Paris’ Swinging Gypsy Jazz Scene

Originating in the suburbs of Paris in the 1930s, this distinctively energetic style of jazz was created by the legendary Django Reinhardt, who played with fellow gypsy musicians in Parisian jazz haunts during the 1930s and 1940s. Reinhardt grew up in a caravan in the Parisian suburbs and famously lost the use of two of his left-hand fingers in a fire. Despite doctors saying he would never play guitar again, the paralysis of his two fingers instead led to his invention of Gypsy Jazz (or Jazz Manouche as it’s known in France), a new jazz style incorporating three-finger chord structures and smooth, rippling melodies. It was then handed down through the generations of Manouche gypsies via oral methods, as most of whom, Django included, could not read music. Continue reading “Paris’ Swinging Gypsy Jazz Scene”

Dear Conjunction Theatre Company

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Les Clack

Dear Conjunction Theatre Company has been bringing Parisian audiences the best in bilingual theater since 1991. During that time they have produced over 30 plays from Harold Pinter to Mike Leigh to Yasmina Reza.

“Bilingual theater is not easy,”  says Les Clack .” We tried alternating performances with three nights of a play in English and then three in French. For that one needs to find just the right actors and play… We are now focusing on English language plays that sometimes  include some French such as “More lives than just one.” where I do a segment from “Salomé, which was Oscar Wilde’s only play in French.” Continue reading “Dear Conjunction Theatre Company”

Moving Parts, Paris’ Play Reading Project in English

Stephanie Campion, photo: B. CruvellierThe man in the hot seat the other night in the basement of Carr’s Irish pub was American playwright Roy Lisker. Seated on a stool in a vaulted, tubular chamber beneath the bar, Lisker faced an audience of 35 or so amateur theater critics who had just heard a reading of his latest work, The MIT Information Room, by a cast of professional actors. Continue reading “Moving Parts, Paris’ Play Reading Project in English”

Revisiting Ionesco’s “Les Chaises”

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“Les Chaises” photo: Pascal Victor

Classics tempt revisitings as surely as candy lures a child. After Wilsonian ornementation of Beckettian desolation (see review here of “Oh les beaux jours”), Luc Bondy has softened the “tragic farce” of Eugène Ionesco’s “Les Chaises”, to the apparent consternation of the playwright’s daughter (reported on http://www.rue89.com). Bondy’s memory of the father of absurdist theater, whom he assisted as a teenager in Zurich, is nevertheless of an irreverent iconoclast probably more open to the kinds of changes the Swiss director proposes. Continue reading “Revisiting Ionesco’s “Les Chaises””

Irina Brook’s “Temptête!” lite

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“Tempête!” photo: Patrick Lazic

Shakespeare imagined many famous families but the odd foursome bound to its lonely island in “The Tempest” is not one of them. Between Ariel and Caliban, Miranda and Prospero, there are no few barriers to love or even friendship, beginning with the master-slave dynamic which colors their relations and which has come to define them in readings of the text over the last 50 years.  Continue reading “Irina Brook’s “Temptête!” lite”

Trisha Brown at the Jardin des Tuileries

Trisha Brown dancers in front of Richard Serra’s “Clara-Clara” sculpture. Photo: B. Bishop

Trisha Brown’s Dance Company recently performed some of her early works in the Jardin des Tuileries including “Sticks” “Accumulation” and “Figure Eight” as part of Paris’ Quartier d’Ete summer festival. Paris’ Tuilleries Garden was an ideal setting for these pieces originally conceived in the early seventies for alternative SoHo public spaces such as roof tops and walls where she flirted with gravity – alternately using it and defying it. Her innovative choroegraphy “Man Walking Down the Side of a Building” forever changed how people thought about dance. Continue reading “Trisha Brown at the Jardin des Tuileries”

Allison Crowe in Paris

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Allison Crowe, photo: Adrian du Plessis

Canadian singer and songwriter Allison Crowe returns to Paris as part of a tour launching her new album “Spiral.” Her music, described as acoustic cinematic folk indie pop, has an emotional punch seldom heard today. She is one of the best interpreters to come along since Joe Cocker. Crowe performs at the Auditorium du conservatoire Gentilly, Saturday, October 2, 2010 at 8:00pm, 2 rue Jules Ferry, 94250, Gentilly, France. Also on the bill that evening is Emily B. Green. Continue reading “Allison Crowe in Paris”

Hart Music in Paris

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Mick Hart, photo: Ruby Boukabou

Australian singer/songwriter Mick Hart has been touring the world for the last decade supporting the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Bob Dylan, Sting, and Coldplay, to name a few. He bases himself between Australia and France. Hart will be performing in Paris June 25th at La Dame de Canton. He talks to Ruby Boukabou about his recent album, his  new French record label and why he loves the French fans. Continue reading “Hart Music in Paris”