The New Amsterdam Singers (NAS), led by Music Director, Clara Longstreth, will perform Song and Dance: Circles, Sets, and Cycles, a program featuring choral cycles by Debussy and Ravel in collaboration with Nimbus Dance Works and its choreographer Samuel Pott, Wednesday May 27, 2009, at 8:00 p.m. at the Riverside Theatre. The program also features music with roots in dance, such as Verano Porteno by Astor Piazzolla, Country Dances by Ward Swingle, and Ricky Ian Gordon's Three by Langston.
Ralph Vaughan Williams's late work, Three Shakespeare Songs, uses texts from "The Tempest" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The texts of Debussy's Trois Chansons are poems by the 15th-century poet, Charles d'Orleans, while Ravel's Trois Chansons utilize his own texts. Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály uses Hungarian folk songs for his suite Matra Pictures. American composers Hale Smith and Mack Wilberg use folk or folk-like material for their a cappella works, I'm Coming Home and I'm Going Away.
Verano Porteno is one of a set of four pieces written by Piazzolla for the piano on the seasons of the year in Argentina. The composer/conductor Oscar Escalada has arranged the work for chorus, using nonsense syllables. Like much of Piazzolla's work, it is strongly influenced by the tango.
New Amsterdam Singers
Founded in 1968 by Clara Longstreth, the New Amsterdam Singers is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this season.
A March 2004 issue of The New Yorker called Ms. Longstreth "one of the more imaginative choral programmers around" and the New Amsterdam Singers "a superb amateur group." The chorus has performed with the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein; American Russian Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and at Tanglewood's Ozawa Hall under Leon Botstein; Concordia Orchestra and Anonymous Four in Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light with Marin Alsop at Avery Fisher Hall; and with the Limón Dance Company in Kodály's Missa Brevis.
Nimbus Dance Works
Founded in 2005 by Artistic Director Samuel Pott, Nimbus Dance Works focuses its work on the intersection between high-level concert dance and innovative ways of involving communities and audiences, presenting dance that is not only exciting and inspiring from a performance perspective, but also relevant and engaging for a broad spectrum of people. The company regularly performs with live musicians and collaborates with theater companies, costume designers, and artists. Notable collaborations include work with Blue Note Jazz Artist Aaron Parks, notable New Jersey artists A.R. Wilkinson and Monica Broz, New York City-based chorus the New Amsterdam Singers, composer Judd Greenstein, and Con Vivo Chamber Music Group. In addition to its work in its home base of Jersey City, Nimbus has presented performances and programs throughout New Jersey, and in Maine, Boston, and New York City.
Tickets are $20, $15 seniors, and $10 students and may be purchased by calling The Riverside Theatre box office at 212-870-6784, or online at www.NASingers.org.
New Amsterdam Singers with Nimbus Dance Works
Song and Dance: Circles, Sets, and Cycles
The Riverside Theatre, 91 Claremont Avenue (at West 120th Street)
Wednesday, May 27, 2009, at 8 p.m.
Claude Debussy Trois Chansons
Ricky Ian Gordon Three by Langston
Zoltán Kodály Matra Pictures
Astor Piazzolla Verano porteño
Maurice Ravel Trois Chansons
Hale Smith I'm Coming Home
Ward Swingle, arr. Country Dances
Ralph Vaughan Williams Three Shakespeare Songs
Mack Wilberg, arr. N. Carolina folk song I'm Goin' Away