Events: Out & About in August 2013

Art in the abstract; singers and Stravinsky; old-time fun at the fairgrounds

Horsing around

Like soccer’s World Cup, the World Equestrian Games take place every four years, pitting top riders from around the globe against each other in “Eventing” (the riding equivalent of a triathlon, which includes competition in dressage, stadium jumping, and cross-country jumping). This month’s Millbrook Horse Trials has been chosen as a qualifying event for next year’s games, which is quite a feather in the cap for this four-day meeting that draws hundreds of riders of all levels, from U.S. Olympic team members to youngsters just learning the sport. Best of all, you can watch these accomplished riders and their elegant mounts as they are put through their paces — for free. Aug. 1-4. Visit Web site for exact schedule. Coole Park Farm. Bangall-Amenia Rd., Millbrook;

vassar art exhibitSomething from nothing: An untitled work from Cy Twombly, now at the Loeb

Nothing better

Loosely defined, the term “abstract art” refers to a work that doesn’t depict a person, place, or thing that exists in the natural world. Instead, abstract artists make use of a visual “language” all their own, using shape and color to communicate ideas and emotions. Pictures of Nothing, currently on view at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, addresses the development of this modern art movement during the last century. Chosen from the museum’s permanent collection, the works — close to 50 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and prints by Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, Frank Stella, Jasper Johns, and other internationally renowned artists — highlight the differences in technique and approach used in abstract art. Tues.-Wed., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thurs. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 1-5 p.m. through Sept. 8. Vassar College campus. 124 Raymond Ave., Poughkeepsie. 845-437-5632 or

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dutchess county fairMidway magic: Thousands will pass through the turnstiles at this month’s Dutchess County Fair

Fair game

What’s not to love about the Dutchess County Fair? Close to 500,000 people attend this annual classic, the second largest event of its kind in the state, because it has everything: agricultural and livestock exhibits and competitions; a petting zoo; a one-room schoolhouse and other historical displays; cooking demonstrations; grandstand performances by top-shelf entertainers; a midway full of heart-stopping carnival rides and games of chance; racing pigs; dock-diving dogs; Hilby the Skinny German Juggler… And did we mention the food? Summer’s just not complete until you wash down an order of fried dough with a 4-H milkshake. Aug. 20-25. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. $15, $10 seniors, under 12 free. Dutchess County Fairgrounds. Rte. 9, Rhinebeck. 845-876-4000 or

Russian revival

It was 100 years ago in May that Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring had its premiere in Paris; at the time, the music and choreography was so avant-garde that the audience nearly started a riot. So it is apropos that this prominent Russian composer is the subject of the 24th annual Bard Music Festival. Taking place over two consecutive weekends, the fest offers an in-depth look at Stravinsky and the artists (from Picasso and T.S. Eliot to movie mogul Louis B. Mayer) and locales (St. Petersburg, Paris, L.A.) that influenced his music. The 11 musical performances — which take place in the architecturally and acoustically superb Fisher Center — are interspersed with preconcert talks and probing panel discussions; you can hear The Rite of Spring on Aug. 10 (8 p.m. $30-$75). Aug. 9-11 & 16-18. Call or visit Web site for complete schedule and ticket information. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson. 845-758-7900 or 

Voice activated

Choral music in all its multifaceted forms is at the heart of the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice. This four-day celebration of song features 20 concerts, lectures, and other events, all of which happen in and around the town of Phoenicia in the Catskills. The diverse program offers everything from gospel music to Latin jazz; highlights include the choral group Voices of Distinction performing works by Richard Wagner; a production of Terrence McNally’s Master Class, a play about the life of opera diva Maria Callas; medieval music by the Cambridge Singers; and an outdoor staging of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Rigoletto (Aug. 3). The finale — Verdi’s powerful Requiem — is performed by 120 choristers and a full orchestra. Aug. 1-4. Call or visit Web site for complete schedule and ticket information. 845-586-3588 or

» View a complete list of upcoming events

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