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Friday, October 6, 2017

In Context: Saudade

Vancouver-bred, New York-based choreographer Joshua Beamish pays tribute to saudade—a nostalgic yearning for an elusive past—which is said to be the essence of the Portuguese soul. 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.

Program Notes
"I liked that the word is as abstract to the English language as dance is because saudade has no direct translation in English," notes Beamish.

ArticleSaudade: An Untranslatable, Undeniably Potent Word (NPR)
Journalist Jasmine Garsd attempts to clarify the meaning of saudade: "a pleasure you suffer, an ailment you enjoy." Jazz singer Luciana Souza and producer Beco Dranoff join Garsd to share some of their favorite songs that reference the elusive Portuguese concept.

Introducing: Joshua Beamish, Choreographer (Huffington Post)
The dancer opens up about his artistic process and his choreographic interest in human interactions, noting the power of body language to communicate shared experiences onstage.

Watch & Listen

Joshua Beamish "Concerto" - 1st Movement (YouTube)
Get a taste of Beamish’s movement vocabulary in this excerpt of his solo piece, Concerto.

Wendy Whelan's Restless Creature: Dance with Joshua Beamish (YouTube)
Wendy Whelan discusses working with Beamish as the two rehearse for the opening of Restless Creature.

Into Warmer Air (YouTube)
Sample impressionistic sounds by Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir, whose cello score is featured in Saudade.

Now your turn...

How did you enjoy the show? Likes? Dislikes? Surprises? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave.


  1. Intense evocations of seduction and attraction contrasted with resistance, submission and loss. Fascinating choreography enhanced by excellent lighting.

  2. Successfully resonant images of seduction, passion and loss. Fascinating score brought to visual life with power and sensitivity.

  3. This was great. It was everything advertised and more. That said, I'm gonna keep harping on this: please try to keep the Fishman space at room temperature! It is ridiculous to have to sweat in our seats to watch these performances. I'm not saying cold, I'm saying at least down to 74 degrees or something. Sunday's performance had to have that space cranked up to 80.


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