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12 Can't Miss Events at Performa 15

By Cait Munro

We've been looking forward to the Renaissance-inspired Performa 15 since last year's celebratory gala at the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank, and the biennial event is finally upon us! From November 1–22, performance art will take over New York City, with events springing up everywhere from Pioneer Works to the streets of lower Manhattan in the wee hours of the morning. And as much time as we've all had to plan, perusing the calendar is always more than a little daunting.

While playing a game of "how many can you make it to" is fun, most of us know that only the superhuman beings among us, like Performa founder RoseLee Goldberg, can really succeed at that game. So, accepting your fate as a mere mortal, we offer a tailored list of performances that will ensure you'll see some of the best of what this unique month-long biennial has to offer.

Robin Rhode, Arnold Schönberg's Erwartung, November 7–8 in Times Square
With Times Square as a backdrop, Robin Rhode will perform Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg's atonal opera Erwartung (Expectation), transforming it to reflect the experiences of women separated from their families due to migrant labor, political exile, and imprisonment. Described by Schönberg himself as a "30-second anxiety attack extended musically into a 30-minute opera," Erwartung is an exercise in understanding the realities of pain and perseverance.