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Things to do in NYC in the off season

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I'm not sure where to post this because it's not really about any specific ballet company, and a search under "new york city performances" turned up 7,000 posts...

I'm going to be in NYC next week (Weds Sept 1-Sat Sept 4) and, well, how can one visit the dance mecca of North America and not do something dance-related? However, it looks like neither NYCB nor ABT are performing (so much for cheap student tickets, darn). Dance Theater of Harlem's schedule doesn't go beyond July.

1. Does anyone know of any performances during that time? Ballet preferably, but I love modern/contemporary too. (Ok, even broadway... I've heard "Movin' Out" is good?)

2. Are there any special exhibits or anything like that? I know the public library has lots of videos and things, but I don't know if watching all the Balanchine I can get my hands on is the best use of such a short visit.

3. Is there anything else in particular you'd recommend doing in NYC? (I'll be shopping at Capezio of course and maybe taking class somewhere, but my family doesn't like dance). Aside from the obvious touristy statue of liberty and times square, which we saw briefly before.

I'm sure there have been tons of posts like this before, so if someone could point me in the right direction (such as better keywords for searching) that would be great! Also, I remember seeing a locked thread a while ago about "this week in NYC" which listed events (not just links)? It got updated regularly. Maybe written by Ari? I can't find it anymore.


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Good question, and I'm sure some Natives will chime in to give you tips. We did have a "What's On in New York" thread; Leigh Witchel compiled it. We stopped it when I started DanceView Times, because it has a calendar:

What's On This Week

The info for that weekend isn't up yet (and I don't know what's going on, as I don't compile the calendar) but check back in a few days.

Also on DanceView Times there's a full season calendar for each of the cities we cover. I scanned the listings and didn't see much going on, but there are some things New York calendar

There is a big exhibit devoted to Margot Fonteyn that's just about to close, so that may be something you'd want to see.

Here's a link to another calendar -- http://www.dancenyc.org/dance.asp Only one listing for the time you'll be there (aside from the Fonteyn exhibit), and that's an experimental program at Dance Theatre Workshop -- very much part of checking out the dance scene in NY City.

Have a great time, Tigger, and be sure to let us know what you saw!

Now, New Yorkers, any tips, please!

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Oh Lordy, Tigger. It's the Republican Convention here during those days (but it ends the 2nd) and a lot of people are just leaving town in droves. It's a very quiet week for performances, but Broadway should be functioning. Try playbill.com for discount tickets.

Things to do? How about some amazing museums? When I have a visitor, I always take them to the Frick Collection on 70th & 5th - It is a gem of a museum and small enough to see the whole thing. There are three unforgettable Vermeers out of about 65 extant.

Food. With no offense to Toronto, a city I do love, NYC has much better Asian food (from my meals at least!) Good ethnic food that's reasonably priced can be found all along Ninth Avenue from around 46-58th Street.

If I can answer anything specific, just let me know, and have a great time. NY is home to me, like my friends who welcome me to TO, it's a point of pride to me to help people find the city that I love.

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Thanks for those calendars, Alexandra. They're exactly what I'm looking for. I don't know about that experimental program, hmm...maybe... but I'll definitely look into that exhibit, NextStage.

Republican Convention? Horror of horrors. (Reminder to self: read newspaper before planning trips.)

I have a question about museums, actually. Do they accept (Canadian) university student cards as proof of student status? Or ISIC (international student identity cards) ? Another thought--are there still any bookstores that specialize in dance? I remember reading about one that went out of business last year.

Food, yes, that would be a good idea. With that sort of statement I just have to see if NYC has any decent Asian food, lol. Leigh, have you ever tried the Chinese restaurants in Scarborough and Richmond Hill?

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Oh, Tigger, I'd forgotten about the Republican Convention. Thursday is the last night, though, I think. But until that's over, STAY AWAY FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDENS. (That's where the convention is being held.) I've been to conventions (not Republican ones) in the past, and I remember feeling that the city had been taken over by the delegates and others working with the convention. Lots of extra people in town hitting the restaurants within walking distance of the Gardens. This time, there are a lot of protestors, too, so the city will be full, even if the New Yorkers are fleeing :D

It will be an experience! Our calendar is up now, and aside from the experimental piece I mentioned -- DANNY SIMMONS PRESENTS: Young Voices of Protest at DTW -- the only other performance we could find was of a Spanish dancer, Pilar Rioja, so unfortunately you're hitting New York at a ..... very special time! Maybe it would be good to go to the Performing Arts Library and check out some videos. If you're going to do this, go in your first day there and ask for the current ground rules -- last time I went videowatching, you had to sign up for a specific time block, and I believe it was only a half-hour. So it's best to go in knowing exactly what you want to watch, so you don't waste any of that half-hour.

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Go see HAIRSPRAY! True, there's very little in terms of technically demanding "concert dance" or ballet, but there's tons of refreshing and energetic dancing in there nonetheless. At the very least, it reminds you that even in its simplest forms, dance can invigorate and energize an audience. The choreography is mostly very clever 60s-ish pop dancing, but its still very fun. And of course, the rest of the stuff - the music, the singing, the plot - is great as well.

Movin' Out will definetly satisfy your hunger for dance, too. It's basically a full-evening ballet by Twyla Tharp - no talking, just singing from an onstage band that happens to be singing Billy Joel songs. It's being marketed as a full scale Broadway musical (and I can't blame the producers for doing that, since "musicals" seem to sell better to the Broadway crowd than "ballet by Twyla Tharp"), but in reality its just a full evening ballet. There are some excellent dancers in the cast, and if you were looking for ABT, Ashley Tuttle is starring in the main balletic role of this show. The choreography has its very good moments, and the whole package does come together quite nicely, so I would most definetly recommend Movin' Out for dance.

Broadway is reportedly having a slow week thanks to the Republican National Convention, so I'd definetly say try and get some tickets to both shows. Both are hot shows, but since this week is (reportedly) slow, go for it! Also, check www.broadwaybox.com - sometimes discounts are available for major shows.

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I'm back!

There wasn't much dance to see, after all. I saw the Fonteyn exhibit--small, but very nice. There were short video clips of her at the barre (and talking), Romeo and Juliet, etc, lots of pictures and clippings, and actual costumes and evening wear. One of the more interesting pictures was a series of twelve photos showing mime. I got an access card but didn't have time to watch anything.

Movin' out was too expensive, sadly, but at least Hairspray is playing up here.

I also took two (ballet) classes, and one of them had a most amazing accompanist! He played concert-worthy repertoire!

I had dinner on Mott St. It was the worst Chinese food I've ever eaten, so bad in fact that I'm sure it was an anomaly. (That it was half-empty should have been a clue).

The Frick was nice. I particularly liked the muted pinks and greys of the Whistlers ("Mme Meux was actually chubbier than Whistler depicted..." says the audio guide), and the gorgeous Vermeers of course. There's even a ballet connection: a Degas (called The Rehearsal, I think?) with three ballerinas looking like "puppets on strings" and a violinist looking "wonderfully pathetic," according to the audio guide.

I was staying right across from Madison Square Gardens, and boy was it crowded. It was kind of neat seeing just how many police there are in NYC.

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