Spotlight: BAM Local Collective

Pedro J Torres Local Collective Spotlight

Located in the most densely populated area of New York and secluded by the Hudson, East and Harlem rivers, Manhattan is known has the heart of the “Big Apple”. From the highest skyscraper down to Central Park, Manhattan is booming with life, culture, music, and more. However, Manhattan isn’t the only bustling borough of New York City.

Heading over to the west side of Long Island, Brooklyn is iconically known for the Brooklyn Bridge that connects to Manhattan. Inside the heart of Brooklyn sits the BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building– home to the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The Brooklyn Academy of Music presented it’s first performance in 1861, having Brooklyn feel like home ever since. However, what makes Brooklyn feel most comfortable to BAM is it’s dedicated partners.  This spotlight features the BAM Local Collective that come together in the city that never sleeps.

 

Brooklyn Flea

Brooklyn Flea was founded in 2008 and grown into one of the top attractions that New York City has to offer, and ranked as one of the best flea markets in the world. Brooklyn Flea is a free flea market open to the public and a must-do experience when visiting New York.

Every Saturday and Sunday in Soho, Brooklyn Flea has over 60 vendors indoors that sell items anywhere from designer to vintage, to handmade and more. Although it’s closed for the season, Brooklyn Flea also has a location in DUMBO that remains open on Sundays April through October.

 

Catbird

Taking a jewelry-box to storefront level, Catbird is a classic piece of New York. With all of the jewelry made in their Brooklyn studio, Catbird is a true gem of the city. All stones are conflict free while the materials are all ethically sourced. Believing in local manufacturing, Catbird truly believes in the importance of community in their neighborhood.

 

Douglas Elliman Real Estate

As the largest brokerage in New York, Douglas Elliman Real Estate was established in 1911. Although this business spans much farther beyond Brooklyn, it’s clear that Douglas Elliman Real Estate invests in their locations. BAM is proud to have the #1 real estate firm as their partner.

 

The Greene Grape

Not just one, but 4 businesses partner together to create the Green Grape. Together, these businesses have one shared mission of providing quality goods and services made with integrity, skill, and pride. The Green Grape has 4 locations on Fulton Street.

 

Luke’s

Serving fresh seafood in the city of New York, Luke’s Lobster is an East Village restaurant. They take pride in sustainability, traceability, and community.  With high-quality and sustainable seafood, you know you’re going to get a great meal here!

 

Madiba Restaurant

With South-African roots, Madiba brings a different culture of cooking straight to the tables of New York. This restaurant is dedicated to bringing traditional styles of South African cooking to all guests that visit.

 

Pratt

One of the finest higher education programs in the country, the Pratt is an institution with three locations in the state of New York. Educating undergraduates and graduates for their careers in art, design, architecture, information and library science, and liberal arts and sciences, Pratt is a highly recognized institution.

 

Save Mor Digital Print

One of the print shops in downtown Manhattan, Save Mor Digital Print is a small business that believes in the bigger important of community and giving back. From working with charities and sponsorships, Save Mor has been serving the Brooklyn community since 1981.  

 

Sincerely Tommy

On the cutting edge of today’s small business industry, Sincerely Tommy is a concept store based in Brooklyn selling emerging women’s fashion and lifestyle items. From local brands to items from around the world, Sincerely Tommy is a unique shop in the city.

 

BAM’s 2017 Next Wave Festival Preview

Pedro J Torres Next Wave Festival

Beginning on September 14th and continuing through December 16th, 2017, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) will present the  2017 Next Wave Festival. With a total of 31 performances in dance, music, opera, theater, physical theater, and last but not least, performance engagements, BAM has a great lineup waiting for you.

Although this will only highlight some of the performances, you can view the full line up on BAM’s website, and also subscribe or even purchase tickets to performances you’d like to see.

 

Cafe Muller/The Rite of Spring | Dance, September 14-24, 2017

Kicking off the Next Wave Festival is Cafe Muller/The Rite of Spring. Back in 1984. Tanztheater Wuppertal debuted in New York with two performances, works of Pina Bausch which then became a historic double bill. This September, Cafe Muller/The Rite of Spring restages those performances.

Cafe Muller is an autobiography performance featuring a sleepwalking woman with her arms outstretched as she staggers through a dark restaurant.

The Rite of Spring features a dark, dirt covered stage as 32 total dancers portray fear and desire.

 

My Lai | Music, September 27-30, 2017

Closing out the month of September for the Next Wave Music Festival is the musical performance– My Lai. This Kronos Quartet seeks to portray a pivotal moment in human kind’s perspective on war. In South Vietnam, a US Army Pilot by the name of Hugh Thompson, Jr. made a moment in history when he nose-dived his helicopter into the carnage in a grave attempt to stop a civilian massacre. Composer Jonathan Berger combines Southeast Asian instruments and heartfelt passion to retell this story through song.

 

Crossing | Opera, October 3-8, 2017

Matthew Aucoin is the composer, writer, and conductor of Crossing, an opera that will open the month of October for the Next Wave Music Festival. Using inspiration from a diary kept during volunteering from a Civil War nurse, Aucoin takes Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” to define “us”. This opera captures the heartbreak of two men and their threat to each other, but also their country.

 

Buffer | Performance Art, November 1-4, 2017

Xavier Cha brings us the new-age art performance of Buffer, a performance dance that will alter the perspective between browsing windows and real life. This intimate dialogue between a man and woman showcases a deep conversation on just how the digital world consumes lifestyles on a daily basis and alters our reality of relationships.

 

Bangsokol: A Requim for Cambodia | Music, December 15-16, 2017

To close out BAM’s 2017 Next Wave Festival, Bangsokol: A Requim for Cambodia is an astonishing performance. As Survivors of the Khmer Rouge, Him Sophy (composer) and Rithy Panh (filmmaker) attempt to bring dignity back to the dead of their country through this musical ritual. After nearly two million souls were lost and forgotten, this musical performance aims to mourn the lives of the lost.

 


BAM’s full schedule for 2017 Next Wave Festival is jam-packed with amazing performances unlike any other. You can follow along social media with BAM and the festival through #BAMNextWave

 

From Classical to Cutting Edge: You Can Attend the BAM Members Mingle

Pedro J Torres Members Mingle BAM

If you’re fan of performing arts on the cutting edge of today’s culture then you’re no stranger to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Opening its doors for the first time in 1861, BAM has become a critical location for it’s local community of performances making it one of the leaders in urban art culture. Focusing on both an international and local community based demand, BAM provides an environment of rich aesthetics and history for each and every audience.

 

It’s no question why BAM draws in such a large crowd- with over 775,000 people annually. In addition to attending BAM has membership program. If you love attending outstanding performances, then a membership is something to highly consider. BAM offers many perks to their members and have now created an event for you to meet like minded people. If you’re already a member, here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming event at BAM’s Members Mingle.

 

When: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.


Where: BAM Fisher Rooftop Terrace

 

Anyone with a membership is eligible to attend- no RSVP required for a complimentary pre-show reception. In addition to free attendance, there is also complimentary wine and snacks for this social. You can stop by before a showing or performance. Even if you don’t plan to attend the performance, you can simply join in for a time to meet others with twin passions to your own.

 

When you sign up for a BAM membership, you instantly reap the rewards.

 

Cinema Benefits:

  • Access to special screening tickets before anyone else
  • 50% off two movie tickets
  • $5 off two tickets to special screenings

 

Live Performance Benefits:

  • Access to special screening tickets before anyone else
  • 50% off two movie tickets
  • $5 off two tickets to special screenings
  • 50% same day tickets for two
  • 20-30% subscription discount
  • Waived ticket handling fees

 

The pricing for memberships starts at $85 with a senior discount of $65. The pricing packaging then extends to 5 tiers with more benefits added on each level you go up. Finally, the ultimate package is the Patron Package that provides exclusive rewards of best seating tickets, personalized tickets and exclusive events.

 

Current members are beyond excited for the opportunity to sip, snack, and chat over their love of performing arts and modern day showings. Whether you prefer classical, or cutting edge, the BAM membership mingle is a network of opportunities for any member planning to attend.

 

FilmAfrica 2017

For the past forty years, the DanceAfrica festival has been held in New York City. The festival celebrates the different types of dances performed by members of the African Diaspora. A dancer named Chuck Davis founded DanceAfrica in 1977. This year the Brooklyn Academy of Music hosts a special DanceAfrica event titled The Healing Light of Rhythm: Tradition and Beyond. In addition to the performance, BAM will also screen a series of films from May 26 to May 29, 2017, as part of FilmAfrica 2017. BAM describes the film series as highlighting “the best narrative and documentary films from across Africa and beyond, with a special focus on Guinea” (Source). Below are some of the films that will be shown during the series.

Price of Love

Price of Love was directed by Hermon Hailay and released in 2015. The film takes place in Ethiopia. It follows the story of Teddy, a taxi driver, whose taxi car is stolen after he attempts to break up a fight between a prostitute and her boyfriend. Teddy and the prostitute search for the car together and learn about themselves and love in the process.

Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red In It

Fans of the film Purple Rain will immediately recognize some similarities between Prince’s film and Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red In It. Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red In It takes place in Niger and focuses on Tuareg musicians. There is no word for purple in the Tuareg language, hence the title of the film. Mdou Moctar, a local musician, stars in the film. Many aspects of the film had to be changed due to the actors’ Muslim background, so no kissing or hugging. However, the film still captures the excitement of live music—just in a different setting.

Martha & Niki

Martha & Niki is a documentary that focuses on the first women to ever win Juste Debout, a dance contest held in Paris that highlights different types of street dance. Below you can watch the trailer for the film:

Martha & Niki – Official Trailer from Tora Martens on Vimeo.

Paris According To Moussa

In recent years immigration has become an increasingly controversial topic in France. Paris According To Moussa follows an immigrant named Moussa on his trip to Paris. He visits the city in order to purchase a water pump but faces some difficulties along the way. Although the film has some humorous moments, it is also touching. The United Nations gave the film the Human Rights award.

Learn More About Wesley Snipes

Earlier this month the Brooklyn Academy of Music highlighted the work of Wesley Snipes. The star of the Blade film trilogy, Wesley Trent Snipes was born in 1962. His martial arts training has been evident in each of his action films like Demolition Man, Passenger 57 and U.S. Marshals. The profile of this film actor and producer is definitely worth reading.

Points Of Interest

He debuted with a supporting role in the movie Wildcats in the year 1986, and there are more than 50 Wesley Snipes movies today. He was one of the most successful actors in the 1990’s. During the same time, he co-founded a security firm for VIPs along with his brother. He also founded a film company called Amen-Ra.

Wesley Snipes was convicted on the charges of a misdemeanor because he failed to file income tax returns. His prison sentence began in 2010 and ended in 2013. In response to the accusation by the Internal Revenue Services, he wrote a letter in 2006 and claimed himself as a “non-resident alien.”

During the September 11 attacks his apartment was destroyed, but fortunately, he wasn’t home at the time.

Some Facts About His Personal Life

Wesley Snipes was born to Wesley Sr. and Marian Snipes (Maryann) and was raised in the Bronx, New York along with his sister Bridget Snipes.

He has 5 children, 1 with his ex-wife April Snipes, to whom he was married for 5 years from 1985 to 1990.  With his second wife, Nakyung ‘Nikki’ Park (married in 20013), he has 4 children, Iset Jua-T, Alaafia Jehu-T, Alimayu Moa-T and Akhenaten Kihwa-T Snipes.

He began practicing Islam in 1978 and stopped in 1988. However, he has declared himself to be appreciative of Islam by stating that the religion gave him self-dignity.

Accomplishments

  • In Shotokan Karate, Wesley snipes has a 5th dan black belt.
  • He has earned a 2nd dan black belt in Hapdiko.
  • In 1991, he was nominated for the Best Villain award at the MTV Movie Award.
  • SUNY Purchase College awarded him an honorary doctorate.
  • Blade (1998 film) was a huge commercial success.

The Audience Point Of View

The Wesley Snipes Blade film series remains one of the best-loved movies of this actor. However, his roles in the films New Jack City, Mo’ Better Blues, and One Night Stand are also generally well appreciated.

He has not been seen in the movies too much recently. However, he has 2 movies lined up for 2017.

A Tribute to Harvey Lichtenstein

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) had its first performance in 1861 and has been located in the same building since 1908. BAM is a performing arts center that features various artists and types of performances, helping out the local community while also connecting with the international world of theatre and art. Decades ago, BAM wasn’t what it is today, but that all changed when Harvey Lichtenstein got involved with it.

Harvey Lichtenstein became the executive director of BAM in 1967 and remained in this position for over 30 years. BAM experienced a revolution during his tenure and became what it is today. In 1999, Harvey stepped down as executive director, but he had forever changed BAM into an incredible institution. Unfortunately, on February 11th of this year, Harvey Lichtenstein passed away at the age of 87.

How he got involved

In his 20s, he was inspired to study dance and performed in several companies. When it was no longer financially and personally feasible to continue performing, he often worked and fundraised for music venues, staying connected to his passion. When Harvey was offered the position as executive director of BAM, the academy was not in good shape and he figured he might as well give it a try, even though the theatre had little money and the neighborhood around it was not doing well.

What he did

For some, Harvey was “the most innovative, influential performing arts administrator in New York history.” He helped revitalize Brooklyn and turned BAM into a top center for musical performances and talent. It wasn’t until the 1980s that Harvey was able to seriously put BAM on the map. That’s when BAM began their Next Wave Festival, featuring progressive up-and-coming artists. Though there were failures when trying to recreate BAM, Harvey ultimately left behind a huge success story.

What he leaves behind

To this day, BAM is an incredible cultural and musical center. Even with a new director for nearly the last two decades, Harvey’s legacy lives on and allows the center to be what it is today. Even after he retired, Harvey worked on the BAM Local Development Corporation (now known as Downtown Brooklyn Partnership), which helped the area surrounding BAM to cultivate their own music centers and other vital arts centers, such as libraries. BAM continues to influence the community around it and provide incredibly opportunities for young and unknown talent.

BAM invited Marc Maron to the Stage and it Was Amazing

marc-maron-char

Marc Maron is a comedian and host of “WTF With Marc Maron”. Maron recently catapulted into the spotlight after President Obama agreed to come to his garage where he records his popular podcast. Maron recently took the stage at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) for a two-hour comedy set. The nearly 3,000 seat capacity venue was filled to see Maron’s interesting brand of comedy that combines anger and neuroses. But Maron started his set by saying, “It’s going to be hard to present myself as unhappy”.

Maron, continued his self-aware routine on his interview with the President. He was also obviously aware of the venue as well. BAM is known for hosting a wide variety of shows from plays, to concerts and even just conversations and interviews. Maron’s set was more like a physical one-man show than his normal comedy routine. Maybe this is the new Marc Maron, joyful and still hilarious.

Though the angry, neurotic comic has become cliche, Maron has never been easy to fit into a mold. His show at BAM demonstrated that his talent and success has little to do with a common comic stereotype. Many of Maron’s peers describe him as a comic’s comic which is a way of saying he is very funny and talented but doesn’t appeal to a larger audience. Whether this is the new Maron or just him on a bigger stage it seems more like America’s comic than just a comic’s comic.

The podcast is a lot like his act. It is very conversational, and his stories are told with perfect tone and cadence. The dramatics he added to the set were entirely complementary to this tone and cadence.

The appeal of Maron has been made apparent by his podcast and his show is definitely worth a few bucks. But maybe this show at BAM was too perfect, where the audience got the grit of a comic’s comic right before his rise to fame.

Robots and Actors on Stage Together At Bam

man-robot

With all the news and articles about our seemingly inevitable future of robots and artificial intelligence, one of the less discussed effects future technology will have is on the arts. There has already been technology communities that have applied AI to music and created beautiful music.

This month the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) took their shot at combining technology with art, which many see as a contradiction. The show, “Robot”,  includes a melange of human and robotic movement and dance.

The show was put together by Bianca Li and included eight dancer-athletes worthy of the BAM stage. The show definitely gets all they can from these amazing dancers by focusing mostly on the beauty of human dance.

The movement on stage was accompanied by music played by robots. The instruments were moved by the dancers throughout the show. They included a set of drums, a xylophone, an automated accordion and a harpsichord.

From the musical instruments to the costumes, everything was made to look like the future as seen by people from the 60’s. The men were wearing milkmen like uniforms, while the women looked like flight attendants. This has the jarring effect of making the viewer see that we are living in the future as seen by these people. After all, the technology exists to have robots dancing alongside humans on stage in Brooklyn.

The show made sure to touch on how mechanical our lives can be. What part of that cant be automated by robots? During this, we see the actors taking time to teach these robots how to dance. The robots were tiny, adorable complements to the actors on stage.

There was no deeper meaning that was being pushed by Li, and one could see that the audience was pleased by this, the dances and the adorable robots.

 

Morrisey Cover Band Mexrissey At BAM

Morrissey_crop_tie

Stephen Morrissey is well known to music fans. The British rock star was the lead singer of The Smiths before venturing out on his on to considerable fame and critical acclaim.

A little less known is the eclectic band Mexrissey, a tribute band to the Smiths frontman. The band is actually amazing. Consisting of eight amazing musicians, tribute is the right word for the type of band. They are currently on an international tour and Brooklyn seems like the perfect way to kick off the United States leg.

As the line between Latin countries and the United States becomes thinner hopefully this sort of thing might become more common. Morrisey, for example, has a huge following in Mexico. Mexrissey has benefited greatly from this disappearing line between Latin and United States culture.

Mexrissey makes amazing music and their shows are full of visuals including a huge Frida Kahlo Morrisey mashup which underlines the blurred lines of two cultures. They formed the band less than a year ago, and their fandom is a tribute to how well they play.This isn’t some cover band either. There is a strong Mexican influence in their take on Morrisey’s songs. The experience of the Mexrissey show was unapologetically Mexican, loud, vibrant and full of mariachi style.

There show at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) was filled with music lovers as vibrant as the show itself. The show was not sold out but the attendees’ enthusiasm more than made up for it. They did sell out another 2,000 person venue, however, in England.

The songs are not only mariachi-infused but they are in Spanish. While this may turn off many potential attendees, it makes some of the ticket-holders even more excited because they identify more with this immigrant band.

In traditional BAM fashion, the theater was filled with an ecelectic group of old, young, white, black and any other creed you can imagine.

BAM Invites Daniel Handler and Neil Gaiman To The Stage

Daniel_Handler_calling_Lemony_Snicket_BAM

Neil Gaiman and Daniel Handler are old friends and highly successful authors. They are also both swordsman. So its fitting they headlined an event named, “En Garde” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM).

Daniel Handler might be better known by his pseudonym, Lemony Snicket, under which he wrote the popular, “Series of Unfortunate Events” which was eventually adapted into a film.

Both were there to promote their books and perform for the the packed theater. Handler’s most recent novel, “We Are Pirates”, is a modern day pirate novel set in San Francisco.

Neil Gaiman’s most recent novel, “Trigger Warning”, is a collection of poems and short stories. Not coincidentally, both books were released the same day, on February 3rd.

The night outside BAM looked like any of the alt-rock concerts that were surely playing across Brooklyn that same night. As we entered the excitement was palpable. Cards were passed around before the two got onstage for audience members to write questions.

The performance was well received with stories of people quoting their books in front of them, and humble wonderment of their successes. It was a healthy mix of funny, serious and thoughtful when they spoke about the state of literature. It was like an oscar-winning dramedy.

At one point Gaiman spoke about people approaching him to tell him how important his books were to them, crying while they spoke. Looking at the audience faces during the show, I imagine many people there were moved by the novels as well.

Handler is a force in the literary community and has, on occasion, made headlines for the wrong reasons. One particular mishap was not off the table at BAM that night. When presenting a literary award to a black friend in November he said she’s allergic to watermelon. He immediately apologized on Twitter.

But, there was no mishaps that night, it was perfect.