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Nov 1—Nov 4, 2017
Performance Art | Dance

BAM and Performa 17 present
Conceived and directed by Xavier Cha


A man and woman deep in conversation, their intimate dialogue glitching and dropping out. The razor-sharp movement of a contemporary dance company, lagging just seconds behind an operatic score. Two sweaty men in the middle of a sexual encounter, bodies freezing in an ecstatic loop.

Buffer is a perception-altering new work by Xavier Cha (Body Drama, Whitney Museum), the 2017 Harkness Foundation Artist in Residence at the BAM Fisher, as part of Performa 17, the citywide festival of performance art. It draws on the astonishing physical and vocal control of actors Babs Olusanmokun and Cassandra Freeman, opera singer Michael Maniaci, dancers, and adult film performers to replicate the experience of digital consumption through strictly analog means. Comprising three scenes that toggle back and forth like browser windows in a state of perpetual buffering, it lays bare the intimate yet alienated relationships we have with the bodies on our screens.

This event contains adult content. It may not be appropriate for ages 17 and under.


Music and sound design by Aaron David Ross

Libretto by Juliana Huxtable
Stage design by Paul Kopkau, Felix Burrichter, and Michael Bullock
Screenplay by Xavier Cha and Robert Moulthorp
Lighting design by Joe Levasseur
Costume design by Avena Gallagher

Produced in association with 47 Canal and Metro Pictures
With support from the AHL Foundation

Approx 50min
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Subscription discount applies to Opera House and Harvey Theater presentations only. BAM Fisher presentations are all $25 and are eligible for a subscription package. 
Xavier Cha is the recipient of The Harkness Dance Residency at the BAM Fisher in 2017.
The Harkness Foundation for Dance
Xavier Cha
The Artist Exploring Our Digital Existence by Véronique Hyland and Rebecca Ramsey —The Cut
With her work, artist Xavier Cha says that she’s striving for “an analog expression of something we’re experiencing in contemporary life.”
Juliana Huxtable: A Transgressive Artist Finds Her Voice —The New York Times
Buffer’s librettist is featured in the New York Times as one of ‘9 Young New Yorkers Poised for Creative Greatness.’
Juliana Huxtable, Buffer
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