Just Do Art! Week of Oct. 4, 2012

VINNY VELLA: WHO’S BETTER THAN YOU?  |  That he’s been on “The Sopranos” (as Jimmy Petrille) and in Scorsese’s “Casino” (as Artie Pisano) is impressive enough…lots of dish and dirt from those two sets, we suspect. But after appearing in dozens of other films, TV shows and plays (at least 48 by his count), Vinny Vella has more than enough to draw on when he takes to the stage of The Duplex for a comedic look at his life. But who needs other people’s fictions? The evening’s real draw will likely come from his numerous adventures had while growing up in Greenwich Village, as the son of an ex-bicycle racer father who opened up a fish store in Little Italy; being thrown out of four grade schools for various infractions; having numerous chance meetings with Frank Sinatra; and spending some quality “vacation” time on Rikers Island.

Sat., Oct. 13, 27 and Nov. 10, at 9:30pm. At The Duplex (61 Christopher St., at Seventh  Ave.). For tickets ($20), visit brownpapertickets.com. At the show, two-drink minimum.

DOUG VARONE AND DANCERS  |  Doug Varone and Dancers celebrate 25 years of vibrant physicality and kinetic movement in the service of “mining the complexity of relationships and community” — with a two-program, six-day run at The Joyce. Among the offerings: the world premiere of “Able to Leap Tall Buildings.” Set to the Julia Wolfe score “Cruel Sister,” Varone’s Superman-referenced work was created using superhero action figure dolls in stop motion poses to create a unique push and pull vocabulary. Also premiering is “Carrugi” (choreographed to Mozart’s mythic oratorio, “La Betulia liberata”). Both programs will delve into the Varone company vault, with selections including 2006’s departure-themed “Boats Leaving” and “Ballet Mécanique” — a meditation on the intersection of dance and technology,  propelled by George Antheil’s 1925 score).

Tues., Oct. 9 through Sun., Oct. 14, at the Joyce Theater (175 Eighth Ave. at W. 19th St.). Tickets start at $10. To order, call 212-242-0800, visit joyce.org or purchase at the box office (Mon.-Fri., 12-6pm). Visit dougvaroneanddancers.org or the Joyce website, for schedule info on the two programs in rotation.

FROM BRAHMS TO KLEZMER: CLARINETIST DAVID KRAKAUER  |  David Krakauer — the nimble, globe-trotting, genre-hopping clarinetist praised by The New Yorker as having “prodigious chops” — will be joined by the Phoenix Chamber Ensemble, for a program whose title (“From Brahms to Klezmer”) references Krakauer’s predilection for spanning a variety of musical tastes and styles.

The concert features the world premiere of Inessa Zaretsky’s “Six Poems for Tamar” for clarinet and piano, as well as Brahms’ Trio for clarinet, cello and piano in A minor, Op. 114; Debussy’s “Rhapsody,” Steve Reich’s “New York Counterpoint” for clarinet and 10 pre-recorded clarinets, excerpts from Messaien’s “Quartet for the End of Time” and…wait for it…Krakauer’s selection of traditional Eastern European Jewish Klezmer music and avant-garde improvisations (which will spotlight his unique style of circular breathing). Even in the rarefied world of NYC cultural eclecticism, shows with creative reach as long and wide as this one don’t come around very often. In fact, the main attraction isn’t coming back any time soon. Krakauer’s one-show-only Chelsea appearance is his only NYC concert this fall.

Thurs., Oct. 11, at 7:30pm. In the concert hall, at the Center for Jewish History (15 W. 16th St., btw. Fifth & Sixth Aves.). Tickets: $15, $10 for students/seniors. For reservations & info, call 212-294-8301 or visit cjh.org. For info on the artist, visit   davidkrakauer.com.

SVA PRESENTS “MOLECULAR CUISINE: THE POLITICS OF TASTE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE”  |  Who’s to say what’s in good taste, what tastes good and whose taste in people, places and things is spot on or dead wrong? Like the nature of truth, taste is as elusive as it is subjective. That’s not to say, however, that the topic doesn’t lend itself to dense and deft analysis. To that end, the School of Visual Arts is hosting a three-day international conference which dissects the meaning, and significance, of taste from the perspectives of the culinary arts, sociology, anthropology and art history — as well as the cognitive, material and biological sciences. “Molecular Cuisine: The Politics of Taste” digs deep past the notion of taste as a purely sensory experience and connects it to our passions, predilections and taboos in order to better understand why we enjoy certain foods/styles and not others.

Fri., Oct. 19 through Sun., Oct. 21. At the School of Visual Arts (335 W. 16th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Registration ($75) is required. To RSVP, visit sva.edu/undergraduate/fine-arts. For info, call 212-592-2144.

KO-RYO DANCE THEATER  |  In 2001, Pusan, Korea-born choreographer and director Sunhwa Chung (who’d been in the U.S. for seven years) founded Ko-Ryo Dance Theater as a means of exploring themes of separation, unity and cultural interplay.  A member of Korean traditional percussion group Da-de-rae-gi, Chung — whose work strives to put a “faithful emphasis on human emotion and expression” — has made ample room for her musical and philosophical concerns in this latest work (part of Dance New Amsterdam’s “DNA Presents” series). Autobiographical in nature (with a title referencing a popular Korean folk song), “Arirang — We Go Beyond the Crossroad” is a reflection on Chung’s attempt to remain close to her roots as she began to grow beyond her culture. The program features live music composed and performed by Korean Traditional Drummer Vonggu Pak, with accompaniment by violinist Sarang West.

Wed., Oct. 17 through Sat., Oct. 20 at 7:30pm and Sat., Oct. 20 at 3pm. The opening night (free) reception takes place one hour before curtain. Audience members are invited to stay for a post-show discussion immediately following the performance on Oct. 19.  At DNA (280 Broadway; entrance at 53 Chambers St.). Tickets are $17, $14 for students/seniors, $12 for DNA members and advanced sales. To purchase tickets and for more info, visit dnadance.org or call 212-227-9856.

 Khaled Ouaaz’s “Trees & Ink.”   |  An interaction between writer/producer Khaled Ouaaz and an “interesting, older woman” on a crowded N train in the Spring of 2011 got the writer/producer to thinking about practical ways in which mankind could overcome its blinding greed for money. That night, Ouaaz — founder of the independent music/film production company Colorblind Productions — began writing the screenplay for what would ultimately become “Trees & Ink,” which premieres at the Tribeca Film Center — along with three other shorts (“How To Break Up With Your Girlfriend,” “Brushstroke” and “Glimpse”). Ouaaz will be in attendance, along with fellow filmmakers Brandon Culp, Zoi Florosz and Daryl Ferrara. “I’m a believer of destiny,” says Ouaaz. “However, if you told me in 2011 that I would transition over from music to produce my first film, take a trip to Jerusalem and write a religion-based feature all in 2012, I would not believe you.” That modest nod to destiny comes with an open offer. “If I could find a way to reach that lady who inspired me,” asserts Quaaz, “I would take her out to a really fancy dinner.” Maybe she’ll settle for popcorn and a free ticket to the film she set in motion.

Free. Wed., Oct. 17, from 7-8:30pm, at the Tribeca Film Center (375 Greenwich St., btw. N. Moore & Franklin Sts.). Invite only. For inquiries, email khaled.ouaaz@gmail.com.

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