Mátyási’s Magnificent Mountains

Europe’s Alps have always been revered as one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders, and painter Péter Mátyási’s representation of them showing at the Molnár Ani Galéria in Budapest is sure to fire up even more amazement. The everyday household materials he used to create the seven pieces shown in his exhibit, “Wunderwelt,” are practically tantamount to a minor mountain climbing challenge. Using only masking tape, electrical tape, plexi-glass film, a few lightbulbs, and … Continue reading

Lang Lang Leaps from Languorous to Lounge

Pianist Lang Lang, the wunderkind now in the prime of his global career, enjoyed a sold-out house at MÜPA’s Béla Bartók Hall on Nov. 14, where he played a solo recital that pretty much rang true to the scuttlebutt bandied about him for years. Episodes of serious artistry were mixed with a somewhat alarming penchant for the kind of histrionics which harken back to the likes of Daniel Helfgott, if not Harpo Marx. First the … Continue reading

New-Music Riches with Reich and Reiter

In Vienna and New York, concert halls were enriched with the sounds of some of the West’s best new music by two living composers, Steve Reich and Eva Reiter. Of different generations, the former has established a distinct and important identity within the legacy of the 20th and 21st centuries, and the latter has found a compelling new personal language. Viennese composer Eva Reiter enjoyed a spectacular day in the spotlight in her hometown on … Continue reading

C!RCA – What Will Have Been

Circa is Australia’s leading contemporary circus, and under director Yaron Lifschitz, their award-winning works have been seen in 34 countries across six continents. They are currently touring three different shows across Europe and after last night’s terrific What Will Have Been, at Trafo, I wish I could see them all. Early on we are treated to a stunning display of vertical rope work by Lauren Herley, whose contortionist skills were on full display. Whether leaping from the top of the … Continue reading

Expect the Unexpected with Jérôme Bel 

French choreographer Jérôme Bel’s “The Show Must Go On,” a dance-theatre vehicle that’s been touring the world for years (I saw it in Istanbul in 2013), came to New York’s JOYCE Theatre on Oct 20-22, as part of the French Institute / Alliance Française (FIAF) “Crossing the Line Festival.” In some ways, Bel’s conceit actually did cross the line: while it challenged audience expectations with clever and unpredictable devices, it also, to a certain degree, … Continue reading

Will There Still Be Singing? A Hanns Eisler Cabaret

At a time in history when the subject of the day is exile, American soprano Karyn Levitt has chosen a worthy example to build a one-woman cabaret show around. On October 15, in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Room, she presented her musical valentine for Hanns Eisler, the Astro-German composer who was a contemporary of Kurt Weill. With her colleagues pianist Eric Ostling, accordionist William Schimmel, and guitarist Ira Siegel, Levitt sang a collection of Eisler’s art and theatre … Continue reading

Manifesto

Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto is no ordinary gallery experience, by any stretch. I saw it on a friend’s recommendation, on a short trip to Berlin. Berlin being, well, Berlin, the trip was a frantic whirlwind of awesome, so the gallery visit was squeezed into the final day. From the moment of entry, it became apparent that trying to rush this one was a HUGE MISTAKE. Entering through black curtains into a completely dark room, a large screen shows a … Continue reading

Infinita

The enchanting, joyful, Infinita by Berlin based, Familie Flöz provided another dose of cultural delight, courtesy of the Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival. Infinita is about the beginning and end of things. A puzzle of life and death in which the first struggles of a baby and scenes from childhood, are interwoven with moments from the end of life. The play debuted in 2006, and ten years of performance and stellar reviews prove that the story is timeless. Not an evening to dally over a pre-show … Continue reading

The Birth of Color

Making it’s world premiere, the Birth of Color at the Kiscelli Museum, is a must see event at this years Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival. A long time fan of choral music, this promised something new, a Frequency Opera; music developed specifically in the frequency ranges associated with different colors. More than this, the choir and music surrounding a centrally seated audience, would deliver a frequency field that we would, as promised by creator Honora Foah, experience in … Continue reading

Peaky Blinders – Art on the Small Screen

Why on earth would I review a television show in an arts review journal? Put simply BBC Two’s Peaky Blinders is as close as it’s possible to get to a truly artistic experience on television.  If you don’t believe me, here’s a quick search of Google Image. I maintain that you’d pay money to see a photographic exhibition of this quality. The composition of every shot is considered, the lighting reminiscent of a recent wander through the Rijksmuseum. OK that … Continue reading