Baryshnikov Art Center Will Continue Programming Online This Fall

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Baryshnikov Art Center It will host another free online season before inviting viewers back to their theaters in the spring. Mikhail Baryshnikov, who founded the institution in 2005, said that the main reason for its virtual stay is the long-planned replacement of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system of the building, which will begin in the fall.

Next season, River L. Ramirez (October 18 – November 1), a comedian and musician; dancer Sooraj Subramaniam (November 1-15); Jordan Demetrius Lloyd, New York City dance artist (November 29-December 13); and dance duo Molly Lieber and Eleanor Smith (January 10-24).

This second round the number of new studies supported by the center during the pandemic. The first was published during his 2021 spring season, and highlights by Stefanie Batten Bland, Mariana Valencia, and Bijayini Satpathy.

“Instead of holding virtual galas, we decided to celebrate the artists and their creativity,” Baryshnikov said of his choice to focus on commissioning. He added that this emphasis is in line with the center’s primary mission, which is to help artists develop and experiment “without commercial pressure.”

Choreographers Kyle Abraham and Liz Gerring will also be presenting new dances at the center this fall. They each performed a duet in response to Merce Cunningham’s “Landrover” (1972). Commissioned by the Center and Merce Cunningham Trust, her contributions will be broadcast in an online program September 20-30 alongside solos and duets performed by Jacquelin Harris and Chalvar Monteiro of Cunningham’s Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.

Two solos filmed by Swedish choreographer Mats Ek (released October 4-14); and “Pigulim,” a filmed dance theater work by Israeli choreographer and former Batsheva Dance Company artist (available December 13-23), Ella Rothschild, completes the announced list.

For Baryshnikov, it was a “pleasant surprise” to find that performing arts could be successfully created, shared and enjoyed in digital forms. “Thousands of people are watching the show online, and we’ve had a lot of responses from all over the world,” he said.

Filming has creative benefits that might otherwise be presented live on stage. “We gave artists the opportunity to be truly responsible for their own presentations,” he said. “This is a new medium – besides being a choreographer, composer, instrumentalist or singer, you must also be a cameraman or director.”

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