Translucent Borders: Cross-Cultural Collaborations

June 21 – July 6, 2018


June 21, 1:00 pm
Make Music New York: The World Comes to NYU
The Oak Grove Silver Towers, NYU
100 Bleecker Street (between La Guardia Place & Mercer Street)
Free and open to the public

On the first day of summer, the annual Make Music New York celebration came to NYU with music and dance from Cuba, West Africa, Ireland and Appalachia, featuring Oyu Oro, Mandara Music, and a hootenanny with In the Pines.

1:00-1:45 – Mandara Music Percussion and song with Valerie Naranjo and Barry Olsen, who performed music of West and southern Africa and the diaspora, and included original works on instruments from many countries.

1:45-2:30 – In the Pines Hootenany Toe-tapping traditional folk music of Ireland and Appalachia on guitar, fiddle, harmonica, and Jew’s harp celebrated the summer solstice with Leenya Rideout, Andy Teirstein and friends. 

5:00-7:00 – Oyu Oro Afro Cuban Experimental Dance Ensemble Repertoire that paid tribute to African cultural lineages derived from the Yoruba, Congo, Carabali, Arará, and Dahomean cultures of West Africa and Haiti. Audience members learned some Afro-Cuban dance moves as well. See more: Yamaha by Oyu Oro video

June 24-28
Jacob's Pillow, Inside/Out Performance
358 George Carter Rd, Becket, MA
Free and open to the public

This three-day residency at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival brought together for the first time global collaborators from Cuba, The Middle East, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, and Italy.

The residency culminated in the debut presentation of intercultural works-in-progress with more than twenty musicians and dancers as part of the Inside/Out Performance Series.

Other activities were open to the public. Jacob's Pillow was selected as the site for this residency for both its retreat-like setting and its rich history as a force in the cultural exchange of dance.

June 28, 7:30 pm
Lincoln Center Atrium, NYC
Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets
Free and open to the public

Master musicians from Ghana, Cuba, Italy, The Middle East and the USA came together for a rare evening to explore synergies and confluences, against a backdrop of imagery from their home countries.

Oud player/violinist Yair Dalal, celebrated for his compositions inspired by the Azazme Bedouins; renowned Palestinian singer Amal Murkus joined by Firas Zreik on qanun (zither); the popular Arab/Jewish hip-hop band System Ali; Ghanaian one-stringed gonje (violin) master Meirgah Abubakari and singer/drummer Sulley Imoro; Afro-Cuban percussionist/composer Francisco Mora Catlett and Italian nyckelharpa (arched instrument with keys) virtuoso Marco Ambrosini joined NY based artists Mariel Roberts of the Mivos Quartet on cello, Valerie Naranjo on gyil/percussion, and Andy Teirstein on banjo, guitar, fiddle, harmonica, and Jew’s harp.

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June 29, 7:30 pm
Jack Crystal Theater, NYU
111 Second Avenue between 6th & 7th streets
Free and open to the public

Translucent Borders musicians and dancers from Ghana, Cuba, the Middle East, Italy, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States, fresh from performances at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and the Lincoln Center Atrium, performed at New York University, showing the results of a creative dialogue with each other over the past year.

These global collaborations were presented at the Jack Crystal Theater at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. 

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July 4  (Times below)
Global Shindig: Celebrate the World on July Fourth
Also: Workshops in Nyckelharpa and African Drum and Dance
The Ashokan Center, Ashokan, NY

Attendees explored the cultures of the Negev Desert, Sweden, and Ghana. Marco Ambrosini (Nyckelharpa) and Sulley Imoro with Meirigah Abubakari  (African drum, dance, and song) lead afternoon workshops.

These artists engaged with participants as a way of celebrating July 4th in the context of global diversity. The workshops were held at the outdoor pavilion followed by performances and an evening barbecue.  

Workshops: 2-3:30pm

Concert: 4-5:20pm

Barbecue: 6pm


July 5 & 6, 9:00 pm
Hudson Valley Festival of Arts
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY

                                                                      The World Comes to America

Translucent Borders presented two evenings of music and dance including master artists from Cuba, the Middle East, Italy, Ghana and the United States, brought together for the first time on this United Stated Tour. They came to Mohonk fresh from performances at Lincoln Center, celebrating the rich global influences on American culture.

The Inspiration of Rhythm - July 5

Across the world, poetry is the inspiration for a multiplicity of music and dance forms. In this program, viewers experienced the hip-hop poetry of the Arab/Jewish band System Ali, and the joyful drumming, dance and song of Ghanaian musician/dancers Sulley Imoro and Meirigah Abubakari. Guest appearances by Andy Teirstein and David Lutken.

Strings and Bows - July 6

What do Sweden, Italy, Israel and America have in common?
A thriving heritage of stringed folk instruments. This evening brought the Swedish nyckelharpa, the Middle Eastern oud and qanun, and the American banjo onstage together, with master musicians from Italy, the Middle East and Louisiana.