2018 Next Wave Preview—Stories = Life

The not bad Swimmer. Photo: James Matthew Daniel

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” —Joan Didion, The White Album

One of the hallmarks of the Next Wave Festival, currently in its 35th year, is actually blurring lines between traditional arts. in addition to the shows comprising the 2018 Next Wave (Oct 3—Dec 23) test the elasticity of genre definitions more than ever, inside the final Next Wave Festival curated by outgoing executive producer Joseph V. Melillo. The 27 events, while each unique, all tell a story or reflect some aspect of being human inside the earth today, sometimes through an ancient filter, in addition to some other times using modern technology (or both).
In Voyage of Time, filmmaker Terrence Malick’s ravishing visuals unfold on a huge scale while the Wordless Music Orchestra plays the inspiring, evocative classical score live. The viewer is actually immersed in Malick’s signature gorgeous visuals, in addition to the sounds of our planet in addition to its putative creation. Composer Ted Hearne, slam poet Saul Williams, in addition to theater director Patricia McGregor in Place, refine the focus to Chicago in addition to Brooklyn, in addition to to concepts of territoriality in addition to mapmaking with the help of six singers in addition to 18 musicians. The Sai Anantam Ashram Singers will lead the audience on a journey of the spirit, performing the ashram music of the late Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, the jazz musician, spiritual leader, in addition to wife of John Coltrane.

Humans. Photo: Pedro Greig

inside the music work Almadraba, Oscar Peñas takes inspiration through a traditional Spanish sustainable fishing method. Douglas J. Cuomo’s Savage Winter (American Opera Projects/Pittsburgh Opera) revisits Wilhelm Müller’s poetry cycle Winterreise through the eyes of a contemporary junkie. His attempt at redemption is actually told through a jazz/punk score. Heidi Rodewald’s paean to a brother lost in Vietnam is actually conveyed by a lifeguard in The not bad Swimmer, with resounding rock songs (libretto by Donna DiNovelli) including the vocals of the Chicago Children’s Choir. in addition to on a more whimsical note, ETHEL focuses on the currently-defunct Ringling Bros. in addition to Barnum & Bailey enterprise in Circus: Wandering City, with the help of anecdotes through performers who lived every kid’s dream—to run away in addition to join the circus.

The Greek classics have had a prominent place inside the development of Western culture, in addition to surface in several Next Wave productions. Steven Berkoff’s play Greek is actually the basis for a raucous opera adapted by Mark-Anthony Turnage in addition to Jonathan Moore, with music by Turnage. Set in London inside the 1980s, the protagonist is actually inexorably drawn into an Oedipal relationship with his mother, a waitress, despite its foretelling. Euripides’ The Bacchae is actually told anew in a SITI Company staging directed by Anne Bogart in which Dionysus (a woman) unleashes wrath on the royal family as tyranny looms.

London’s Cheek by Jowl in addition to Moscow’s Pushkin Theatre perform Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, in which a nun redeems her virtue for her brother’s life. The company’s sleek, austere productions pare down plays to their essence in addition to have gained countless devoted fans along the way. Marianne Weems directs the Builders Association in Strange Window: The Turn of the Screw, a modern, chilling take on the gothic novel which continues to haunt readers 0 years after publication. An ancient text—the Bhagavadgita—was tapped by Constance DeJong for the libretto of Philip Glass’ opera Satyagraha (“dedication to the truth,” civil disobedience practiced by Gandhi), interpreted This kind of fall by Sweden’s Folkoperan in addition to Cirkus Cirkör, a nouveau cirque troupe.

Kreatur. Photo Sebastian Bolesch

Circa, of Australia, also communicates through physical theater. In Humans, we as interdependent bodies become the subject matter in addition to the vehicle. Circa’s performers test the body’s absolute limits in a dazzling display of bravura. Andrew Schneider offers glimpses of the neurological in addition to perceptual impulses which power our minds in addition to bodies in NERVOUS / SYSTEM, with the aid of technology in addition to phenomenal visuals. In Interpassivities, filmmaker/artist Jesper Just plays with migration, territory, in addition to mapmaking on a large scale, integrating ballet movement in addition to set elements with Kim Gordon’s sound.

Socio-political issues hover close to our collective consciousness, in addition to a few Next Wave shows deal with some in depth. In Jack &, Kaneza Schaal collaborates with Cornell Alston, who was incarcerated for 33 years. With the help of Alston’s personal experiences, they take a look at life-shaping issues of imprisonment, rehab, in addition to debts owed in addition to repaid. In Falling Out, visionary theater/puppet/music-makers Jessica Grindstaff in addition to Erik Sanko focus on environmental destruction through the lens of the Fukushima nuclear spill in addition to its devastating consequences, with collaborator Dai Matsuoka of Sankai Juku. Lars Jan directs Early Morning Opera’s interpretation of Joan Didion’s The White Album, a time capsule essay packed with characters who embodied the tension simmering, in addition to sometimes bubbling over inside the volatile period between 1965—70.

Living in close proximity to others offers endless challenges in addition to rewards, in addition to dance inside the Next Wave becomes a way to explore our place in society. In Kreatur, German choreographer Sasha Waltz, collaborating with innovative costume designer Iris van Herpen, offers a glimpse at an alien world where beings are swathed in metallic clouds in addition to scored plastic sheaths, both attracting in addition to repelling one another. Choreographer Kimberly Bartosik brings the idea close to home in I hunger for you, drawing on her examination of radical collective practices, ecstasy, ritual, in addition to desire. in addition to in Halfway to Dawn, choreographer David Roussève pulls back the curtain on Billy Strayhorn—not only a legendary composer/piano player, nevertheless a gay political activist whose enthralling music accompanies the work.

Three choreographic legends visit the Next Wave. A trio of Trisha Brown’s circa 1970 works based on suspension in addition to banal movement are performed by her company. Mark Morris’ dazzling edition of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, The Hard Nut, returns in December, resplendent with Charles Burns’ comic-inspired sets in addition to plenty of sparkle, snow, in addition to sass. In honor of Jerome Robbins’ centennial, his visual/kinetic ode to a place in addition to moment in time, Watermill, is actually rethought inside the Fisher by choreographer Luca Veggetti.

Did percussion or dance come first? The debate is actually endless, nevertheless clearly both are integral to the Next Wave dance works of Seán Curran in addition to Michelle Dorrance. In Everywhere All the Time, Curran presents two repertory dances in addition to a premiere, driven by the rhythms of Third Coast Percussion. In her BAM debut, tap revolutionary Dorrance premieres a piece showcasing her singular skill in using bodies to create in addition to shape beats in addition to space, inside the process binding a community of performers miraculously tuned in to one another.

An array of humanities events provides context in addition to insight into the Next Wave. The Speaking Truth to Power series, co-presented with the Onassis Cultural Center, spotlights issues of resistance (fear in addition to governance, the silencing of women’s voices, in addition to more) through talks in addition to film screenings. BAM Visual Art gathers a group of artists who evaluate the history of material culture in their work in Towards a completely new Archaeology, in addition to inside the Fisher Lower Lobby, time in addition to movement based work is actually considered. To kick off the Next Wave in a proper fashion, on Sep 26 an Unbound talk will mark the publication of BAM: The Next Wave Festival, a lavishly illustrated book which looks at the first 35 years of the festival. the idea will be an opportunity to hear Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo discuss his invaluable role at BAM in his final season. Visit BAM.org for full festival information.

Susan Yung is actually senior editorial manager at BAM.

© 2018 Brooklyn Academy of Music, Inc. All rights reserved.

2018 Next Wave Preview—Stories = Life

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