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THE DAY Comes To Jacob's Pillow, July 31

Jacob's Pillow presents the highly-anticipated world premiere of THE DAY, featuring world renowned cellist Maya Beiser and legendary dancer Wendy Whelan with choreography by the groundbreaking postmodern dance artist Lucinda Childs and music by Pulitzer Prize-winning David Lang in the Doris Duke Theatre, July 31-Aug 4. Co-commissioned by Jacob's Pillow, the multidisciplinary work explores memory, life's journey, resilience, and survival of the soul through the shared language of music and dance.

"Jacob's Pillow is elated to present the world premiere of THE DAY. This richly textured work unites the extraordinary creativity of four of the most innovative contemporary artists today and will undoubtedly leave its mark on stages worldwide," says Jacob's Pillow Director Pamela Tatge.

This momentous melding of creative genius brings together "cello rock star" (Rolling Stone) Maya Beiser, "America's greatest contemporary ballerina" (The New York Times) Wendy Whelan, seminal choreographer of the Judson Dance Theater era Lucinda Childs, and David Lang's music, praised as "A gut punch...nothing short of life itself: by turns hopeful, funny, surprising, and tragic" (The New York Times). THE DAY explores the concept of loss and is a meditation on both the mortal and eternal passages of life and death, as well as the final postmortal voyage of the soul. Beiser and Whelan are both onstage for the duration of the work, moving around each other in space and interacting with the scenic design of Sara Brown.

THE DAY was conceived by Beiser, who is hailed as "a force of nature" (The Boston Globe). The collaborative performance is an extension of David Lang's compositions "the day" and "world to come," created in response to the tragic events of September 11, 2001. "the day" looks at how one reflects on the memories that resonate as chronicles in one's life, while "world to come" explores what comes after, when the soul leaves the body. In addition to the score for cello, Lang composed text that was sourced from searching the phrase "I remember the day I..." on the internet. With these small glimpses of shared humanity, Lang created multi-tracked layers of Beiser's cello and the narration, which together gradually build to emulate a small string ensemble.

Beiser expands on her deep relationship with the music through this evening-length work. As she reimagined the possibilities of the work and the emotions it provokes, Beiser had the image of a woman-a dancer-who embodies the memories and stories in Lang's composition, representing our shared corporeal vulnerability. Beiser approached Whelan about the collaboration, and together they invited Childs to choreograph the part of the prophetic female dancer. Childs has created choreography that is both abstract and narrative, consisting of subtle and provocative movements that respond to and physically represent Lang's music and text and Beiser's transcendent cello.


Describing renowned cellist, producer, and multifaceted artist Maya Beiser, The New York Times writes, "The adventurous Beiser has been called the 'cello goddess,' which is not hyperbole: She summons from her instrument an emotional power so stirring that even the most stoic audience members risk turning into sobbing sacks of flesh." Passionately forging her artistic path through uncharted territories, Beiser has been captivating audiences worldwide, bringing a bold and unorthodox presence to contemporary classical music, experimenting with various musical styles, and defying conventional norms with her boundary-crossing performances. Hailed as "the reigning queen of avant-garde cello" by The Washington Post, she has been called a "cello rock star" by Rolling Stone and praised as "a force of nature" by The Boston Globe.

Raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel by her Argentinean father and French mother, Beiser spent her early life surrounded by the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, while studying classical cello repertoire. At the age of 12, she was discovered by the late violinist Isaac Stern who became her mentor throughout her early career. She is a featured performer on the world's most prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, BAM, The Kennedy Center, BBC Proms, London's Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican, Sydney Opera House, Beijing Festival, Barcelona's L'auditori, Paris' Cité de la Musique, and Stockholm's Concert Hall. Beiser's critically acclaimed multimedia productions World To Come, Almost Human, Provenance, Elsewhere: A Cello Opera, All Vows, and Spinning have consistently been chosen for top critics' "Best Of The Year" lists. Among the wide range of artists she has collaborated with are Louis Andriessen, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Tan Dun, Steve Reich, Shirin Neshat, Bill Morrison, Robert Woodruff, and Lucinda Childs.

Beiser's vast discography includes eleven solo albums. Her recent albums TranceClassical (2016)

and Maya Beiser: Uncovered (2014) topped the classical music charts. Her next album, delugEON, will be released in August 2019 on Beiser's new Islandia Music Records imprint. She is the featured soloist on many film soundtracks, including an extensive collaboration with composer James Newton Howard for M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening and After Earth, Denzel Washington's The Great Debaters, Edward Zwick's Blood Diamond, and Rupert Sanders' Snow White and the Huntsman. Beiser is a 2015 United States Artists (USA) Distinguished Fellow in Music; a 2017 Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology; and she was recently a Presenting Artist at the inaugural CultureSummit, held in 2017 in Abu Dhabi. Invited to present at the prestigious TED main stage in Long Beach, CA, Beiser's 2011 TED Talk has been watched by over one million people and translated into 32 languages. Beiser is a graduate of Yale University and was a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars.

ABOUT Lucinda Childs

Lucinda Childs began her career at the Judson Dance Theater in New York in 1963. Since forming her dance company ten years later, she has created over fifty works, both solo and ensemble. In 1976 she was featured in the landmark avant-garde opera Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson, for which she won an Obie Award. She subsequently appeared in a number of Wilson's productions, including I Was Sitting on My Patio This Guy Appeared I Thought I Was Hallucinating, Quartett, by Heiner Müller, Wilson and Glass's opera White Raven, Wilson's video project Video 50, and Maladie de la Mort by Marguerite Duras (opposite Michel Piccoli). Most recently, she appeared in Wilson's production of Arvo Part's Adam's Passion and also recorded spoken text and collaborated on the choreography for Letter to a Man, which was based on Nijinsky's diaries and performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov.

In 1979 Childs choreographed one of her most enduring works, Dance, with music by Philip Glass and film décor by Sol LeWitt, which continues to tour internationally and has been added to the repertory of the Lyon Opera Ballet, for which she has choreographed Beethoven's Grande Fugue. In 2015 she revived Available Light, created in 1983 with music by John Adams and a split-level set by Frank Gehry. It was presented at the Festival d'Automne in Paris and the Manchester International Festival. In 2016, in an exhibit titled "Nothing Personal," her choreographic scores were shown at the Thaddeus Ropac Gallery in collaboration with the Centre Nationale de la Danse, to which she has donated her archive.

Since 1981 Childs has choreographed over thirty works for major ballet companies, including the Paris Opera Ballet and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. She has also directed and choreographed a number of contemporary and eighteenth-century operas, including Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice for the Los Angeles Opera, Mozart's Zaide for La Monnaie in Brussels, Stravinsky's Le Rossignol and Oedipe, Vivaldi's Farnace, Handel's Alessandro, and John Adams's Dr. Atomic for the Opera du Rhin. Her production of Jean Baptiste Lully's Atys premiered at Oper Kiel in 2014 and her production of Jean-Marie Leclaire's Scylla and Glaucus premiered there in 2017. Childs is the recipient of numerous awards. She holds the rank of Commandeur in France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 2017 she received the Golden Lion award from the Venice Biennale and the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival award for lifetime achievement. In 2018, Childs was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance.

ABOUT Wendy Whelan

Wendy Whelan, widely considered one of the world's leading dancers of her generation, began dance lessons at the age of three in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Whelan began intense professional training at the Louisville Ballet Academy. She was accepted to the summer program of the School of American Ballet at age 14; a year later, she moved to New York to continue her studies as a full-time student. In 1984, she was named an apprentice with New York City Ballet and joined the corps de ballet a year later. Whelan went on to spend 30 years at New York City Ballet, dancing virtually all the major Balanchine roles, and working closely with Jerome Robbins on many of his ballets and originating roles in ballets by such notable choreographers as William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Jorma Elo, Shen Wei, and Wayne McGregor. She was promoted to soloist in 1989 and to principal dancer in 1991. Her most notable choreographic collaboration at NYCB was with Christopher Wheeldon, who created roles for Whelan in 13 of his ballets, including Polyphonia, Liturgy, and After the Rain. At his own company, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, he again chose Whelan for several new works, and in 2007, she was nominated in London for both an Olivier Award and a Critics Circle Award for her performances.

Whelan has been a guest artist with The Royal Ballet and the Kirov Ballet and has performed all over the U.S., South America, Europe, and Asia. She received the Dance Magazine Award in 2007, and in 2009 was given a Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa, from Bellarmine University. In 2011, she received both The Jerome Robbins Award and a Bessie Award for Sustained Achievement in Performance. Since 2013, Whelan has been developing her own independent projects. Her inaugural project, Restless Creature with four dancer/choreographers - Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks, and Alejandro Cerrudo - was co-produced by The Joyce Theater Productions and premiered at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in 2013, later touring the U.S. She followed up with the development of two more projects in 2015, Whelan/Watson Other Stories, co-produced by the Royal Opera House in London and Hagoromo which was self-produced with American Opera Projects for the BAM Next Wave Festival. In 2016-2017, she premiered Some of a Thousand Words with Brian Brooks and Brooklyn Rider at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, which was co-produced by The Joyce Theater Productions, presented at Jacob's Pillow, and toured throughout the U.S. In February 2019, Whelan marked a return to New York City Ballet when she was appointed Associate Artistic Director of the Company.

A documentary, entitled Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan, was released in movie theaters across the country beginning in summer 2017, when it was also screened at Jacob's Pillow, and is now available on iTunes and Amazon. The film recently won the Chita Rivera Award for Best Dance Documentary.

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