This Week in Arts: Shakira, Battery Dance Festival, ‘The Sinner’

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The return of a titan of Latin pop, a dance festival with a view of the Statue of Liberty and a thriller from USA Network.

By The New York Times

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Shakira performing in Barranquilla, Colombia, earlier this year.CreditLuis Robayo/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Pop Music: Shakira Returns to The Stage

Aug. 10; ticketmaster.com.

Shakira is a titan of Latin pop. Even as a new generation of Spanish-speaking artists are crossing over into American music’s mainstream, Shakira’s output stands alone: Over nearly three decades, she’s produced rock (in the 1990s, she was most often compared to Alanis Morissette), pop inspired by the cumbia of her home, Colombia (her most enduring hit, “Hips Don’t Lie”), and reggaeton (“Chantaje,” her latest hit with fellow Colombian singer Maluma).

The seemingly ageless singer-songwriter is performing at Madison Square Garden for the first time in eight years this week as part of the El Dorado World Tour, whose 55 dates were postponed last year after she had a vascular lesion on her vocal cords that was so severe she wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to perform again. This tour was supposed to follow the release of her 11th studio album of the same name, which won this year’s Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album. Given how long her fans have been waiting for her return to the stage, expect full diva trappings and, hopefully, an extended set list. NATALIE WEINER

Film: ‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood’

Aug. 3.

It would be easy to dismiss Scotty Bowers’s tales about the sexual proclivities of the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and his role in their lustful undertakings, as the wishful thinking of an elderly man with a big imagination. After all, the A-listers he outs — Cary Grant and Randolph Scott, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier, and even the Duke and Duchess of Windsor when they were in town — aren’t around to speak for themselves. And the records of the tricks he facilitated have long ago been shredded and tossed, the better to keep the vice squad at bay.

But for “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood,” the director Matt Tyrnauer started with Mr. Bowers’s explicit 2012 memoir — about how, for four decades beginning in 1946, he ran a kind of prostitution ring for gay and bisexual actors and filmmakers — and then followed his subject for two years. And ultimately decided that it all added up. “Scotty was never a pimp,” Paul LaMastra, a onetime hustler, says in the documentary. “He was a friend doing another friend a service, and helping both ends.”

It’s a fascinating, occasionally shocking foray behind the silver screen with Mr. Bowers, now 95, an Illinois farm boy and former Marine who maintains that he just wanted to make people happy. The film is now showing in New York and Los Angeles before a wider rollout. KATHRYN SHATTUCK

TV: Bill Pullman in ‘The Sinner’

Wednesdays; usanetwork.com.

Last summer, “The Sinner” — developed by and starring Jessica Biel as Cora Tannetti, a lovely young wife and mother who stabbed a stranger to death for no apparent reason — began life as a limited fictional series. But after breaking out as a ratings bonanza for USA Network, a second installment was conceived, this one venturing far afield from the Petra Hammesfahr best seller that inspired the original. And while the Emmy-nominated Ms. Biel is back as an executive producer, the story this time belongs to Bill Pullman as the intriguingly deviant Detective Harry Ambrose, Cora’s savior and the first season’s sole survivor.

Season 2 finds Harry summoned by the cop daughter (Natalie Paul) of his childhood best friend (Tracy Letts) to his rural New York hometown, where an 11-year-old boy (Elisha Henig) has been accused of killing his parents. But then the leader of a mysterious cult (Carrie Coon, partnering for the first time on TV with her husband, Mr. Letts) claims the child as her own, and Harry is forced to confront demons he thought he’d long ago exorcised.

“Trying to dig into someone else’s stuff means risking that they will dig into yours,” Mr. Pullman wrote in a message. “With a hot poker.” KATHRYN SHATTUCK

Hussein Smko and Sean Scantlebury performing at the Battery Dance Festival last year.CreditDarial Sneed

Dance: Battery Dance Festival

Aug. 11-18, batterydance.org.

There’s no theatrical backdrop quite like the one at Battery Dance Festival, whose open-air stage looks out over New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. Hosted by Battery Dance Company, the annual festival — free as always — returns to Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park in Battery Park City with troupes from India, Botswana, Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Canada and Spain, along with a host of New York City ensembles.

The lineup reflects the cross-cultural focus of Battery Dance Company, which is based in Lower Manhattan but tours widely with its arts education initiative Dancing to Connect. The festival opens on Aug. 11 with an outdoor screening of “Moving Stories,” a new documentary that follows six members of Battery Dance as they work with young people in Romania, Korea, India and Iraq, using movement to grapple with urgent social issues. The remaining programs bring together a different handful of companies each night to dance alongside the sunset. SIOBHAN BURKE

Constantin Brancusi’s “The Cock” from 1924 at the Museum of Modern Art.Credit2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Adagp, Paris

Art: Revisiting Brancusi Classics at the MoMA

moma.org

Summer’s a great time to catch up on your art history fundamentals, like the Museum of Modern Art’s eleven iconic sculptures by Constantin Brancusi. A notched oak “Endless Column,” two bronze iterations of his “Bird in Space” and the abstracted cherry-wood self-portrait he called “The Cock” are joined in this modestly comprehensive reintroduction by a number of the Romanian-born sculptor’s experimental photographs. Though his own studio was his most frequent subject, the images are anything but documentary. Instead, Brancusi played with angles, lighting and superimposition to turn his finished sculptures into dozens of distinct new photographic artworks. WILL HEINRICH

James Seol and Sophia Skiles rehearsing “Henry VI” for the National Asian American Theater Company.CreditPeter Kim

Theater: ‘Henry VI’ as a Cautionary Fable

Aug. 11-Sept. 8; naatco.org.

A rebel with the vivid name Dick the Butcher speaks one of the most famous lines in Shakespeare’s “Henry VI,” a mammoth three-part history play about the struggle for power in a kingdom at odds with itself. “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” Dick says. Untethered from the play, it’s an old joke — but in the blood-soaked, ambition-fueled world of “Henry VI,” such niceties as law are obstacles to be dispensed with.

Reviving it in an adaptation by Stephen Brown-Fried, who also directs, the National Asian American Theater Company sees parallels with the combative present, intending it as “a cautionary fable.” Condensed into two parts — titled “Foreign Wars” and “Civil Strife,” each expected to run about three hours — it has a cast of 16 that will do lots of doubling. Performances start on Saturday, Aug. 11, in the intimate Mezzanine Theater at A.R.T./New York Theaters in Manhattan. LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES

Leon Botstein conducts Miranda Cuckson on violin and Sophie Shao on cello at the Bard Music Festival in 2012.CreditCory Weaver

Classical: Rimsky-Korsakov at Bard Music Festival

Aug. 10-19; fishercenter.bard.edu.

Each summer, the Bard Music Festival in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., finds a new way of broadening classical music’s past beyond the narrowness of its typical performance canon. This year, its theme of “Rimsky-Korsakov and His World” draws attention to the eclectic and animated oeuvre of a Russian composer too often typecast as the author of colorful orchestral chestnuts like “Scheherazade.”

Instead, in seven days of concerts that begin Aug. 10, audiences will have a chance to hear Rimsky-Korsakov rarities, including his epic opera “The Tsar’s Bride,” as well as works by oft-neglected composers of imperial Russia such as Mikhail Glinka, Mily Balakirev and César Cui. Performers include the Orchestra Now, the American Symphony Orchestra and the Daedalus Quartet, and, as always, numerous panels provide a rich scholarly context for unfolding events. WILLIAM ROBIN

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