UTSUSHI

Over the course of the past thirty-five years, the work of Tokyo-based company Sankai Juku has become known worldwide for its elegance, refinement, technical precision, and emotional depth. Founder Ushio Amagatsu’s contemporary Butoh creations are sublime visual spectacles and deeply moving theatrical experiences. He is one of the premiere choreographers at work in the world today.

Utsushi: Between Two Mirrors is a new work that has been crafted from existing choreography that Ushio Amagatsu has created for the company over the course of their history. Created in response to presenter requests for an adaptable touring work that would feature some of the company’s most singular moments, Utsushi provides a fond reacquaintance for the company’s many devoted fans and a perfect introduction for new audiences.

THE PLASTIC BAG STORE

Created by the artist Robin Frohardt, The Plastic Bag Store is an installation and puppetry-based immersive play. Drawing on themes of over-consumption and the excess of waste created for the sake of convenience, The Plastic Bag Store appears from the outside as a typical grocery store with colorful awning, advertisements and signage. On the inside, shelves are stocked with traditional products found in a grocery store, made entirely out of plastic bags. Each product is an original design and made from discarded plastic stuffed inside other discarded plastic, creating an endless cacophony of packaging. At night the store comes to life with live performers and puppetry, dynamic sets and hidden worlds to tell a darkly comedic, sometimes tender story that explores how the hordes of plastic waste we are leaving behind might be misinterpreted by future generations. The Plastic Bag Store is a tragic-comic ode to the foreverness of plastic.

The Museum Workout

Monica Bill Barnes & Company has re-imagined the museum tour creating an experience that disrupts the normally contained museum environment, invigorating participants by creating a physical relationship to the art of the ages. Participants join the company performing choreographed exercises in the galleries to a soundtrack ranging from Disco to Motown, while artist and author Maira Kalman muses about time, art, and how we spend our days. The Museum Workout premiered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and extended to nearly 100 performances in what was one of the most discussed performance events of the 2017 NY Season.

HOLIDAY SAUCE

Christmas as calamity — 2017 MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Taylor Mac, takes on the holidays to celebrate the season in all of its dysfunction. For this new production, Taylor Mac is joined by longtime collaborators, designer Machine Dazzle, Music Director Matt Ray and a spectacular band to reframe the songs you love and the holidays you hate.

Conceived as an annual event that will evolve over time, Holiday Sauce will be available for touring in November and December.

THE ART OF FALLING

Known for her multimedia presentations and innovative use of technology, The Art of Falling is Laurie Anderson’s latest solo work addressing the complex questions of our shifting world. Incorporating songs, electronics and visual imagery, The Art of Falling is a masterful mix of stories about falling in love, falling asleep and falling in line.

The Joke Is Mightier than the Sword

Dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab World, Bassem Youssef was the creator and host of the wildly popular TV show Al-Bernameg—the first political satire show in the Middle East and the most watched program in the region from 2011-14 with 30 million viewers every week.

Throughout its three seasons Al-Bernameg remained controversial for its hilarious and bold criticism of the ruling powers. Accused of being “anti-Islam” and insulting the President, Youssef was arrested and interrogated before being released on bail. During its final season, the show achieved unprecedented ratings before Youssef announced its termination due to overwhelming political pressures on the show and the airing channel.

In The Joke Is Mightier than the Sword, Bassem shares his personal story and his thoughts on the political climate that led to the Arab Spring, its parallels to the current state of American politics and how propaganda lays the foundation for dictatorial regimes.

The Complete Piano Etudes

Philip Glass conceived The Etudes as a set of twenty works for solo piano in order to expand his piano technique. In the 1990’s Glass composed sixteen of the etudes with each taking a unique approach to the instrument. After a decade, the final four piano etudes were commissioned in celebration of Glass’ 75th birthday, premiering in their entirety in 2013. The complete collection of The Etudes are performed on one program by Philip Glass and from two to nine guest pianists in an evening of master piano works for the 21st century.

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music

Since 2013, Pomegranate Arts has collaborated with Taylor to co-produce his most ambitious (and our most unforgettable) work to date—a unique 24-part performance art concert series that creates a subjective history of America since its founding in 1776. Years in development, the project culminated in a one-time 24-hour marathon performance for a sold-out audience at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY on October 8, 2016. Co-Directed by Niegel Smith, the work features Taylor and his long- time collaborators, costume designer Machine Dazzle and Music Director/ Arranger Matt Ray. Over 200 performers appeared in the NY run including a 24-piece orchestra, an ensemble of “dandy minions” and countless special guests ranging from a youth marching band, a troupe of feminist acrobatic dancers to members of the audience who were cast as colonial needleworkers, WWI soldiers, and Yum Yum from the Mikado. Among many accolades, the project was placed on The NY Times Top 10 lists of Best Performances, Best of Theater, and Best of Classical Music of 2016. NY Times critic Wesley Morris wrote of the marathon performance, “Mac gave me one of the great experiences of my life.”

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music will tour as a concert series consisting of several touring programs. Options include hour-long concerts which feature songs from a single decade from the 1770s to the 2000s, performed by Taylor and a small band; abridged concerts which consist of a selection of songs over multiple decades; and the full 24-Decade canon which can be presented in a variety of ways in a special co-production partnership with Pomegranate Arts.

Evenings Of Chamber Music

Philip Glass performs an intimate evening of chamber music with friends and dynamic musicians in an all-Glass program featuring works for solo piano, duets for piano and violin, duets for piano and cello and a trio for piano, violin and cello. Philip Glass performs with a range of close collaborators including cellist Matt Haimovitz, violinist Tim Fain, harpist Lavinia Meijer and pianists Anton Batagov, Maki Namekawa and Aaron Diehl.

Dracula

Starring Bela Lugosi (Tod Browning, 1931). Glass composed the intense and sweeping Dracula score for the Kronos Quartet when he was asked by Universal to create a score for this early talkie. Appearing together live along with the original horror classic shown in its entirety, Glass and Kronos perform a concert of one of the most intense and atmospheric scores Philip Glass has ever written.