WOMEN’S HISTORY: Noted folklorist’s tale of enslaved man

I AM AN AVID FAN of Zora Neale Hurston, America’s foremost folklorist. I was thrilled to find a copy of her most recently released book, Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo,” at the library in Hudson on 5th Street. In 1927 Hurston interviewed Kossola, the last survivor of the last slave trader ship to dock in the United States at Mobile, Alabama.

I interviewed, via email, Emily Chameides, director of services, and asked how she decides what new releases to include in the library’s collection? (Her responses are edited for available space.)

EC: We select materials . . . that meet the needs of the community . . . and are consistent with our goals and mission . . . Some of the criteria . . . include: authority of the author . . . representation of inclusive experiences and diverse viewpoints, . . . authenticity, . . . evaluation of critics and reviewers, . . . artistic merit and literary value . . . Barracoon checked off all of the boxes.

LCL: What about Barracoon, specifically, makes it worthy of inclusion?

EC: Barracoon is an important story, offering a firsthand account of a middle passage journey, . . . The book was rejected for publication back in the 1930s . . . 87 years later, the work was finally published without translation, maintaining the authenticity of Kossola’s narrative . . . It’s an invaluable work of American history. Read more…

Kyle Marshall Choreography returns to Hudson

HUDSON – On Tuesday, July 27, Kyle Marshall Choreography returns to the area at “Dance By the River.” As part of a three-night event, sponsored by the NYS DanceForce, Operation Unite NY, City of Hudson, Spark of Hudson and the Hudson Sloop Club, Marshall will perform at 7 p.m. at the Hudson Riverfront Park.

Marshall is a choreographer, performer, and artistic director of Kyle Marshall Choreography (KMC), a dance company “that sees the dancing body as a container of history, an igniter of social reform and a site of celebration,” according to a press release. KMC has performed at venues including BAM Next Wave Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Actors Fund Arts Center, NJPAC, NBPAC, Little Island, Philadelphia’s Fringe Arts Festival, the New World Center, and Roulette.

The three-night event began at the Hudson Riverfront Park on June 29 with artists Rashuan Mitchell and Silas Riener. This second night on July 27 with KMC will include the Ujima Community Collective Drum Class with percussionists John Ward at 5:30 p.m. and a live performance by the Heard Jazz Band at 8 p.m.

The third waterfront night will feature A-Y/dancers and Lex Grey Band. A-Y/dancers is a repertory dance company based in the Hudson Valley presenting professional modern and contemporary dance. Directed by Claire Deane, they create dance programs that span the history of concert dance and provide audiences with experiences of classical modern dance, acclaimed contemporary dance and groundbreaking emerging choreography. A-Y/dancers will begin reconstructing Jose Limon’s masterwork “Dances for Isadora” for their next season of performances including “Dance By the River” on August 24.

The fourth concert will be held at The Garage in Chatham and is part of the “Dance By the River Extension” on the evening of September 10. This is a double-bill dance concert with have two sections. The first section is inspired by John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Robert Rauschenberg. The music, composed by Jeffrey Lependorf, will be performed by the NewBorn Trio and feature Jonah Bokaer Choreography. The second section will feature Ghanaian and jazz percussionists Zorkie Nelson of Ghana and community dancers. Zorkie Nelson is a master percussionist from Ga tribal people of Accra in Ghana. Nelson is a founding member of the Pan African Orchestra which toured the US, Canada, France, and the UK for 10 years. Zorkie is the artistic director of West African Drummers and Dancers. He is a member of Yacup Addy’s “Oddada!” and has toured with Wynton Marselis performing “Congo Square” which drew historical connections between African traditions and modern-day jazz/soul music. Zorkie will present three public dance workshops in August resulting in a community performance at The Garage/Dance by the River Extension.

“Dance By the River” is meant to present excellence in dance in one of nature’s most natural and beautiful element, the Riverfront Park of Hudson. Families can enjoy performances with an the back drop of boats, a flowing river, and other park activities. Community partners are City of Hudson, and new partners Adam Weinert, Sam Merritt, George Spencer, and Thomas Bo.

For information call 518 828-3612 or email . For information on collective dance projects across NYS, go to www.danceforce.org. All performances are free to the public.


New Book collects Millay’s diaries

THROUGHOUT THE 1920s and 1930s, Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poems sold in the thousands, and public readings across the country were quickly sold out. From 1925 until her death in 1950, she lived at Steepletop, a 700-acre homestead and farm at the upper end of East Hill Road in Austerlitz.

Since her death, biographies, critical studies, and collections of her letters and poetry have heightened awareness of her literary work. This month Daniel Mark Epstein, one of her most recent biographers, has released nearly all of her known diary entries, previously available only at the Library of Congress.

Millay’s diaries, originally written in multiple notebooks, open doors for a more complete appreciation of her life and poetry. In “Rapture and Melancholy: The Diaries of Edna St. Vincent Millay” (Yale University Press, $35), Epstein brings into public view Millay’s private activities, personal impressions, and literary thoughts. Read more…

ENTERTAINMENT: Student art contest, Crandell, virtual play reading, artists funding, Art Omi, Murder Café, Club Helsinki, Bard orchestra

Students look at Covid-19

Image credit: Madison Mastro

Image credit: Caitlin Owen

Madison Mastro and Caitlin Owen are the winners of a student art contest run by Council 82, Local 3828 of the Columbia County Corrections Union.

The Union wanted to credit children for “their hard work during these times of isolation,” Matthew Hogencamp, Local president, said in a press release.

Participants submitted an artwork that, in their eyes, related to COVID 19. On May 23 Union membership chose a winner from each of two age groups: 8 and under, and 9 to 18 The prize was a $50 gift card.

The Union congratulates and thanks all who participated, and the area teachers who shared the contest with their classes. For more information see the Local’s Facebook page.










Read more…

ENTERTAINMENT: Virtual movies, Mac-Haydn, furthermore, Drive-by Art, Bindlestiff

The whole world is a movie palace

GHENT—The whole world—or any room in your home—is a movie theater these days, thanks to virtual screening rooms. The Crandell Theatre and TSL present regular screenings, and “Ella the Ungovernable” makes its international debut.

In stay-at-home cinema this week, the Crandell presents the coming-of-age drama “Fourteen,” the stranger-than-fiction documentary “The Painter and the Thief,” the Georgian romance “And Then We Danced,” plus a holdover of “Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint.”

Watch the trailers and buy a virtual ticket through the links offered on the Crandell’s website, crandelltheatre.org, with 50% of the box office benefitting the continued operations of the Crandell Theatre. Read more…