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

 

BAMcinemaFest 2017

In its ninth consecutive year, the Brooklyn Academy of Music is hosting its annual BAMcinemaFest from June 14th until June 25th. The festival will feature the best American independent films, including features, documentaries, and shorts.

Emerging artists from the New York area have the chance to present their work on a platform right in their hometown. Directors of shorts have their opportunity to showcase their feature length films, and new artists can enter the stage by showing off their short films.

Films in the Spotlight for this years’ festival include: Gemini, an LA-set murder mystery from director Aaron Katz; En el Septimo Dia, a funny view on life in New York as an undocumented Mexican immigrant from acclaimed director Jim McKay; Landline, a film directed by Gillian Robespierre about the troubling story of Manhattan-based sisters discover that their father is cheating on their mother; A Ghost Story, a take on the classic story of a ghost coming back to the home in which he lived stars, Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara; Golden Exits, an uneasy comedy from director Alex Ross Perry.

This dominant independent film festival is an event that you are not going to want to miss. Listed below is the complete list of films that are being shown as well as their set time. For ticket information and full details of each of the films, please visit, http://www.bam.org/programs/2017/bamcinemafest.

 

Wednesday, June 14th

7:30 pm: Gemini

 

Thursday, June 15th

7 pm: The Force

9:30 pm: Signature Move

 

Friday, June 16th

7 pm: The Incredible Jessica Jones

9:30 pm: The Strange Ones

 

Saturday, June 17th

1:30 pm: Princess Cyd

4:15 pm: Columbus

7 pm: Where is Kyra?

7:30 pm: Landline

9:45 pm: Bitch

 

Sunday June 18th

1:30 pm: Dina

4:15 pm: Wind River

5:30 pm: En el Séptimo Día (centerpiece)

7 pm: I Am Another You

9:30 pm: Dear Renzo

                  Educators

                  Men

                  All Good Things

 

Monday, June 19th

7 pm: Whose Streets?

9:45 pm: Snowy Bing Bongs

                 Hardware

                 Lance Lizardi

 

Tuesday, June 20th

7 pm: Common Carrier

9:30 pm: Walking Out

 

Wednesday, June 21st

6:45 pm: Big Sick

9:45 pm: Most Beautiful Island

                  Innards

 

Thursday, June 22nd

7:30 pm: A Ghost Story

7 pm: Marjorie Prime

            Our Song

 

Friday, June 23rd

7 pm: Ingrid Goes West

           Harvest

9:45 pm: Lemon

 

Saturday, June 24th

2 pm: Escapes

4:45 pm: The Work

                 Have No Fear

7:30 pm: Golden Exits

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.

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.

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.