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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The 40 Most Unforgettable BAM Moments of 2019, According to BAM Staff

Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Before the curtain falls on a truly remarkable year of heartwarming, surprising, shocking, breathtaking, hilarious, or otherwise unforgettable moments and milestones here at BAM, we asked our fellow staff members to take a look back and share some of their favorites. Were you here for any of these, or do you have your own? Share them with us, and please join or support us in making BAM a home for adventurous art, audiences, and ideas in 2020!

In no particular order:

1) Édouard Louis taking a bow with the cast on the opening night of The End of Eddy.



2) Watching audience members take the Joe Melillo Elevator to the balcony at the Harvey Theater at BAM Strong for the first time.



Photo: Stephanie Berger

3) The incredible, heart-breaking duet between Rachel Poirier and Alexander Leonhartsberger in Teac Damsa's Swan Lake/Loch na hEala



4) Madonna performing “Frozen” in front of an enormous video projection of her daughter Lourdes.



5) Rep. Hakeem Jeffries quoting Biggie Smalls when explaining his rise in Congress—“you never thought hip-hop would take it this far”—at the 33rd Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.



Photo: Stephanie Berger

6) The spectrum of overheard audience reactions to Marlene Monteiro Freitas’ bafflingly sublime Bacchae: Prelude to a Purge





7) A sold-out audience waiting till the end of the closing credits of Beau Travail to burst into applause on opening night of our Claire Denis retrospective




8) The holiday decorations at the security entrance.





Photo: Julieta Cervantes

9) All things Barber Shop Chronicles.




10) Reading hundreds of questions in Selina Thompson’s brilliant Race Cards, coming across one that resonated, and becoming a part of Next Wave history by submitting an answer.




11) A performer’s 20-foot free fall (which the audience didn’t actually get to see) from the top of the monolithic wall in Espæce.




12) Nick Kroll’s complicated love affair with “salt and vinny” chips.





Photo: Mike Benigno

13) The always-inspiring Malala Yousafzai telling a full opera house audience, much of it consisting of high schoolers from around the city, “If you don’t speak out, you have to live your whole life with that.” 




14) Betty Carter Park—formerly “BAM Park”—finally opening to the public. 




15) Jason Alexander doing a musical number called “Bagel Boss” on the Opera House stage, complete with dancing bagels, fly rigging, and a cameo from Tracy Morgan as God, on Jimmy Kimmel Live. 





16) Raja Feather Kelly’s dancers at the BAM Gala 2019.





17) Rwandans raising their flag at the end of DanceAfrica, 25 years after the Genocide.




18) Dozens of arrows flying through the air and covering the stage in The Great Tamer.




19) The live percussion by Jimmy Cobb (former drummer for Miles Davis!) accompanying the 1913 silent film Lime Kiln Club Field Day, which opened the series Garrett Bradley's America: A Journey Through Race and Time.





Photo: NayMarie

20) 24 hours of Alia Shawkat. 




21) The anthropomorphic carrot with a taste for human flesh at this year’s indoor BAMboo!




22) Awkwafina telling a sold-out BAMcinemaFest opening night crowd that she saw the 2007 critically-panned Lindsay Lohan film I Know Who Killed Me at BAM. Little did she know we were planning to show the film a month later as part of the We Can’t Even: Millenials on Film series.




23) BAM staff marching in the Brooklyn Pride parade. Brooklyn showed up!





24) Shoveling more than 1000 pounds of regenerative soil into the brand new Rudin Family Gallery for the inaugural exhibition by Glenn Kaino.





25) Our own Flower Tortilla performing at Everybooty.




26) James Blake's ethereal cover of Joni Mitchell's timeless “A Case of You” during his Solo Piano concert at the Harvey Theater.





27) Meeting Mogho Naba Baongo II, king of the Ouagadougou region in Burkina Faso, in preparation for DanceAfrica 2020.





28) The couple that got engaged after artist Christopher K. Ho invited the public to “step on his heart” in his Dear John installation in the Peter Jay Sharp Building lobby.




29) The extremely stylish crowd at the launch of Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem, part of our Unbound literary series.





Photo: Rebecca Greenfield

30) The VR-inspired dance improv at Teknopolis. 




31) The artist Ted Riederer installing Persistent Echoes, a vinyl record time capsule, in the wall of The Rudin Family Gallery.




32) Legendary director Charles Burnett's quiet modesty during the Q&A following a screening of his film To Sleep With Anger on the opening night of our series Black 90s: A Turning Point in American Cinema.




33) Meow Meow crowdsurfing.





Photo: Max Gordon

34) An Opera House audience gasping in unison during Bence Vági's breathtaking Non Solus




35) 75-year-old Nona Hendryx gettin’ low at the opening of the 25th R&B Festival at MetroTech.




36) StaceyAnn Chin reading her poem “Tsunami Rising”.




37) The DJ at our first LGBTQ Senior Social thanking the participants for their activism through the years, paving the way for today's generation.






38) Mumu Fresh's tribute to Nipsey Hustle at WordSoundPower.




39) The newly dedicated Joe Melillo Stage Door entrance at the Peter Jay Sharp Building.




40) A Next Wave stage covered in feathers, signaling the start of an exciting new era.



© 2019, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Inc. All rights reserved.

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