At the Whitehall Street Staten Island Ferry Terminal, members of Half Moon Sword leap over flexible metal swords, in a flashy display of English-style rapper sword dancing.
THE 28th ANNUAL NY SWORD DANCE FESTIVAL
Sword dancing is a winter celebration that’s come down through the ages from the coal mining regions of northern England. This family-friendly yet loyal interpretation of that tradition is accompanied by live fiddle and accordion music. In both stately longsword and rapper sword dancing, the dancers are linked in a ring by the “swords” they hold in their hands while they work as a team to weave intricate figures and patterns without breaking the circle.
Free. Sat., Feb. 16 and Sun., Feb. 17 (throughout the day and throughout the city). The Sat. schedule includes a 9:30am performance at the Pier 17 Atrium (on the third floor of 89 South St., at the South Street Seaport) as well as 1pm & 3pm performances at Jefferson Market Public Library (425 Sixth Ave., at 10th St.). For a full schedule and more info, visit halfmoonsword.org.
TWO TALKS, AT 92YTRIBECA
Short of a building a time machine and quite possibly wreaking havoc with your family tree, there’s no better way to safely revisit risky 1940s and 1950s America than spending the afternoon of Tuesday, February 12, at 92YTribeca. At 12pm, cultural historian Richard Lingeman (a longtime senior editor of The Nation and the author of “Small Town America, Don’t You Know There’s a War On?”) looks at the cultural milieu from 1945 to 1950, tracing the effects of a period that enveloped America in the aftermath of WWII and the beginning of the Cold War (think psychological insecurities, cultural isolation and the overall anxiety reflected by film noir’s bathing of its moody antiheroes in harsh light shining through venetian blinds). At 2pm, film historian Philip Harwood (currently hard at work on a book about famous film couples of 1935) presents an installment of a series in which he’ll present eight Golden Age live TV dramas. After each screening, social issues and performance are discussed. This time up: Rod Serling’s 1956 Playhouse 90 production of “Requiem for a Heavyweight.”
At 92YTribeca (200 Hudson St., at Canal St.). Tickets to “Noir” are $21, and $28 for “Golden Age.” For reservations and more info, visit 92YTribeca.org or call 212-601-1000.
L-R: Kira Onodera, Victoria Linchong and Katherine Yew, in “Big Flower Eater.” Photo by Jonathan Slaff
BIG FLOWER EATER
When she pastes her late grandmother’s fortunes up on the bathroom wall of her Lower East Side apartment, a young Taiwanese-American woman stirs up ghosts (figuratively, the bygone cultural status afforded to shamanistic women — and literally, her late grandmother). Soon, grandma’s spirit takes up residence in the ceiling, attracting both the lost soul of an epileptic Hmong girl and her granddaughter’s paranormally aware (and very much alive) Korean-American friend. Culminating in a re-enactment of a Korean shamanistic ritual (with traditional drumming by Vongku Pak), the title of Victoria Linchong’s “Big Flower Eater” is taken from a derogatory Chinese term that colloquially means dreamer or fool. “I was inspired by two books on Asian shamanistic beliefs,” says Linchong. “ ‘The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down’ by Anne Fadiman, in which an epileptic Hmong girl becomes the center of a struggle between the California medical establishment and her refugee family’s traditional beliefs; and ‘Comfort Woman’ by Nora Okja Keller, about a young girl’s troubled relationship with her mother, whose traumatic experience as a comfort woman during the Korean War has exacerbated her preternatural ability as a spiritual medium.”
Through Feb. 24, Thurs. through Sat. at 8pm; Sun. at 3pm. At Theater for the New City (155 First Ave., at 10th St.). For tickets ($12), call 212-254-1109 or visit theaterforthenewcity.net.
Charming Cupids: The Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society is all about love, when they perform “A Valentine in Concert” at Merchant’s House. Photo courtesy of BSESS
THE BOND STREET EUTERPEAN SINGING SOCIETY PRESENTS: LOVE IN THE PARLORS: A VALENTINE IN CONCERT
They’ve scared up some spook-tacular theatrics in their Halloween-themed concerts — and entertained with festive Christmas songs in the guise of their holiday persona (The Tinseltones) — but The Bond Street Euterpean Singing Society (the Merchant’s House Museum Arts Group-in-Residence) does some of their very best work when presenting alternately passionate and melancholy takes on the lush, romantic vocal music of 19th-century composers. That this concert takes place in the Merchant House Museum’s spectacular Greek revival double parlors certainly doesn’t hurt when it comes to estasblishing mood. “Love in the Parlors” features Anthony Bellov, Rosalind Gnatt, Jane Elizabeth Rady and Dayle Vander Sande (and pianist Jai Jeffryes) performing romantic and melancholy music by Rossini, Schubert, Liszt, Brahms, Stephen Foster, Amy Beach, and more. Sweet!
Thurs., Feb. 14, at 7pm. At the Merchant’s House Museum (29 E. Fourth St., btw. Lafayette & Bowery). Admission is $30 ($20 for students/seniors, $15 for museum members). For reservations, visit merchantshouse.org or call 212-777-1089. Proceeds benefit the Merchant’s House Museum.