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Thursday, November 15, 2018

“The country’s in a state of plague.”

Greek and the Tragedy of Thatcherite Individualism

Photo Credit: Jane Hobson.
By Chris Tyler

In Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek–coming to the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House Dec 5–9–audiences will find themselves transported to a dystopian 1980s London plagued by police violence, racism, and socioeconomic decay. If this litany of ills feels close to home, it’s likely because the U.K. under Thatcher shared quite a bit in common with the U.S. under Trump.

Beyond the Canon: Wanda + Bonnie and Clyde

Wanda (1970), courtesy of Janus Films; Bonnie and Clyde (1967), courtesy of Warner Bros/Photofest

It is no secret that the cinema canon has historically skewed toward lionizing the white, male auteur. Beyond the Canon is a monthly series that seeks to question that history and broaden horizons by pairing one much-loved, highly regarded, canonized classic with a thematically or stylistically-related—and equally brilliant—work by a filmmaker traditionally excluded from that discussion. This month’s double feature pairs Barbara Loden’s Wanda (1970) with Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde (1967) screening Sat, Nov 24 at 4:30pm.

By Kristen Yoonsoo Kim

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In Context: Voyage of Time


Voyage of Time, director Terrence Malick’s love letter to the universe, is a visually expansive, emotionally impactful meditation on the origins of human life, creativity, and connection. The #BAMNextWave screening will feature an immersive live score from Wordless Music Orchestra and narration from Baby Driver actress Lily James. Context is everything, so we’ve provided a curated selection of articles and videos for you to engage with before seeing the piece. 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 13, 2018

A 20th-century Everyman

Photo: Jane Hobson
By Tim Ashley

This article was originally published in the Edinburgh International Festival programme, where the Next Wave Festival presentation of Greek (Dec 5-9) premiered in 2017.

Sigmund Freud first posited the idea of the Oedipus complex in The Interpretation of Dreams, published in November 1899. In a move itself riddled with significance, however, he insisted that the date on the title-page be changed to 1900: psychoanalysis was to be a new science for a new century; Oedipal theory, in which a child’s first sexual and aggressive instincts are turned towards its mother and father respectively, rapidly emerged as its central tenet; and Oedipus himself, who unwittingly acted on impulses normally repressed out of moral revulsion, in consequence became a 20th-century Everyman.

Under Our (BAM Film) Umbrella

Photo: courtesy of BAM Hamm Archives
By Gina Duncan, Associate Vice President, Film

Film is just one of the many art forms BAM employs in its mission to provide a home for adventurous artists, audiences, and ideas. And while the moving image has been featured in BAM’s programming since the very early days of the medium, it wasn’t until November 1998 that film had a dedicated and permanent home at BAM. Twenty years later, it is a major, and growing, part of Brooklyn’s cultural landscape.

Forever Young

Mark Morris (Mr. Stahlbaum), Lauren Grant (Marie), and John Heginbotham (Mrs. Stahlbaum). Photo Susana Millman

Mark Morris Dance Group’s The Hard Nut returns to the Howard Gilman Opera House (Dec 14—23). We spoke with some dancers who have held longtime roles.

Greek: History, Repeating

Allison Cook, Susan Bullock, Andrew Shore. Photo: Jane Hobson 
Mark-Anthony Turnage’s groundbreaking and profane 1988 two-act opera, Greek, was set in Britain’s Thatcher era. Based on the in-your-face stage play by Steven Berkoff (adapted by Turnage and Jonathan Moore), Greek’s bleak humor and exploration of social and political unrest continue to resonate. Scottish Opera/Opera Ventures’ acclaimed new production is presented in its New York premiere—the engagement also marks the New York premiere of Greek (Dec 5—9), now a cult classic in the contemporary chamber opera repertoire. Director Joe Hill-Gibbins answered some questions about Greek.

Monday, November 12, 2018

In Context: Circus: Wandering City

Adventurous string quartet ETHEL pays tribute to the legends behind the Circus, featuring archival imagery and firsthand accounts from contemporary circus performers. Context is everything, so we’ve provided a curated selection of articles and videos for you to engage with before seeing the piece. 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: Halfway to Dawn



David Roussève/REALITY (Love Songs, Next Wave 1999) returns to BAM for the first time in almost two decades with the NY Premiere of Halfway to Dawn, a jubilant dance-theater work celebrating the life of composer and arranger Billy Strayhorn, best known for his standard, “Take the ‘A’ Train,” and as Duke Ellington’s collaborator. In this recent work, the Guggenheim fellow and Bessie award-winning choreographer Roussève meditates on the life and legacy of Strayhorn, layering dance, text, abstract video imagery, and sound design to create a portrait of the jazz virtuoso. 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 7, 2018

The Greek Legacy


By Andrew Clements

This article was originally published in the Edinburgh International Festival programme, where the Next Wave Festival presentation of Greek (Dec 5-9) premiered in 2017.

In March 2018 the Royal Opera gave the first performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s latest stage work, Coraline, an ‘opera for family audiences’ based on the 2002 fantasy novella by Neil Gaiman. It was Turnage’s second commission from the Royal Opera. The previous one, Anna Nicole, had its premiere at Covent Garden in 2011 to the accompaniment of more hype and razzamatazz than any other new work introduced there in the previous 30 years. Anna Nicole had its US premiere at the 2013 BAM Next Wave Festival to similar fanfare. Turnage has travelled a long way from the operatic debutant who composed Greek in the mid-1980s and who at the time wondered whether he had been wise to get involved in such an artistically treacherous art form. ‘I didn’t want to write an opera at all’, he has said of his feelings then. ‘I agreed with Boulez about burning down the opera houses... Opera was not a natural thing for me and I had no interest in it until I decided to do Greek.’