BAM Announces 2008 Spring Season

Classic Arts News   BAM Announces 2008 Spring Season
The Brooklyn Academy of Music has announced its 2008 spring season. Highlights include a production of Cimarosa's Il matrimonio segreto and appearances by such dance troupes as the State Ballet of Georgia, Grupo Corpo and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

After successful productions of Bach's St. Matthew's Passion and Mozart's CosÐ fan tutte at BAM over the last decade, director Jonathan Miller returns to stage Cimarosa's Il matrimonio segreto with the Brooklyn Philharmonic conducted by Paul Goodwin. Premiered in 1792 exactly two months after Mozart's death, the two-act opera buffa with a libretto by Giovani Bertati saw more success than nearly all of Mozart's operas; up to 1800, the work was performed over 70 times in Vienna alone and still was being given there in 1884. The BAM performances run in May and June.

In its first New York engagement, the State Ballet of Georgia led by Nina Ananiashvili presents two programs over four nights in BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House in February and March. Programmed are Chaconne, a new work by San Francisco Ballet choreographer-in-residence and former Bolshoi Ballet dancer Yuri Possokhov (featuring live music by Georgia's Urmuli Quintet), and two ballets by Bolshoi Ballet artistic director and choreographer Alexei Ratmansky: Dreams about Japan (featuring percussionists from the Tbilisi Theatre of Opera and Ballet), and a yet-untitled premiere. Ananiashvili took the helm of SBG at the request of Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili in 2004. She has since built a company of 100 dancers and spearheaded 23 new productions from such choreographers as Stanton Welch, Ratmansky and Trey McIntyre.

Grupo Corpo, one of Brazil's leading contemporary dance companies, previously performed at BAM's Next Wave Festivals in 2002 and 2005. The troupe returns in March with the U.S. premiere of Breu and the New York premiere of Benguele (1998), a work for its entire company of 21 dancers and set to a commissioned score by Joê£o Bosco. Both works fuse ballet, jazz and modern dance genres with the polyrhythms of Latin and African dance.

Nearly 40 years since the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater appeared at BAM, where it established a school and resided briefly in 1969-70, the company returns in June (presented by The Joyce Theater) with two programs at Gilman Opera House: Classic Ailey and Best Of. The former features Ailey's Revelations and the revival of Masekela Langage, last performed over a decade ago; the latter includes, in addition to Revelations, Camille A. Brown's new work, The Groove To Nobody's Business.

Beyond its singular dance engagements, BAM presents on Memorial Day weekend its longest running performance series, the annual DanceAfrica festival. Titled "Bridge to Cultural Rejuvenation & Enlightenment," this year's installment features the DanceAfrica debuts of visiting Gambian company Ceesay Kujabi and the Bachinab, and Giwayen Mata, as well as the return of LaRocque Bey School of Dance Theatre., Inc. and the BAM/Restoration DanceAfrica Ensemble. A celebration of black cultural and spiritual identity, DanceAfrica was founded in 1977 by Elder Chuck Davis, who remains its director.

From December to April, BAM will also participate in the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD performance transmissions, expected to reach over a million people worldwide, with eight opera broadcasts in its Rose Cinemas.

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