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Friday, December 2, 2016

In Context: Brent Green & Sam Green: Live Cinema


A showcase of work by animator Brent Green and documentarian Sam Green, this live video event features foley sound by artist Kate Ryan, live narration by the filmmakers, and music by Brendan Canty (Fugazi), James Canty (Nation of Ulysses), and others. 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 #BrentGreenSamGreen.

In Context: The Winter’s Tale


Director Declan Donnellan and Cheek by Jowl take up Shakespeare’s most fundamental questions in this fiercely contemporary staging of the Bard’s late masterpiece of wit and wisdom. 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 #TheWintersTale.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Two Greens, Unrelated

Photo: Gayle Laird
Known separately for singular performances combining cinema with live musical accompaniment and narration, self-taught animator Brent Green and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green (unrelated) make their Next Wave debuts with a collaborative program, Brent Green and Sam Green: Live Cinema, at the BAM Fisher, Dec 7—10. Foley sound artist Kate Ryan and a band comprising Brendan Canty (Fugazi), James Canty (Nation of Ulysses), and Becky Foon (Silver Mt. Zion) perform live alongside the cinematic proceedings: flickering stop-motion forays into the Southern Gothic from Brent, engrossing documentaries about provincial dreamers and doers from Sam. The result is a unique live art experience that fuses the energy and immediacy of a rock show with cinema’s immersive storytelling capabilities.

Adriana Leshko: Could you each briefly describe the work of the other?

Sam Green: I always come back to the word “protean” in describing Brent’s work. His live cinema work is so powerful and odd. He narrates but he’s really just singing his pieces. Brent is one of those artists who is channeling something: his work isn’t calculated or premeditated. He’s tapping into some weird rural Pennsylvania thing that goes back to his family. Brent and I take turns narrating short films in this piece, and I’m both intimidated and proud to follow him.

Brent Green: One thing I really love about Sam’s work is his insatiable curiosity. His journalistic background [Sam has a master’s degree in journalism from University of California Berkeley, where he studied documentary with acclaimed filmmaker Marlon Riggs] drives him deep down rabbit holes, where he encounters... new rabbit holes. And dives into those. I was at his studio a couple weeks ago, and he showed me an entire file of watermarked pictures—he was enamored with the watermark. He cares about things no one else cares about. Until he tells you about them and makes you care about them, too.

Monday, November 28, 2016

CITIZEN—Being and Belonging

Raja Kelly. Photo courtesy Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel
By Christian Barclay

In 1936 Josephine Baker, then already a major star in Europe, returned to America to star in the Ziegfield Follies. The production featured choreography by George Balanchine, music by Vernon Duke, and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. In spite of the marquee names, the show was a flop. Many critics specifically attacked Baker’s performance, labeling her “a Negro wench,” incapable of portraying a woman of sophistication and power. Disgusted and disheartened, Baker renounced her American citizenship and moved to France. She wouldn’t perform in the US again for over a decade.

CITIZEN, the newest work from Reggie Wilson and the Fist & Heel Performance Group, was inspired by the challenges that Baker and other black artists and activists faced in America––and the reasons why some ultimately chose to leave. The piece is predicated on the concept of belonging, and asks the questions “What does it mean to belong?” and “What does it mean to not want to belong?”

In Context: 50 Song Memoir


Stephin Merritt and his seven-member band celebrate his 50th birthday with two distinct programs of new songs, one for every year of his melodious existence. 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 #50SongMemoir.

In Context: A Gun Show

Sō Percussion’s gives the Second Amendment a soundtrack in this affecting foray into America’s fraught relationship with guns, directed by Obie-winning director Ain Gordon. 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 #AGunShow.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Colson Whitehead on The Underground Railroad



On September 26, author Colson Whitehead came to BAM to discuss his most recent novel, The Underground Railroad, a sweeping narrative of pre-Civil War slavery that rockets from past to present through one woman’s escape from the horrors of bondage.

Whitehead read an excerpt from the novel, which just won the National Book Award for fiction, and discussed how he came to write the book, his research process, its resonance today, and more with Lisa Lucas, president of the National Book Foundation.

Listen to the full talk below:




The Colson Whitehead talk was part of our Unbound literary series, presented in partnership with Greenlight Bookstore.

In Context: On the Road



Choreographer Zvi Gotheiner and his company retrace Jack Kerouac’s most infamous route in this evening-length work, a synthesis of sensuous movement, original music, and kaleidoscopic video footage. 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 #ZviDance.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

In Context: The Tree of Life








More than 100 musicians and singers from the Wordless Music Orchestra perform live accompaniment to a special screening of Terrence Malick’s 2011 masterpiece starring Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain. 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 #TheTreeofLife.

Monday, November 14, 2016

In Context: Thank You for Coming: Play


Brooklyn-based choreographer Faye Driscoll makes her BAM debut with the second work in her Thank You For Coming trilogy, exploring the fractured nature of language. 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 #FayeDriscoll.