Hebrew School

Do it again: Christopher Williams @ Dance Theater Workshop

“you don’t have to be Catholic”

Sometimes, even in New York City, an evening of truly enjoyable performance is hard to come by. Somewhere in the mire of public transit, running into people you know, crowds of sweaty people in dank, cold spaces, coordinating busy schedules, and the sometimes obscure haze of an artist’s vision, a lot of perfectly good production suddenly goes meh.

You’d think more so when faced with the prospect of a three-hour piece chronicling the lives of medieval Christian saints: I mean, shit, sometimes it’s all I can do to devote three lunchtime minutes to someone’s Twitter account. And I don’t know if I’ll ever get the ants out of my pants to be able to sit down to an entire opera without leaving during intermission.

Not so with Christopher Williams’ latest triumph, The Golden Legend. Sixteen saints’ solos bookended by a pro- and recessional, a slew of live musicians (including Peter Kirn, Gregory Spears, and members of Lionheart and Anonymous 4), magical puppetry, eyeball-breaking costume design, genre-bending and rigorous contemporary movement underscored with narrative, plus a chance to look up someone’s ass and see Santa Claus: For the hours not to dissolve away effortlessly, you would have to be a sun-blind actual resident of the medieval world rather than the frenetic, media-saturated world from which we so desperately deserve escape.

At the end of the performance, I was tempted to rouse a cheer from the packed house and demand an encore.

Can you imagine, an encore of a work of that size and scope? I’m not exaggerating– that’s what I want.


Interview with Christopher Williams + 10 Questions [Dance Theater Workshop]

Lives and Deaths of Saints, and Puppets [New York Times]

Martyred men and medieval music [Metro]


Friday 5/8: We drink, we talk….

We’re highly encouraging you to check out Alina & Jeff’sLet’s Drink. Let’s Talk. Free.” at Black & White Project Space this Friday (5/8) starting at 7pm.

It’s the final event in a series of site-specific installation/gatherings that has been dynamically chronicling the stories of Brighton Beach’s Russian immigrant community. There’s a table full of bottles and with the room abuzz, those gathered are welcome at any time to drink, tell a story, make a toast, ramble on, and check out the imagery.

Black & White Project Space is at 483 Driggs Ave. (corner N. 10th St.) in Brooklyn, L train to Bedford.


Alina and Jeff in Whitehot.

Art Mirrors Life at Black and White

Facebook it.

May 6, 2009, 8:13 am
Filed under: zzz | Tags:


via buzzfeed : the daily what

and now that we have your attention……..

Twitter me timbers
May 5, 2009, 8:23 am
Filed under: twitter

Hebrew School is on Twitter. He gives good tweets and sometimes djs bizarre music late at night. Follow him.

Have any of you guys tried out the popular social networking site, Twitter yet? When it comes to Twitter, people seem to be evenly divided into two camps: you either a) can’t stand the thought of reducing your social web interactions to 140 characters or less, let alone bear the thought of receiving a barrage of these updates from friends and strangers; or b) find it useful/entertaining/marketable to openly broadcast information, links, pictures, etc. in an open format based more on an ostensible meritocracy than simply who you happen to have known/slept with/gone to Montessori grade school with.

Guess it’s clear where I fall– I dig sites like facebook.com for catching me up on people with whom I “go back like car seats and fat crayons,” and also to get the word out about my music, shows, etc. But it’s the latter category where “tweeting” picks up slack and moves me beyond the former’s more closed environment. For instance, why would I only want a friend from junior high whose boyfriend used to beat me up to know about my next show, when I can let MC Hammer— who wouldn’t hurt anyone– know as well?

I like Twitter for its straightforward, no-frills simplicity coupled with a flexibility that allows one, paradoxically, to exchange more complex and nuanced bits of information. But if you haven’t used or grown accustomed to Twitter, or if it’s just not your cup of tea, you’ll probably disagree. It took a while for me to get into the flow of it and figure out all the inane symbology. Not to mention the presence of an online, user-defined culture which on other sites would be a thicket of menus, settings, offers for Torah-based weight loss interventions, etc.

I also enjoy the way Twitter encourages users to turn a critical eye to the media. More than ever, people seem to understand the concept of a meme even if they’re not familiar with the word. You can watch a certain keyword or phrase explode in real-time on Twitter and make your own judgement about how relevant / silly it is. I like how all memes are created equal, regardless of whether they’re nascent flu pandemics or underestimated chanteuses. (Are we all just brain dead? Subject of another post.)

Anyway, here’s a Hebrew School-sanctioned list of people you should follow:

@Gothamist, @teruah, @tao_lin, @effedparkslope, @IMPOSE, @bittman, @democracy_now, @scharpling, @TheShondes, @PopJew, @Weirdomusic, @feedmeshow, @JerusalemBureau, @Paystyle, @peterkirn, @paulapoundstone, @cookbook, @bob_saget (n.b. in the flesh and potty-mouthed!), @stevesilberman, @UHBHNY, @mappamundi

…. @ ….. @ @ ….. @ @ @ @ @


What do you guys think about Twitter?

Is it “just the latest internet craze?” Is it destroying our society with mind-numbing bombardments of news and mundane observations?

Do people only twitter what they had for lunch / brunch? Is it true that “we are what we tweet?”

Any positive or negative Twitter experiences you’d like to share? Do you have a lot of “followers?” Do you get sad if someone doesn’t @reply you right away? Should I use the #jewish hashtag to post incendiary Zionist / Palestinian rhetoric? Is Facebook “caving to Twitter” to prevent loss of market share? Are 75% of twitter users “social media hacks?” Is Twitter’s real goal to sell high-end advertising / get acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp? Should Twitter be used as a “gray market” to sell drugs and alcohol? Should Hebrew School delete this site and just “microblog” all the time in 140 characters or less?

Charlie, “Spacer Woman”
May 1, 2009, 2:59 pm
Filed under: video | Tags: , , , ,

Happy May Day! Here’s some Italo-disco to usher in your weekend.

Previous May Day posts