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BAM's Next Wave Festival has permanently changed the artistic landscape, featuring breakout performances and landmark productions. Using a name that plays on the New Wave in French cinema, BAM president and executive producer Harvey Lichtenstein launched a series entitled "The Next Wave/New Masters" in November 1981 with four productions: three dance works, plus Philip Glass' new opera Satyagraha. A more ambitious program followed in 1982, including a two-evening performance work by Laurie Anderson entitled United States: Parts I-IV.
The success of these first two years helped propel a bolder and riskier program in the years to come—one that has defined BAM and an entire generation of artists. In October 1983, the Next Wave Festival was launched, which spotlighted exciting new works and cross-disciplinary collaborations by promising young artists. The Next Wave was groundbreaking for taking works that had previously been shown in downtown lofts and small "black box" theaters and presenting them in the exquisite 2,100-seat BAM Opera House (now the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House), a renovated 1,000-seat playhouse (the Helen Carey Playhouse, later converted into BAM Rose Cinemas), and the flexible 300-seat Lepercq Space. In 1987, BAM opened another large stage-the 874-seat Majestic Theater (since renamed the BAM Harvey Theater in honor of Harvey Lichtenstein)-with a landmark production of Peter Brook's The Mahabharata. Current Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo was the producing director of the Next Wave in its inception and continues to spearhead BAM's adventurous programming roster with emerging and established artists, including Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, Robert Wilson, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, and Lev Dodin.
The 2015 Next Wave Festival showcases the very best in contemporary performance.
The 2014 Next Wave Festival showcases the very best in contemporary performance.
The 2013 Next Wave Festival showcases the very best in contemporary performance.
The 30th Next Wave Festival showcases work by emerging artists and innovative modern masters.
Showcasing work by emerging artists and innovative modern masters.
Presenting adventurous art for adventurous audiences.
BAM's signature program, featuring dance, music, theater, film, and more.