A photograph from last year’s Writing On It All project on Governors Island (photo by Stephanie Orentas) (click to enlarge)

This week, see current work by legendary choreographer Yvonne Rainer, write on an abandoned house on Governors Island, learn about the Art and Social Justice Working Group, and more.

 19th-Century Opera Meets 21st-Century Circus

When: Opens Thursday, June 2 ($30)
Where: The Muse (350 Moffat Street, Bushwick)

Le Comte Ory is a exuberantly farcical 19th-century opera involving advice-giving hermits, bad disguises, and wine stolen from a castle cellar, so what better setting than the Muse circus school in Bushwick? Along with the high-quality young operatic talent you can expect from a LoftOpera production, the performances will be accompanied by soaring aerialists, “custom-made nun habits,” and an ambiguous “2,500 pieces of fake fruit.” It promises to be both a decadent and a delightfully experimental approach to the boisterous old comedy. —AM

Thor Arbjornsson in LoftOpera’s production of ‘Le Comte Ory’ (photo by Jamie Santamour)

 Yvonne Rainer, Going Strong

When: Thursday, June 2–Saturday, June 4 (check site for ticket details)
Where: The Kitchen (512 West 19th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan)

Yvonne Rainer — choreographer, dancer, experimental filmmaker, poet, and MacArthur Fellow — made postmodern dance history in the 1960s with her “NO Manifesto,” an emphatic rejection of historical clichés. Now 81, she’s exploring themes of aging and mortality in her ongoing project The Concept of Dust, with signature wacky humor. An earlier incarnation was presented at MoMA last year; at the Kitchen, movement will alternate with readings, by Rainer and the dancers, of texts about ancient dynasties, paleontological discoveries, and literary quotations. —CD

 Yes, But Is It Design?

When: Opens Friday, June 3, 6–9pm
Where: The Parlour Bushwick (791 Bushwick Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn)

Last summer, the Parlour Bushwick took a sledgehammer to the distinction between art and craft with the exhibition Neocraftivism, and this year it’s doing the same for design with this group show featuring 12 makers (including April Childers, Ben Godward, Levi Murphy, and Nice Condo) who toe the line between creating artworks and design objects. The gallery’s location in the living room and kitchen of a townhouse will undoubtedly only further blur facile distinctions between functional objects and those intended solely for aesthetic contemplation. —BS

 Write on a House

When: Starts Saturday, June 4
Where: Nolan Park House (Governors Island, Manhattan)

Even if you’ve never explicitly wanted to write on the walls of a house, it sure sounds fun. Writing On It All invites artists and writers to lead sessions inside a disused house on Governors Island; responding to the given topic, participants write all over the house’s interior. This year’s program kicks off with sessions led by Lebanese American actress and writer Leila Buck, exploring “what it means to make a place home” (Saturday), and Ecuadorian poet and activist Sonia Guiñansaca, creating a safe space for undocumented migrants and the children of immigrants (Sunday).

The Pulaski Bridge, New York (photo by rollingrck/Flickr)

 Down Under the Pulaski Bridge

When: Saturday, June 4, 11am–1:30pm ($25)
Where: St. Anthony’s RC Church (862 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

Historian Mitch Waxman leads a tour of the Greenpoint and Hunter’s Point neighborhoods, which border Newtown Creek and are linked by the Pulaski Bridge. Waxman will discuss each neighborhood’s rich maritime and industrial history. While the Pulaski Bridge might not look like a tourist destination, city visitors are rapidly discovering its spectacular vistas of Midtown Manhattan. I, for one, have always wanted to know what lies underneath. —TM

 Art & Social Justice Working Group

When: Saturday, June 4, 12–4pm
Where: Bronx Museum of the Arts (1040 Grand Concourse, Concourse, Bronx)

For the past 18 months, a number of artists, curators, and other people involved in the arts have been meeting under the rubric of the Art and Social Justice Working Group. On Saturday at the Bronx Museum, the group will present a handful of artist projects it’s commissioned, including a “rebel coffee CSA,” an “art adventure park” for kids, and a collage of found advertisements. Attendees will consider the projects with the help of artist and facilitator Jeanne van Heeswijk, and end the day with a discussion about socially engaged art.

 Norte Maar Moves to Cypress Hills

When: Opens Saturday, June 4, 6–10pm
Where: Norte Maar (88 Pine Street, Cypress Hills, Brooklyn)

You may associate Norte Maar — the arts organization that originated Beat Nite — very firmly with Bushwick; if so, you would not be alone. But Norte Maar has relocated to Cypress Hills, and this weekend will inaugurate its new gallery space with an exhibition by Kris Graves. The show features his Testament Project, in which Graves attempts to portray young black men authentically, through sober photographic portraits and videos of them telling their stories.

A work from Kris Graves’s ‘The Testament Project’ (via nortemaar.org)

 Electroacoustic Music Festival

When: Starts Sunday, June 5
Where: National Sawdust (80 N 6th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Look forward to all kinds of sounds at this innovative festival, which not only showcases electroacoustic music but also video art from around the world. Presented as part of the New York Philharmonic’s biennial, the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival will occur at National Sawdust for one weekend before migrating to the Abrons Arts Center for another week. On the roster: live performances by violinist Maja Cerar, computer works by Tania León, a fresh soundtrack for a 1920s silent movie by Clelia Patrono, and a cello in dialogue with computerized noise as played by Aaron Einbond. —CV

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With contributions by Carey Dunne, Allison Meier, Tiernan Morgan, Benjamin Sutton, and Claire Voon

Jillian Steinhauer

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art...