Performance Initiative 

Dance Heginbotham’s The Principles of Uncertainty

The BMCM+AC Performance Initiative will continue on March 16 + 17, 2018, when BMCM+AC and UNC Asheville present the Southeast Premiere of The Principles of Uncertainty, a new evening-length dance theater work by choreographer John Heginbotham and author/illustrator Maira Kalman. Adapted from Kalman’s “New York Times” column turned book of the same name and described by the two artists as an “absurdist travelogue,” Principles of Uncertainty marries the nostalgic whimsy of Kalman’s illustrations with Heginbotham’s controlled yet playful choreography to create an evening that explores the multifaceted human experience. Heginbotham will direct and choreograph the work, while Kalman will oversee all elements of design—sets, props, projections and costumes, bringing her 2D illustrations to life on the stage. Kalman will also be present on stage, alongside the seven members of Dance Heginbotham, an actor and live musicians. Composer Colin Jacobsen—a member of string quartet Brooklyn Rider, chamber ensemble The Knights, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble—serves as Music Director of the project. Members of The Knights will perform live.

Made possible, in part, by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, & support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in partnership with UNC Asheville. The Principles of Uncertainty was co-commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and was created during residencies at BAM Fisher, The Banff Centre, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image credit: (Above) David Dashiell, courtesy of Jacob’s Pillow Dance|(Left) Maira Kalma, Principles of Uncertainty. Penguin, 2009.

Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ Black Mountain Songs

The BMCM+AC Performance Initiative kicked off during ReVIEWING Black Mountain College 9 with the Southeast Premiere of the acclaimed work Black Mountain Songs. Commissioned and produced by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and BAM, and curated by Bryce Dessner (The National) and Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Black Mountain Songs is inspired by Black Mountain College, its prolific community of artists, and their work, and rekindles the College’s utopian spirit. The Chorus performs music written for them by eight composers: Dessner and Parry, as well as Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Aleksandra Vrebalov, John King, Tim Hecker, and Jherek Bischoff. Featuring contributions from filmmaker Matt Wolf (Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell), Black Mountain Songs is an expansive choral and visual work. This exquisite production premiered at BAM in 2014. New Amsterdam Records released an acclaimed recording of the work—Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ first album—earlier this year.

The Black Mountain Songs performances took place at the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville on September 29 + 30.