BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton St.
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave.
BAM Fisher, 321 Ashland Pl.
September 14 - December 16
As usual, we are considering moving in to the Brooklyn Academy of Music for three months after the announcement of the lineup for the thirty-fifth BAM Next Wave Festival, running September 14 through December 16 at the Harvey, the Howard Gilman Opera House, and the Fisher. “This year’s Next Wave showcases artists from Switzerland to Senegal in creative dialogue with historic events, personal histories, and the present moment,” longtime BAM executive producer Joe Melillo said in a statement. The roster includes old favorites and up-and-comers from around the world, with several surprises. Dance enthusiasts will be particularly impressed with the schedule, which begins September 14-24 with a superb double bill of Tanztheater Wuppertal/Pina Bausch’s Café Müller and The Rite of Spring, which were part of the first Bausch program at BAM back in June 1984. For The Principles of Uncertainty (September 27-30), Maira Kalman teams up with John Heginbotham, Dance Heginbotham, and the Knights to bring her online graphic diary to life. New York Live Arts artistic director and cofounder Bill T. Jones returns to BAM with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company and composer Nick Hallett for A Letter to My Nephew (October 3-7), about his nephew, Lance T. Briggs, who battled illness and addiction. Senegalese artist Germaine Acogny takes center stage for the emotional solo piece Mon élue noire (My Black Chosen One): Sacre #2 (October 4-7), choreographed specifically for her by Olivier Dubois of Ballet du Nord, set to music by Stravinsky. Also on the movement bill are Joshua Beamish/MOVETHECOMPANY’s Saudade, Cynthia Oliver’s Virago-Man Dem, ODC/Dance, Brenda Way, and KT Nelson’s boulders and bones, David Dorfman Dance’s Aroundtown, Hofesh Shechter Company’s Grand Finale, Xavier Cha’s Buffer, Big Dance Theater’s 17c, and Tesseract, a multimedia collaboration between Charles Atlas, Rashaun Mitchell, and Silas Riener.
The festival also boasts impressive theater productions, kicking off October 11-14 with Schaubühne Berlin’s tantalizing version of Shakespeare’s Richard III, translated and adapted by Marius von Mayenburg, directed by Thomas Ostermeier, and starring Lars Eidinger. Théâtre de la Ville, Paris is back November 2-4 with Albert Camus’s State of Siege, directed by Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota. Tony-winning Belgian director Ivo van Hove takes on Ayn Rand in Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s four-hour The Fountainhead November 28 to December 2. Rachel Dickstein and Ripe Time bring Naomi Iizuka’s adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s Sleep to the Fisher November 20 to December 2. Fresh off her Broadway stint in Marvin’s Room, Lili Taylor stars in Farmhouse/Whorehouse: An Artist Lecture by Suzanne Bocanegra, directed by Lee Sunday Evans (December 12-16). Geoff Sobelle, who went solo at BAM for The Object Lesson, is joined by an ensemble of designers and dancers for Home (December 6-10). And be on the lookout for Manfred Karge, Alexandra Wood, and Wales Millennium Centre’s Man to Man, Thaddeus Phillips and Steven Dufala’s A Billion Nights on Earth, the Cameri Theatre of Tel-Aviv’s adaptation of Etgar Keret’s Suddenly, directed by Zvi Sahar and PuppetCinema, Manual Cinema’s Mementos Mori, Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project’s /peh-LO-tah/, and James Thierrée and Compagnie du Hanneton’s La grenouille avait raison (The Toad Knew).
Music aficionados have plenty to choose from, with Olivier Py Sings Les Premiere Adieux de Miss Knife, Kronos Quartet, Rinde Eckert, and Vân-Ánh Võ’s My Lai, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, and Michael Counts’s Road Trip, Gabriel Kahane’s Book of Travelers, Rithy Panh, Him Sophy, Trent Walker, Jonathan Berger, and Harriet Scott’s Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia, Wordless Music Orchestra and Chorus’s two-part John Cale: The Velvet Underground & Nico, and the New York premiere of American Repertory Theater’s Crossing, an opera inspired by Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” composed, written, and conducted by Matthew Aucoin and directed by Diane Paulus. The season is supplemented with several postperformance talks and master classes.
French Institute Alliance Française and other locations
Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
FIAF Gallery, 22 East 60th St. between Madison & Park Aves.
September 6 - October 15, free - $60
FIAF’s annual Crossing the Line Festival enters its second decade with the eleventh edition of its always exciting multidisciplinary lineup featuring unique and eclectic works from around the world. This year’s focus is on Congolese choreographer and CTL veteran Faustin Linyekula, who will be presenting the world premiere of the site-specific Banataba at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (9/9, 9/10, 9/12, $65), the U.S. premiere of In Search of Dinozord with Studios Kabako at the NYU Skirball Center (9/22, 9/23, $40), and the world premiere of Festival of Dreams at Roberto Clemente Plaza on 9/23 and Weeksville Heritage Center on 9/24 (free, 3:00). The festival begins September 6-7 with Ryoji Ikeda’s supercodex (live set) at the Met ($45-$60), a follow-up to his dazzling Superposition from 2014. In #PUNK, taking place 9/14-15 in FIAF’s Tinker Auditorium ($30), Zimbabwe-born, New York–based Nora Chipaumire channels the musical rage of Patti Smith; the 9/14 show will be followed by a Q&A with Chipaumire and Linyekula, moderated by Ralph Lemon. Performance festival regular Annie Dorsen (Magical, Yesterday Tomorrow) takes a new narrative approach to the internet in The Great Outdoors, 9/21-23 in FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall ($35). Alessandro Sciarroni continues his “Will you still love me tomorrow?” trilogy with the New York premiere of UNTITLED_I will be there when you die at La MaMa 9/28-30 ($25, 8:00).
Moroccan dancer-choreographer Bouchra Ouizguen’s Corbeaux (Crows) is a site-specific living sculpture that will move throughout the Brooklyn Museum’s Beaux-Arts Court 9/30 and 10/1 (free with museum admission). Drag fave Dickie Beau conjures Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland in Blackouts 10/5-8 at Abrons Arts Center ($30). Adelheid Roosen and Nazmiye Oral transform FIAF’s Le Skyroom into an intimate living room in No Longer without You 10/12-15 ($25), in which traditional Muslim immigrant Havva Oral and her Westernized daughter, Nazmiye, discuss faith, sexuality, identity, and more. In addition, Alain Willaume’s immersive exhibition, “VULNERABLE,” will be on view 9/15 to 10/28 in the FIAF Gallery (free), and Sophie Calle’s Voir la mer, set by the Black Sea in Istanbul, will be projected on Times Square billboards every night in October at 11:57 as part of the monthly Midnight Moment program.
Who: Jonah Bokaer
What: The Disappearance Portraits
Where: Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, 90th St. between Madison & Fifth Aves.
When: Thursday, August 24, $13-$15, 6:00
Why: The summer Thursdays Cocktails at Cooper Hewitt series concludes August 24 with American choreographer and visual artist Jonah Bokaer’s The Disappearance Portraits, taking place in the Smithsonian Design Museum’s Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden. Bokaer, whose previous works include Eclipse, Triple Echo, Rules of the Game and Neither, will be performing to original music by Soundwalk Collective. The site-specific live installation was inspired by research Bokaer conducted into his family history and the Mediterranean migration crisis.
Born in Alaska of Yup’ik descent, Bessie Award-winning multidisciplinary artist and Guggenheim Fellow Emily Johnson has been forging a unique identity as an innovative creator for more than fifteen years, engaging with a wide range of diverse collaborators to present immersive works that combine dance with other artistic forms, structured around a heartfelt connection with the natural environment, civic responsibility, and Indigenous cultures. A charming, ever-enthusiastic dancer and choreographer who recently moved from Minneapolis to New York City, Johnson and her aptly named Catalyst troupe have been crazy busy preparing her biggest project yet, Then a Cunning Voice and a Night We Spend Gazing at Stars, a PS122 production that takes place on Randall’s Island from 6:00 pm Saturday night until just after sunrise on Sunday morning, for an audience of three hundred very lucky people. Directed by three-time Obie winner Ain Gordon, the unique gathering will feature stories by Muriel Miguel of Spiderwoman Theater, Karyn Recollet leading a kinstillatory activation and roundtable discussion, specially researched food by futurist Jen Rae, visual design by textile artist Maggie Thompson, lighting by Lenore Doxsee, and performances by Johnson, Tania Isaac, and Georgia Lucas, all situated on and around four thousand square feet of quilts made at sewing bees around the United States and Australia and Taiwan. Johnson, whose previous pieces include Niicugni, Shore, and The Thank-You Bar, somehow found some time to discuss her latest project in this exclusive email interview.
twi-ny: A lot of years have gone into this project. Are you nervous about August 19? I imagine it’s a massive undertaking.
emily johnson: It’s so big. Everything about it. Moving the quilts from where we have them stored on Randall’s Island to the bit of land we lay them down on — that itself is a massive undertaking we do twice a day. The amount of story . . . the movement of light. The ideas written on the quilts — hundreds and hundreds of ideas from hundreds of people who have voiced what they want for their well-being, for their futures. The bringing of care packages, of blankets, of food to the audience. The connection between ground and sky. The hunting and fishing and harvesting. The continual learning of this land and these waters — the stories, plants, histories, and futures here. For two years now I’ve been saying — we can keep preparing. We could go on preparing forever. But in a way, there is only so much we can prepare for. We prepare and prepare and then — the more difficult part — we let go of needing it to go the way in which we’ve prepared. Not totally, of course. Even writing that is hard. But we have to be ready to hold the movement of the night. Because what we have been preparing for is a shared thing. A shared night. We will host you — we will hold you with these quilts, these stories, this movement, this food we’ve made. And we have a beautiful plan, but the biggest part of this plan (ha) is the unknown. We now also have to be prepared to move and respond and be with the collective energy. We have to hold the night, guide it, but listen, too. So, we’re ready. We have to be. I mean all of us. All of us who gather on this night — audience and cast and crew; beings seen and unseen — we have to be ready to listen, to let go of things moving in the direction they are on, and of course to put our actions into moving things in a direction that is good. We have to be ready to pay attention to one another, to rest and then gather the resources of time, energy, intent to actually make this world one we can continue to live in, one our kids can live in, one that the kids seven generations from now will not curse us for but, instead, be thankful for. That’s our job. And, of course, what is special about this night is that it is a continuation of this labor. We have gathered ideas, made quilts, made stories and dance, harvested food. . . . But really, what I can say is that hundreds of people have gathered these ideas, made these quilts, harvested, hunted, farmed, and gifted vegetables, meat, fish, fruits, herbs . . . so . . . What is there to be nervous about? (I say that with a smile, of course.) We are all in this together.
twi-ny: How did you come about choosing to do this on Randall’s Island?
ej: Randall’s Island is something special. To me it’s an energy. We are in the city but we are on another island in this city. The actual ground we lay the quilts on is backfill from one of the subway constructions, so it’s actually land from Mannahatta, built up for these baseball fields and picnic areas. We are on the bank of the East River — which you can’t really access in such a way most other areas in the city. There is a mix of baseball, soccer, families picnicking, people fishing, the farm on the island, also the industries — the hospital and fire department training grounds, the shelters. What I like is that through this night of community, of performance, of sharing, of discussion — in the morning, we are right here. In the city. In the place we need to begin. Baseball players coming to practice; people coming to fish. We see Rikers Island, we hear the Bronx and the traffic, we see tugboats and the barges moving by. We are not separating this art, this movement, this discussion, this imagination, this action from the world. It’s all here. We step into the day.
twi-ny: You’re very tuned in to the land and the environment; have you encountered anything particularly unique or surprising about the specific space where Then a Cunning Voice is being held?
ej: When I walk up to the spot at Sunken Meadow where we will be most of the night I immediately relax — maybe it’s the expanse of water. Maybe it’s the anticipation of gathering people there. It’s like the ground is waiting for this night. The other day we walked from Wards Meadow to Sunken Meadow through a Native flower garden and a praying mantis on Sweet Joe Pye Weed caught my eye. I spent time looking at it. It turned its head toward me. There is energy on Randall’s Island — one that is calling for this relationship, for this exchange.
twi-ny: Your quilting events have been held all over the country as well as in Taiwan and Australia. When you started, did you ever foresee the kind of results you have gotten? What kind of community has been built around the quilts?
ej: What I have been so beautifully surprised with is the way in which the sewing bees have accumulated, how people and organizations have and keep asking if they can host them. I had no idea people love to sew so much! It’s showing me again and again how deeply people want to spend time together. I have many favorites — the times when the sewing bees are casual and people stop by for a brief time or spend hours. These have been hosted in living rooms, art centers, dance studios, museums, parks. . . . And there are more formal sewing bees, like Umyuangvigkaq, which we hosted with PS122 as part of the Coil Festival in January, a seven-hour-long sewing bee and Long Table Discussion centered on Indigeneity in the performing arts world and the world at large. We gathered a brilliant council of Indigenous women to lead the provocations — Karyn Recollet, Dr. Mique’l Dangeli, Lee-Ann Buckskin, Vicki Van Hout, myself — and built a day of deep discussion. I could feel the shifts happening. The cracks opening. I looked around and saw a large gathering of people dedicated to this conversation, to making the deep personal inquiries that go into healing. Because this is what we need. We need those deep personal inquiries that go into decision making but that come from our own narratives and histories. This is where change/shift/possibility comes from. This spring at a school in Melbourne, I was working with a group of students who are newly arrived refugees to Australia. They are separated from their families. They are having a difficult go. They are hopeful. As we sat and sewed, laughed, and talked about what we each wanted for the well-being of the world, one of the students looked up and said, “These quilts — they’re like maps to the futures we envision.”
twi-ny: You are working again with Georgia Lucas, who was part of Shore. She’s now twelve; what is so special about this young talent?
ej: During the first provocation of Umyuangvigkaq, which was about confronting perceived invisibility and led by Lee-Ann Buckskin and Dr. Mique’l Dangeli, Georgia looked up from her sewing and said to the large gathering of adults in the room, “This conversation makes me understand . . . I was born here . . . but the land does not belong to me. I belong to the land.”
She knows and learns and inquisites deeply. She shares her energy through her stories and movement in a way that is calculated — she knows and feels when is right and if she trusts you, you’ll receive what she has to share. I think this is a pretty brilliant way to perform. I’ve actually never seen someone perform like this before. We teach one another about sharing energy. Also, she’s just awesome to hang out with. And she knows the best superhero movies to see.
twi-ny: People will be spending ten to twelve hours on Randall’s Island, from dusk to after sunrise. What is the one thing they shouldn’t forget to bring with them?
ej: This process has brought us to create a work in which we are all part. We are all responsible for making this night a good one for one another. Partly that’s in being game — to be outside, through bugs and wind (oh god, hopefully not rain!), to be up all night or most of it, to be at but also inside of a performance, to engage in discussion, to be asked to understand the reality of being a guest here — if you are a guest here, which, if you are not Lenape or of one of the Indigenous Nations with deep ties to Lenapehoking, you/I/we are. How are we good guests — of this night, of this land? How do we let this knowledge be resonant in our lives and how does this change every single thing about how we relate to and understand where we live — the physical place and the circumstantial place of August 2017? So, how do I say — “Don’t forget to come with an open heart!” without sounding totally cheesy? But we need that. We need open hearts. I say it in one of my stories: “We unfold our hearts.” I hope for that. For this night but also for the shifts we must become ready to make for our future and our world. And on the practical side — we are sharing a gorgeous bounty of food and food knowledge conceived of, researched and prepared by food futurist Jen Rae (Metis) — as this is a zero-waste event — don’t forget your cup, your bowl, utensils, and cloth napkin!
twi-ny: You’ve long been an Indigenous activist; what are your views about the Dakota Access Pipeline and Standing Rock Indian Reservation? What are some other Indigenous-related problems going on in America that are not getting as much publicity?
ej: I like this question, Mark. But first I need to shift the second part to read: Indigenous-related solutions. Because this is what I see — Indigenous people, Indigenous women especially, at the center, at the apex, at the front lines always, always, always of the solutions. We are a steady working, powerfully supple and surgent force. It is Indigenous women who began the stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline. It is Indigenous women who lead the legal, political, cultural, and familial decisions and discussions. I refuse to say fight. It is Indigenous women — with the help of our Indigenous men, Two-Spirits, children, ancestors, and non-Indigenous allies who see what needs to change and who work through language, art, politics, protections toward the solutions that are part of our everyday — food sovereignty, land rights, education, economic growth, and justice in our communities, healing. We are doing this work. Individually, collectively, in large circles and smaller ones. We need ally-ship. We need those of you who are from the dominant, settler side of things to take a step back, to listen more than you speak, to be in relation with us so we can do the work we need to — for all of us.
twi-ny: You were born in Alaska, lived for a long time in Minneapolis, and recently moved to New York. How are you liking it here? I see you out a lot, so you seem to make time to enjoy the city even as you prepare for Then a Cunning Voice.
ej: I love living here. Every time I come back here from tour, from Australia, from Alaska, I am so happy that this is now my home. The two places in this country I feel most myself are Alaska and NYC — it’s the landscape, I think. Different landscapes, of course. But huge. Huge landscapes that you must tune attention to, be in relation with. Both places call for a kind of looking out for one another. You help your neighbor. You ask for help. Because we all can see the reality of not helping. If you pass someone by broken down on the road in the bush in Alaska — well, you don’t — because you recognize the danger that the weather or the wilds can present. It’s the same here — just different weather and different wilds. I see more kindnesses extended here each day. And actually, as a shy person . . . it’s so nice to step out into it, become part of it.
twi-ny: Then a Cunning Voice is very much a positive look at our future. These are very tough times in America; do you really have that much hope in humanity?
ej: I do, Mark. I have that much hope.
Who: Akerman/Jansen, Battery Dance, Danuka Ariyawansa + Behri Drums and Dance Ensemble, Janis Brenner & Dancers, Martha Graham School, Cía. Elías Aguirre, Compañía Nacional de Danza Contemporánea de República Dominicana, Fadi J. Khoury’s FJK Dance, Mari Meade Dance Collective (MMDC), Nadine Bommer Dance Company, SLK Ballet, Trezon Dancy, Aakansha Maheshwari, Dimple Saikia, Kalanidhi Dance, Kalamandir Dance, Sruthi Mohan, Viraja and Shyamjith Kiran, Ballet Inc., Buglisi Dance Theatre, Cía. Elías Aguirre, Maxine Steinman & Dancers, Tina Croll + Company, Wilder Project, Mophato Dance Theatre, Amy Marshall Dance Company, Ariel Rivka Dance, Bollylicious, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, SYnC Dance Company, the Movement Playground, Trainor Dance
What: Thirty-sixth annual Battery Park Dance Festival
Where: Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park, 20 Battery Pl., Battery Park City
When: August 13-19, free, 7:00 - 9:00
Why: Continuing its mission to connect the world through dance, Battery Dance, which was founded in Lower Manhattan in 1976, is hosting the thirty-sixth annual Battery Dance Festival, held outside August 13-18 in Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park in Battery City. Thirty companies from around the world are participating, with troupes from Sri Lanka, Spain, the Dominican Republic, India, Belgium, Botswana, and the United States. The always popular IAAC Erasing Borders Festival of Indian Dance takes place on August 15, while the closing event, including reception, is set for August 19 at 6:00 in the Michael Schimmel Center, with free tickets and $50 VIP admission available in advance here. That finale will feature Battery Dance’s On Foot, Bollylicious’s Yatra, and Mophato Dance Theatre’s Pula. In addition, there will be daily free morning workshops at 10:30 at Battery Dance Studios on the fifth floor of 380 Broadway, with Battery Dance on August 14, Compañía Nacional de Danza Contemporánea de República Dominicana on August 15, Cía. Elías Aguirre on August 16, Bollylicious on August 17, and Mophato Dance Theatre on August 18; advance RSVP is required here.
The New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx
Chillin’ with Chihuly: Saturday, August 12, and Sunday, August 13, 1:00 - 4:00
Chihuly Nights: Thursday, August 10, 17, 24, $35, 6:30
Jazz & Chihuly: Friday, August 18, $40, 6:00
Exhibition continues Tuesday – Sunday through October 29, $10-$28
The New York Botanical Garden’s “CHIHULY” exhibition, his first new show in New York in a decade, features colorful and extravagant site-specific glass-blown works by Dale Chihuly spread throughout the grounds, including at the Native Plant Garden, the Lillian and Amy Goldman Fountain of Life, the Leon Levy Visitor Center, the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum, and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory Courtyard’s Tropical Pool, as well as works on paper and early works on view in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library Building. There are special bonuses during the month of August to enhance the oeuvre of the Washington State native, whose NYBG pieces were partially inspired by a 1975 Niagara Falls group show he participated in. On August 12 and 13 from 1:00 to 4:00, accordionist Tony Kovatch, Spanish guitarist David Galvez, and saxophonist Keith Marreth will play acoustic music at various locations in the garden, joined by steel drummer Earl Brooks Jr. and cellist Laura Bontrager on Saturday and steel drummer Mustafa Alexander and oboist Keve Wilson on Sunday. Meanwhile, Brooklyn-based UrbanGlass will host flame-work demonstrations at Conservatory Plaza and the visitor center. There will also be ice-cold treats available for purchase to keep everyone cool. On August 19, the NYBG Summer Concert Series presents “Jazz & Chihuly: Songs of Protest & Reconciliation,” with live music by pianist Damien Sneed and an all-star ensemble, along with special guest trumpeter Keyon Harrold, followed by a late-night viewing of the exhibition. You can also see short films about Chihuly’s creative process on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm or check out “Chihuly Nights,” with Fulaso, Richard & Ashlee, and Mustafa Alexander on April 10, Mandingo Ambassadors, Almanac Dance Circus Theater, and Alexander on August 17, and Samba New York! and Alice Farley on August 24. “I want people to be overwhelmed with light and color in a way they have never experienced,” Chihuly says about his work; these programs enhance that experience in unique ways.
Who: Emily Johnson / Catalyst
What: All-night outdoor performance gathering
Where: Randall’s Island Park
When: Saturday, August 19, $50, dusk to after sunrise
Why: You don’t just go to a show by Emily Johnson / Catalyst; you become part of an experience. In such presentations as Niicugni and Shore, Johnson builds a sense of community for all involved, including cast, crew, and audience. On August 19, her multiyear project Then a Cunning Voice and a Night We Spend Gazing at Stars reaches its next level on Randall’s Island, where people will gather for an evening of song, dance, storytelling, quilting, ritual, and more under the night sky. The world premiere, presented by Performance Space 122, is directed by three-time Obie winner Ain Gordon (The Family Business, Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell) and features performers Tania Isaac, twelve-year-old Georgia Lucas, and Johnson, with visual design by textile artist Maggie Thompson, lighting by Lenore Doxsee, and quilt construction by volunteers from around the country. The ten-to-twelve-hour piece explores such questions as “What do you want for your well-being? For the well-being of your chosen friends and family? For your neighborhood? For your town, city, reserve, tribal nation, world?” You can participate as much as you want as the audience is led into discussions and programs about engaged citizenship, safety, Indigenous people, and making connections. Four thousand square feet of quilts will serve as home base for performances, resting, and just hanging out. Supper, breakfast, and snacks will be served as well. Johnson is a magnetic personality who cares very deeply about the future of all the people and animals living on this planet, so Then a Cunning Voice and a Night We Spend Gazing at Stars should be a powerful and moving experience, in addition to being a lot of fun. Look for our interview with Johnson about the project coming soon; in the meantime, you can contribute to the Kickstarter campaign to help fund this project here.