BAM Announces a Dance-Heavy Season

A rock opera by the performance artist Taylor Mac, the New York premiere of a dance work by Mark Morris and a film retrospective of the actor Jeffrey Wright are among the offerings of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s upcoming season, the performing arts center announced on Tuesday.

“It’s a big dance season,” said Amy Cassello, BAM’s interim artistic director. “We’re offering things that can’t be offered anywhere else in the city.”

Taylor Mac’s “Bark of Millions,” a queer musical-opera-variety show with music by Matt Ray, choreography by Faye Driscoll and extravagant costume designs by Machine Dazzle, will run from Feb. 5 to Feb. 10.

“It’s big and over the top and ambitious,” Cassello said.

Later in the lineup is the choreographer Mark Morris’s “The Look of Love” (March 20-23), a homage to the composer Burt Bacharach that premiered last year at the BroadStage in Santa Monica, Calif., before a run at the Kennedy Center in Washington. The evening-length work features musical arrangements by the jazz pianist Ethan Iverson, and a live ensemble of piano, trumpet, bass and drums with vocals by the singer and Broadway actress Marcy Harriell.

Other dance offerings include the return of DanceAfrica (May 24-27), BAM’s longest-running program and one of the largest festivals of African dance in the country, under the artistic direction of Abdel R. Salaam, and the return of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (June 4-9) for the New York troupe’s second year in a two-year commitment at BAM (repertory works will be announced at a later date).

BAM has been facing serious challenges recently: It announced in June that it had laid off 13 percent of its staff and reduced programming to try to close a “sizable structural deficit.” David Binder, its former artistic director, stepped down over the summer after roughly four years at the helm, a much shorter tenure than those of his predecessors.

This season begins with “American Fiction: The Characters of Jeffrey Wright” (Jan. 10 to Feb. 11), a look back at the Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor’s contribution to cinema across four decades. The retrospective will include five film screenings, including Wright’s first starring role as the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. For younger audiences, the theater will present the BAMkids Film Festival (Feb. 3-4), highlighting short films and features from around the world; the schedule will be announced in the new year.

The performing arts center will also present the Long Play Festival (May 3-5), Bang on a Can’s weekend-long classical music festival across venues in Downtown Brooklyn, and the L.G.B.T.Q. Artists Archive Project (Feb. 1 through June 30), an exhibition honoring the pioneering downtown artists who shaped New York over the past 35 years, including the playwright Ain Gordon, the choreographer Ishmael Houston-Jones and the actor Lola Pashalinski.

“You kind of risk saying, ‘Oh there’s something for everyone,’ because that seems like a scattershot,” Cassello said of the diverse season. “It isn’t. It’s very intentional.”

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