Image courtesy of Fisher Center at Bard.
The Fisher Center at Bard continues its 2020-2021 season of virtual and interactive works with “The Four Quartets Experience,” revisiting the acclaimed performance “Four Quartets” from Pam Tanowitz, the Fisher Center’s first and current Choreographer in Residence. In this work—commissioned by Live Arts Bard for Bard SummerScape 2018—Tanowitz joined with composer Kaija Saariaho and artist Brice Marden to reimagine T. S. Eliot’s poem of the same name, a haunting and mysterious meditation on time.
Deemed by the New York Times “the greatest creation of dance theater so far this century,” a full archival recording of Four Quartets will now be available for audiences anywhere to view via a limited livestream on UPSTREAMING, the Fisher Center’s online venue (October 31-November 1). The Four Quartets Experience also includes the release of There the Dance Is, a new film by Kevin Pastor and Gideon Lesterthat explores the dancers’ experience of performing Four Quartets; as well as an audiobook of actress Kathleen Chalfant (praised by the L.A. Times for reading “Eliot’s sublime stanzas with a restrained elegance such that each reaches the listener as a marvel of imagery”) reading the poem — the first authorized recording of “Four Quartets” read by a woman. A special premiere of There the Dance Is will take place October 30 at 7pm, and will be preceded by a livestreamed conversation between Tanowitz and former New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay; Chalfant’s audio book reading will be available to the general public on UPSTREAMING October 31-December 31.
Tanowitz will continue to release a multitude of other digital projects later this season, all born from necessity in a season where she and her company saw cancellations and postponements of live engagements compile month after month. Her new dance for camera work, Past Present Future, a tryptic of short films reimagining existing Pam Tanowitz Dance material in unconventional settings, commissioned by PBS/All Arts and co-produced by the Fisher Center and Cyprian Films, will premiere in 2021.
Focusing on healing and transformation, this season of digital and interactive works at the Fisher Center supports new creations born from the midst of a pandemic, global crises, and political turmoil. From multimedia performances, rituals, and political actions to classical music, interactive live art, and dance on film, this season at Bard broadens the potential of virtual performance across genres. Audiences will be invited to experience and engage with each of these projects in entirely different ways, yet together the season seeks to build community and activism in isolation.