave. S). Purchase tickets at the door ($15; $10 students/seniors). For info, call 212-242-4770 or visit greenwichhouse.org.


The Housing Works mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through advocacy and the provision of lifesaving services. Proceeds from their Cafe and Thrift Shops pay for that mission.

Thrift Shop locations: Soho (130 Crosby St. — 646-786-1200); Tribeca (119 Chambers St. btw. W. Broadway & Church — 212-732-0584); Chelsea (143 West 17th St. — 718-838-5050); West Village (245 W. 10th St. — 212-352-1618).

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is located at 126 Crosby St. For general info, call 212-966-0466 or visit housingworksbookstore.org. For the Bookstore Cafe (open M-F, 10am-9pm & Sat/Sun, 10am-5pm), call 212-334-3324.

Upcoming Bookstore Events: On Jan. 17, MLK Day is celebrated with a 30% Off Sale.

Tues., Jan. 18, 7pm (free): Catchafire Presents “A Salon on Giving: How the Web is Advancing Service and Philanthropy.” Thurs., Jan. 20, 7pm ($8): The Moth StorySLAM! makes its 2011 debut, with the theme of “Romance.” 10 stories, 3 teams of judges, 1 winner.

Fri., Jan. 21, 7pm (free): Electric Literature Presents J. Robert Lennon, Ben Greenman and Lynne Tillman — plus short films by Carson Mell films…and a DJ! Thurs./Fri./Sat. (Jan. 21/22/23): All day long, a Children’s Book Sale (30% off hardcovers. Paperbacks for $1).