Mikhail Baryshnikov (The Old Woman, 2014 Winter/Spring) steps inside the splintering psyche of one of the greatest dancers in history in director Robert Wilson’s staging of Vaslav Nijinsky’s diaries. The text chronicles the onset of the iconic Russian performer’s schizophrenia in 1919, tracing the contours of his profound isolation, tormented sexuality and spirituality, and preoccupation with erstwhile lover and Ballets Russes founder Sergei Diaghilev. Hal Willner’s collage-like score weaves audio fragments of the diary with a century-spanning soundtrack of songs by Tom Waits, Arvo Pärt, Henry Mancini, and Soviet futurist composer Alexander Mosolov, as our coat-tailed subject sashays and staggers through Wilson’s saturated lightscapes.
Direction, set design, and lighting concept by Robert Wilson with Mikhail Baryshnikov Based on the diary of Vaslav Nijinsky Text by Christian Dumais-Lvowski Dramaturgy by Darryl Pinckney Music by Hal Willner Costumes by Jacques Reynaud Collaboration to movements and spoken text by Lucinda Childs Lighting design by A.J. Weissbard Sound design by Nick Sagar and Ella Wahlström Video design by Tomek Jeziorski
A Change Performing Arts and Baryshnikov Productions project Commissioned by Spoleto Festival dei 2Mondi, BAM, Cal Performances University of California Berkeley, Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA In collaboration with Teatros del Canal Madrid, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo/Monaco Dance Forum Executive producer CRT Milano
A special thanks to the Vaslav and Romola Nijinsky Estate
“Asylum” and “Flooded Room with Chair” courtesy of James Casebere and Sean Kelly Gallery
Sold-out performance? Don’t despair. Standby tickets may become available and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis at the box office just before the start of the show. For updates on availability, call BAM Ticket Services at 718.636.4100 and follow @BAM_Brooklyn on Twitter. Balcony seating is only accessible by 70 stairs.
An actor performs a reading of excerpts from Vaslav Nijinsky’s diaries, chronicling his descent into madness, as performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov in this season’s Letter to a Man.
Explore the Festival
Oct 5Oct 8, 2016
Undulating bodies, navigating shadow and light.
Shen Wei Dance Arts
Celebrated choreographer and painter Shen Wei presents a danced realization of Morton Feldman’s 1977 anti-opera for orchestra and soprano, featuring a 16-line libretto by Samuel Beckett.
Nov 3Nov 6, 2016
Three Shakespeare kings share a war room.
Kings of War
Ivo van Hove, Toneelgroep Amsterdam
Three Bardian power players enter the fluorescent-lit corridors of the present in Ivo van Hove’s clever merging of the plays Henry V, Henry VI Parts I, II & III, and Richard III.
Nov 9Nov 13, 2016
Corporeal encounters with 5,000 strands of nylon.
Aurélien Bory, Kaori Ito, Compagnie 111
French physical theater maverick Aurélien Bory takes Japanese dancer Kaori Ito, entangled in a dense field of 5,000 black nylon wires, as both muse and instrument.
Dec 10Dec 18, 2016
Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker meets 1970s suburbia.
The Hard Nut
E.T.A. Hoffmann, Mark Morris Dance Group, MMDG Music Ensemble,
The Hard Nut Singers, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Colin Fowler, Mark Morris
Mark Morris Dance Group’s beloved reimagining of The Nutcracker—a lavish, gender-bent love letter that playfully preserves the warm spirit of an essential holiday tradition—returns to BAM for the holidays.