What We’re Watching in Arts & Entertainment

PHOTO: Nederlands Dans Theater in Paul Lightfoot's "Standby".

Nederlands Dans Theater is streaming two exclusive film premieres marking the artistic farewell of house choreographers Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon. They have created two exceptional world premieres in recent weeks, together with the dancers of NDT 1 and NDT 2, exclusively recorded on film. Both projects have been choreographed in accordance with the provisions and the protocol on social distance.

The first work is called Standby, the cue used to indicate to the artists ready on stage that a performance is about to begin. It is dedicated to the entire company and is danced by all 42 dancers who performed on the NDT stage in this eventful 2019-2020 season. A large physical work inspired by and dictated by the rules of social distance, Standby uses the music of the Danish composer Knudgare Riisager, who wrote an iconic piece and reflected it on all parts of a classical ballet class. Standby gives a whimsical look at how NDT uses classic technology in its own, unique house style and it is simply breathtaking. “The dancers were reborn in this process, and motivated to achieve the best of themselves after this forced hibernation,” says Lightfoot, “I’d like to think that Standby might herald a new wonderful chapter for all of us, and I’m sure that you will be equally enchanted by their exquisite performances as I have been in my final moments.”

PHOTO: Nederlands Dans Theater performs “She Remembers” by Sol Leon.

In the second film, Sol Leon creates an intimate and poetic world called She Remembers. The cast includes five exceptional artists who will end their career at NDT and will leave the company at the end of this season. A work inspired by an ocean of memories and the beauty of transformation with music by George Friedrich Handel and Max Richter. Available through August 10, 2020 at ndt.nl/ndtv/ and on the NDT YouTube channel.

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PHOTO: Deborah Voigt and Marcello Giordani in “La Fanciulla del West” at The Met.

The Metropolitan Opera continues its nightly streamed operas with Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West on Sunday July 26. Though less familiar than Puccini’s greatest hits, this action-packed tribute to the American Wild West, which received its world premiere at the Met in 1910, is every bit as compelling. Its sweeping, evocative score deftly captures the feel of a Gold Rush–era mining camp—the perfect place for a sweet-talkin’ bandit to fall for a gun-totin’ bar owner with an enormous soprano voice and a heart of gold. Be sure to check The Met’s weekly guide as they stream an opera each day for 24 hours only.

PHOTO: Taming of the Shrew at Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada

Streaming now through August 6 at StratfordFestival.ca/AtHome is an award-winning production of Taming of the Shrew. Courtship or conquest? The breaking down of a defiant spirit – or a breakthrough that liberates a heart deprived of love? Will you ever see a battle of wills that is fiercer or funnier – or more hotly controversial? Tune in!

PHOTO: Justin Cunningham and Danyel Fulton in “Broadbent, Arkansas” at The Transport Group

The Transport Group, the New York Drama Critics Circle and Drama Desk award-winning theatre company, streams a recording of its original 2019 musical Broadbend, Arkansas, which follows three generations of an African-American family in the South as it grapples with questions of civil rights, economic inequality and police brutality. Benny, an orderly at a nursing home, must balance his role as a caregiver to an ornery white resident who shares a contentious past with his while at the same time caring for his own family in the midst of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. Thirty years later, his daughter, Ruby, struggles with an incident of police brutality involving her son. This unique musical, spanning nearly half a century, asks us to contemplate the cycle of violence in this country and how we will find hope to create change. Jack Cummings III directs a cast led by Justin Cunningham and Danyel Fulton with music by Ted Shen. Contributions to the Black Theatre Network are encouraged. Available to stream through August 16 at TransportGroup.org

PHOTO: The cast of Much Ado About Nothing in the Public Theatre Shakespeare in the Park 2019 production.

PBS.org presents the 2019 Public Theatre Shakespeare in the Park production of Much Ado About Nothing. This bold interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedic masterpiece features Danielle Brooks (“Orange is the New Black,” Broadway’s “The Color Purple”) and Grantham Coleman (“Buzzer,” “The Americans”) as the sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick. Available through September 11.