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May 21, 2018
New York, NY



BAM’s Outgoing Leader Announces His Final Next Wave Festival

The Brooklyn Academy of Music on Monday unveiled the lineup of the final Next Wave Festival to be overseen by Joseph V. Melillo, the institution’s executive producer and a vital connection to its reputation as a home of cutting-edge music, theater and dance.

Mr. Melillo, who was hired by the visionary BAM leader Harvey Lichtenstein in 1983 and eventually succeeded him, announced in 2017 that he would step down from his leadership role at the end of this year, after more than three decades as a pathbreaking impresario. (Still to come is Mr. Melillo’s final winter-spring season, which will be announced in the fall.)

“The original Next Wave concept, envisioned by Harvey Lichtenstein, remains vital and dynamic,” Mr. Melillo, who was the festival’s founding director, said in a statement. “The season comprises a broad array of wondrous personal expression and unique artistic perspectives.”

Among the world premieres is “Place” (Oct. 11-13), a staged oratorio by the Pulitzer Prize finalist Ted Hearne, which was meant to have its premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in April. (The performance was canceled because of “unforeseen delays in the creative process.”) The work, for 18 instrumentalists and six singers, explores themes around gentrification, ownership and the American experience.

Other music performances include revivals of Philip Glass’s 1980 opera “Satyagraha” (Oct. 31 through Nov. 1), by the Folkoperan and Cirkus Cirkor of Sweden, and Mark-Anthony Turnage’s 1988 cult classic “Greek” (Dec. 5-9), which is coming to New York for the first time in a production by Scottish Opera and Opera Ventures. Wordless Music, which presented a live soundtrack for Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” in 2016, will return to accompany Mr. Malick’s “Voyage of Time” (Nov. 16-17).

In theater, the director Lars Jan, with the avant-garde Early Morning Opera, will stage a performance of Joan Didion’s essay “The White Album” (Nov. 28 through Dec. 1), which famously begins with the line “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” But don’t expect a one-person show like “The Year of Magical Thinking”; this will be two immersive performances, one nesting within the other as they unfold simultaneously.

Heidi Rodewald, who composed the musical “Passing Strange” with Stew, will present her own new work: “The Good Swimmer,” a so-called pop requiem about war, heroism, loss and idealism (Nov. 28 through Dec. 1). And the European troupe Cheek by Jowl, in partnership with the Pushkin Theater, will stage a breakneck-speed take on Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” (Oct. 16-20).

Dance engagements include the return of the Trisha Brown Dance Company, which gave what it called the final performances of Brown’s proscenium works at the cavernous BAM Howard Gilman Opera House in 2016 but will now dance three early repertory works in the intimate BAM Fisher space (Oct. 10-13).

Jerome Robbins, whose centennial is being celebrated in a festival at New York City Ballet, will also be represented in Brooklyn, where his rarely staged “Watermill” (1972), will be reimagined by the director and choreographer Luca Veggetti (Oct. 24-27). And Sasha Waltz, one of the pre-eminent dance makers of Germany, will bring her company, Sasha Waltz & Guests, to BAM to celebrate its 25th anniversary with the evening-length “Kreatur” (Nov. 1-3).

The ever-busy Michelle Dorrance, whose company, Dorrance Dance, also has an engagement at City Center next season, will create a site-specific work with Nicholas Van Young for the BAM Fisher (Dec. 5-8). Later that month — just as the holiday season begins in earnest — Mark Morris’s “The Hard Nut” (Dec. 14-23), his Pop Art-inspired take on “The Nutcracker,” will return to the opera house, where it had its premiere in 1992.

The complete lineup is available at bam.org.

  1. PHOTOGRAPHY – captions


  1. Philip Glass’s 1980 opera “Satyagraha,” which will be staged at the Brooklyn Academy of Music this fall by the Folkoperan and Cirkus Cirkor of Sweden as part of the Next Wave Festival.
    Photo Credit: Markus Garder


  1. New York-based string ensemble ETHEL will return to the Brooklyn Academy of Music for the 2018 Next Wave Festival to present their new multimedia piece “Circus: Wandering City,” an ode to the American circus.
    Photo Credit: Frank Atura


  1. “Humans,” a work of acrobatic theater exploring the physical limits of the human body, will be performed by award-winning Australian nouveau cirque troupe Circa as part of the Next Wave Festival.
    Photo Credit: Pedro Greig

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