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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Seeing every Next Wave Festival show

Tell us about yourself! What do you do for fun? Do you have any interesting facts about yourself?

I'm Liz! I moved to New York City 7 years ago and to Brooklyn 5 years ago, and I and have been going to BAM frequently since. I use some of my fun time to host a podcast about making good computer security for everyone called Loose Leaf Security (I promise this is fun for me!), but I spend most of it with the arts - either devouring performances at BAM and around NYC or dabbling in a variety of creative pursuits.

I've studied vocal performance as part hobby, part stress relief for roughly the last 15 years, and I focus on lyric coloratura roles. I'm somewhat shy to discuss it, especially in the context of the many immensely talented artists at BAM, but am proud to finally confidently claim my high E.

What was the first Next Wave Festival show you saw? What did you think?

The 2012 production of Einstein on the Beach. I'd been a fan of Philip Glass's works for a long time and was very familiar with the music, but seeing it in context was a transcendent experience. I remember having a very different impression of Bed [the second scene of Act IV] once it was put in its visual context and being completely mesmerized by the set and choreography in Spaceship.

(Fun fact: my partner, Matt, who is seeing all of Next Wave with me also saw a Philip Glass work for his first Next Wave show - The Etudes in 2014.)

Why did you decide to see all 26 productions in this year’s Next Wave Festival?

I've been building up to this for a couple years without realizing it. Last year, I originally planned on seeing about half of the Next Wave Festival, but ended up getting tickets last minute to a handful more shows because I heard rave reviews about them. After almost missing out on some of those spectacular shows, I decided to just see everything this year. I don't think I'd usually describe myself as someone with fear of missing out, though.

What are you anticipating you’ll learn from this experience?

This is a bit of a roundabout answer, but the thing I love most about Next Wave is that it brings together so many distinct perspectives that feel relevant and now. I find I don't usually know ahead of time exactly how a particular show will connect with me, and I'm looking forward to immersing myself in all the different perspectives and letting that take me where it takes me!

Next Wave Production First Impression Post-Show Review
Humans At the edges of strength and vulnerability A sublime mix of dance and impressive physical feats that flowed effortlessly and exuded a genuine intimacy
The Bacchae Intrigued by the implications of gender-swapping Dionysus Men worrying about women being beyond their control felt even more central with a woman Dionysus; the accessible English translation was a stark contrast to Agave's textually incomprehensible but touching grief in Japanese
Almadraba A history of folk and fishing folx A lively, eclectic mix of jazz and a variety of classical styles; I forgot how huge tuna are, but being reminded, I understand why PeƱas chose to commemorate this fishing event!
The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Celebrating a unique spirituality The rhythm and energy made me feel like I should get up and dance or at least get up and clap, but I didn't want to be rude to the rest of the audience.
Place Gentrification, guilt, and hopefully where can we go from there? Saul William's response to Ted Hearne's questions was so powerful and moving.
Trisha Brown Dance Company Early works from someone ahead of her time that still feel ahead of their time A unique perspective towards flow and physicality that felt joyful and familiar.
Measure for Measure Will it feel like moral justice overcomes strict readings of the law in this setting like the text implies? The setting and staging emphasized the tension and unsettling resolution of this Shakespearean problem play.
JACK & Reintegrating into society after the harsh trauma and disconnect of prison Incredibly funny, abstract almost like a dream, but more concrete in all the right places; I keep realizing new thematic connections a day later!
Everywhere All the Time Percussion and anxiety The clever intertwining of the percussion and the dances themselves created stunning enveloping emotions.
Watermill The perception of memories and time High levels of tension and anxiety set within the deliberate stillness.
I hunger for you The intrinsic human need for connection The intense physicality felt very close, despite not sitting in the front row, and evoked a strong sense of urgency within the ephemeral nature of the softer, ever-changing lighting.
Satyagraha Bringing a new layer of metaphor into Glass's minimalistic masterpiece Beautiful integration of contemplative, melodic circus feats that felt right in line with the meditative nature of the work.
Kreatur Visualizing the space we take up The dance and its narrative resonated with me a lot, and I'd be remiss not to mention how stunningly Iris van Herpen's costumes moved.
Savage Winter Punk opera and fixation on lost love This adaption really brought out the obsessive nature of Winterreise.
Falling Out Exploring tragedy in many forms through many types of forms Gorgeous storytelling across disciplines, and the final scene was visually stunning and truly not just looked but felt like water. The opening story about how people trust technology was crushing and will stay with me.
Circus: Wandering City Contextualizing circus itself Heartwarming fun with a creative string quartet.
Voyage of Time Inhabiting space and creation The live performance's sense of presence pulled the work closer.
Interpassivities Interconnection and creating disconnection The evolution of what was the cause and what was the effect of the movement intrigued me, and how the audience (myself included) moved and reacted was as at least intriguing.
The Good Swimmer Currents that underpin the framing of war Like being submerged in a concept album.
The White Album California in the 60s How much have we progressed in the last 50 years?
Greek Oedipus at a greasy spoon! Delightfully cheeky, unmistakably adapted into our specific modern times.
Halfway to Dawn Honoring jazz, civil rights, and sexuality A jazzy musical retrospective interpreted through abstract, emotional dances.
Dorrance Dance Tap is such a lush visual and aural experience! An impressive use of the Fishman Space imbued with a playful creativity - the use of water and catwalk area were particularly memorable!
NERVOUS/SYSTEM Are we connected in ways we don't yet realize? We often already realize how much we interact with everyone around us in subtle ways all the time, but we don't always take the time to reflect on it.
Strange Window: The Turn of the Screw Paranormal reality or psychological fiction? Stunning audiovisual composition, I enjoyed the tension/release of the original story and the modern scenes interpreting it.
The Hard Nut Cheeky, joyful fun (This is a bit cheating because I saw this last time it was at BAM!) Whimsical fun, the timing in Walt of the Snowflakes is so perfect, the maid's characterization always wins my heart,and now it feels like the holidays! 

Follow along with Liz’s journey on Twitter - @lizdenys
Liz is an active member of the Young Producers Leadership Committee. Learn more about the Young Producers!

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