BAM’s Next Wave Festival enters its 31st season of breakout productions and landmark performances covering dance, theater, music, film and more. Many European productions choose the festival for their U.S. debut, including the opera depicting the ultra-American tale of the tragic tabloid celebrity, Anna Nicole Smith.
“Anna Nicole” is your guaranteed chance to hear the beleaguered New York City Opera orchestra and chorus this season, as they perform the work of composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and librettist Richard Thomas. Commissioned by London’s Royal Opera House, “Anna Nicole” enjoyed sold-out performances at Covent Garden in 2011.
Among the many U.S. and New York premieres at the Next Wave festival are “A Rite,” a collaboration between Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company and Anne Bogart’s SITI Company; “The Blue Dragon,” directed and performed by French-Canadian Robert Lepage; and “The Table,” a “soundwork” by Polish avant-garde music group Karbido.
BAM Next Wave Festival, September 17 through December 22, also features a full slate of humanities, music, film, and visual art events and programming, and many artist talks related to headline events.
In a brilliant marriage of lowbrow bawdiness and highbrow operatic craft, British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and librettist Richard Thomas immortalize the tumultuous life of Anna Nicole Smith—stripper, playmate, and formidable tabloid queen.
Robert Lepage—a master craftsman of breathtaking cinematic theater—returns to BAM with a visually stunning tale of love and disenchantment in modern-day Shanghai. A follow-up to his 1985 epic The Dragons’ Trilogy, The Blue Dragon revisits Pierre (played by Lepage), an expat art curator and former painter navigating a love triangle and a midlife crisis.
In choreographer David Dorfman’s inspired work, set to music by 90s underground rock band Smoke, dancers bandon themselves to the mire, exploring how hope and humility help us manage the messiness of daily life.
Japanese manga, Noh theater, and electronic sounds comprise this beautiful meditation on the nature of war, featuring music by Santa Ratniece, electronic music group the Irrepressibles, and the Latvian Radio Choir.
Choreographer Brian Brooks and company explore the spatial contradictions of bodies in rapid motion, transgressing the laws of time and space behind hundreds of cloth strands stretched across the stage.
History lived vies with history told in this work by writer Ain Gordon and photographer Forrest Holzapfel, which examines the diverging stories of a historical reenactor and her 19th-century doppelganger.
Actress Frances McDormand embodies artist Suzanne Bocanegra in this inventive experiment in self-portraiture, that explores Bocanegra’s years spent in a bodycast and our culturally constructed idea of beauty.
Choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker presents two works based on medieval vocal music: En Atendant, a breathtaking showcase of movement counterpoint; and Cesena, which features the vocal group graindelavoix.
Filmmaker Jem Cohen offers a cinematic love letter to Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton, accompanied by an original score performed live by members of Fugazi, Dirty Three, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and other acclaimed bands. Single tickets are on sale now.
String quartet ETHEL, with help from projection artist Deborah Johnson and new music by four acclaimed composers, enlivens the images from an ambitious 1970s EPA project that documented America’s fraught and fabled relationship to its land.