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Monday, September 26, 2016

On Truth (and Lies) in Suicide, Continued

Geneviève Mnich in Savannah Bay. Photo: Rebecca Greenfield
By Nora Tjossem

In November of last year, BAM gathered a packed audience in the Fishman Space for one of the most intimidating titles we’ve presented: On Truth (and Lies) in Suicide. On the white-walled set of Savannah Bay (a Marguerite Duras play performed by Paris’ Théâtre de l’Atelier as part of the 2015 Next Wave Festival) three scholars and writers intimately acquainted with matters of mental health gathered to discuss one of the most taboo subjects in contemporary America. The conversation ranged from the deeply personal to the widely philosophical, providing a much-needed space to talk both critically and empathetically about suicide and mental health.

This month, in honor of National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, we at BAM would like to extend the conversation beyond our talk, joining a movement across the country to open up dialogue surrounding suicide. In the audio linked below, Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison and author Andrew Solomon speak openly about their personal experiences with mental health issues alongside philosopher Simon Critchley. Their frankness sets an example for talking about the difficult subject of suicide and demonstrates how crucial these conversations are.



Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

In Context: Battlefield



Director Peter Brook returns with this tale of reconciliation in the wake of war, a breathtaking distillation of the central story of The Mahabharata, the ancient Sanskrit poem Brook first staged at the BAM Harvey Theater in 1987. 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 #BattlefieldBAM.

In Context: Songs of Lear


Poland’s Teatr Piesn Kozla (Song of the Goat Theater) make their BAM debut with this breathtaking song cycle, transforming Shakespeare’s classic into a feverish deluge of polyphonic sound. 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 #SongsofLear.

Friday, September 23, 2016

In Context: The Hunger





Composer Donnacha Dennehy’s opera about the Great Famine of 1845—52 brings together new music and old Irish songs, featuring ensemble Alarm Will Sound, folk singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, and soprano Katherine Manley. 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 #TheHungerOpera.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Bessies Return to BAM on Oct 18!

Pam Tanowitz's Heaven on One's Head.
Photo: Christopher Duggan
After 25 years, the Bessie Awards return to BAM this fall! The ceremony celebrating the New York Dance and Performance Awards, named in honor of legendary teacher and dance advocate Bessie Schönberg, takes place in the Howard Gilman Opera House on Tuesday, Oct 18 at 7:30pm.

What are now known simply as the Bessies were founded in 1983 by David White, then executive director/producer of Dance Theater Workshop, and originator of the short, densely-packed award citations that encapsulate each artist or show’s essential qualities. More importantly, White established the basic structure for nominating and selecting recipients. While it has evolved over the years, most notably since Lucy Sexton became producer in 2010 (and subsequently executive director), the ultimate process remains true—to honor outstanding creative work in the field.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Mahabharata: A Summary

Poet and sociologist Carole Satyamurti has spent most of her life working as a professor at the Tavistock Clinic in London, occasionally publishing her own volumes of poetry. Then in 2015, she published Mahabharata: A Modern Retelling, an elegantly accessible English language rendition of the Indian epic told in 900 pages of blank verse (that’s three times as long as Paradise Lost). Below, peruse Satyamurti's introduction to better prepare for Brook’s latest directorial masterpiece, Battlefieldcoming to the BAM Harvey Theater Sep 28–Oct 9.


Love, loss, heroism, envy, loyalty, humor, spiritual aspiration, ethical and political dilemmas—the Mahabharata, the great epic poem of ancient India, brings to life all these timeless human experiences, and more. The central story concerns a royal warrior dynasty, and the bitter rivalry between two sets of cousins: the five Pandava brothers and the hundred Kaurava brothers. The eldest Pandava, Yudhishthira, is the legitimate heir to the kingdom, but Duryodhana, the eldest Kaurava, disputes his entitlement, and seeks repeatedly to eliminate his cousins. The Pandavas have a great ally: Krishna, who is an incarnation of the god, Vishnu. The Pandavas are themselves descended from gods, owing to a boon bestowed on their mother, Kunti.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

In Context: Remains


Choreographer John Jasperse mines his legacy and lineage for this danced rumination on our existence in time, featuring a score by composer John King. 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 #JohnJasperse.

In Context: The Undertaking



Two actors investigate the twilight between being and non-being in this new work by acclaimed Brooklyn theater company The Civilians, part of the Brooklyn-Paris Exchange. 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 #The Undertaking.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

In Context: monumental









Canadian dance troupe the Holy Body Tattoo joins forces with post-rock legend Godspeed You! Black Emperor to offer monumental—a searing indictment of the daily grind coming to the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House Sep 16 & 17. 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 #monumentalBAM.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

In Context: portrait of myself as my father


Brooklyn-based choreographer nora chipaumire performs a visceral exploration of African masculinity in portrait of myself as my father, coming to the BAM Fisher September 14–17. 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 #norachipaumire.