Hagoromo

What a week of BAM-tastic choral music, live music and dance! It is a privilege to attend such amazing Next Wave Festival performances. For as many shows as I attend, I miss so much (but until we have clones — heaven forbid — I will never be able to experience as many cultural events as I wish I could.) That said, last night I was at the BAM Harvey Theater to see Wendy Whelan and Jock Soto dance in Hagoromo, a Japanese Noh theater classic. This performance was presented in association with American Opera Projects. I will leave you to look up the legend of Hagoromo — but first I want to rave about this performance. Members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) brought Nathan Davis’s music to life in almost 3D form. Add to that, the gorgeous vocals by tenor, Peter Tansits, and contralto, Katalin Károlyi. Watching Wendy Whalen walk, let alone dance, is truly like watching the angel she portrays in this piece. She is a beautiful, ethereal wraith. Her longtime dance partner, Jock Soto, is completely believable as the earthy fisherman. The puppeteers echoed Wendy’s movements with two puppets cast from her own body. The effect was otherworldly. The costumes by Dries Van Noten were dyed in ombré gradations of indigo blues, peaches, oranges and lilac (or so it appeared under the stage lighting) and cut in perfectly simple Asian silhouettes. Stunning. Eighty minutes passed by in a heartbeat. I hope you were there.

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