Social distancing, meet social media.
New York City’s cultural attractions have all taken a pause to support public health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But with its rich artistic history, the city is in a unique position to offer virtual entertainment by the world-class performing artists who have appeared on our stages. These great talents can now “appear” in your home and make you part of a global audience for dance, theater, music, and more until we can gather for live shows again.
There are also free and inexpensive courses you can take to make the best use of your time and convert the coming weeks into a period of personal or professional self-improvement.
While you’re staying at home, doing your part to protect global health and safety, make time in your schedule to enjoy these virtual events.
Dance: Get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create a dance performance in Dancemaker. The 1998 documentary follows choreographer Paul Taylor and his company from rehearsals to staging of his work Piazzolla Caldera. You can access the full movie here via the Paul Taylor American Modern Dance website, where you’ll also find links to the film on Vimeo and YouTube. You can also follow the company on Instagram (@paultaylordance) for information on live online classes, including yoga instruction and lessons for dance fans ages three and up.
Theater: Ever fantasized about hanging out with your favorite Broadway stars? Now you can join them in their own homes thanks to the Living Room Concerts series, which has already featured Broadway performers’ at-home renditions of songs from Mean Girls, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, and more hit shows.
Opera: The Metropolitan Opera will be streaming encore presentations from its Live in HD series. A new presentation will be made available daily for free streaming on the Met website. New operas go live on the stream at 7:30 pm and remain accessible until 6:30 pm the following day. The Met notes, “The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers.”
Music: Since 2014, Carnegie Hall and medici.tv have partnered on live webcasts of Carnegie Hall concerts that have been viewed by music lovers in more than 180 countries and territories. Click here for access to performances by Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, and Audra McDonald (all in one concert!), Lang Lang, or Leif Ove Andsnes and Dorothea Röschmann as well as special events such as the Richard Tucker Opera Gala and master classes with Joyce DiDonato.
And the 92nd Street Y offers streaming concerts here. Among the highlights is a piano recital by Garrick Ohlsson performed on March 14. The Y notes: “We were honored when the world-renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson graciously performed a concert of Chopin, Beethoven and Prokofiev on our stage. The hall was empty, but audiences tuned in from all over the world to hear this very special performance.” Check the website for this and other performances.
Children and families: The New Victory Theater offers online Arts Break programming. The organizers say: “Guided by New Victory Teaching Artists, Arts Break is an opportunity for you and your family to discover new skills from the comfort of your own home…inspiring you to make art, and make memories, together! Last week, we focused on rhythm and percussion. This week, it’s time to get up and move! You could love to dance or not have a clue—this week’s activities are designed to help you explore dance and movement as a family in fun, approachable ways.”
And children’s musician Laurie Berkner is presenting free online concerts “to help kids and parents find a routine, get up and move, and learn and play together.” You can tune in here at 10 am most weekday mornings for live “Berkner Break” shows that will include “an abundance of songs, playful movement activities, stories, and more.” You can also check her YouTube channel for access to more than 20 music videos about topics such as counting, the alphabet, telling time, and emotions.
Classes: Energize Your Voice is offering a three-session online Public Speaking course that begins April 6. If that whets your appetite for more, there’s a follow-up three-session intermediate Public Speaking course that begins April 16. You can also sign up for the online workshops Confidence and Speaking up: the future of female leadership (April 14). (The “future of male leadership” program took place in March, but you can check the website for future programming dates.) All these online classes are being offered at no charge.
Header photo credit: Julienne Schaer / NYC & Company