Bark of Millions

Bark of Millions (a new hybrid work by Taylor Mac, Matt Ray, and an international ensemble of performers) is a rock opera meditation on queerness. Epic in scale, it features 55 original songs (one song per year since the Stonewall uprising) inspired by various queer antecedents throughout world history.

To the ancient Egyptians creation was considered an “unfurling of the undivided”. Bark of Millions is a response to this from a queer lens. In the work we ask: what is the core of queerness and the various ways of its dissemination? In the broken and often oppressive history we’ve inherited, how have queer people been our own creation? What are we unfurling from? Our goals are not to find, necessarily, but rather to seek through music, dance, poetry, consideration, and communion.

Bark of Millions is currently in development and plans to premiere globally in the fall of 2023.

If you would like to financially support the development and production of Bark of Millions, please reach out directly to info@pomarts.com.

KŌSA – between two mirrors

Over 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.

Sankai Juku will return to North America in the fall of 2023 with KŌSA. Created in 2022, KŌSA consists of excerpts from pieces from Sankai Juku’s repertoire that have been reimagined to constitute a work in its own right. Amagatsu has built this new evening-length work in an effort to present the most essential elements of his vision: “By using no decor, only pure dance and the philosophical perception of images, I tried to bring everyone into my universe with as much curiosity as that which inhabited us at the first creation.”

MOMO

The critically acclaimed Batsheva Dance Company presents a shared passion of deep sorrow and beauty in their newest evening-length work from master choreographer Ohad Naharin: MOMO. In the company’s words, “MOMO has two souls. One sends long roots to the depths of the earth—a soul that embodies archetypes and myths of hardened, raw masculinity, and the other is in a constant search for an individual and distinct DNA; one moves within its own autonomous and independent force field and the other is a constellation of elements that spin around the same nucleus—alternately drifting away and towards it, making room for necessary tenderness and catharsis.” The company performs this new work to a soundtrack from the iconic Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet’s work Landfall, with additional music by Philip Glass, Arca, and Maxim Waratt.

THE PLASTIC BAG STORE

Created by the artist Robin Frohardt, The Plastic Bag Store is an immersive installation activated with timed screenings of a puppetry-based film. 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. In live activations, the store comes to life with live performers, a puppetry film 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.

Plastic Bag Store: The Film is available for screening upon inquiry. Please request information by emailing info@pomarts.com.

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 longtime 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 and 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 New York 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 has toured as a concert series consisting of several touring programs. These have included 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 that consisted 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.

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 one to ten guest pianists in an evening of master piano works for the 21st century.

The Etudes program is currently being reimagined as an evening-length work for solo piano and contemporary dance scheduled to premiere in Fall 2023.

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.