BAM Pregame: Kreatur
When I first heard about the BAM Pregame program from an OOA email, I knew I wanted in. BAM is one of my favorite New York City cultural institutions. Every performance and film I’ve seen there has been exciting, innovative, and, not unimportantly, reasonably priced. The Next Wave Festival in particular presents programming that is on the pulse of what is new in theater, dance, music, and film.
While $10 student tickets alone would have been enough of a draw, BAM packed plenty of other benefits into the Pregame. I entered the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House on a rainy Monday evening, and was warmly welcomed with snacks, a free drink, a tote bag, an adorable reusable mug, and lots of information about upcoming shows and events at BAM. I also enjoyed the opportunity to chat with fellow Pregame-attendees before the performance began.
I tend to favor music or theater performances over dance, so Sasha Waltz’s Kreatur was a change of pace for me. The choreography and staging were surprising from the start. The dancers emerged in what the BAM website describes as “weightless aluminum clouds,” body-obscuring tangles of metallic mesh resembling dandelions. Other costumes similarly bent and disguised the body into unfamiliar shapes. The music, composed by Soundwalk Collective, was generally minimalistic, but it was relieved with speech from the dancers and, in one humorous moment, Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg’s “Je t’aime… moi non plus.” As for the choreography, I didn’t quite grasp the “phenomena of existence against the background of a disrupted society” described in the BAMbill. To me, it more resembled watching living cells under a microscope. The dancers joined and separated within their translucent costumes, like microorganisms dividing and consuming each other. I found it a thoroughly engaging, if at times obscure, performance.
Over all, the BAM Pregame experience simply can’t be beat. $10 will get you amazing seats to an incredible performance, plus plenty of BAM swag and great conversation with fellow students. BAM truly made me feel appreciated as a student and young person interested in the arts.
The next BAM Pregame show is Greek, a “bold, brash operatic retelling of the Oedipus tale” on Thu. Dec. 6.