This season's festival artists exemplify research, resilience, perseverance, and testimony. They bear witness to the uncertain times we live in, with a deeply-felt personal approach that our dance audiences will not easily forget. We are living, perhaps, in a not-yet-totally post-pandemic world where emotional response continues to remain tender and raw.
From the lush melancholic movement meditations of Kari Hoaas and the fierce feminism of Nela Kornetová (Norway); to the passionately propulsive duets of Baye & Asa and the rigorous choreographic remembrances of Wendy Perron with Morgan Griffin; from intense virtuosic individuality of Kayla Farrish to the luscious extravagance and shared visceral humanity of Bobbi Jene Smith's Broken Theater—we include and embrace all of our participating choreographic artists. We are also graced by three Arab American choreographers, Nora Alami, Jadd Tank, and Leyya Mona Tawil, representing the refreshingly welcome New York Arab Festival. La MaMa resident company Loco7 reprises its moving tribute to closely-knit family ties and the perennial remembrance of those most influential in our lives. We are blessed to have these dynamic choreographic artists in our 18th dance festival season.
Welcome dear audience, with love,
When our storybook heroines gather for book club, they always discuss the same book, Grimms’ Fairy Tales — because as far as they know, it’s the only book that’s ever been written. That’s until a rogue fairy godmother drops The Feminine Mystique into their corseted laps. From now on, “happily ever after” will never be the same. Once Upon a One More Time weaves the chart-topping hits of the undisputed Princess of Pop, Britney Spears, into a brand-new kind of fairy tale.
PHONE RINGS, DOOR CHIMES, IN COMES COMPANY. Winner of 5 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, COMPANY ”strikes like a lightning bolt. It’s brilliantly conceived and funny as hell.” (Variety). Helmed by three-time Tony Award-winning director Marianne Elliott (War Horse, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Angels in America) this revelatory new production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s groundbreaking musical comedy, at once boldly sophisticated, deeply insightful, and downright hilarious. It’s Bobbie’s 35th birthday party, and all her friends keep asking, Why isn’t she married? Why can’t she find the right man and isn’t it time to settle down and start a family? As Bobbie searches for answers, she discovers why being single, being married, and being alive in the 21st-century could drive a person crazy. COMPANY features Sondheim’s award-winning songs You Could Drive a Person Crazy, The Ladies Who Lunch, Side by Side by Side and the iconic Being Alive. Let’s all drink to that! “Dazzling! So vibrant, so alive!” – Hollywood Reporter “GLORIOUSLY TRANSFORMATIVE. A GODSEND.” – The New York Times “HANDS DOWN THE BEST MUSICAL PRODUCTION OF THE SEASON!” – New York Post Tickets for COMPANY are available by subscription only. Single tickets will be announced at a later date. Click here to subscribe.
New Latin Wave and National Sawdust present Paraíso, an experimental chamber opera that follows a mother and child from Puebla, Mexico as their lives are shaped by the political and economic factors that govern who gets to cross the U.S.-Mexico border and how. Set at the turn of the 21st century, Paraíso starts with the mother as she embarks on the months-long journey across the border with her 1-year-old child to reunite with her husband in New York City. Even after crossing the border and building a new life in the U.S., their lives continue to be shaped by their border crossing. Featuring a libretto by Venezuelan poet, scholar, and educator Natasha Tiniacos in collaboration with Sokio, this generations-spanning opera will expand the form of opera by incorporating the use of samplers, modular synths, recordings, and improvisation. By telling the story of a mother-child duo grappling with the fear of deportation and a diasporic longing for Mexico, Paraíso hopes to connect audiences with the real immigration struggles that the U.S.'s vibrant Latinx community experiences. Join us for the premiere of this powerful opera about immigration, family, and survival.
Josephine Baker is a legend’s legend. The honors bestowed upon her during her lifetime are epic. As the first foreigner and the first African American woman inducted into the French Pantheon, she was immortalized, 46 years after her death. She was also the only woman to speak at the March on Washington, in 1963, prior to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s, I HAVE A DREAM speech. Josephine Baker was a trailblazing, U.S. born civil rights activist, whose origins began on the vaudeville stage. She later performed at the Cotton Club and the Plantation Club, as well on Broadway. Our story follows 19-year-old Josephine arriving in Paris, France for the first time, in 1925, seven years after WWI and five years after the pandemic. She was simply a cast member of La Revue Negre, an All-Black performance troupe from Harlem. Their mission: introduce the French to a brand-new music called jazz and the dance that went along with it, the Charleston. How did a goofy, teenage chorus-girl, who crossed her eyes and made gawky faces, become an overnight success without speaking French? How did she influence the avant-garde of the modern art era? Most importantly, what made her rise to fame and cultural significance so spectacular? THE DARK STAR FROM HARLEM explores the answers to these questions and many more.
HONG KONG MISSISSIPPI is the story of a young Chinese boy with an overbearing mother and an abusive father who breaks out of his Asian culture and finds solace and understanding in of all places the African American community. A single actor plays 12 colorful characters in a play that is at once funny and sad, violent and scary, and in the end redeeming. It is filled with a wonderful score of blues music.
Bobbi Jene Smith’s Broken Theater melds live dance-theater, music, and cinematic beauty. Twelve artists meet in a ghost theater where they grapple with love, humiliation, and loss at the cost of each other. When the script has disappeared, when the audience is gone, where are the lines between the part you play and the person you are?
This season's festival artists exemplify research, resilience, perseverance, and testimony. They bear witness to the uncertain times we live in, with a deeply-felt personal approach that our dance audiences will not easily forget. We are living, perhaps, in a not-yet-totally post-pandemic world where emotional response continues to remain tender and raw. From the lush melancholic movement meditations of Kari Hoaas and the fierce feminism of Nela Kornetová (Norway); to the passionately propulsive duets of Baye & Asa and the rigorous choreographic remembrances of Wendy Perron with Morgan Griffin; from intense virtuosic individuality of Kayla Farrish to the luscious extravagance and shared visceral humanity of Bobbi Jene Smith's Broken Theater—we include and embrace all of our participating choreographic artists. We are also graced by three Arab American choreographers, Nora Alami, Jadd Tank, and Leyya Mona Tawil, representing the refreshingly welcome New York Arab Festival. La MaMa resident company Loco7 reprises its moving tribute to closely-knit family ties and the perennial remembrance of those most influential in our lives. We are blessed to have these dynamic choreographic artists in our 18th dance festival season. Welcome dear audience, with love, Nicky Paraiso
Three brilliantly imaginative artists—Justin Peck, Sufjan Stevens, and Jackie Sibblies Drury—unite to create an ecstatic pageant of storytelling, theater, dance, and live music. Stevens’ 2005 concept album Illinois enjoys cult status for its lush orchestrations and wildly inventive portrayal of the state’s people, landscapes, and history, complete with UFOs, zombies, and predatory wasps. Tony Award-winner Justin Peck (Carousel on Broadway, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, New York City Ballet) transforms the album into a full-length theatrical performance with a cast of virtuosic dancers, singers, and musicians in a narrative crafted with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury. Featuring new arrangements of the entire album for a live band and three voices, ranging in style from DIY folk and indie rock to marching band and ambient electronics, Illinois will lead us on a mighty journey through the American heartland, from campfire storytelling to the edges of the cosmos.
Set in the 1980s in New York City, gay medical students Matt and Jeff connect while working in a retro-virology lab. When HIV erupts, the fallout upends their relationship as their response to the rising epidemic pushes them along different paths, raising questions about their values as scientists and doctors and their responsibilities as gay men. A sprawling drama spanning the decade, Love + Science explores the difficulties of love during a crisis, the realities of scientific progress, and how to maintain hope in the midst of an epic struggle. Director: Allen MacLeod Written by David J. Glass
”King” LeBron James was just the hero that Cleveland needed. One of the greatest NBA players to ever hit the court, his influence on the whole city loomed large for the dozen years of his reign. Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph’s (Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) wonderfully funny and remarkably moving new play chronicles the unexpected friendship between two men whose intertwined fortunes are tied to those of their idol. This highly anticipated, adrenaline-packed New York premiere about the power of connection is directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, Fences). Also in the company is Khloe Janel as the DJ.
Daughter of the Wicked tells the story of Shanit Keter Schwartz returning to her homeland in search of her missing sister, who was taken during the Yemenite Missing Children Affair. She looks back at her upbringing as a Yemenite Jewish girl in the newly formed country of Israel, paying special tribute to her Kabbalistic mystical Rabbi father, as she comes to terms with her tumultuous past. This riveting new play features an original soundscape of authentic Yemenite tin drums and flutes composed by Israeli composer Lilo Fedida to transport audiences from the sands of Yemen to the tin huts of the Israeli settlement camps to life in the projects. Nine-time Oscar Nominee and Grammy Award winner James Newton Howard's cello composition will support the Kabbalistic texts that guide us through the story.
Bad Cinderella, a new musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and book by Emerald Fennell, comes to Broadway. In the exceptionally beautiful kingdom of Belleville, the fields are idyllic, the prince is charming, and the townsfolk are ravishing. Only one intractable peasant stands in the way of sheer perfection: Cinderella. To the flawless citizens and sovereigns of Belleville, this damsel IS the distress. Cinderella’s only friend in Belleville is the equally overlooked Prince Sebastian. When his older brother, Prince Charming, mysteriously disappears, he is thrust into the spotlight. As the new royal heir, Prince Sebastian must choose a bride at the ball and live unhappily ever after. With the prospect of losing the only person she’s ever cared for to the crown, Cinderella pays a visit to the Godmother, who can solve any problem…for a price. From Andrew Lloyd Webber comes “a big, colorful, fun fairy tale rewrite” (The New York Times), featuring an original story and book by Oscar®-winning writer Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman, Killing Eve) and lyrics by Tony Award® winner David Zippel (City of Angels). The Telegraph calls it “a magical musical with a progressive message, brilliantly witty lyrics, and exuberant numbers—one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best.” Choreographed by JoAnn M Hunter (School of Rock) and directed by Laurence Connor (Les Misérables).