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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ralph Lemon's Favorite BAM Moments

Marion Cito and Jan Minarik in Bluebeard, Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, 1984. Photo: Ulli Weiss

Last month, choreographer Ralph Lemon (How Can You Stay..., 2010 Next Wave Festival) stopped by BAM to help us celebrate the release of BAM: The Complete Works. He offered the following as his favorite BAM moments.

1. Gospel at Colonus | Dirs. Bob Telson and Lee Breuer, 1982
Five Blind Boys of Alabama, the Institutional Radio Choir, and a young Morgan Freeman. 'Nuff said.

2. Barbe Bleue (Bluebeard) | Pina Bausch, 1984
The experience made me want to run off to Wuppertal, wherever that was.

3. 1980: Ein Stück von Pina Bausch | Pina Bausch, 1984
Dominique Mercy told me that 1980 was Pina’s attempt to cheer herself up after the untimely death of her lover and stage designer, Rolf Borzik. It certainly cheered me up!

4. Birth of a Poet | Dir. Richard Foreman, 1985
The walkouts and shouts of disapproval reminded me of Minneapolis, my hometown at the time, where audiences were known to throw eggs at the avant-garde. (read review)

The Birth of a Poet, Richard Foreman, 1984. Photo: Leo van Velzen

5. New Music America 
A ten day blowout music festival embedded in the middle of the Next Wave Festival and involving fifteen venues, 100 bands, and composers of all kinds. Seeing the Butthole Surfers in the Opera House was truly amazing.

6. Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin | Bill T. Jones, 1990 
I remember saying to Liz Thomson, who programmed at BAM at the time: "Not sure what I'm looking at, but I love it!" (read review)

Bill T. Jones in Last Supper at Uncle Tom's Cabin, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Co., 1990.
Photo: Jeff Day 

7. Palermo, Palermo | Pina Bausch, 1991 
The falling of the brick wall—one of the most breathtaking theatrical events I've ever seen. Exhilarating, and yet so simple to watch. And it was only the beginning of the evening.

8. Eidos; Telos | William Forsythe and the Frankfurt Ballet, 1998 
Dana Casperson’s [Forsythe's wife] talking solo—a tour de force!

9. Harvey [Lichtenstein's] Goodbye Party 
I remember Harvey dancing, imitating Bill T. Jones. And Lou Reed, looking at all the formality in the audience—the gowns, tuxedos and whatnot—shouted to his band before they began, "turn up the volume!"

10. The Island | Athol Fugard, 2003
Starring John Kani and Winston Ntshona. A perfect piece of theater.

11. Nearly Ninety | Merce Cunningham Dance Company, 2009
It was essentially Merce's birthday party. He could only dance with his hands by then, and dance he did.

1 comment:

  1. amazing! ralph lemon has the best taste, and i love his insider-y comments.