Tony Winner Jones, Woyzeck and Opening Night Set for BAM's Next Wave Festival | Playbill

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News Tony Winner Jones, Woyzeck and Opening Night Set for BAM's Next Wave Festival The Brooklyn Academy of Music has announced its selections of innovative dance, theatre, music and visual art program for the 2008 Next Wave Festival, running Sept. 30-Dec. 20.

The festival will include a premiere from Tony Award-winning Spring Awakening choreographer Bill T. Jones; the U.S. premiere of the rock-infused Woyzeck; a stage adaptation of the 1977 film "Opening Night"; Arjuna's Dilemma, featuring award-winning performance artist John Kelly; and the multi-media song cycle Lightning at our feet, inspired by the poems of Emily Dickinson.

The 2008 Next Wave Festival highlights follow:

  • A Quarreling Pair
    Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company
    Based on the play by Jane Bowles
    Directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones
    "This dreamlike dance-theatre piece was drawn from a short 1945 puppet play by Jane Bowles which focuses on the relationship between two sisters who have lived in isolation. When one of them chooses to leave her dollhouse existence and journey into an overwhelming outside world, Jones imagines her array of experiences and her search for self-realization. A Quarreling Pair warns of the emotional suffocation and spiritual inertia resulting from a life lived without courage, imagination, and curiosity." (Sept. 30, Oct. 2-4)
  • Sunken Red (U.S. Premiere)
    Toneelhuis (BE) & ro theater (NL)
    Directed by Guy Cassiers with Dirk Roofthooft
    After the novel by Jeroen Brouwers
    "This solo performance is based on Jeroen Brouwers' 1981 autobiographical novel, 'Bezonken Rood,' an account of his family's internment in a Japanese prison camp during World War II. In 1943, the three-year-old Brouwers—along with his sister, mother, and grandmother—was imprisoned in the women's camp, Tjideng, in present-day Jakarta. The author describes how his years in the camp permanently destroyed his relationship with his mother, comparing the loss of maternal affection with the disintegration of each subsequent love affair in adulthood." (Oct. 7, 9-11)


  • Woyzeck (U.S. Premiere)
    By Georg Büchner
    Vesturport and The City Theatre
    Directed by Gísli Örn Gardarsson
    English translation by Ruth Little, Gísli Örn Gardarsson and Jón Atli Jónasson
    Original music by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
    Lyrics by Nick Cave
    "With haunting original music by cult rocker Nick Cave and Bad Seeds' violinist Warren Ellis, this U.S. premiere is directed by rising-star Gísli Örn Gardarsson. Water abounds in Gardarsson's gleefully physical staging which is played out on an industrial set of gleaming pipes, green astroturf adorned with artificial flowers, and a series of water-filled plexiglass tanks. With acrobatics, aerial ballets, and underwater sequences, the production’s hyper-athletic cast infuses Büchner's fragmented tragedy with unrestrained energy."(Oct. 15, 17-18)
  • Continuous City
    The Builders Association
    Directed by Marianne Weems
    Conceived by Marianne Weems, James Gibbs and Harry Sinclair
    Written by Harry Sinclair
    "A multimedia theatre work that investigates how 'networking' technology both encourages and hinders human interaction, honest communication, and heartfelt connections. Utilizing The Builders' signature cinematic stagecraft, this New York premiere tells the story of a traveling father and his young daughter at home, tethered and transformed by speed, hypermodernity, and failing cell phones. These characters — along with a maniacal internet mogul exploiting the developing world and a hilarious nanny desperate to be a star — move through a vast cityscape made up of fragments from many different locales—some real, some virtual, some distant, and some drawn from the very city in which each performance is staged. Each location morphs into the next as they become one continuous city." (Nov. 18-22)
  • Opening Night (U.S. Premiere)
    By John Cassavetes
    Toneelgroep Amsterdam and NTGent
    Directed by Ivo van Hove
    "Opening Night tells the story of a famous actress, starring in a play in which her character must come to terms with aging. After an avid fan/autograph-seeker is killed, the actress begins a downward personal spiral, confronting her own issues of mortality. Despite insincere support from her colleagues in the production, the actress works her way back from her crisis of the soul. As in other Cassavetes screenplays, the characters’ interactions are emotionally raw and filled with the awkwardness, pain, and joy of honest human interaction." (Dec. 2-6)
  • Meeting with Bodhisattva
    U Theatre
    Directed by Liu Ruo-Yu
    "A music-theatre work that depicts an individual's journey toward becoming a Bodhisattva or 'enlightened being' in Buddhism. This New York premiere features a whirlwind of drumming, martial arts, Buddhist chanting, and Chinese operatic dance in six distinct yet interwoven scenes. After years of practicing tai-chi, martial arts, and meditation, U Theatre’s Artistic Director Liu Ruo-Yu and Music Director Huang Chih-Chun were inspired by the teachings of Vajrasattva, the god of wisdom, to create this new work. With a cast of thirteen percussionists and one vocalist, Meeting with Bodhisattva is age-old Buddhist insight remade in rhythm, song, and dance." (Oct. 29, 31, Nov. 1)
  • Arjuna's Dilemma
    Music-Theatre Group
    Music by Douglas J. Cuomo
    Directed by Robin Guarino
    "A staged, cross-cultural chamber opera adapted from the Hindu epic, 'Bhagavad Gita.' Arjuna's Dilemma features a richly syncretic score combining North Indian percussion and vocal styles with Western choral and new music idioms. The conversation between these distinct musical styles correlates with one of the basic messages of the 'Bhagavad Gita': that life is fundamentally dualistic and eternal unity comprises the play of opposites." Arjuna's Dilemma performed by an ensemble of ten musicians, including solo saxophone and tabla, a female chorus, John Kelly as The Scribe, and two solo singers—tenor Tony Boutté as Arjuna and Hindustani singer Amit Chatterjee as Krishna." (Nov. 5, 7-8)
  • Lightning at our feet
    Michael Gordon/Ridge Theater
    Music composed by Michael Gordon
    Text by Emily Dickinson arranged by Daniel Zippi
    Directed by Bob McGrath
    "Four women channel the poet as they pore over poems, write songs, and contemplate mortality—all while receiving dispatches from the frontlines of the U.S. Civil War. Dickinson’s Amherst, Massachusetts home is re-imagined as a mutable interior featuring moving translucent screens on which video projections are shown. Lightning at our feet imagines how Dickinson might have utilized the house as her own theatrical setting and instrument of her musings." (Dec. 9, 11-13) The 2008 Next Wave Festival will also host nouveau cirque troupe Compagnie 111 in Les sept planches de la ruse (The Seven Boards of Skill), as well as musical offerings from New Voices from Spain, ETHEL's Truckstop: The Beginning, Daniel Bernard Roumain's Next Wave commission Darwin's Meditation for The People of Lincoln (featuring Daniel Beaty), and Red Hot + Rio 2.

    Subscription sales for the 2008 Next Wave Festival begin June 16 for Friends of BAM and on June 23 for the general public. Single tickets will be available Aug. 21 for Friends of BAM and on Sept. 2 for the general public.

    For tickets and further information phone (718) 636-4100 or visit

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