Photo Flash: FOUR QUARTETS at the Fisher Center
BroadwayWorld has a first look at Four Quartets at the Fisher Center, which ran this past weekend! Check out the photos below!
75 years ago T.S. Eliot published Four Quartets, a poetic meditation on time and memory that is widely regarded as his crowning achievement. Now, to celebrate this milestone anniversary, Bard SummerScape 2018 presents the world premiere of Four Quartets, the first authorized dance performance ever to be based on Eliot's modernist masterpiece. A SummerScape commission, the new work is an interdisciplinary collaboration that draws on the talents of three of today's most potent artistic voices. Since making her acclaimed festival debut at SummerScape 2015, Pam Tanowitz has been recognized as "one of the most formally brilliant choreographers around" (New York Times), with honors including a Bessie Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the prestigious 2017 Cage Cunningham Fellowship.
For Four Quartets' music, she turned to the work of Grawemeyer and Grammy Award-winning Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, whose rich, polyphonic textures have "given her audiences - and given late 20th- and early 21st-century music as a whole - some of the most luminous, beguiling and sheerly sensual experiences they can hope to have" (The Guardian). The creative trio is completed by American modernist painter and Hudson Valley resident Brice Marden, "one of today's leading artists" (New York Times), who was the subject of a major retrospective at New York's Museum of Modern Art. The performance features nine members of the Pam Tanowitz Dance company, with a complete narration of Eliot's poem cycle by Tony-nominated actress Kathleen Chalfant(Angels in America, Wit). Saariaho's music will be performed live by four members of The Knights, the celebrated orchestral collective that has "become one of Brooklyn's sterling cultural products" (New Yorker). This world premiere will be performed three times on July 6-8 in the Sosnoff Theater in the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center on Bard College's glorious Hudson River campus. Four Quartets is co-commissioned with The Barbican Centre in London and The Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, and the work will be performed in London and Los Angeles in 2019.
Bard's world premiere performances of Four Quartets feature a complete, live reading of the four Eliot poems by veteran actress Kathleen Chalfant, whose accolades include Outer Circle Critics, Drama Desk, and Obie awards; a Tony nomination; and a Lucille Lortel lifetime achievement award. Her casting marks a break with tradition, for Eliot's cycle has come to be associated with the voices of the British men who have recorded it, from Alec Guinness and Jeremy Irons to the poet himself. Putting his words instead into the mouth of an American woman offers audiences the chance to hear them in a fresh light. Moreover, by showcasing the work not only of Chalfant, but of Tanowitz and Saariaho too, Bard's production allows Eliot's text to interact with their strong female presence.
Chalfant will be joined on stage by nine dancers - Kara Chan, Jason Collins, Dylan Crossman, Christine Flores, Zachary Gonder, Lindsey Jones, Victor Lozano, Maile Okamura, and Melissa Toogood - all of whom are members of Pam Tanowitz Dance. Since its founding as a platform for the choreographer to explore her vision with a consistent group, the company has received commissions from, and undertaken residencies at, such prestigious venues as The Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series, Dance Theater Workshop, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Chicago Dancing Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival. Pam Tanowitz Dance was named among the New York Times' "Best of Dance" in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Click here to see selected excerpts from the company's work.
Four Quartets is co-commissioned by the Fisher Center, the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, and the Barbican, London. Additional commissioning funds were provided by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, the O'Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, the T.S. Eliot Foundation, King's Fountain, and Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Creation and performance of the music is supported by the Thendara Foundation.