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Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents First Two Installments Of Digital Spring 2021 Season

The series kicks off with Vibhanga, a non-narrative dance set to a reimagined score of traditional South Indian music.

Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents First Two Installments Of Digital Spring 2021 Season

Baryshnikov Arts Center will present the first installment of its 2021 digital spring season beginning on Monday, February 1 at 5pm ET. The series kicks off with Vibhanga, a non-narrative dance set to a reimagined score of traditional South Indian music, conceived and choreographed by classical Indian dancer Bijayini Satpathy. The piece draws from the curvilinear tendencies of the Odissi dance form, and is influenced by explorations of rhythm, displaying the layered complexities of the classical movement technique. Vibhanga marks Satpathy's first choreographic endeavor following 25 years of touring with Nrityagram Dance Ensemble.

"Odissi is my mother-expression," says Satpathy. "After four decades of dancing, I feel the yearning to move at my will with a sense of responsibility and respect that I feel as an heir and inheritor of Odissi. I feel ready to move with that sense of knowing: defying it, coaxing it, humoring it, honoring it and allowing it."

The new work will be available to view free on demand at until Monday, February 15 at 5pm ET. The program offering also includes a live-streamed conversation with Satpathy, who is based in Bangalore, hosted by New York-based contemporary dance choreographer Mark Morris. Free registration for the live Zoom conversation on Wednesday, February 10 at 8pm ET will be available beginning February 1 at

Music and sound artist Justin Hicks' Use Your Head For More-a work composed of found sound, spoken texts, and vocal samples by Hicks' relatives-premieres on Monday, February 15 at 5pm ET. Presented as a series of audiovisual portraits recorded and shot in the artist's home, the sound and video work regenerates the transcription of a conversation between the composer and his mother from 2004, considering the phrase "Use your head for more than a hatrack" as a prompt for tactile sound explorations that render domestic objects into dreamlike audio environments.

Available to view free on demand at until Monday, March 1 at 5pm ET, Use Your Head For More retells the memories of multiple generations as a single thread, highlighting the theme of ingenuity by engaging found sound and personal archive in a performance of reimagining, remembering, and reminding.

"The saying 'Use your head for more than a hatrack' became a song my mom wrote as a reminder to her children that mining your imagination offers a way to create lushness with little at hand," says Hicks. "She would also use it in moments to let us know that your brain is much more valuable than anything you could acquire. She used songs to remind us of things that kept us safe."

Both Vibhanga and Use Your Head for More are part of the BAC Artist Commissions initiative, which was established September 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and supports the development of new work by providing resources for artists to realize their creative visions specifically for online presentation. Upcoming premieres include: Mariana Valencia's brownout (March 1 to 15); Holland Andrews' Museum of Calm (March 15 to 29); Stefanie Batten Band's Kolonial (May 3 to 17); Tei Blow's The Sprezzaturameron (May 17 to 31); and Kyle Marshall's STELLAR (June 7 to 21). Each premiere is available for two weeks at A future schedule of live-streamed conversations with the artists to discuss their projects and creative processes will be announced.

Event Information


Bijayini Satpathy
(Digital World Premiere)
February 1 - February 15 (Monday at 5PM until Monday at 5PM)
Free and available on demand at
Running time: 14 minutes

In Conversation: Bijayini Satpathy with Mark Morris
Live on ZOOM
Wednesday, February 10 at 8PM EST
Free / Registration required at

Concept and Choreography: Bijayini Satpathy
Composers: Dhaneswar Swain, Srinibas Satapathy
Performer: Bijayini Satpathy
Musicians: Roopa Mahadevan, Sai Raman, S. Kavichelvam, Vishveshwar, Srinibas Satapathy
Lighting and Set Designer: Sujay Saple
Cinematography: Mahesh Bhat
Additional Cinematography: Vanmayi Shetty and Allan Mathew
Film Location: Bangalore International Centre, Bangalore, India

Vibhanga is part of a larger work, Abhipsaa, co-commissioned by Baryshnikov Arts Center and Duke University.

Bijayini Satpathy was a 2014 BAC Presents Artist and was a collaborator of 2016 BAC Space Resident Artist Surupa Sen.


Justin Hicks
Use Your Head For More
(Digital World Premiere)
February 15 - March 1 (Monday at 5PM until Monday at 5PM)
Free and available on demand at
Running time: 30 minutes

Creator/Performer: Justin Hicks
Artistic Collaborator/Editing: Breck Omar Brunson
Artistic Collaborator/Lighting: Tuce Yasak
Additional Vocals: Jade Hicks
Additional Vocals: Jasmine Hicks
Camera and Styling: Kenita Miller-Hicks
Audio Mix: Sean Davis
Film Location: The artist's home in Bronx, NY

Justin Hicks was a collaborator of 2014 BAC Resident Artist Kaneza Schaal and 2019 BAC Space Resident Artists Mallory Catlett and Aaron Siegel.

About the Artists

Bijayini Satpathy's passion for Odissi was first groomed in Orissa and later honed in the famed Nrityagram Dance Ensemble after she was selected in an audition by the late founder, Protima Gauri, and became the solo debutant in 1997. She studied and perfected Odissi with Nrityagram as a performer, teacher, research scholar, and administrator until 2018. Considered one of the foremost masters of Odissi in the world, she began conceptualizing her solo work to choreograph and expand the form after 25 years of touring globally with Nrityagram. "She's easily among the top five dancers I've ever seen in my lifetime" said Mark Morris. Hailed by The New Yorker as "a performer of exquisite grace and technique," Bijayini Satpathy's solo debut in the U.S., Kalpana, The World of Imagination, has been listed as one of the best dances of 2019 in Dance Magazine and was nominated for a 2020 Bessie Award. As Principal Dancer of Nrityagram, Bijayini has shared a unique partnership with Nrityagram's Artistic Director and Choreographer, Surupa Sen, in all her original works in the last two decades and has contributed to them with her skill as a performer, scholar and designer. Her duets with Surupa Sen are considered singularly admirable and exemplary. Their duet Vibhakta was rated as one of the best dance performances of 2008 by Joan Acocella in The New Yorker.

Justin Hicks is a multidisciplinary artist and performer whose sound and music work has been featured at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Performance Space New York, The Public Theater, JACK, Paisley Park, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Highline, and The Institute for Contemporary Art (Philadelphia) among many others. Hicks has collaborated with notable visual artists, musicians, and theater-makers including Abigail DeVille, Kaneza Schaal, Cauleen Smith, Helga Davis, and is a member of The HawtPlates. In 2018, he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his work as the composer of Mlima's Tale by Lynn Nottage (The Public Theater, dir. Jo Bonney). Hicks was born in Cincinnati, OH, raised in Lafayette, IN and is based in the Bronx, NY.

Breck Omar Brunson (artistic collaborator/editing) includes his audience in his work through simple suggestive gestures, finding ways to provoke consideration of belonging in his created environments and objects. Brunson builds site specific works and considers most of them ongoing or semi-permanent with an edge of jest that morphs with time. His artwork utilizes found objects to narrate his presented encounters. He also works as a builder/designer specializing in smaller furniture pieces and decor. Brunson has appeared in various music outfits as a writer, vocalist, and producer and is currently based in Philadelphia, PA.

Tuçe Yasak (artistic collaborator/lighting) has been following light in New York City since 2008, creating over 100 site-specific light installations for performance in the US and abroad. Yasak received the 2018 BESSIE (...Memoirs of a... Unicorn by Marjani Forte-Saunders at Collapsable Hole and NYLA) and 2019 BESSIE (Oba Qween Baba King Baba by Ni'Ja Whitson at Danspace) for Outstanding Visual Design with her lighting design. She has ongoing collaborations with Raja Feather Kelly/the Feath3r, Ana Maria Alvarez/Contra Tiempo, Ni'Ja Whitson, Nia Witherspoon, and Justin Hicks. Her recent collaborations include Hysteria by Raja Feather Kelly at New York Live Arts, The Bridge Called My Ass by Miguel Gutierrez (The Chocolate Factory/NY, Montpellier Dance Festival/France, The Walker Center/Minneapolis, PICA/Portland) Skinfolk: An American Show written by Jillian Walker/directed by Mei Ann Teo (The Bushwick Starr, NYC), We're Gonna Die written by Young Jean Lee, directed by Raja Feather Kelly (2nd Stage Theater/NYC), M---ER by Autumn Knight (On The Boards), JoyUS JustUS by Contra Tiempo (national tour), and Patch the Sky with 5 Color Stones by Daria Fain at the Chocolate Factory among many others. Light, movement and architecture intertwine in Yasak's work to support space-making and story-telling.

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