In the past year our calendar has gone from GoLA to Safer at Home, to okay go out but just a little and be careful, to go back home and stay there. Along the way everything from music to movies, comedy to cooking, dance, theater, readings, and visual art has gone digital, and while that’s been a compromise, it’s also been a soul-saver that helped keep us inspired, mindful and connected. For this New Year’s weekend, artists from a variety of disciplines pay tribute to those we’ve lost and to the value of introspection, the setting of intentions and the importance of bravery, tolerance, and magic in our everyday lives.
Thursday, December 31
Patti Smith & Anne Imhof New Year’s Eve Show. Watch the New Year’s Eve virtual presentation by Anne Imhof and Patti Smith, streaming live in Piccadilly Circus and on the CIRCA YouTube Channel. ONE is a new 10-minute video art commission from artist Anne Imhof, using footage filmed at the Tate Modern during her 2019 installation and performance. Ringing in the New Year with a tribute to healthcare workers who died from Covid in 2020, punk and poetry icon Patti Smith will offer a 15-minute performance at the stroke of midnight. Thursday, December 31, live from London at 11:45pm their time — 3:45pm Pacific. youtube.com.
Rose River Memorial. An end of year performance ritual, streamed from the edge of the Pacific ocean at dusk, presenting the progress of this affecting, ongoing hand-crafted Covid memorial project with poetry and convocations from partner organizations and Rose River Memorial lead artist Marcos Lutyens as the sun sets over the ocean on this most challenging year. Thursday, December 31, 4pm; roseriver.memorial.
Friday, January 1
López, Montgomery + Contreras at L.A. Chamber Orchestra. Start a new year with a musically-driven episode of Close Quarters featuring an original screenplay by television and stage writer christopher oscar peña (Insecure, Jane the Virgin). Curated musically by Latin Grammy-nominated composer Juan Pablo Contreras, this episode (the series’ fifth) also showcases music by Jimmy López, Jessie Montgomery and Contreras in an enigmatic merger that heralds the beginning of a new year. Live premiere/New Year’s Day toast, Friday, January 1, 6pm; free; laco.org.
Wolfwalkers at LACMA. In a time of superstition and magic, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn Goodfellowe, journeys to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last wolf pack. While exploring the forbidden lands outside the city walls, Robyn befriends a free-spirited girl, Mebh, a member of a mysterious tribe rumored to have the ability to transform into wolves by night. As they search for Mebh’s missing mother, Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of the Wolfwalkers and risks turning into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy. The film will be followed by a post-screening conversation with co-directors Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart. Friday, January 1 – Sunday, January 3, 10am-10pm; free, rsvp required; lacma.org.
Saturday, January 2
MUSE/IQUE’s In a Minute. In each short webisode, Artistic Director Rachael Worby offers quick, sharp musicological insight and instrumentalists, vocalists, dancers and artists deliver unique, intimate performances. Watch songs come to life as artists record separately in their homes across time and space; how the harp is played from multiple vantage points; or how dance changes when set to spoken word, or when the only sound comes from the movement and breath of the dancer. It only takes a minute or two to learn something new each episode. Episodes 1-86 are streaming at the MUSE/IQUE site now. Their newest — Episode #87: Celebrating Light — was just released on YouTube, in time for the holidays.
Sunday, January 3
Bless Our Breath: Setting Intentions for the New Year with Kimi Hanauer at Gas Gallery/NAVEL. In this workshop, we invite ourselves to respond to questions and themes such as, “describe and be with stillness.” “what does liberation feel like?” “how do we feel the earth breathe?” “to what or who does your breath give life?” “describe the breath of a loved one.” Reflecting on our pasts, presents, and futures, in order to set individual and collective intentions for the new year, all will be invited to share reflections throughout the workshop. Please be prepared with some drawing or writing materials for your own reflection process and a small offering to share with others in virtual space, like a favorite poem, a meme, a playlist, a reading suggestion, or anything else you can think of. Sunday, January 3, 11am; free-$15 suggested donation; withfriends.co.