Arts and culture – Manhattan

It’s New York’s most densely populated boroughs, but Manhattan also is home to the most iconic cultural institutions. New Yorkers may appreciate visiting just a few of the many cultural events around Manhattan. Keep an open mind, heart, and an open eye or you might miss the fine detail in these art and cultural events.

Big Apple Circus – This not-for-profit circus isn’t your typical circus. With the troupe in its 37th year, this circus was started in 1974 with the intent of making people smile and giving back to the community. From the Caravan Vaudeville (that has clowns who visit nursing homes) to the After School Clown program. At-risk youth can participate in a 12-week program where they are taught how to perform circus tricks for their peers. Circus performs also visit sick children in New York hospitals as part of the Clown Care program. The troupe performs from May to June in Cunningham Park, in the parking lot by the tennis courts. For more information or to order tickets, visit: www.bigapplecircus.org.

Ernest Cole Photographer – His photos are being seen by New Yorkers at an exhibit at New York University. The South African was a 20-something in the 1960s who used his camera to capture realities in his homeland. However, in 1966, Cole went into exile. He fled to New York and never went back to Africa. He died homeless on the New York streets in 1990 at the age of 49. His photos are reminders that life can be filled with good times (smiles), but also hard times. For more information, visit: www.nyu.edu/greyart.

50 Shades of Grey – It is true the book E.L James book, 50 Shades of Grey, but apparently so is the musical, 50 Shades of Grey. Though it is not related to E.L. James work, this musical is popular and a parody. With its gospel music and references to sex acts, this musical is running at Manhattan’s Elektra Theater. For more information or to order tickets, visit: www.50shadesthemusical.com.

‘Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s’’ – This exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum is one of newness. With its moving parts, mirrored surfaces and glowing lights, (with the architecture) create an exhibit that effortlessly appears to go together. This exhibit makes use of painting, mixed media, sculpture, works on paper, and the archival materials in photos and film documentation. For more information, visit the Guggenheim Museum website at: www.guggenheim.org

Ballet – Why not take in a beautiful performance from some of St. Petersburg’s best ballet dancers? The Mikhailovsky Ballet Company is in New York for a two-week presentation at the David H. Koch Theater at the Lincoln Center. The troupe is performing: “Geissele,” “The Flames of Paris,” and Don Quixote” for New Yorkers in Manhattan. There is also the American Ballet, which offers the classic, “The Nutcracker,” at Christmas time. The American Ballet company is performing at BAM and ticket prices vary from $15 to more than $110. For more information about tickets, New Yorkers can visit www.bam.org, www.lincolncenter.organd www.davidhkoch.theater.com.