The big event this Spring at the Barbican is the exhibition The Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns which looks at the influence of Marcel Duchamp on the group of younger American artists who integrated art and life, mixing visual and aural arts with much else besides. The exhibition opens on 14 February and runs until 9 June at the Barbican Art Gallery. It will feature around 90 works by Rauschenberg and Johns, along with dance by Cunningham. There are live dance events on Thursday evenings and weekends by students and graduates of from the London Contemporary Dance School and dancers from Richard Alston Dance Company.
Associated with the exhibition are a number of theatrical events. Robert Wilson brings his staging of John Cage's Lecture on Nothing, a work in which Cage explored sound and silence, structuring on the same principals as his music, forcing the listeners to experience what he was saying rather than just hearing it. This new staging by Robert Wilson includes music by composer Arno Karehahn and the work of video artist Romek Jeziorski. The Gate Theatre Dublin bring Watt, adapted from Samuel Beckett's novel by Barry McGovern. Beckett and Duchamp were friends during the war and used to play chess together! Theatre de la Ville-Paris perform Eugene Ionesco's Rhinoceros.
Besides the Duchamp themed events, there is also plenty of other tempting fare.
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama are performing Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, and Mozart's Le Nozze de Figaro (on separate nights I hasten to add). The BBC's Total Immersion is full of Sounds from Japan - Takemitsu and the new generation.
Joyce DiDonato brings her Drama Queens concert (6 Feburary) with Il Complesso Barocco; you know it is here to sell records, but she's such a wonderful performer that you don't care. David Daniels sings the title role in Handel's Radamisto (10 February) with Harry Bicket conducting the English Concert.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra are giving a live performance of Eisenstein's film Alexander Nevsky (9 February). Alina Ibragimova performs Bach and Peteris Vasks violin concertos with the Britten Sinfonia, alongside a new piece by Eriks Esenvalds.
MarkAnthony Turnage's new piece Speranza is being premiered by the LSO under Daniel Harding (7 February) alongside Beethoven and Sibelius. Turnage also features in one of the Soundscapes concerts at LSO St Lukes (19 February).Elsewhere on this blog: