Brooklyn Academy of Music Plans a Global Season
After focusing its most recent season on the artists of New York City, the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Monday announced a spring season filled with global offerings, including the New York premiere of the British choreographer Akram Khan’s “Giselle,” a series of shows by the Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby and a production of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” starring James McAvoy.
The season will also feature a variety of New York artists, like the contemporary ensemble Bang on a Can and the visual artist Saya Woolfalk, who will present a new digital installation.
“It’s local and it’s global,” the academy’s artistic director, David Binder, said of the new season. “There’s an optimism running through it, where artists are reimagining what the world can be.”
The academy hopes the offerings will continue to drive its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The academy saw relatively robust ticket sales in the fall and winter, with several sold-out performances, Binder said, but is still working to recover from the turmoil of the pandemic, which forced it to suspend performances for more than a year.
The spring season opens on March 24 with the New York premiere of “32 Sounds,” an immersive documentary by the filmmaker Sam Green. The film, which was first shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January, is narrated live; audience members wear headphones.
Khan’s acclaimed reworking of “Giselle,” which the English National Ballet is bringing to the academy in June, has been widely praised since its premiere in London in 2016. It has since been performed in Auckland, New Zealand, as well as Hong Kong and Dublin.
The New York Times called the 2016 production “a beautiful and intelligent remaking of the beloved 1841 classic, and probably — and improbably — the best work Mr. Khan has created.”
During four performances at the academy in May, Gadsby, the star of the popular Netflix specials “Douglas” and “Nanette,” will perform “Body of Work,” her latest stand-up show. The show explores themes of love and relationships.
In April, Jamie Lloyd’s Olivier Award-winning production of “Cyrano de Bergerac” will come to the academy, featuring McAvoy, the “X-Men” star.
In addition to “Giselle,” there will be a variety of other dance productions. The 10-member Brazilian dance group Suave will perform “Cria” in March, after its original engagement at the academy last fall was delayed because of visa issues. The German choreographer Sasha Waltz’s “In C” will have its American premiere in April, accompanied by the Bang on a Can All-Stars. The annual DanceAfrica festival returns in May.
Binder said even though another surge of the virus was always possible, he was hopeful audiences would turn out for the new season.
“I feel very lucky that our audiences are there and up for the adventure and are ready and are really super engaged,” he said. “People are really ready to come back.”