This year we've been spending a lot of time at BAM, and we decided to get a package of tickets for the Next Wave Festival. Last week we saw the last of our package, so here's my assessment of the shows.
- Kronos Quartet - There were two main pieces, one of which was a collaboration with Erik Sanko with a huge marionette show, and a collaboration with Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen. The marionette show was great. The other piece the music was great, but it went on too long. Over an hour without any break in the music was a bit much. And there may have been some dozing off. Me and the dark on a weeknight after work tends to be a bad combination. Verdict: I'd go see it again as long as some Finnish collaborators aren't on the bill.
- Hotel Cassiopeia - A play about Joseph Cornell. It looked very pretty, and it seemed like they were staging different Cornell boxes, but it meandered between Cornell's imagination and his life, and it probably would have been a lot easier to follow if I knew more about Cornell beforehand. Which of course meant I dozed off a bit. Verdict: Interesting, but not for the non-art lovers.
- Krum - A play by an Israeli playwright from the 70's, being performed in Polish by a Polish theater company about a man who returns to his friends and family after working abroad for a few years. Who knew a three hour play with no intermission could be so entrancing. I stayed awake for the whole thing! Depressing but masterful. Verdict: Well worth the sore behind.
- The BQE - A film and music composition about the BQE by Sufjan Stevens. I don't know if it would have had the same effects without the film portion of the program, but the music was great at conveying the horrors and joys of the highway. I physically cringed during the traffic jams and breathed a sigh of relief at escaping the city. The second half of the program was the full orchestra performing some of Stevens's songs, and it was even better than the first half. His songs sound so much better with the full orchestra. Verdict: I hope this performance is released on a CD because its well worth a listen.
- Cast No Shadow - A film and dance collaboration. I liked the dance portion, but the film, while beautiful, didn't hold my interest as much as the dance. The last piece incorporated fishing nets hanging from the ceiling into the dance, since the film in that piece was about boats, and the results were fantastic, but that didn't stop me from dozing off. Verdict: I'd see the dance troupe again, but probably skip the filmmaker a second time round.
- One Loss Plus - A composition by DBR with an accompanying video installation. I liked the music, but found that when the video was playing, I tuned out the music into the background, which is unfortunate. But I stayed awake, so it must have done something right. Verdict: I'd give DBR a second chance, but I didn't fall head over heels.
Overall, there were definitely some shows I enjoyed more than others, but it was a great package overall and I look forward to seeing what will be performed next year.
Posted by dahl at November 18, 2007 9:49 PM
Also enjoyed Krum very much. Possibly more than any other theater piece I've seen. A tie with Lauri Anderson at the Walker some years ago doing her piece on 911. Thanks again for adding me to the program (although you and Sam should have sat together and then had your pictures taken in the "intermission". One reviewer thought that was corny but it was the characters looking for real life - which is what they were all doing.