An art exhibit by local artist Bernard Winter will grace the walls of the United Palace annex from October 13 – November 11. The exhibit combines work from three bodies of work: "Energy Series," "Drum Council," and "Portraits."
The opening reception is Saturday, October 18 from 3-6pm. Winter will also conduct an artist's talk Sunday, November 2 from 2:30–3:30pm. Both events are free.
About the Artist:
Bernard Winter has lived in Washington Heights in New York City since 1980. He studied art at the Cooper Union (BFA, 1980) and at Queens College (MFA 1982). His work is concerned chiefly with portraiture, landscape and with images based on spiritual themes.
We've been talking about "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" for over a year, even did a mini workshop of it in December 2013. But some folks still don't quite get what we mean when we say we are mashing up Tchaikovsky's music with hip hop dance.
This video gives you a pretty good idea of where we are heading. It's the emotion and joy of the music combined with the power and style of the dance. The two art forms - classical music and hip hop dance - marry perfectly, something that co-creator Jennifer Weber has been doing with Decadancetheatre Company for several years.
Today we auditioned 50 supremely talented dancers for the 10 available roles. The dancers - an all-star selection of the city's finest - were all terrific. It's going to be painful choosing just 10.
This clip is from a group trying out for the ensemble, mixing freestyle and choreographed movements. In the background you can hear the other dancers waiting their turn to audition cheering this group on. Throughout the day dancers hummed passages of the music backstage and in the dressing rooms. The music is so contagious.
After working on this dream for over a year it's incredible to catch a glimpse of the vision materializing.
Learn more about "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" at http://unitedpalace.org/hip-hop-nutcracker.
Like "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" the logo mashes up urban and classical styles, with graffiti and cursive treatments of the letters. The skyline is based on Washington Heights (can you identify the buildings?).
You'll start to see this logo appearing on all sorts of merchandise as we get closer to the December 7 show at the Palace and the December 5 & 6 performances at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Tickets for the Palace show go on sale later this month (NJPAC tickets are available at: http://www.njpac.org/events/detail/a-hip-hop-nutcracker. But you can get a jump on everyone else by joining the "Nutcracker Backers." It includes pre-sale orchestra level seats for $50 (with the option of getting a FREE child's ticket) and additional perks. Learn more at: http://unitedpalace.org/hip-hop-nutcracker/nutcracker-backers
The Los Angeles-based Rhythm Arts Alliance, a project of UPCA, has joined the consortium of arts programs called Arts for Incarcerated Youth, which over the summer provided a training day for parole officers, captured in a video.
For the training, Rhythm Arts Alliance (RAA) conducted workshops in Therapeutic Traditional West African Drumming for all 75 probation officers tasked to one of the five probation districts in L.A. County. The workshops were co-facilitated with the help of program alumni and formerly incarcerated youth who have made the transition from incarceration to leading productive and inspiring lives in their communities.
The United Palace of Cultural Arts is proud to present:
The UPCA Performing Arts Academy
Starting September 22, Monday - Friday, 4:30-6pm
- Hip Hop Dance (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays)
- Theatre (Mondays and Thursdays)
- Circus Arts (Mondays and Thursdays)
- West African Drumming (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays)
Space is limited.
Over the two years that UPCA has hosted youth orchestras, we have watched our students, and their families, fall in love with classical music.
Students in the Harmony Program rehearse at the Palace five days a week after school. The WHIN Music Project rehearses every Saturday afternoon for three hours. These students tell us they would rather play their instruments than their electronic devices.
Over the past couple of years we have hosted several classical music concerts with fellow nonprofit organizations, many of them from Northern Manhattan, that attract local residents as well as the families in our programs.
Based on the success of those past events we have created "The Crackalackin' Season of Classical Music" featuring at least 10 events from October through May.
We call it crackalackin' because that's urban slang for "what's happening" and "let's get going," which we believe describes the vital role classical music is playing in helping to build our audience in Washington Heights.
Sunday, November 9
4:30 doors; 5pm Concert
The New York Youth Symphony's 52nd season opens with "youthful fire" as the orchestra performs Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite." The concert will include Conrad Tao, The Roy and Shirley Durst Debut Artist, performing Rachmaninoff 's electric "Rhapsody on a Theme" by Paganini.
This is the first of three performances the New York Youth Symphony is scheduled to play at the Palace in 2014-2015.
UPCA may have seemed quiet over the summer with few scheduled events but we were busy planning the upcoming season.
The fall season includes three more titles in our Sunday afternoon "Classic NYC Movies" series hosted by Lin-Manuel Miranda and the launch of "The Crackalackin' Season of Classical Music at the Palace," offering concerts with a twist. Other highlights include a trio of what are becoming annual holiday events at the Palace: "The Halloween Hang with Gary Lucas," who will debut the world premiere of his score for the original "Frankenstein"; a screening of "It's a Wonderful Life" with an intro by Mary Owen, the actress Donna Reed's daughter; and the debut of UPCA's new production "The Hip Hop Nutcracker of Washington Heights," which mashes up Tchaikovsky's classic score, hip hop dance, and a contemporary telling of the story.
Hope to see you at the Palace.
- "Peter and the Wolf" and other family selections
- Gary Lucas performs the world premiere of his new score for "Frankenstein"
- Opening Night of the 6th annual KidCinemaFest Film Festival in New York
- PAST EVENT-"Guys and Dolls" w/ Lin-Manuel Miranda
- PAST EVENT-"The Fisher King" w/ Lin-Manuel Miranda
- "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" with special guest MC Kurtis Blow
- Become a "Nutcracker Backer" to support UPCA's new holiday show
- UPCA sister program offers drumming for parole officers in LA
- See you in September!