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Baryshnikov Arts Center Announces Digital Fall 2020 Season

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Programming begins October 1, 2020 and continues into 2021.

Baryshnikov Arts Center Announces Digital Fall 2020 Season

Baryshnikov Arts Center, celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2020, announces a Fall season centered on its core mission to support artists across disciplines in the development of new work. BAC's launch of a commissioning program and series of online presentations-all designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and BAC's temporary building closure-will provide opportunities for artists and audiences from around the globe to connect virtually at BACNYC.ORG beginning October 1, 2020 and continuing into 2021.

The season's flagship program includes seven commissions of new work by choreographer/ performers Stefanie Batten Bland, Kyle Marshall, Bijayini Satpathy, and Mariana Valencia, and music and multimedia artists Holland Andrews, Tei Blow, and Justin Hicks. Each artist will receive funds to develop a new project created expressly for digital presentation on BAC's online platform (BACNYC.ORG), with premieres slated for Winter/Spring 2021-dates to be announced.

"For the launch of BAC's new commissioning program, we have identified seven remarkable artists from a variety of performance disciplines," said Mikhail Baryshnikov, BAC Founder and Artistic Director. "BAC is thrilled to support these innovative artists as they transpose their creative visions to the digital space, and I have no doubt their work will reflect unique personal responses to today's social challenges."

BAC's Fall season lineup includes three free online presentations of music and theater that have been realized in innovative ways during the pandemic and period of quarantine. First is the Digital World Premiere of a music collaboration created for film featuring Quodlibet Ensemble, a collective of virtuoso string players, and countertenor Reginald Mobley. Co-presented by BAC, Five Boroughs Music Festival, Tippet Rise Art Center, and Bay Chamber Concerts, the film Coming Together features the musicians performing Frederic Rzewski's eponymous score based on a text by Samuel Melville, a key figure in the 1971 Attica Prison uprising. The full program-recorded at remote locations and at BAC in September 2020-also includes the musicians performing songs and spirituals by early 20th century composer Florence Price, and a timeless cantata by J.S. Bach. Coming Together will be free and available to watch at BACNYC.ORG beginning October 1 at 5PM EST until November 3 at 5PM EST.

Next, on October 12 and 14 at 8PM EST, BAC and Cherry Orchard Festival co-present the Boston-based Arlekin Players Theatre's State vs. Natasha Banina, a free theater event performed live on ZOOM that transforms its virtual audience into a jury tasked with deciding the fate of a 16-year-old orphan on trial for manslaughter. This inventive digital production that began in May 2020 as a living room experiment and went on to earn critical acclaim from The New York Times is based on Natasha's Dream by Russian playwright Yaroslava Pulinovich, and is performed by award-winning actress Darya Denisova. Says the production's director, Igor Golyak, "We are creating a new art form to overcome social distancing, the pandemic, and ultimately unite people in one virtual space by merging theater, cinematography, and video games."

BAC then presents the Digital World Premiere screening of SOS (The Song of Songs), free and available to watch at BACNYC.ORG beginning November 17 at 5PM EST until November 20 at 5PM EST. This film adaptation of a staged cantata created by Russian visual and performance artist Vera Martynov features the acclaimed Intrada Vocal Ensemble and a score composed by Alexey Sysoev. Originally scheduled to have its U.S. Premiere at BAC's Jerome Robbins Theater in March 2020, the innovative hybrid performance work has been reconceived as a virtual experience, culminating in a film that incorporates performance footage and audio tracks recorded in Moscow in September 2020, with visual elements designed by Martynov.

Rounding out the season of digital offerings is the third installment of PlayBAC: Performances from the Archive, featuring never-before-seen, high quality, multi-camera recordings of live performances from BAC's 15-year history. The new PlayBAC series launches October 22 with the 2016 World Premiere of New York-based choreographer Liz Gerring's (T)here to (T)here, a collaboration with visual artist Kay Rosen. The series continues December 3 with the Hungarian theater ensemble Béla Pintér and Company performing the 2017 N.Y. Premiere of Our Secrets, a timely work of political theater. PlayBAC Series 3 concludes with a December 10 screening of the 2017 World Premiere of New York-based choreographer Kota Yamazaki's Darkness Odyssey Part 2: I or Hallucination, a work developed in part during a BAC Residency. PlayBAC videos-which include special introductions from Mikhail Baryshnikov and the featured artists-are free and available to watch at BACNYC.ORG beginning at 5PM EST on Thursday until the following Thursday at 5PM EST.

A complete schedule of BAC's Digital Fall 2020 Season follows.

BARYSHNIKOV ARTS CENTER: DIGITAL FALL 2020 SEASON


MUSIC

Quodlibet Ensemble with Reginald Mobley, countertenor

Coming Together (Digital World Premiere)

Co-presented by Baryshnikov Arts Center, Five Boroughs Music Festival, Tippet Rise Art Center, and Bay Chamber Concerts

Available to watch October 1 - November 3 / Thursday at 5PM EST until Tuesday at 5PM EST BACNYC.ORG

Free

Running Time: 60 Minutes

This music collaboration created for film features Quodlibet Ensemble, a collective of virtuoso string players, and countertenor Reginald Mobley, who is as passionate about baroque and gospel music as he is social and political justice. They perform Frederic Rzewski's Coming Together for narrator and ensemble, with text by Samuel Melville-one of the leaders of the revolt against police brutality at Attica Prison in 1971. Weaving together footage of the musicians performing solo at remote locations, this powerful work conveys a collective journey of moving from struggle to hope amidst challenging times. The film also includes the musicians performing four songs and spirituals by early 20th century composer Florence Price, and J.S. Bach's timeless Cantata No. 54, Widerstehe doch der Sünde (Just Resist Sin), recorded September 2020 at BAC's John Cage & Merce Cunningham Studio. The artists are partnering with VOTESart, a non-partisan organization founded by two members of Quodlibet that combines musical performances with raising awareness about voters' rights and voter registration.


THEATER

Arlekin Players Theatre

State vs. Natasha Banina

Co-presented by Cherry Orchard Festival

October 12 + 14 / Monday + Wednesday at 8PM EST

Live on ZOOM

Free / Registration Required

Running Time: 55 Minutes followed by conversation with the artists and audience

Created by acclaimed theater director Igor Golyak and performed by award-winning actor Darya Denisova, State vs. Natasha Banina is set inside a ZOOM courtroom. The digital theatrical event transforms its virtual audience into a jury tasked with deciding the fate of Natasha Banina, a 16-year-old orphan on trial for attempted manslaughter, and investigates themes of family, acceptance, love, and adjusting to an uncertain future. Says Golyak, "We are creating a new art form to overcome social distancing, the pandemic, and ultimately unite people in one virtual space by merging theater, cinematography, and video games."


DANCE

PlayBAC: Liz Gerring Dance Company

(T)here to (T)here

Jerome Robbins Theater, Filmed November 11, 2016

Available to watch October 22 - 29 / Thursday at 5PM EST until Thursday at 5PM EST

BACNYC.ORG

Free

In this 2016 World Premiere-a co-presentation with Lincoln Center's White Light Festival-projections by visual artist Kay Rosen create a backdrop of words and color for Liz Gerring's pure movement style performed by Pierre Guilbault, Julia Jurgilewicz, Joseph Giordano, Claire Westby, Brandon Collwes, and the choreographer, with an original score by Michael J. Schumacher.

Screened as part of PlayBAC, a series of videos from BAC's 15-year archive of live performances.

THEATER + MUSIC

SOS (The Song of Songs) (Digital World Premiere)

November 17 - 20 / Tuesday at 5PM EST until Friday at 5PM EST

BACNYC.ORG

Free

Running Time: 60 Minutes

SOS (The Song of Songs) is the film adaption of a staged cantata for 14 singers, two readers, percussion, and a telegraph key. A collaboration between Russian visual and performance artist Vera Martynov and composer Alexey Sysoev, this hybrid performance work featuring soloists of the acclaimed Intrada Vocal Ensemble directed by Ekaterina Antonenko has been re-conceived as a media installation presented on video. New performance footage and audio tracks recorded in Moscow in September 2020 are interwoven with Martynov's design of lush visual elements themed around memories of childhood, travel, and the confines of quarantine. SOS takes its name from the worldwide standard Morse code signal of distress, and draws from the poetic Old Testament text, Solomon's Song of Songs.

Digital version of SOS is produced by Mart Foundation with support from documentary platform Nonfiction.film.
Major support for BAC's production of SOS is provided by Trust for Mutual Understanding.
SOS is performed in English and Russian.

THEATER

PlayBAC: Béla Pintér and Company

Our Secrets

Jerome Robbins Theater, Filmed January 26, 2017

Available to watch December 3 - 10 / Thursday at 5PM EST until Thursday at 5PM EST

BACNYC.ORG

Free

1980's Communist Budapest, amateur folk dancing, disturbing secrets, and government surveillance intertwine to form Our Secrets, performed by the internationally acclaimed ensemble Béla Pintér and Company as part of a 2017 U.S. tour supported by Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Screened as part of PlayBAC, a series of videos from BAC's 15-year archive of live performances.

DANCE

PlayBAC: Kota Yamazaki / Fluid hug-hug

Darkness Odyssey Part 2: I or Hallucination

Howard Gilman Performance Space, Filmed December 13, 2017

Available to watch December 10 - 17 / Thursday at 5PM EST until Thursday at 5PM EST

BACNYC.ORG

Free

Philosophy, dance, and folklore merge in Kota Yamazaki's 2017 World Premiere developed in residence at BAC, featuring performances by the choreographer with dancers Julian Barnett, Raja Feather Kelly, Joanna Kotze, and Mina Nishimura to an original score by Kenta Nagai and lighting by Thomas Dunn.

Screened as part of PlayBAC, a series of videos from BAC's 15-year archive of live performances.



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