PICK OF THE WEEK

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS - JC Pe­ter Craw­ley

Levon Vin­cent’s de­but al­bum last year is a good place to go to find out more about the New York na­tive and Berlin res­i­dent. A pow­er­ful blend of moody un­der­ground techno and dra­matic min­i­mal­ism, the al­bum was a vivid snap­shot of Vin­cent’s skill as a pro­ducer and mu­si­cian in cre­at­ing dis­tinc­tive work. It also shows you why his var­i­ous re­leases for la­bels such as Nou­vel Sound, De­con­struct and Ostgut Ton have been so en­thu­si­as­ti­cally wel­comed far and wide. Sup­port from This Greedy Pig DJs. LIT­TLE MON­STERS Mon­ster Mu­sic Im­prov THE UL­STER BANK BELFAST IN­TER­NA­TIONAL ARTS FES­TI­VAL Now in its sec­ond year un­der a new ti­tle, the Ul­ster Bank Belfast In­ter­na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val is again in full swing. That cer­tainly sug­gest a point of sta­bil­ity, but this year’s pro­gramme recog­nises a world that is any­thing but se­cure.

The Lyric The­atre pre­mieres Lucy Cald­well’s new play, Three Sisters, adapted from Chekhov’s clas­sic and given a whole new set of trou­bles in 1990s Belfast, where Orla, Mar­i­anne and Erin now dream of es­cap­ing to Amer­ica. More pos­i­tive signs come from last year’s artist in res­i­dence Amanda Coogan, whose new live art per­for­mance is a col­lab­o­ra­tion with deaf com­mu­ni­ties and cre­ates chore­og­ra­phy, mu­sic and vi­su­als from Shake­speare through sign lan­guage.

Sev­eral more per­for­mances open this week­end in an in­tense clus­ter, bring­ing David Greig’s hotly an­tic­i­pated new take on Aeschy­lus’ The Sup­pli­ant Women to pro­vide clear par­al­lels be­tween the myth­i­cal es­cape of 50 daugh­ters and the global refugee cri­sis. From the same team that made the as­ton­ish­ing The Events, it also find notes of com­mu­nity spirit and fem­i­nist protest.

Prime Cut slip in neatly among such pol­i­tics with a dou­ble bill of Stacey Gregg’s prob­ing mono­logue play Scorch, about gen­der flu­id­ity in an in­flex­i­ble world, and Sarah Gor­don’s wry mys­tery two-han­der A Sink­hole in Gu­atemala. Mean­while, Ka­bosh de­liver two per­spec­tives of the NI bor­der, Green and Blue, about the forces that pa­trolled each side.

There are many more talks, events, dance, ex­hi­bi­tions and ma­raud­ing street per­form­ers, but the fes­ti­val’s real coup may be in its mu­sic pro­gramme. Here the stun­ning New York per­for­mance artist Tay­lor Mac (above) ap­pears with an in­stal­ment of his daz­zling 24-Decade His­tory of Pop­u­lar Mu­sic project, and a cabaret fo­cus­ing on the first World War years and his own take on Ir­ish his­tory. If any­one can put such tur­bu­lent, di­vi­sive past to rest, with ap­pro­pri­ate au­dac­ity and glit­ter erup­tions, it’s Tay­lor.

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