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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Eat (Sandwiches), Drink & Be Literary: Daniel Alarcón

Illustration by Nathan Gelgud
In the second of our popular series on the favorite sandwiches of Eat, Drink & Be Literary authors, we present Daniel Alarcón, featured on April 23.

This Peruvian-born, Alabama-raised writer's most recent book is titled At Night We Walk in Circles.

His favorite sandwich is... drum roll please....The Cubano! ("So much meat!")

The traditional recipe for this toasty marvel contains savory roasted pork plus ham, gooey swiss cheese, crunchy pickles, pungent mustard and/or mayo, all on a grilled loaf of cuban bread.

There are infinite variations; one of the most irresistible (and, okay, pricier) versions is at The Spotted Pig. April Bloomfield's version contains slow-roasted port, thinly-sliced prosciutto, Gruyère cheese, chopped cornichons, and pickled jalapeños on crusty bread.

The Spotted Pig's Cubano.
And if you're looking for something closer to BAM, Habana Outpost boasts an award-winning Cuban sandwich.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How Green is BAM Fisher?

by Rebekah Gordon

BAM's newest building, the Fisher, is also our most eco-friendly, meaning we worked with the architects to build and run a building that uses less materials and energy. Here's what makes it so very green:

BAM gets the gold. The BAM Fisher is the first theater in New York City to be certified LEED Gold in the new construction category. LEED® stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. A LEED rating shows when a building is particularly sustainable—a bit like seeing the recycle sign on a bottle or can.

Raise the roof. Did you notice the front (or façade) of the building when you pass by 321 Ashland Pl.? It’s been the same since 1926, when it was a Salvation Army. The next time you visit, notice the recycled materials everywhere, like the steel in the columns—more than half is totally recycled! The construction team recycled and reused the old building’s infrastructure and simply built new floors on top. Watch a time lapse video of the construction here.

Photo courtesy of the BAM Hamm Archives

Friday, April 18, 2014

Record Store Day 2014 Contest: The Music of William Onyeabor

Tomorrow is Record Store Day, and we're honoring a record collector's favorite: 70s Nigerian psychedelic funk artist (/enigma) William Onyeabor, whose music will be celebrated at BAM on May 2 & 3 as part of the Red Bull Music Academy Festival.

So while you're queuing up to buy records, we invite you to participate in our contest. Post a photo to Instagram or Twitter of a William Onyeabor record OR a record by any of the artists participating in ATOMIC BOMB! The Music of William Onyeabor (see full list below) with the text "I want to go to the #WilliamOnyeabor tribute @BAM_Brooklyn on May 2 or 3! #RSD2014" for a chance to win tickets to the show, plus some awesome Onyeabor swag, courtesy of Luaka Bop.

Luaka Bop's Record Store Day release: William Onyeabor remixes, featuring many of the artists performing at BAM in two weeks.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fresh Hamm: Do You Recognize this Building?

Do you recognize this building?

It's the BAM Fisher, our newest location and performance space at 321 Ashland Place. When this photo was taken in the 1930's, the site was home to the Salvation Army office for greater Brooklyn.  According to Salvation Army archivist Tyler Boenecke, the building contained a gymnasium, classroom, space for a women's group called "Home League," and a "Songter" room for singing groups.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Christian Rizzo on love, doubt, and David Bowie

French choreographer Christian Rizzo has a professional background in rock music, fashion, and visual art, and draws from all these experiences and more in his work. The following is a selection of his thoughts on the foundations of his choreography.

Christian Rizzo
The presence of another person engenders a question whose answer could be love, which for me is the essential reaction to all creation. The artist James Lee Byars said, "Beauty is the response, not the

To doubt is to begin without knowing the rules, to throw all the dice, and it allows me to avoid posturing and repetition. When I begin, I may have an idea and it is what it is, but the work doesn't exist yet. During the creation process I concentrate on a transformation revealed through the movement of the body, the music, and the lighting. I am interested in opposition. I work in the space between the action and its opposite. 

BAM Board Chairman's Dinner

Last Thursday, we were honored to host the 13th annual BAM Board Chairman's Dinner, a celebration of the work of BAM's most passionate advocates. Hosted by Board Chairman Alan Fishman and his wife, Judy Fishman, the event has become one of BAM's favorite traditions.

Alan and Judy Fishman welcome guests to the 13th Annual BAM Board Chairman's Dinner
This particular evening was especially significant, as it included the dedication of one of the iconic arched windows in BAM's Lepercq Space in honor of BAM Trustee Richard Feldman. During the 2013 BAM Ignite Gala, Richard was named the recipient of the first Ignite Award in recognition of his incredible contributions to arts education at BAM.

The plaque reads: "This iconic BAM window is dedicated to Ignite Award recipient Richard E. Feldman in recognition
of his tireless support for arts education at BAM. June 4, 2013"

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fresh Hamm: A Prima Donna and Schnapps

When the BAM building at 176-194 Montague Street was destroyed by fire in 1903, many programs and playbills dating from our incorporation in 1861 to 1901 were lost. In an effort to rebuild some of the history that was lost we at the BAM Hamm Archives have been using the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Online to research those years. (A big thank you to the Brooklyn Public Library for working with us!) The Brooklyn Daily Eagle has given us some fun finds.

For example, did you know Brooklyn had a Prima Donna?

Brooklyn bred soprano Susan Strong delighted audiences across New York and around the world, prompting the Brooklyn Daily Eagle to praise her as "Brooklyn's Prima Donna." Shortly after returning from a period of intense study and critical acclaim in Europe, Strong starred in Faust here in November 1896.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lifetime Lear—A pass to every King Lear produced at BAM and Theatre for a New Audience, forever

Limited quantity available beginning April 2, 10am
April 1, 2014, Brooklyn—Brooklyn Academy of Music and Theatre for a New Audience will offer a special pass that includes a pair of seats to every production of William Shakespeare's King Lear presented by the Fort Greene cultural neighbors, beginning January 2015 until the end of time. Additional Brooklyn venues to be announced.
BAM Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo said, "We are thrilled at the prospect of offering true 'Learheads' guaranteed access to the many future productions of this essential tragedy." Added TFANA Founding Artistic Director Jeffrey Horowitz, "The Bard would surely approve of this profound pledge of loyalty to one of his finest works. Now and forever!"

This current season, each presenter will have had a run of King Lear. BAM's, in January/February, by Chichester Festival Theatre, directed by Angus Jackson, and starred Frank Langella. TFANA's, which runs through May 4, is directed by Arin Arbus and stars Michael Pennington. (This production is not included in Lifetime Lear.) The enduring popularity and relevance of this play catalyzed the idea of creating Lifetime Lear. Other notable King Lear productions at BAM, approaching 20 in number since 1862, include portrayals by Edwin Booth, Ian McKellen, and Derek Jacobi.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Twyla Tharp—On the Limit

by Susan Yung

Twyla Tharp. Photo: Gjon Mili
Twyla Tharp's new Cornbread Duet, danced by New York City Ballet principals Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild, premieres at BAM on April 10 on a bill with Carolina Chocolate Drops, who will perform live. The following is from BAM: The Complete Works.

Twyla Tharp may have more popular breadth than any of her choreographer peers, though it’s hard to say how she is best known. It could be for her Broadway shows, such as Movin’ Out, for which she won a Tony Award; for the films she’s choreographed, including White Nights; or for the three books she has authored. Or because she has embraced all types of music, from classical to chart-topping pop. What is certain is that she has never compromised on concept, technique, or principle throughout her prolific career.

In her early work from the 1960s, Tharp disassembled, analyzed, and re-created conventional jazz and modern movement, turning it inside out, running it in retrograde. She crafted roiling, cursive phrases that flowed seamlessly or darted unpredictably. It was too technical to be called strictly postmodern, despite the loopy, relaxed demeanor and the dollops of pedestrian movement.

In the 1970s, she began working with Mikhail Baryshnikov—then a guest principal with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT)—who, with a similar compact build, mop of hair, and physical genius, became a male doppelgänger for Tharp. On him, she could satisfactorily combine jazzy, pelvis-swiveling movement with bravura ballet, topped off with his irresistible charisma. She choreographed Push Comes to Shove, featuring Baryshnikov, for ABT in 1976, and began choreographing more with ballet.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Summation Dance—Please Standby

Updating Route, Please Standby. Photo: Christopher Duggan

Summation Dance is presenting two premieres choreographed by Sumi Clements at the BAM Fisher from April 2 to 5. Clements' style is bold, visceral, fearless, and often involves nuanced relationships and partnering experiments between the dancers.

The company's nine dancers will perform Updating Route, Please Standby, to a mixed score by DJ/electronic musician Lorn. The work "considers how society, the media, literature, and visual culture have molded our understanding of who, and what, we are and reasons that we contemplate dismissing these preconceptions in favor of simple re-evaluation and advancement." A version of this piece was recently presented as part of the Dancing Literate Festival, growing from an initiative advanced by Summation to make modern dance relatable by all.

Also on the April program is Hunt, for eight dancers, which looks at the persecution of witches from a feminist perspective. The soundscape is by Kyle Olson, who has previously collaborated with Summation. Costumes for both premieres are designed by Brigitte Vosse.

The company was founded in 2010 by Clements with fellow NYU alum Taryn Vander Hoop (executive director and associate artistic director). It may be young, but its foundation and mission are impressively clear-eyed and well-reasoned in this hypercompetitive dance ecology. The troupe has a modestly ambitious five-year business plan which it has stuck to; it employs women as the vast majority of able dancers are female; and dancers are paid for each performance. Summation self-produces at venues that in addition to BAM, include Baryshnikov Arts Center and the Dancing Literate Project at Judson Church, which allows them to control factors including house size and location; thus far, they have sold out all of their performances.

Click here for more information on April's performances.