This Week in Arts: a Menagerie, Fresh-Picked Plays and Cuban Dance | Modern Society of USA

This Week in Arts: a Menagerie, Fresh-Picked Plays and Cuban Dance

This Week in Arts: a Menagerie, Fresh-Picked Plays and Cuban Dance

Through March 29; folkartmuseum.org.

There’s an amazing little wooden tiger in the American Folk Art Museum’s teaching collection. Made around 1980 in Oaxaca by Manuel Jimenez, the piece is at once so simply shaped and so brightly painted that it comes across less as a depiction of any specific animal than as a vivid realization of the very idea of tigerness.

Starting Jan. 16, you’ll be able to visit it, along with a spotted pig, a yellow fox and a green dog, in the lobby of the Citigroup Building in Long Island City as part of “A Kingdom in Pieces,” where they’ll be keeping company with contemporary animal-focused paintings by artists associated with the nearby Fountain House Gallery. WILL HEINRICH

Wedged in between is the United States debut of the intriguingly named contemporary company Los Hijos del Director, or The Children of the Director (Jan. 15-16). In “The Last Resource,” choreographed by George Céspedes, who formed the troupe in Havana in 2013, dancers explore the obstacles that Cubans face. Alienation, uncertainty, change — it’s starting to sound all too familiar, in or out of Cuba. But this work, with music ranging from heavy metal and electronica to pieces by Cuban singer-songwriters, promises to be anything but. GIA KOURLAS

So, apparently, has their luck: Chiquita has been accused of fraud and sent to prison, leaving Chela mired in loneliness and encroaching poverty. When a gossipy older neighbor (María Martins) asks Chela for a lift to her card game, she reluctantly begins a sort of taxi service, finding an unfamiliar freedom behind the wheel of her vintage Mercedes. Then Angy (Ana Ivanova) — younger, brash, sexy — climbs into the passenger seat. And something in Chela stirs.

Brun, in a fine debut, won the Silver Bear for best actress at the 2018 Berlin Film Festival. And the director Marcelo Martinessi, who says he was inspired by the romance between Paraguay’s petite bourgeoisie and authoritarian regimes, captured the Alfred Bauer Prize for a feature “that opens new perspectives.” KATHRYN SHATTUCK

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