Not Nutcracker: Thelonious Monk, Peter Martins

Point One: Yes, Virginia, you can see dance without the sugarplum fairy in December. Here’s a chance to see a free, on-the-edge dance-jazz-performance event. Thomas de Frantz, a professor at Duke University, focuses in his academic life on  how African Americans use their bodies to perform various identities: gender, regional location, sexual identities, race and class, among others


On Sunday, December 2, 7 p.m., in Princeton University’s Hagan Dance Studio, he will perform ‘Monk’s Mood: a Performance Meditation on the Life and Music of Theolonious Monk,’  “as a wordless, danced, biography of the late jazz musician and composer,” quoting the press release. “Presented with Eto Oro, this multimedia performance is created with Miditron and Isadora technology, and utilizes random images and songs to create a spontaneous improvisation, or live choreography at its very best.” 


Please note that the Hagan studio is usually light on production values. Just the basics. That’s a drawback that the new Lewis Center will fix.

For a short example, click here 

 Point Two: When watching Leslie Stahl’s profile of Peter Martins on Sunday, I was awash in nostalgia. Who else remembers Peter Martins of 25 years ago, tall-blonde-and-gorgeous, presiding royally at Scanticon (now the Forrestal Marriott). Scanticon — owned and founded by a Dane — had just opened, and the then Danish Prince of Ballet had just finished a guest Nutcracker gig with the young company Princeton Ballet. If I remember correctly, he partnered the young Heather Watts. Everyone, including me, was agog. 


Scanticon did itself proud with such luxurious goodies as salmon flown in that day from Copenhagen. Nice memories — and they still echo when I walk in the door of the still-cozy Forrestal Marriott. And here is an extra-yummy look at New York City Ballet, a master class.  

Belpw,  some other Not Nutcracker opportunities. This list was cadged from http://www.princetoninfo.com, the website for U.S. 1 Newspaper.Just go to the site and it will cough up all the dance events.


(11/30/2012 – Dance), Dance Plus FallMason Gross School of the Arts, Mastrobuono Theater, 85 George Street, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511
7:30 p.m., Works by Robert Battle, Julie Bour, Patrick Corbin, and faculty members. $25.,www.masongross.rutgers.edu

(12/01/2012 – Dance), FleetPrinceton University, McCarter Theater (Berlind), 609-258-1500
2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Guest and student choreography. $15., www.princeton.edu

(12/01/2012 – Dance), Dance Plus FallMason Gross School of the Arts, Mastrobuono Theater, 85 George Street, New Brunswick, 732-932-7511

7:30 p.m., Works by Robert Battle, Julie Bour, Patrick Corbin, and faculty members. $25.,www.masongross.rutgers.edu

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