Day: September 22nd, 2006

Doctors without boundaries

Friday, September 22nd, 2006 | All Things, Arts, Friends

I was back at the Rubin Museum of Art on Friday night for the Artists on Art presentation by Shen Wei, the choreographer behind New York-based contemporary dance company Shen Wei Dance Arts. Wei and one of the RMA guides gave a brief talk about mandalas — the graphic representations of the universe in Hindu or Buddhist culture. The museum had several of the intricate circle-within-a-square images on display. Chinese-born Wei explained how he drew upon the variety of the mandalas he came across on a recent trip to Tibet as inspiration for the dance forms he used in Re-, (Part I), his performance work based on the spirituality of Tibetan culture which is being performed at the Joyce Theater September 26 through October 1, 2006. Also in attendance that evening was Ani Choying Drolma, the Tibetan nun who sings the music in the show.

Shen Wei

I wandered through the galleries, spending more time at the whimsical Flying Mystics exhibition, with its focus on depictions of flight in Buddhist paintings and sculptures. The top (sixth) floor had just opened a new, interesting-looking exhibition last week: I See No Stranger: Early Sikh Art and Devotion for which the museum had printed and bound stacks of impressively detailed gallery guides. A tour would have required a lot more time to explore than I had that evening, though. The exhibit runs through January 29, 2007, so I have time to come back.

RMA Statue

On my way out I stopped to check in on RMA Artist in Residence Pema Rinzin and the progress of his painted mural, The Guardian Kings, since the last time I was at the museum.

RMA Mural

RMA Spiral

Afterwards, it was a leisurely stroll from the museum for a light dinner at “posh pita parlour” Chickpea — just a couple of storefronts down from my namesake dumpling purveyor, the Union Square outpost of Dumpling House on Eldridge. I was just washing down my very first shawafel (shawarma + falafel = pretty good!) with lemonade when SYB and HYB arrived from their first party of the evening. It was still a bit too early for the three of us to head over to CP’s birthday bash at Kabin, so we wandered the aisles of Trader Joe’s for a while, picking up some dark chocolate-covered espresso beans along the way.

Later in the East Village, I ran into JL, with whom I had spent some time last year during the series of J’s wedding events. Her cousin is CP’s fiancé — small world. Also notably, I experienced what may have been the most horrifying pick-up banter ever. Hard to say which was most galling: the unabashed arrogance, the jaw-dropping inappropriateness, or the crass directives involving cupcake frosting. Wow… seriously? After that, I was ready to go home. The B brothers insisted on accompanying me out, for which I felt a little bit guilty about cutting short their stay. But at least SYB got his mojo back with a dancer from the other party.

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