Martha Graham Dance Company has dazzled for decades. The troupe was founded by the eponymous choreographer and performer whose global impact was so great that she was the first dancer ever to win a Presidential Medal of Freedom.
This month, the ensemble will present for the first time ever at Queens Theatre as part of a jam-packed recently announced season that features various presentations by dance troupes, as well as comedy, Shakespeare by local company Titan Theater, children’s specials and magic. More dance info and images on the jump page.
Nothing says “welcome” like fluorescent orange and pink. For the next year, visitors to the New York Hall of Science will walk into Scattered Light, a dazzling installation consisting of 528 25-feet-long strands of non-adhesive flagging tape. In tune with the museum’s philosophy of teaching science through hands-on activities, this exhibit takes advantage of the front rotunda’s circular shape, which allows for multiple views of the patterns and color shifting. The piece, which also uses paperclips and metal rods, plays with space, light, color and perception, and changes as sunlight moves around the building. The creator, Richard Esterle, is an artist and architect who also invented math toys such as the Nobbly Wobbly ball.
Details: Scattered Light, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona/Flushing Meadows Corona Park, runs through September 13th, 2015.
Bonus details: An opening for Scattered Light is set for October 22nd, 5 pm to 8 pm, at the museum. The evening is inspired by the Celebration of Mind Festival, which honors the memory of science and mathematics writer Martin Gardner. It will feature magicians, music, and activities that puzzle, raise mathematical concepts, and tease ideas of perception. Free with admission.
America’s favorite centenarian comedian is back, and as he might say: “Alive and kicking!” George Burns was an Oscar-winning actor, singer, dancer, funnyman and best-selling author during a lifetime that began in 1896 and ended in 1996. This weekend, he returns to the stage thanks to artist Alan Safier in the Tony-nominated Say Goodnight Gracie. This one-man show launches Queens Theatre’s jam-packed 2014-2015 season, which includes visits by Martha Graham Dance Company and Ballet Hispánico, family plays like Charlotte’s Web, special seasonal events such as A Christmas Carol, and the in-house residency of the Titan Theatre Company.
This is truly an out-of-this-world experience. On Sunday, the Queens Museum will facilitate Solar System Walk, Vol. 2, a guided, 1.5-hour, family-friendly stroll through Chris Burden’s Scale Model of the Solar System, which is located in the museum and throughout the surrounding area.
Some explanation. Burden has created a scale model in size and distance of the solar system. The sun is represented by a sphere 13 inches in diameter and 40 inches in circumference that shines above the Panorama of the City of New York (above photo). The other planets are placed at the correct relative distances from the sun.
The tour – led by PJ Gubatina Policarpio, a curator and museum educator who is interested in the intersection of art, history, creativity, and identity — will start at the sun and end at pluto, which is at Leo’s Latticini, the famous Italian food store at 46-02 104th Street in Corona. (Forget about whether Pluto was downgraded as a planet or not.)
Details: Solar System Walk, Queens Museum, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, September 21st, 3:30 pm to 5 pm, free, but spots are limited. For more information and to RSVP, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Excuse the pun, but this really is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth. This weekend the New York Hall of Science will host its fifth annual Maker Faire, which has been described as “the ultimate geek fest,” but is actually a family-friendly celebration of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. More than 750 makers — including tech enthusiasts, crafters, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubbers, and artists – will be at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park venue, showing off their DIY creations and hands-on activities. Expect everything from personal drones to humanoid robots that can take blood pressure and dispense medications. Cupcake cars, Swap-O-Rama-Rama, and smart lamps are possible.
More photos and a partial list of inventions that will be on display after the jump.
Hindus cleanse their sins by making an offering into a body of water. India’s Ganges River is the world’s most famous spot for this ritual, which is called “Ganga Pooja,” but the most common Queens venue is a Jamaica Bay beach on the Broad Channel side of the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge.
Of course, practitioners of this religion are not the only ones who leave litter in Jamaica Bay, but many of their offerings are not biodegradable. Thus, after the Ganga Poojas first appeared roughly 25 years ago, they immediately attracted negative attention from residents of Howard Beach, Broad Channel, and the Rockaways. Enter Sadhana, an NYC-based coalition of Hindus bent on asserting principles of tolerance and inclusiveness. (more…)
Past attendees include former President Bill Clinton, current First Lady Michelle Obama, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Alec Baldwin, and Rafael Nadal. For some it’s the unofficial start to the U.S. Open and a tribute to an athletic and civil rights legend, but for others, it’s an entertainment-heavy day full of pop culture sensations, exhibitions by professional tennis players, and a smorgasbord of activities and fun.
This Saturday, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day will take place at the USTA Billie Jean National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Youngsters of all skill levels will participate in tennis and fitness activities, often with shorter courts, smaller rackets and less bouncy balls, while others will do drills to increase agility, balance, coordination, speed, and strength. There will also be a juggling workshop, hair beading and braiding, balloon artists, roving entertainers, and appearances by Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob, Dora, and Diego. Serena Williams and Andy Murray will be on hand this year, and the concert features chart-toppers such as The Bomb Digz, Kalin and Myles, Hollywood Ending and Karina Rae.
It’s basically the best tennis on Planet Earth, and it’s completely free with no long lines. The U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament will begin tomorrow with 128 men and 128 women competing for 32 entries (16 men and 16 women) in the main draws. For four days, up-and-coming stars from around the world will battle each other at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and spectators can simply walk around and check out the matches. The circuit’s best players (i.e. Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams) get direct berths into the main draw, but they might be on site, practicing for opening day on August 25th.
Details: U.S. Open Qualifying Tournament, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, August 19th through August 22nd, 10 am to around 6 pm, free.
The New York State Pavilion isn’t the only World’s Fair relic in the spotlight. According to the Queens Courier, the Olmstead Center — the 1964 building used as temporary offices for Robert Moses and the World’s Fair Corporation staff — is getting a modern day makeover. The building is now used as a headquarters for the Parks Department. BKSK Architects is working on the renovation in two phases. The first phase includes an expansion with a new 10,000-square-foot annex building. That part of the project is nearly done. For the second phase, BKSK will add technology upgrades and building improvements to help with flooding problems. There will also be new siding for the building and a more disability-friendly interior space. The whole project should be complete by early next year 2015.
The Parks Department is now collecting bids for a contractor, due September 8th. Check out more renderings from BKSK after the jump.
The Design Trust for Public Space just gave the Queens Museum and the Parks Department a portion of a $100,000 grant to help people travel through the massive (900 acres!) Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. DNAinfo wrote this morning that there’s a proposal floating around to install wayfinding signage throughout the park. The Parks Department, the Design Trust and the Queens Museum plan to work with the community and refine the proposal ASAP — the Parks Department said signage is one of the biggest priorities here.
The grant comes from the Design Trust’s “The Energetic City: Connectivity in the Public Realm” program. The Trust asked applicants to “redefine NYC’s public space” and granted funds to four different proposals, including this one. The amount of money to be allocated to the wayfinding program isn’t set yet.