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Thursday, May 24, 2018

DanceAfrica Evolves

Abdel R. Salaam. Photo: Jack Vartoogian

By David Hsieh

For 40 years, the DanceAfrica Festival meant Baba Chuck Davis. As the founder and, until 2015, sole artistic director of the festival, he represented the festival, body and soul. With his 6-foot-5 height, booming voice, and regal dashikis, he was hard to miss on and off stage. Baba Chuck passed away at the age of 80 just before last year’s festival. His successor Abdel R. Salaam, is now writing the next chapter of this beloved tradition.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Eat, Drink AND Be Literary?

For those of you who've never attended an EDBL before, we thought it'd be helpful to provide a short overview of the program so you'll know what to expect!

Photo: Beowulf Sheehan

By Molly Silberberg

Picture being in your living room with your favorite author. Now add a dinner prepared for you, plentiful wine, a guest list that is taken care of, and an elegant room requiring no clean up by you. Get yourself to BAMcafé for Eat, Drink & Be Literary and you’re set for the evening!

Eat, Drink & Be Literary is not your average book event. Presented in partnership with the National Book Foundation, the series celebrates some of today’s leading authors in an intimate setting that turns the private act of reading into a shared moment of gathering.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

In Context: DanceAfrica

This year’s DanceAfrica performance offers a taste of the rhythm and spirit of South Africa, acknowledging Nelson Mandela’s centennial birthday and the contributions of freedom fighters past and present. 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 #DanceAfrica. Ago! Amée!

Friday, May 11, 2018

King Lear Community Chorus

Photo: Richard Termine

For last month's production of King Lear, members of the Royal Shakespeare Company traveled from London to perform at the BAM Harvey Theater. But many of the actors in the run came from just a train ride away—all non-speaking roles were cast locally via an open call to the BAM community and were filled by writers, students, BAM ushers, actors, and folks who hadn't performed in front of an audience in decades. We caught up with the members of the Community Chorus during the final week of the run to learn more about their experiences, backstage secrets, and which Lear characters they identify with most.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Beyond the Canon—The Watermelon Woman + Imitation of Life

The Watermelon Woman, courtesy of First Run Features; Imitation of Life, courtesy of Universal Pictures
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 Cheryl Dunye’s The Watermelon Woman (1996) with John M. Stahl’s Imitation of Life (1934).

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Behind the Scenes—Gina Dyches Superstar!

Gina Dyches (front row, 3rd from right) with most of the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar
Live in Concert
. Photo courtesy the artist.
By David Hsieh

Gina Dyches is a special events coordinator at BAM and an accomplished violinist freelancing around New York City. What do the two jobs have in common? They both require “great organizational skills,” according to Gina. What about another? “They are the coolest!” A case in point: at BAM, she is helping to plan a gala honoring Jeremy Irons and Darren Aronofsky, but as a violinist, she played in one of the biggest TV events of the year—Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, which aired on Easter night on NBC. 

Playing a rock musical broadcast live on network television is not what Gina had dreamed of when she picked up a violin as a shy fourth grader in a Phoenix suburb public school. Nor was living in New York and working at one of the premier contemporary performing art presenters in the world! Gina tells us how she got here.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

In Context: Long Day's Journey Into Night

Sir Richard Eyre directs Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville in Eugene O’Neill’s devastating Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork about love, illness, and addiction. 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 #LongDaysJourneyIntoNight.

Friday, May 4, 2018

A Different Picture: Women Filmmakers in the New Hollywood Era

This month we're paying tribute to the true revolutionaries of the celebrated New Hollywood: the trailblazing women filmmakers who defied historic inequity to bring their stories to the screen.

Illustrator Nathan Gelgud highlights some of the filmmakers featured in A Different Picture: Women Filmmakers in the New Hollywood Era, 1967—1980 (through May 20 at BAM Rose Cinemas) below.