Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2015
As its name implies, the Moroccan Court Music Series has traditionally taken place in the Met's Patti Cadby Birch Court, and has showcased the talents of musicians and vocalists as they perform music from the Middle East and South Asia. The performance on September 18 not only took place in a new space (gallery 463, devoted to the art of Mughal South Asia), but also introduced a new art form to the series: dance. In this performance, Astad Deboo, a pioneer of contemporary Indian dance, collaborated with New York–based musician Yukio Tsuji to present the world premiere of Eternal Embrace. The piece, inspired by the work of Sufi poet Hazrat Bulleh Shah, was choreographed specifically for this gallery concert. While the event was in its early planning stages, I sat down with Astad and Yukio to gain some insight into their work both as individual performers and as artistic collaborators.
Posted: Tuesday, July 28, 2015
As Sultans of Deccan India, 1500–1700: Opulence and Fantasy came to a close this past weekend, I I took some time to examine a genre of paintings that has particular resonance for me and my work at the Met: ragamala paintings. Translated as "garland of ragas," ragamala paintings represent a fusion of music, poetry, and painting, providing one of the most compelling examples of the interconnectedness of art forms in the Deccan. Particularly at the Met, these works get to the essence of what we hope to do in our public programming: create an experience for visitors that generates connections between the visual, performing, and literary arts.
Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2015
While growing up, I often visited the Astor Chinese Garden Court as a way of wrapping up my days at the Met. The gallery's cool light and water provided a setting for me to wind down and reflect on what was always a stimulating, art-filled itinerary. Now as a staff member in the Museum's Department of Islamic Art, I was reminded of those early visits the first time I entered the Patti Cadby Birch Court, in 2011. Though much smaller than the Astor Court, the gallery's light and water stirred that same sense of tranquility in me.
Posted: Friday, July 25, 2014
Met Museum Presents begins its third season in September, which will bring an array of dazzling site-specific, gallery-based performances to the Museum. Filling the Met's spaces with music, dance, opera, and theater, world-class performers will continue our mission of creating exciting programs for the Museum and its collection, allowing audiences an unparalleled experience.
Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014
For arts institutions, engaging the younger demographic seems to be on everyone's mind. All eyes are on the twenty-somethings, and while those capricious millennials are important, it's the kids—the seven- to sixteen-year-olds seated next to their parents, still curious and open-minded—who are truly the ones with the potential to become loyal and life-long art fans.
Posted: Friday, June 27, 2014
There's a corner you turn in the Egyptian Wing of the Metropolitan Museum where the labyrinth of galleries suddenly opens up into a staggering vista of The Temple of Dendur. Though I now always know what I'm about to see, turning that corner is still a powerful experience. Walking into Alarm Will Sound's first rehearsal for I Was Here I Was I at the Temple, I was struck by what an incredible thing it is to be creating art at the Met. We created I Was Here I Was I expressly for The Temple of Dendur, using it not only as venue, but as subject.
Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014
When Kate Soper's adventurous score for I Was Here I Was I fills The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing on June 20, the gallery itself will be at the center of the performance. The Temple of Dendur has long been an unrivaled venue for concerts, but for this dramatic and unprecedented finale to Alarm Will Sound's yearlong residency, the Temple will be the principal character in a story that spans two millennia and three different storylines.
Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014
"Feel the World Stand Still"
This phrase is currently emblazoned on subway ads across New York City promoting the Arvo Pärt Project at St. Vladimir's Seminary, which will bring the Estonian composer to New York for the first time since 1984. While this kind of dramatic hyperbole often surrounds any discourse regarding Pärt's music—"mystical," "heavenly," "timeless" are frequently used—the overwhelming acceptance of his work is a rare occurrence in the landscape of contemporary concert performance. His is a music that seamlessly bridges the gap between the modern and the ancient, minimalism and Gregorian chant, making the comparisons often cited between Pärt's music and that of both Phillip Glass and Josquin dez Prez the equivalent of an artist being equally heralded alongside Rothko and Caravaggio.
Posted: Friday, May 23, 2014
The opera Gloria—A Pig Tale, which will run for three performances at the Met between May 29 and June 1, is a wicked twist on the classic fairy tale—featuring a heroine pig, an unlikely (and wild) knight in shining armor, and a prince with an ulterior motive.
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium stage will be inventively converted into a farm where the story can unfold in true operatic style, with rich, multilayered sets, a vaudevillian and dynamic score composed by HK Gruber, and unforgettable costumes. Designed by Doug Fitch of Giants Are Small and presented as part of the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL, Gloria will be brought to life with incredible detail in an unprecedented transformation of the Met's main stage.
Posted: Tuesday, April 29, 2014
This morning, Director Thomas P. Campbell announced the 2014–15 season of performances and talks at the Met programmed by Concerts and Lectures General Manager, Limor Tomer. The third year of Met Museum Presents programming by Tomer, this new season will include groundbreaking commissions, New York premieres, and adventurous performances in iconic galleries—something our audiences have come to expect at the Met. A thrilling "new normal."