Walter’s World: Dance and More Bearden

November 6, 2011

Complexions Contemporary Ballet fall season at the Joyce Theatre (175 8th Ave at 19th St) Tuesday November 15 through Sunday November 27. The season will feature two premieres. What Come, Thereafter created by Dwight Rhoden and original score by Rock Jazz pianist virtuoso ELEW. The work pays tribute to Complexions Contemporary Ballet Co-Artistic Director Desmond Richardson in his final year as a touring performer with the company. Places Please, is the second premiere by Rhoden and is set to an eclectic score of rockabilly, big band and classic jazz. Tickets start at $10. To purchase tickets visit or call JoyceCharge 212.242.0800

The company is offering three programs:

Program A: Mercy, What Come, Thereafter, Places Please Nov. 15, 7:30pm, Nov. 16, 7:30pm, Nov. 18, 8pm; Nov. 19, 8pm,Nov. 20, 7:30pm

Program B: Hissy Fits, Three Point Turn, Moody Booty Blues, Solo, Places Please Nov. 22, 7:30pm, Nov. 23, 7:30pm, Nov. 25, 8pm, Nov. 26, 8pm, Nov. 27, 7:30pm

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Program C: Celebrate…Desmond Richardson- What Come, Thereafter, Places Please Nov. 19, 2pm, Nov. 20, 2pm, Nov. 26, 2pm, Nov. 27, 2pm

Romare Bearden The Painter: An Exhibition Of Watercolor and Oil Paintings at the Essie Green Galleries. Due to the October 29th snow the Gallery is hold a second “rain date” opening reception Saturday November 19th from 4pm to 6pm. The gallery is located at 419A Convent Avenue for more information and gallery hours call 212 368 9635.

Bearden is primarily recognized for his collages, although he is a master water colorist as well. In fact, his exhibition of watercolor work at the prestigious Samuel Kootz Gallery in New York, in the 1940’s, was highly lauded and secured his reputation in the art world. His cubist style works rendered planes of jewel-toned watercolor articulated with dynamic, linear detailing in India ink. The black line and intense color call to mind the French artist Georges Rouault (1871-1958).

The Harlem Renaissance patron, Carl Van Vechten, did declare Bearden to be “The Negro Rouault”. Bearden’s paintings that are mainly in watercolor, have received disconcerting muted attention. To a degree this is due to the fact that in the hierarchy of the fine arts establishment, watercolors lack the prestige of oils or collages. However, during the final years of his life, Bearden returned to using watercolors as a prime medium. The works on paper in this exhibition explore several themes employing southern roots, conjure people, jazz musicians, and rural and lush Caribbean landscapes. Romy was modern artist contributing to the contemporary canon and its development, and his work was an expression of his personal journey as an African American.

These are just are two of the many events happening around the city and in the community. As always, thank you for letting me share my world with you.

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