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Ten Transcendental Etudes

Opening Date: Apr 04, 2024

Closing Date: Apr 07, 2024

Running Time: 01:00

Ten Transcendental Etudes Show Site Icon

Playing @


145 6th Ave New York, NY 10013

View theatre details
Nick Brooke’s Ten Transcendental Etudes melds sampling, sound design and physical theater and looks at how songs dominate how we talk about each other. The 10-movement theater piece begins with a phonemic breakdown of a single Elvis phrase (“I can’t help falling”), then blooms into dense fugues of text, song fragments and visceral movement, using familiar pop and recorded sources while recursively sampling itself, creating a work that is “operatic in scope, unfolding in layers that constantly reveal new meanings.” (Culturebot).

Like Brooke’s previous work, the Etudes weave sampled collages with physical theater: productions start as a collage of many recordings, which the ensemble learns to imitate, creating a gestural vocabulary in lock-step with the samples. The work complicates musical culture, using a style developed in shows at Lincoln Center Festival, HERE, Mass MoCA, in what has been called “the most exciting and innovative music theater I’ve seen in years” (Meredith Monk).

The Transcendental Etudes pushes this multidisciplinary language further, riffing on Liszt’s transcendental etudes, piano studies meant for learners, but only playable by virtuosi. The Etudes looks at listeners’ ability to transcend the microphones, speakers and instant-replay love songs that surround them.

The performance is in the round. Circular projection hoops above and behind the audience translate and phonemically parse each etude. A seesaw, chairs, prop mikes and elaborate sound design and lighting fill out the minimal stage. The ultimate effect is something between arena rock, a decathlon and a 19th-c. amateur circus.

Over the course of the evening, and the 10 progressive etudes, the performers learn new languages—through phonemes, songs, mash-ups or simply speaking in tongues–and a fractured snapshot emerges of how we create new ways of communicating, made up of songs.

Performance Schedule:

FRIDAY @ 8:30 PM & 10 PM
SATURDAY @ 4 PM & 8:30 PM

TDF Tickets Offers:

TDF member tickets:

Not currently available for this show

Listed atTKTS


Full-price tickets

$39.50 - $155.25


Wheelchair Info

removable seating.


Mainstage seats 99 / Dorothy B. Williams Theatre Seats 74.


There is an elevator that takes you to the lower level thatre.

Curb Ramps



houses two performance spaces - the 99-seat Mainstage and the 74-seat Dorothy B. Williams Theatre (down one flight of stairs); art galleries, and a café. The building entrance is street level


located on both levels

Water Fountain

There is a cafe



Assisted Listening System

some hearing aids.

Visual Assistance


Folding Armrests


Directions Subway

C,E to Spring St.; 1 to Houston St.; R,W to Prince St.

Directions Bus

M21 to Houston St.; M6 to Spring St.

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Public Transportation

Subway Icon

By Subway:

C,E to Spring St.; 1 to Houston St.; R,W to Prince St.

Bus Icon

By Bus:

M21 to Houston St.; M6 to Spring St.