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Barring any extraordinary and/or unforeseen disaster, most authors, filmmakers and painters can (and do) remain prolific into their very old age. That’s rarely the case for dancers. Injury and the toll taken by accumulating years often means they have to abandon their stage careers long before the passion to perform has left them. But what happens after that? Photographer Matthew Murphy’s “Displaced” features 34 works, documenting 20 of New York City’s greatest dancers (some at the beginning of their stage careers, and some who’ve transitioned to roles behind the scenes). The contemplation of how a love for dance remains part of one’s identity long after the final curtain is familiar territory for Murphy. “When I was 21,” he explains, “my career with American Ballet Theatre was cut short by illness. Leaving a profession I’d been dedicated to since childhood caused me to spend a lot of time questioning whether I could still call myself a dancer even though I’d stopped doing pirouettes. Over time, as I readjusted my relationship with the dance world, I began to realize that the act of dancing isn’t what makes someone a dancer, it is a mentality and therefore still part of their identity. This realization was the origin for my first long-term dance portrait project.” That project — “Displaced” — is on view through December 10. At Dance New Amsterdam’s gallery (280 Broadway, 2nd floor). DNA’s Gallery hours are 9am-10pm, Mon.-Sun. Visit dnadance.org and murphymade.com.
FREE WASHINGTON SQUARE MUSIC FESTIVAL CONCERT
Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean the Washington Square Music Festival gets to rest on its laurels. This free event offers iconic and eclectic music — both played and sung — by Festival artists soprano Lucia Hyunju Song, pianist David Oei, violinist Eriko Sato, and cellist Lutz Rath.
Free. Seating is first-come, first-served. Fri., Dec. 2, 8pm. At St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church (371 Sixth Ave., at Washington Place). For info, call 212-252-3621 or visit washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org.
FIVE YEARS IN NYC THAT CHANGED MUSIC FOREVER
Will Hermes — author of “Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York City That Changed Music Forever” — discusses the NYC music scene of the mid-1970s. He’s joined by DJ Kool Herc, author and Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye, Laurie Anderson and more.
Wed., Nov. 30, 7pm. At Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby St., btw. Prince & Houston Sts.). Visit willhermes.com and housingworksbookstore.org.
BENSON AIDS SERIES CONCERTS
Downtown Music Productions honors World AIDS Day (December 1) with two performances of music and dance. The 21st year of their Benson AIDS Concerts (named for Eric Benson, a singer/actor/musician who died of AIDS in 1988) will showcase the rarely heard work of young composers lost to AIDS, before their gifts were fully realized. Mezzo-soprano Darcy Dunn, pianist Mimi Stern-Wolfe and dancer Aviad Herman are among the artists who will perform and interpret the work of late artists including Chris DeBlasio (1959-1993) and Kevin Oldham (1960-1993). Australian director Rohan Spong’s Benson AIDS series documentary “All the Way Through the Evening” will have a complete screening at the first concert, with featured excerpts at the second one.
Thurs., Dec. 1, 7:30pm, at Duo Multicultural Arts Center (62 E. 4th St., btw. Bowery & Second Ave.; visit duotheater.org). Tickets are $25 (purchase at the door, at smarttix.com or by calling 212-868-4444). Also on Sun., Dec. 4, 6pm, at Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center (107 Suffolk St., btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.; visit csvcenter.com). Tickets are $20; $10 for students/seniors (purchase at door or call 212-260-4080, ex. 11.). Visit downtownmusicproductions.org.
THE SOUNDTRACK SERIES
Every fourth Thursday of the month, “Soundtrack Series” host and creator Dana Rossi hands the mic to five guest storytellers — who mine their own deep well of good and bad memories associated with a song from their past. This month, the slightly damaged cast includes Kyle Jarrow (OBIE-winning composer of “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant”). He’ll be revealing what happens to him every time he hears Chumbawumba’s “Tubthumping.” Later, Kerri Doherty (of the blog “Fucked in Park Slope”) comes clean about the hold that Olivia Newton-John’s “I Honestly Love You” has on her. Also taking that stroll down memory lane: Jeff Simmermon, Joanne Solomon and Greg Humphreys.
Wed., Nov. 30, at The Gallery at (Le) Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker St., btw. Sullivan & Thompson Sts.). Doors open at 7pm; stories begin at 8pm. For more info, visit soundtrackseries.com.
REMEMBERING FULTON FISH MARKET
Another iconic slice of old school Manhattan life that’s gone forever, the Fulton Fish Market’s South Street incarnation (1822-2005) endures — on walls — thanks to the work of Naimi Rauam. The artist spent over two decades immersing herself in its darkness to dawn routine, when the market was full of life (and recently expired fish). On the sixth anniversary of its move, Rauam’s exhibit of watercolors and drawings (which glowed with a melancholy poignancy even when the market was still based on South Street) gain power and gravity as time goes by.
Free. Through Dece.18. At @SEAPORT! Gallery (210 Front St., corner of Beekman, at South Street Seaport). Gallery hours: Wed.-Sun., 12pm-7pm. For info, visit artpm.com.
BENEFIT: CHARLES BUSCH AS KATHARINE HEPBURN, IN “TEA AT FIVE”
Having spent 2011 concluding a long run of “The Divine Sister” and staging a limited, sold-out run of “Olive and the Bitter Herbs,” playwright/performer Charles Busch could have spent the year’s waning days lounging on his couch. Instead, the divine Mr. B. does his thing for young LGBTs — by donning drag and assuming the distinct posture of the great Katharine Hepburn. Bush, as Kate, will hold court for one night only via his staged reading of Matthew Lombardo’s one-woman show, “Tea at Five.” This intimate look at Hepburn takes place in 1983, at her Fenwick estate in old Saybrook, Connecticut. Recuperating from a car crash, the still-living legend reflects on her childhood and her career (and that romance with Spencer Tracy). Proceeds from this event will benefit The Ali Forney Center — which helps homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth be safe and become independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood.
Mon., Nov. 28, 7pm. At the Lucille Lortel Theater (121 Christopher St.). For tickets ($40 and $60; $150 includes post-performance reception), visit ovationtix.com or call 212-352-3101. Visit teaatfive.org and aliforneycenter.org.
URBAN BALLET THEATER’S NUTCRACKR IN THE LOWER
It’s already a Lower East Side holiday tradition — but nothing cements that status like knowing they’ve been doing it for a decade. Urban Ballet Theater’s “Nutcracker in the Lower” achieves that milestone this time around. Their annual Downtown twist on the classic holiday tale retains the traditional grace of classical ballet — but adds some local flavor as well. UBT Artistic Director Daniel Catanach’s decidedly different vision of sugarplums dancing takes audiences on a journey through Manhattan’s cultural diversity. The party scene (traditionally depicted as an opulent 19th-century ball) becomes a holiday salsa party; the battle scene, set in a crumbling subway station, features gigantic krumping rats and stylized hip hop toy soldiers; and the production’s angels are informed by Native American and African dance styles. Tchaikovsky’s familiar score remains largely intact (with ample room for the baselines of hip hop and the burnished cante of flamenco).
Nov. 26 through Dec. 4. Wed., Thurs., Fri. at 7:30pm; Sat. at 3pm and 7pm; Sun. at 3pm. At Abrons Arts Center, at the Henry Street Settlement (466 Grand St., at Pitt St.). For tickets ($20), call 212-352-3101 or visit theatermania.com. For group sales, call 212-598-0400 or visit abronsartscenter.org. Also visit urbanballettheater.org, facebook.com/NutcrackerintheLower and twitter/NutintheLower.
COMPILED BY SCOTT STIFFLER