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Monday, December 17, 2018

Singing the Snowflakes


Photo by Richard Termine
By David Hsieh

In a ballet as full of magical moments as The Nutcracker, the Waltz of the Snowflakes may just be the most magical. Our heroine (Marie or Clara, depending on the version) just helped fend off the Rat King in an act of desperation. Then the wooden Nutcracker turns into a handsome cavalier to take her to a magical snow kingdom full of winter wonder. This moment of transformation with a sense of wonder is conveyed through every element of the staging. The scene shifts from domestic interior where rodents lurk to a forest covered in pristine white. The atmosphere changes from a real world to an imagined one. The dance style changes from social (and mime) to classical ballet on point. The characters change from kids to adults. And Tchaikovsky’s music suddenly adds in a vocal part—the only one in the entire score.

Friday, November 30, 2018

In Context: Strange Window: The Turn of the Screw

A lone governess caught between memory and nightmare weaves a chilling tale made startlingly relevant as her sanity comes into question. Truth, it appears, is relative. A seductive retelling of the Henry James classic by The Builders Association, Strange Window: The Turn of the Screw brings technological stagecraft to the traditional theater format. Context is everything, so we’ve provided some articles to read and videos to watch. After you’ve attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #StrangeWindow.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

In Context: The Hard Nut

Mark Morris Dance Group’s beloved retro-modern reimagining of The Nutcracker, The Hard Nut, comes back to BAM for the holidays, playfully preserving the warm spirit of an essential holiday tradition Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

How a 1937 Lifeguard Manual and Other Found Texts Became The Good Swimmer


A pop requiem for lives lost at war, The Good Swimmer is a visceral music theater piece by composer Heidi Rodewald (Passing Strange), lyricist Donna Di Novelli, and director Kevin Newbury. The show follows a young beach lifeguard who grapples with the legacy of the one she could not save: her brother who died in Vietnam.



Seven years in the making, The Good Swimmer started at a bookshop in Connecticut, where Rodewald and Di Novelli found a 1937 American lifeguard manual that somehow struck a chord. After reading only a few lines, they knew they had discovered something truly great—and Di Novelli got to work composing a libretto.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Governess or the Ghosts?

Sipiwe Moyo, Hannah Heller, Sean Donovan. Photo: James Gibbs.

By Harry Haun

Blood will tell—and did: Henry James—writer/brother of the “Father of American psychology,” William James—crisscrossed the psychological with the supernatural, slyly added a pinch of sex to keep you riveted, and invented the cerebral ghost story.

His farthest reach at this, The Turn of the Screw, unraveled in 12 magazine-serial installments in Collier’s Weekly (Jan 27—Apr 16, 1898) and later that year in one lump sum with another James yarn published together as The Two Magics.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Dreadful Knowledge



Oh, the Oedipus complex. A story recapitulated over centuries and made particularly popular thanks to a simultaneously concerning and endlessly intriguing Freudian interpretation. When Mark Anthony-Turnage’s seminal opera Greek comes to BAM in a bawdy new production next Wed, Dec 5, audiences will experience the infamous story as never before. Greek transposes antihero Oedipus to 1980s Thatcher-era London, where police brutality, social upheaval, and economic crises reign. Based on Steven Berkoff’s play Greek, the opera elevates Oedipal themes of fate, family, escape, love, and the unknown—offering an unexpected and bold conclusion to a tale many assume they know all too well.

To prepare for this reinvented Oedipus, we partnered with illustrator Nathan Gelgud to break down the pivotal themes and moments for audiences both familiar and new to this thought-provoking tale. We predict you’ll have a new outlook on knowing your fate and fortune.

In Context: Greek

From composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and director Joe Hill-Gibbons, Greek is an in-your-face operatic retelling of the Oedipus tale set in 1980s London. Coursing with sharp and scathing political commentary, Greek maintains its shock value, social relevancy, and cultural weight 30 years after the original premiere. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

In Context: NERVOUS/SYSTEM

From interactive media artist Andrew Schneider, NERVOUS/SYSTEM interrogates what we miss in a world ruled by distractions. By utilizing technology to create an immersive experience that is both visual and physical, Schneider and his collaborators push the boundaries of traditional theater and performance to decode the stories we miss each time we blink. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave.

In Context: The Good Swimmer

Heidi Rodewald composes propulsive music to accompany Donna Di Novelli’s powerful lyrics for The Good Swimmer, a project seven years in the making. A young lifeguard grapples with the legacy of the one she could not save, her brother in Vietnam. This music-theater pop requiem transcends time and brings to the forefront the senselessness of war, begging the question, how do we truly honor our fallen soldiers? Context is everything, so we’ve provided some content for you to read and watch. After you’ve attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #GoodSwimmer.

In Context: Elemental

Electrifying tap dance company Dorrance Dance makes its BAM debut with a new site-specific work co-choreographed by Michelle Dorrance and Nicholas Van Young. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave.