WLIW Arts Beat

S2017 E10 | FULL EPISODE

WLIW Arts Beat - December 7, 2017

This month on WLIW Arts Beat, we follow a conductor as he journeys the world to debut at Carnegie Hall. We see video art on the NYC subway, explore the work of a Native American artist, and watch a 12-year old rehearse the role of "Clara" in Rockville Centre, Long Island's The Nutcracker.

AIRED: December 07, 2017 | 0:26:37
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TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

♪♪

>> Coming up on this edition

of "WLIW Arts Beat"...

It takes a village

to make a maestro...

>> If you are the son

of immigrants, to know where

your roots really are, that's

been very important for me.

This whole experience

is about that.

♪♪

>> ...a video portrait

of one's best qualities...

>> That's how I chose my person.

There was something about them

that attracted me.

♪♪

>> ...a firsthand perspective

of merging culture with art...

>> Born, growing up half-white

and half-Native American,

I was into both worlds.

♪♪

>> ...and an insider's view

of a young dancer

preparing the lead role

in "The Nutcracker."

>> Ballet is definitely 70

or 80 percent of my life,

and I would not give it up

for any reason.

♪♪

>> Stay with us

for "WLIW Arts Beat."

Funding for "WLIW Arts Beat"

is made possible

by viewers like you.

Thank you.

Welcome to "WLIW Arts Beat."

I'm Diane Masciale.

First up, the story of a man

who summons up a musical spirit

worthy of knighthood.

Conductor Sir Antonio Pappano

enchants world audiences

with his interpretations

of both symphonic

and operatic repertoire.

He recently made his

Carnegie Hall debut.

Valerie Delia catches up

with the conductor in Italy.

[ Bells ringing ]

>> Clinging to the sun-parched

hills of Southern Italy's

Campania region,

about 60 miles

northeast of Naples,

lies a small agricultural

village where the manual

stretching of a local cheese

is an age-old tradition.

>> It's old.

Streets are rough.

It's imperfect,

and it's what we are.

>> What puts this obscure

village on the map, though,

is not a maestro of mozzarella,

but a favorite son

who uses his hands

to make music.

♪♪

Antonio Pappano does double duty

as the music director

of the Royal Opera House

in London and Rome's

Santa Cecilia

Symphony Orchestra.

[ Operatic singing ]

Pappano has conducted

some of the world's leading

musicians in ornate spaces,

but just one modest location

in late summer tugs at his heart

like the taut strings

of a violin.

>> If you are the son of

immigrants, to know where your

roots really are, that's

been very important for me.

This whole experience

is about that.

♪♪

>> His parents emigrated

from Italy to England.

Antonio was born just outside

London in 1959,

where he took up the piano

at 6 years old.

Although he is the director

of two international orchestras,

he got his start in America

as a teenager

when his parents uprooted

themselves yet again,

leaving England for Bridgeport,

Connecticut.

This is where his opera-singer

father established a voice

studio, providing his talented

son with private training

on the piano.

>> The courage to make these

moves, which are cataclysmic

in a family's life,

have made me unafraid

to just go where I need to go.

>> He left Connecticut

when the New York City Opera

gave him his first big break

as a rehearsal accompanist.

♪♪

>> It meant leaving my father

and that family business of

teaching and accompanying

singers, and a very difficult

moment.

>> A moment that eventually led

to a musical metamorphosis

from pianist to a conductor

who claims a global pedigree.

♪♪

>> People ask me, "Are you

American? Are you Italian?

Are you English?"

I'm all of that.

I have, actually,

three passports.

I'm a -- I live in the Opera

House.

Because of his significant

achievements in the music world,

Pappano has been knighted.

>> Music has become my life,

but it has a lot to do with,

also, this work ethic,

this immigrant work ethic

that my parents embodied

and defined for me, and that

immigrant thing is obviously

very strong in America,

and it's a very strong part

of me, personally.

It's been something that's

followed me my whole life,

and I'm sure you.

I mean, your ancestors come from

this town.

>> This town is Castelfranco

in Miscano, province of

Benevento, where he conducts an

annual tribute in memory

of his father, Pasquale.

Sir Antonio Pappano is regarded

much like the revered Saints

who are paraded around the

ancient streets

during Ferragosto,

the summer festival

that brings people,

including Pappano,

back to honor their origins.

The annual visit by the maestro

livens things in up in a town

that otherwise moves

like a composition

in adagio tempo.

♪♪

>> We're here in a couple of

days where there's a music

festival, and everything seems

alive, but, actually, most of

the year it's quite dead and

quite still and quite sad.

>> Antonio dedicated

the first concert to his dad,

who was visiting Castelfranco

in 2004, quite ill with

diabetes.

>> Two days later, my father

died here in the town

in which he was born,

and so that concert in his honor

became in his memory.

I decided that I needed to do

this concert every year.

The concerts that I did

in the beginning of all this,

in the church, San Giovanni --

that, to me,

had a tremendous resonance

because my parents

were baptized in that church,

they were confirmed in that

church.

It was like I was in a historic

place for the family.

>> What started as an intimate

church recital

is now an overture

to something more monumental.

[ Orchestra tuning ]

>> And it's a bigger event.

And I think that's what

this place needs.

It needs an event.

>> Sir Antonio Pappano!

♪♪

>> Supported by the ancient

bedrock of a tiny piazza,

Pappano conducts

a youth orchestra from nearby

Benevento comprised mostly of

conservatory students and

graduates.

♪♪

>> What they don't have in

experience, they make up

in, sort of, energy, especially

when the music is really loud.

♪♪

>> The concert more than doubles

the town's population of 800,

and pumps up the pizza output at

Bar Capricci from 25 pies on an

ordinary night to 300 when

Pappano performs.

>> He's got great talent,

but he's also a great person,

and I like the way he just

moves.

He seems to have the music

inside him.

>> Well, I'm an Italian boy.

Yeah.

I mean, the --

You talk with the hands,

of course, and a conductor

to boot, you know.

>> I love it.

>> Pappano is a mentor honoring

his father's legacy with a

commitment to inspire excellence

in a new generation.

>> For him to have seen me

on this stage with an orchestra

of young people -- This would

have really moved him.

>> He's very kind

and very professional.

>> Even if we made some errors,

some mistakes, he didn't,

like, get angry or whatever.

He's a very fine man.

>> I don't have children.

I have a lovely, lovely wife,

but I have my musical families.

>> Recently, Pappano flew

overseas with his Rome family,

his Santa Cecilia Orchestra,

to a very special engagement

in New York City.

♪♪

>> I think I've done a lot

in music, but Carnegie Hall

is the address.

Let's face it.

♪♪

To come to New York and make

a debut at Carnegie Hall

is hardly believable,

to tell you the truth.

♪♪÷

>> Pappano proves that it does

indeed take practice

to get to Carnegie Hall.

>> There's no replacement

for time and for experience.

You just have to pay your dues

and try and get better

every concert that you do.

♪♪

I'm very proud.

I'm proud of my orchestra.

I'm proud of myself.

I'm proud of my family.

[ Applause ]

>> No matter where in the world

this global music figure

performs, he can rely

on his Castelfrangese roots

to ground him, where can be just

another paisano,

just plain Tony.

>> Several things come

together here --

my very strong feeling

for this town,

how my parents experienced it

and their memories

and their stories.

It's my way of giving something

back to this region.

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

>> For more information,

visit the link on our web page.

How would you respond to the

question, "What do you like

about yourself?"

Video artist Cat Del Buono

tries to tackle that question

with a film on the best

qualities of New York City

subway passengers in her

exhibit, "Riders on the 4."

♪♪

>> My name is Cat Del Buono,

and I am a video artist.

The video installation is called

"Next Stop Wynwood," which is

actually based on another

project that I had started a few

years back called

"Riders on the 4."

If you went into that

gallery space, you would

have seen the two monitors,

which had actual subway riders

just sitting there.

What I had done was their

video portrait,

and in the background of the two

video monitors,

you would see a projection of

a platform on the subway to kind

of put you in the environment

of being there in the subway,

experiencing what the rest of us

commuters would experience

if you were on the subway.

The way it had started was

I approached these people and

asked them, "May I do your video

portrait?" and to my surprise,

most of them said, "Okay."

So I just filmed them sitting

there.

So you don't see them talking or

anything, but then after, I

said, "Now can you tell me

something that you like about

yourself?"

>> Everything.

I'm an artist.

I'm a writer.

I have my own CDs.

>> So I took that audio

and put it underneath the image

of them just sitting there,

so you have your video portrait

with the sound

of the actual person

talking about themselves.

And the reason why I chose the

question -- I wanted to have the

same question for everybody --

"Tell me something you like

about yourself" -- was at the

time, I was, like, watching

reruns of "Nip/Tuck," and I

don't know if you ever watched

it, but the guys always asked,

"Tell me something you don't

like about yourself."

And I wanted to do the opposite

because I never liked

that question.

And to keep some sort of

conformity there, I wanted

everybody to have the same

question.

That was the question I posed

for them.

>> I think I'm pretty charming,

smart, hard worker.

>> When you're sitting on the

subway and you start looking at

people, you start, you know,

guessing who they might be,

or you might see something

that's attractive to you in some

way, whether it's the

physicality or something unique

or something, and that's

how I chose my person.

It was something about them

that attracted me.

It ended up being, you know,

all different colors, ages,

types because that's what you

get on a New York City subway,

and that's what I love

about New York is the diversity,

so that's how the project

ended up being, as well.

♪♪

>> For more information,

visit the link on our web page.

Now, here's a look at this

month's fun fact.

Painter Brent Learned,

an Oklahoma native and a

descendent of the Cheyenne

and Arapaho tribes, uses a

contemporary perspective on art

that captures the essence

and historic authenticity

of the American Plains Indians,

a history Learned feels must not

be forgotten or overlooked.

Here's his story.

>> It takes me back to

my childhood,

where I'm just doing my thing,

and whatever is around me

doesn't matter.

You know, I'm one with the

canvas, and, just, it's ecstasy.

You're creating your own world.

The beauty of it is that

everyone that you show that to,

they are seeing a little

part of you in that world.

So, by painting, it just takes

me to another place.

♪♪

♪♪

I am a contemporary

Native American artist.

The majority of my subject

matter, you know,

I'm painting things

that would have happened over

150 years ago.

The colors draw you into the

painting, and yet your eye wants

to move all over, so I'm using

colors that normally would not

work together.

♪♪

When I thought of

Native American paintings,

I always thought of the

two-dimensional, real primitive

style, and there were some

really, other cool things out

there, but I'm thinking, you

know what, I might just dabble

in that, because, for one,

growing up half-white

and half-Native American,

I was into both worlds.

And when I started to dabble

into it, I really appreciated

to know where I came from.

And so, with that,

I just started to experiment

with different styles

and looking at different

Native American artists.

♪♪

Well, for one, I like to meet

people, and I like to talk about

myself and my work, and not only

that, but I'm talking about my

tribe.

The majority of my subject

matter, you know, I'm painting

things that would have happened

over 150 years ago, and so all

I'm doing is just bringing that

up to light using brighter

colors and telling a story in my

way.

We're telling a story

that not too many people

that grow up in Colorado,

or in the United States,

really know.

It's really sad that people

really don't understand

the history of this country.

They just seem to think,

"Oh, it was the good old days."

Well, the good old days

for some were the bad old days

for others.

We all need to know where we

came from to know

where we're going in life.

♪♪

I've learned my limitations

and where I'm comfortable with,

and there are certain things

I just will not paint,

like ceremonial imagery,

because it's just too sacred.

But there are things that I want

to paint

that I haven't painted yet,

and as an artist,

I'm continuing to grow.

It's a journey of my life

through art because

you always want to progress.

I never want to be satisfied.

I always want to do more

and do better.

I always want to stay fresh

and continue to do art.

>> To find out more, visit the

link on our web page.

And now, here's a look at what

happened in arts history.

There's a certain kind of

dedication that can only come

from within.

At 12 years old, dancer

Emma Beloserkovsky has that

dedication.

She's graced with a talent

that recently landed her

the leading role of Clara

in a local production

of "The Nutcracker."

Correspondent Maddie Orton

brings us the story from

Rockville Center, Long Island.

>> The holiday season plants

visions of sugarplums

in many young dancers' heads,

and the aspiring artists

of Leggz LTD. dance studio in

Rockville Center on Long Island

are no exception.

At this rehearsal

for "Nutcracker,"

students of all ages

review staging and perfect pique

turns, all while squeezing

in time for homework offstage.

If the pressure to deliver

as show week approaches

sounds stressful, imagine being

in Emma Beloserkovsky's ballet

slippers.

Her parents are critically

acclaimed performers

Maxim Beloserkovsky

and Irina Dvorovenko,

both former principal dancers

with American Ballet Theatre,

the creme de la creme

of American ballet companies.

But is Emma nervous?

>> I'm actually a little nervous

because, I think, last year,

at the end of the shows, I

would, like, see them sitting

down there, like, in the

mezzanine thing, and I'd be

dancing, and they'd be like...

My dad was like, "Oh, my God.

Please. Please."

I literally saw him cross

himself.

It was the funniest thing.

>> Leggz LTD., like many dance

studios, brings in

semiprofessional and

professional dancers from all

over to take on many of

"The Nutcracker's" major roles,

bringing a polished quality

to the production and offering

students an opportunity

to share the stage with,

and learn from, the pros.

At age 12, Emma is one of those

hired guns in from New York City

at the start of what could be

a lifelong career.

She's dancing the lead role of

Clara, the young girl gifted a

toy nutcracker that magically

comes to life.

Her parents are pretty proud.

>> She found this gig by

herself.

>> It's true. I'll be honest.

>> She was like a manager,

agent, and everything.

>> I didn't want to say, like,

"Okay, we're, like, fantastic

parents.

Look, we just brought the child

in because we're trying to sell

her."

No. She took care of it.

Yes, we had the talk,

but what's after that,

it was truly her decision.

>> That's important

to Beloserkovsky and Dvorovenko

because young performers

who are really going for it

have to give up a lot,

and the life of a professional

dancer is a hard one.

>> There were so many obstacles,

and you're never perfect enough.

You're not too tall.

You're not too thin.

You're not too blond.

You're not too dark.

>> It's always, always.

>> You're constantly going

to hear that, or that needs to

be higher, pull, lower, turn

out, everything, no matter who

you are.

I will support 100 percent

if this is truly her calling,

but I also need to -- We agree,

I think, the whole family --

we need to see that there is a

difference between liking it and

loving it.

>> But according to Emma,

she's already sold.

>> Ballet is definitely

70 or 80 percent of my life,

and I would not give it up

for any reason.

♪♪

>> That makes her a great fit

for this Leggz LTD. production

of "The Nutcracker."

Owner Joan Hope MacNaughton

is passionate about dance,

focusing her school on the art

of dance rather than the world

of dance competitions.

At age 19, MacNaughton

took over the dance studio

she once attended.

A young mother of two, she had

left her career as a

professional dancer to focus on

her kids, and a dance studio of

her own meant she could pursue

her passion while bringing home

a steady income.

MacNaughton renamed the school

Leggz LTD.

She's been teaching young

dancers for over 40 years.

>> It's the most incredible

thing for kids to take dance.

It doesn't matter if they do

anything professionally or not

because all of a sudden they've

gained a confidence.

When they hear music,

they can actually keep a beat

and dance to the music,

and they are knowledgeable

in the art of dance.

>> MacNaughton's students have

gone on to Broadway

and major dance companies.

Her annual production of

"The Nutcracker"

allows young dancers

to cut their teeth

with a beloved ballet

that will fill seats,

and also allow cast members

to stretch

their storytelling muscles.

>> It's important because

it's a story ballet, you know,

so it tells a story.

So the kids get to not only do

ballet steps and choreography,

but they get to act,

and they get to be, you know,

part of this whole,

big experience of telling

the story of "The Nutcracker."

>> MacNaughton sees Emma

and the older professionals

brought in for the show

as inspirational figures

for her students.

>> They can't believe it,

and, you know, I'll say to them,

"Do you know who this dancer is?

Do you know what they do?"

"They dance at ABT.

They dance at Lincoln Center,"

and they give them the knowledge

that dance is about

getting along with other people,

but it's also very structured.

It's very disciplined,

and, you know,

you have to understand that even

though you don't want

all of this structure,

this is what it takes in order

to be able to dance on a stage

with these professional dancers.

>> Emma, of course,

knows this all too well,

and she's working hard to rise

to the challenge.

After she finishes the school

week, homework, and dance

classes of her own in

New York City, she commutes

every Sunday, by train, to

Long Island with her parents for

Leggz "Nutcracker" rehearsals.

They use that time on the train

to review choreography.

>> It would be really hard

without my dad.

We've been having private times

where he would help me, like,

go over everything

and not forget it.

My mom has definitely been in

on it, too.

She's been there and, like,

recording it, thinking about

how to fix it more.

Almost nobody has this chance

of having parents that can help

you in a snap.

Some people just come home and,

like, they have no one to do it

with unless they pay teachers to

help them.

My parents help me anytime

I need it, and it's amazing.

>> Emma is grateful for her

parent's guidance,

but she's also 12 years old.

And her parents are, well,

parents.

>> But then they're just like,

"You can't say that.

I have to fix this.

Let me fix this, and then you

can say go away."

>> Yeah, this one.

Yeah. It's exactly that.

It's that hyperextended arm

with that, "Mom, Dad."

>> Stop it.

>> Stop it. Yeah.

>> Still, the younger

Beloserkovsky knows she's lucky,

and she'll do what it takes

to make her mark as Clara

in Leggz's production

of "The Nutcracker"

as her parents take their turn

being nervous from their seats

in the auditorium.

>> We're sweating like

there's no tomorrow.

It's better to be --

>> Are you kidding?

That's the best diet possible.

♪♪

>> To see more, visit the link

on our web page.

♪♪

>> That wraps it up for this

edition of "WLIW Arts Beat."

We'd like to hear what you

think, so like us on Facebook,

join the conversation on

Twitter, and visit our web page

for features and to watch

episodes of the show.

We hope to see you next time.

I'm Diane Masciale.

Thank you for watching

"WLIW Arts Beat."

Funding for "WLIW Arts Beat"

was made possible by

viewers like you.

Thank you.

♪♪

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♪♪

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