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Ballet blessings and found sounds
The American Ballet Theatre performs Giselle at the Wang, Matmos performs cut-up sound collage at the Harvard Science Center, and more.


Just a reminder that American Ballet Theatre is in town this weekend with Giselle, and though many of you saw the Boston Ballet Giselle back in February, it might be four of five years before we see another one. ABT doesnít come to town every year either. And this production is offering four different casts (and five different Myrthas). Here are the line-ups for the weekend:

Thursday November 14 at 8 (thatís tonight): Paloma Herrera (Giselle), Marcelo Gomes (Albrecht), Ethan Brown (Hilarion), Gillian Murphy (Myrtha).

Friday November 15 at 8: Xiomara Reyes (Giselle), Ethan Stiefel (Albrecht), Gennadi Saveliev (Hilarion), Stella Abrera (Myrtha).

Saturday November 16 at 2: Paloma Herrera (Giselle), Marcelo Gomes (Albrecht) Ethan Brown (Hilarion), Carmen Corella (Myrtha).

Saturday November 16 at 8: Irina Dvorovenko (Giselle), Maxim Belotserkovsky (Count Albrecht), Sascha Radetsky (Hilarion), Michele Wiles (Myrtha).

Sunday November 17 at 3: Julie Kent (Giselle), Angel Corella (Count Albrecht), Carlos Molina (Hilarion), Sandra Brown (Myrtha).

The FleetBoston Celebrity Dance Series and the Wang Center for the Performing Arts are presenting Giselle in the capacious Wang Theatre, so tickets, which go from $47 to $88, should still be available at the Wang box office, 270 Tremont Street in the Theater District, or by calling TeleCharge at (800) 447-7400, or by going on-line at


For the artists of the 2003 Boston Cyberarts Festival, a keyboard is a palette and a mouse is a paintbrush. Scheduled for April 26 through May 11, the festival will bring together artists in all media who use computers to advance traditional disciplines and create new interactive worlds. And for its centerpiece, it will have a North American premiere. The brainchild of composer and inventor Tod Machover, and presented by the MIT Media Lab and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Toy Symphony will introduce kids to musicmaking through specially designed Music Toys. The project will include 10 weeks of activities in collaboration with Boston-area kids; itíll culminate in a BMOP performance.

Also scheduled: a Fort Point Neighborhood Artists cyberart show and a conference on electronic literature. And Mass College of Art, Harvard, and Boston University will come together for the first-ever national conference on digital and interactive public art. For more information about the 2003 Boston Cyberarts Festival, call (617) 525-8495, or visit


San Francisco electro-experimental weirdos Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt, known collectively as Matmos, will appear this Sunday at Harvardís Science Center to explain and perform their quasi-scientific approach to technology and musicmaking. Itís all part of the Office for the Arts at Harvardís "Learning from Performers" series and the week-long residencies of Daniel and Schmidt as 2002-2003 Peter Ivers Visiting Artists at Harvard.

Best known for their collaborations with chilly Icelandic chanteuse Björk, Matmos are most respected for their own bizarre brand of musique concrète. Cutting loose with an instinctual improvisational feel while still adhering to a rigid conceptual framework, their compositions are marked by a reverent affinity for found sounds like hair being snipped, the unexpected aural joys of plastic surgery and, uh, the amplified neural activity of a crayfish. Over seven albums, Matmos have forged a distinct vein of techno composition thatís almost scholarly in its approach ó no coincidence since Schmidt is a professor in the new genres department at San Francisco Art Institute and Daniel is a PhD candidate (Renaissance studies, of all things). You can hear these noise boys teach by doing this Sunday, November 17, at 7 p.m. in Hall D of the Harvard Science Center, Kirkland and Oxford Streets in Harvard Square. Itís free; call (617) 495-8676.


We now have a more detailed description of the open house that the Loeb Drama Center, home of the American Repertory Theatre and the Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club, will be holding this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ART members will present a staged reading of Anton Chekhovís The Bear. HRDC members will present selections from Cabaret. Actors from the ARTís Institute for Advanced Theatre Training will perform a one-act play by Sam Shepard. Using slides, ART literary director Arthur Holmberg will trace the evolution of the visual world of sculptor, painter, video artist, lighting designer, and set designer Robert Wilson, whose ART productions include the CIVIL warS, Alcestis, Quartet, and When We Dead Awaken. ART associate artistic director Gideon Lester will discuss Andrei Serbanís Shakespeare productions, using images from his recent ART work. Thereíll be a singing workshop with Institute for Advanced Theatre Training voice instructor Pamela Murray, a directing workshop with ART associate director David Wheeler, and a "Dialects Made Easy" workshop. And the ART will unveil its new series of banners created by scientist and artist Kelvin Davies.

The event weíre really looking forward to, however, is "Shakespeareís in Love with You and You Will Be in Love with Shakespeare." Ever wondered how youíd sound delivering "To be or not to be," "Now is the winter of our discontent," "The quality of mercy is not strained," or "All the worldís a stage"? Hereís your chance. If you forget to bring something, the Loeb people will provide you with a short text and work with you. Better yet, bring your sweetie: you can do the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, or bicker like Beatrice and Benedick.

Even actors donít live by theater alone, so some of the Harvard Square restaurants will have booths where you can buy food and drink. The ART will have a variety of subscription offers for your consideration, and thereíll be raffles throughout the day. The Loeb is at 64 Brattle Street in Harvard Square; for more information, call (617) 495-2668.


For the Brookline Center for the Arts, "Arts Treasures" arenít rare Picasso prints or a newly discovered Van Gogh but rather individuals who stand out for their commitment and dedication to the BAC and to the arts in the community. This year, the Center is honoring Carolynn Levy and Robin Connors with it annual Arts Treasures awards. Levy is a past president of both the BAC and the Brookline Council for the Arts; Connors is a senior faculty member of the BAC who has taught drawing, watercolor, and calligraphy courses to a variety of students both at the center and in a variety of Boston neighborhoods through the Brookline Housing Authority. A champagne-brunch awards ceremony will take place on Sunday December 15 at 10 a.m. at the BAC, 86 Monmouth Street in Brookline. For more information, call (617) 566-5715.


Children should be both seen and heard, or so the Museum of Afro-American History believes. "Is Freedom Visible?" includes lifesize 3-D audio holograms of contemporary children by artists Harriet Casdin-Silver, LíMerchie Frazier, and Kevin Brown. While looking at the holograms, you can listen to recordings of the children articulating their personal experiences and views on life and race. And you can get a historical perspective on Massachusetts childhood from 1835 to the present by studying the photographs and artifacts from the museumís permanent collection that will be on view. The artifacts were excavated from the nearby Abiel Smith School, a segregated institution and one of the museumís four historic sites; they likely belonged to the children who attended the school between 1835 and 1855.

"Is Freedom Visible?" opens this evening, November 14, with a reception at 5:30 p.m.; it will run through February 28. The Museum of Afro-American History is 46 Joy Street; this eveningís reception is free, but itís requested that you make a reservation by calling (617) 725-0022 extension 9.


Adapted from artwork by sixth-grader Bryce Kroll of Roslindale, the First Night button for the 27th edition of North Americaís oldest and largest New Yearís Eve celebration has just been unveiled. It costs just $15 and gets you into all indoor First Night events ó and if this is your first time, believe us when we say thereís more than you could go to in an entire week of First Nights. The button will go on sale at hundreds of Greater Boston locations on Sunday December 1; weíll remind you to look for it in our November 29 issue.


About to become the proud parents of a baby girl? Donít cross "Isabella" off that list of possible names. As part of its centennial plans for 2003, the Isabella Stewart Gardner has announced "Isabellas Free Forever," which means that beginning April 14 (Mrs. Gardnerís birthday), "the museum will welcome anyone with the first name ĎIsabellaí to enjoy the museumís collection and special contemporary exhibitions for free . . . forever." What better present to give your newborn than free admission to one of the worldís most beautiful museums? (Note: the Gardner offer appears to apply to "anyone" with the first name "Isabella," but tempting as the prospect of lifetime free admission is, we donít recommend the name for boys.)

Thereís something for the rest of us as well. Mrs. Gardner opened her museum on New Yearís Day 1903, serving champagne and doughnuts to her guests. The Gardner is commemorating that opening by declaring Bostonís "First Day" a free day: this New Yearís Day and every New Yearís Day hereafter, you can enjoy free access to the museumís permanent collection and special exhibitions. Meeting with friends there, or just taking in the garden while reflecting on the year past and the ahead, could easily become a First Day tradition. No word yet as to whether champagne and doughnuts will be part of the festivities . . .


The presentation of mercy that Meredith Monk and her Vocal Ensemble were scheduled to give at Sanders Theatre last Saturday evening (Ted Drozdowski had previewed it in our November 1 "Performance" column) had to be cancelled because of a death in Monkís family. Refunds are available at point of purchase. mercy will next be presented December 3 through 7 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music; after the December 5 performance Monk will take part in a free BAMdialogue. Tickets are $20 to $45; call (718) 636-4100.

Issue Date: November 7 - 14, 2002
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