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BAM Announces 2023 Winter—Spring Season Featuring Zadie Smith's Playwriting Debut, US Premiere of AGUA & More

BAM Announces 2023 Winter—Spring Season Featuring Zadie Smith's Playwriting Debut, US Premiere of AGUA & More

The season will also feature the previously announced The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window starring Oscar Isaac and Rachel Brosnahan.

In the coming months BAM will gather audiences and communities together for a thrilling range of performances. Engagements include the first major New York revival in more than 50 years of Lorraine Hansberry's stunning final drama, The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window; Água a US premiere by Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch; Zadie Smith's raucous debut play, The Wife of Willesden; a spring music series curated by Solange for Saint Heron; Cie Focus & Cie Chaliwaté Dimanche, a striking work of physical theater; works by the iconic Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; an electrifying fusion of hip-hop and poetry in Word. Sound. Power. 2023: WORD-The New Storytellers; the 46th annual DanceAfrica; NYC's largest MLK celebration, lively family programs, and exhilarating film programs.

Tickets go on sale for BAM Members and Patrons on December 12, and to the general public on December 19. Alvin Ailey public tickets to go on sale Jan 18, 2023.

THEATER

Feb 4: Lorraine Hansberry's The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window (NY Premiere) Apr 1-16: Zadie Smith's The Wife of Willesden (NY Premiere)

May 3-13: Cie Focus & Cie Chaliwaté's Dimanche (US Premiere)

MUSIC

Mar - Apr: BAM's 2023 Spring Music Series curated by Solange, Saint Heron

Apr 21-28: Word. Sound. Power. 2023: WORD-The New Storytellers

DANCE

Mar 3-19: Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch's Água (US Premiere)

May 26-29: DanceAfrica 2023

Jun 1-6: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

COMMUNITY & FAMILY

Jan 16: The 37th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Feb 4-12: BAMkids Film Festival 2023

Jan-Jun: BAMcafé Live 2023

"We are thrilled to announce this bold season full of unearthed masterpieces and new creations from some of the world's most visionary artists including Lorraine Hansberry, Pina Bausch, Zadie Smith, and our guest curator-at-large, Solange with her collective Saint Heron," said BAM Artistic Director David Binder. "From music, to theater, to dance, and beyond, we are honored to amplify the voices of these artists and uplift the community that keeps the indelible spirit of performance alive long after the curtain falls."

"BAM is profoundly grateful to the overwhelming support of our amazing audiences, and our incredible civic leaders, council members, community representatives, and elected officials," said BAM President Gina Duncan. "We deeply appreciate the generosity of Bloomberg Philanthropies and all of our donors that make it possible for us to serve, engage, and actively care for our community."

BAM continues its mission to present adventurous art on all our stages, spaces, and in our cinemas, with humanities, literary, community, visual art, and family programs.

**All performances will adhere to protocols developed in accordance with New York State regulations and in consultation with medical professionals for the safety of our artists, audiences, and staff. **

The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window


(First major New York revival in more than 50 years)
By Lorraine Hansberry
With Oscar Isaac and Rachel Brosnahan
Directed by Anne Kauffman

Feb 4 (limited engagement)
Critics are invited to attend Feb 18 at 7:30pm; Feb 19 at 3pm; and Feb 22 at 7:30pm
Opening Night, Feb 23

Harvey Theater at BAM Strong
651 Fulton St
Brooklyn, NY
Tickets begin at $35

BAM presents the first major New York revival in more than 50 years of Lorraine Hansberry's The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, directed by Obie Award winner Anne Kauffman. Oscar Isaac (Moon Night, Scenes from a Marriage) and Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Dead for a Dollar) star in Hansberry's sweeping drama of identity, idealism, and love. The A Raisin in the Sun playwright invites us to Greenwich Village in the 60s, crafting a razorsharp portrait of a diverse group of friends whose loudly proclaimed progressive dreams can't quite match up with reality. At the center are Sidney and Iris Brustein, fighting to see if their marriage-with all its crackling wit, passion, and petty cruelty-will be the final sacrifice to Sidney's ideals. Following Hansberry's meteoric debut with A Raisin in the Sun (1959), The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window debuted on Broadway in 1964 just before Ms. Hansberry's death at the age of 34. Since then, her play has never been produced on a major New York stage. Director Anne Kauffman presented an acclaimed revival in Chicago's Goodman Theatre in
2016.

Água

US Premiere


A piece by Pina Bausch
Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch
Mar 3-19

BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
30 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, NY
Tickets start at $45

Pina Bausch's Tanztheater Wuppertal, returns to BAM for the first time in six years with the US Premiere of Água, a virtuosic work performed with fearless abandon. Created during a residency in Brazil in 2001, Bausch refracted the landscapes, sounds, movements, and music she encountered into a color-saturated fantasy. While infused with hints of danger, at its heart this work is a joyful triumph that stands out among Bausch's body of work, highlighting the legendary choreographer at her most exuberant.

Over the 36 years in which Pina Bausch (1940-2009) shaped the work of Tanztheater Wuppertal, she created an oeuvre that casts an unerring gaze at reality, while simultaneously giving us the courage to be true to our own wishes and desires. Bausch was appointed director of dance for the Wuppertal theater in 1973. The form she developed in those early years was wholly unfamiliar. In her performances the players did not merely dance; they spoke, sang, laughed, and cried. Dance-theater evolved into a unique genre, inspiring choreographers across the globe and influencing theater and all forms of dance in the process. Its success can be attributed to the fact that Bausch made a universal human need the key subject of her work- the need for love, intimacy, and emotional security. Following their 1984 BAM debut, Bausch and her company continued to captivate audiences for years to come. Their 15 successive appearances have been some of the most popular and highly anticipated events at BAM, the company's sole New York home. Bausch's unique ensemble, now led by Artistic Director Boris Charmatz (with the joint leadership of Managing Director Roger Christmann), maintains Bausch's groundbreaking artistic vision. Daniel Siekhaus will become managing director of the Tanztheater Wuppertal on August 1, 2023, at the start of the 2023/2024 season.

BAM in association with A.R.T. presents

The Wife of Willesden

New York Premiere

Adapted by Zadie Smith from Chaucer's The Wife of Bath
Kiln Theatre
Directed by Indhu Rubasingham

Apr 1-16
Harvey Theater at BAM Strong
651 Fulton St
Brooklyn, NY
Tickets start at $35

In her debut play, bestselling author Zadie Smith-whose books include the Man Booker Prizenominated novel On Beauty- gives us Alvita...a local legend. Married five times, a mother, a lover, an aunt, and a friend, Alvita is a Jamaican-born British woman in her mid-50s holding court at a North West London pub. This modern translation of an excerpt from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales comes to NYC after a sold-out, critically acclaimed run in London. Directed by Indhu Rubasingham, with an ensemble cast starring Clare Perkins in an exhilarating performance, this exuberant and verbally inventive play showcases the pleasures of Smith's quick wit. Rich with frank sexuality, this play celebrates the human knack for telling elaborate tales-especially ones about our own lives.

This production will run again at Kiln Theatre in London from Dec 14-Feb 11, 2023 and will be presented by American Repertory Theater at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, MA from Feb 25-Mar 18. This engagement marks Kiln Theatre's return to New York following their recent transfers of Moira Buffini's Hanbagged and Lolita Chakrabarti's Red Velvet, both directed by Rubasingham.

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW, and Swing Time as well as essay collections Changing My Mind, Feel Free and Intimations, and the collection of short stories, Grand Union. She lives at the crossroads of Kilburn, Willesden and Queen's Park.

Word. Sound. Power. 2023: WORD-The New Storytellers

Helixx C. Armageddon, Silent Knight, and more
Apr 21-28
Fishman Space (BAM Fisher)
321 Ashland Pl
Brooklyn, NY
Tickets start at $25

As hip-hop's 50th anniversary draws near, BAM pays homage to the rhythmic and verbal storytellers of the culture. Through dynamic flows and dizzying raps, hip-hop emcees carry the African oral tradition into the 21st century. They act as a new kind of griot-creating a vital record of experiences that have long been silenced and shaping the story of now through spoken word.

BAM's annual showcase of hip-hop and spoken word includes performances by Helixx C. Armageddon of the gender justice collective the Anomolies and MC and activist Silent Knight; choreography by artist and filmmaker Jade Charon; and hosted by longtime director and cocurator MC Baba Israel.

Performance artist, lyricist, poet, and music producer Helixx C. Armageddon is a founding member of the gender justice collective the Anomolies -a staple in the 90s underground hiphop scene. Today Helixx performs and creates captivating raw art. Helixx channels a space for community, connection, and dialogue. For her, words are powerful and create more than narrative; words create action and momentum toward a more just world.

Helixx has performed in notable venues around New York City, including Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Bowery Poetry Club, Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, Hammerstein Ballroom, Knitting Factory, Gene Frankel Theatre, Howl! Happening, Blue Note Jazz Club, Tibet House US, and the LeslieLohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. Silent Knight is a New Brunswick, NJ-based, Brooklyn-born, solo hip-hop artist and the frontman of the soul-rock group The Band Called Fuse. His music can be heard on the hit Hulu miniseries Wu-Tang: An American Saga. He is a News Beat podcast original artist-in-residence. Since 2018 he's served as an ambassador for the Innocence Project, furthering the rapper's commitment to social justice issues.

Silent Knight has shared the stage with several influential artists across genres, including Craig Robinson, Nneka, and Inspectah Deck of the Wu-Tang Clan. He's been a featured performer at South by Southwest, CMJ music festival, and Van's Warped Tour.

Jade Charon is an award-winning filmmaker, choreographer, author, and entrepreneur. Charon is an intercessor using dance, film, digital technology, and theater to bring awareness to the Black community. Charon's spirited and soulful movement style earned her the coveted Chuck Davis Emerging Choreographer Fellowship at BAM. She's an Assistant Professor at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York. Her dance film, Recharge, speaking directly to the racial dialogue happening in Black America, received critical acclaim when it premiered online in 2020.

Hailing from New York City, Baba Israel is a multitalented emcee whose parents were core members of the Living Theatre. He's shared stages with musical heavyweights, including Outkast, The Roots, Ron Carter, and Arturo O'Farrill, and is a core member of the Hip-Hop/Soul project Soul Inscribed. He has toured as an emcee, beatboxer, and theatre artist across North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Baba Israel has served as the host of Word. Sound. Power for more than ten years.

Dimanche

New York

Premiere
Cie Focus & Cie Chaliwaté
May 3-13
Fishman Space (BAM Fisher)
321 Ashland Pl
Brooklyn, NY
Tickets start at $45

In their small city house, a family is about to spend their Sunday together, but the walls are shaking, strong winds and torrential rain rage outside and the storm has only just begun. Amidst the climatic chaos, they absurdly attempt to maintain their family traditions. Meanwhile, three wildlife reporters are doing their best to document Earth's last living species.

Between dreamlike fiction and factual reality, Dimanche paints a witty and tender portrait of humanity overcome by the uncontrollable forces of nature, observing the absurdity of keeping up appearances amidst an ecological collapse. Using lo-fi FX, miniature vehicles, puppetry, video, deadpan mime, and ingeniously simple physical recreations of film language, Dimanche observes the ingenuity and stubbornness of humans as they try to preserve their day-to-day habits, going to extremes to keep up a sense of normalcy despite the chaos of an ecological collapse.

The artistic work of Cie Chaliwaté is nourished by many different manners of approaching the mime art to create physical and visual shows. Since their first show Joséphina in 2009, they have continued to expand and enrich their stage writing and creative process, constantly looking for new perspectives, taking part in workshops and collaborating with other artists from different theatrical genres. They created Îlo in 2011 and then collaborated with Loïc Faure (Jongloic Company) to create Jetlag in 2015. They've worked in association with Cie Focus (Julie Tenret) since 2017 with whom they created Backup and Dimanche.

DanceAfrica 2023

Artistic Director Abdel R. Salaam
National Dance Company of Ghana BAM Debut
May 26-29
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
30 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, NY
Tickets start at $35

In 1977, dancer and choreographer Chuck Davis installed an "African village" in the BAM Lepercq Space for his dance engagement. No one anticipated his vision would evolve into DanceAfrica-BAM's longest continuous program and one of its most beloved. The nation's largest African dance festival returns with its traditional Memorial Day weekend extravaganza- featuring dance, music, art, film, and community events, including the beloved DanceAfrica outdoor bazaar. The 46th annual DanceAfrica celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Ghana, featuring the National Dance Company of Ghana. Plus, the DanceAfrica Spirit Walkers return, along with the beloved RestorationArt Dance Youth Ensemble. Additional participating artists and programs will be announced later; please check BAM.org for updates.

Abdel R. Salaam became DanceAfrica's artistic director in 2016. He is also the executive artistic director/co-founder of Forces of Nature Dance Theatre (FONDT), founded in 1981. Born in Harlem, Salaam is a critically acclaimed choreographer and has served as a dancer, teacher, and performing artist on five continents throughout his 50-year career in the dance world. He has received numerous awards and fellowships for excellence in dance, including the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council for Arts, National Council for Arts and Culture, and Herbert H. Lehman College. Salaam and Forces of Nature Dance Theatre were honored with a 2017 Bessie for Outstanding Production for DanceAfrica's centerpiece performance, Healing Sevens.

He is currently a director at the Harlem Children's Zone/Forces of Nature Youth Academy of Dance and Wellness at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Harlem. The company also received the 2013 Audelco Award for Dance Company of the Year. Salaam has served on the American Dance Festival's faculties in the US and Seoul, Korea; Herbert H. Lehman College; Alvin Ailey American Dance Center; Restoration Youth Arts Academy; and Harlem Children's Zone. Inspired by Dr. Maulana Karenga, Salaam created Kwanzaa Regeneration Night Celebration at the Apollo Theater, now in its 42nd year.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Full program to be announced.
Jun 6-11
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
30 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, NY
Tickets start at $35

The iconic Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater brings its passionate energy and dazzling technique back to BAM with a to-be-announced program of recent works, and classic audience favorites, including Alvin Ailey's must-see masterpiece Revelations. Ailey's long-standing relationship with BAM began in 1969 when the trailblazing choreographer established The Ailey School in Brooklyn and presented his company's first BAM performances. Today, under the leadership of artistic director Robert Battle, the company that changed American dance forever remains a vital force in New York City-and around the globe.

2023 Spring Music Series curated by Solange for Saint Heron

Line-up to be announced
Mar-Apr 2023
Multiple BAM venues

From one of the world's most extraordinary creative minds comes BAM's 2023 spring music series, this year curated by visionary composer and recording artist, Solange Knowles for Saint Heron-her creative arts institution. The series will fill BAM's multi-theater campus with exciting performances from an eclectic lineup of artists spanning genres and practices. This engagement follows last year's acclaimed performance series curated by poet, essayist, and cultural critic Hanif Abduarraqib. These programs are part of BAM's path forward to present an ever-expanding curatorial lens to a wide range of audiences.

Knowles will curate a dynamic series of concerts, films, dance, and performance art pieces honoring the intergenerational and genre-spanning impact of artistic icons and will transport guests through a multi-decade aural-visual odyssey. The series' intention is to introduce the Saint Heron and BAM audiences and communities to innovative musicians and artists through fellowship and performance.

Full lineup to be announced. Performances will begin in the winter of 2023. Knowles was last at BAM in 2013 when she headlined the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry music festival.

Saint Heron is a multidisciplinary platform and institution that seeks to amplify vital voices and works in art, design, music and literature. Saint Heron remains dedicated to empowering future practitioners of art by reverencing the spiritual act of creating and spotlighting artists' unwavering devotion to the intergenerational language of expression. Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and visual artist, Solange Knowles has used her platform to advocate for representation and justice while providing constructive and empowering messages. Through her work Knowles has invoked themes of identity, empowerment, grief and healing that have resonated with millions of voices. This coupled with her work in other artistic mediums has led to a defining career of music, visual art, and activism.

COMMUNITY & FAMILY PROGRAMS

The 37th Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Presented by BAM and Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso
Jan 16 at 10:30am
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
30 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, NY
Free

Continuing a tradition that has evolved into the largest such gathering in New York City, BAM hosts the annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This beloved Brooklyn tradition is free, open to the public, and accessible via livestream. Artists, activists, civic leaders, and community members come together to celebrate Dr. King's life and mission. The annual tribute encourages us to continue in his radical spirit: relentlessly pressing forward in pursuit of justice-even against the odds-and celebrating the strength and power of community to create change. Additional program information will be announced soon, including keynote speaker, musical guests, complimentary kids programs, community film screenings, BAMcafé Live program, visual art, and more. Visit BAM.org/MLK for program updates.

BAMkids Film Festival 2023

In association with International Film Festival and Melbourne International Animation
Festival
BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, NY
Feb 4 & 5 (in person)
Feb 4-12 (on demand)
Ages 3-11

Highlighting the best kids shorts and feature films from around the globe, the 25th annual BAMkids Film Festival returns with US and New York premieres, the BAMkids Young Filmmakers Showcase, and pre-film entertainment and activities.

BAMcafé Live 2023

Jan-Jun 2023
The Adam Space (BAMcafé)
30 Lafayette Ave
Brooklyn, NY
Free

BAMcafé Live features a diverse mix of live music and performance from Brooklyn and around the world. On select Fridays and Saturdays through June, with new artists announced each month, the free series features a mix of unexpected encounters and genres, including rock, jazz, R&B, world music, and more. Since 1999, the beloved series has served as a launchpad for artists like Antibalas and Bilal and an intimate home for established artists like Vernon Reid and Nikki Giovanni.


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