Cross-arts: Barbican October 2017 highlights
- Transcender returns with its trademark mix of transcendental and hypnotic music from across the globe including shows by Midori Takada, Kayhan Kalhor with Rembrandt Trio, Susheela Raman with guitarist Sam Mills, and a response to the Indian declaration of Independence 70 years ago featuring Actress and Jack Barnett with Indian music producer Sandunes.
- Acclaimed American pianist Jeremy Denk starts his Milton Court Artist-in-Residence with a recital of Mozart’s late piano music and a three-part day of music celebrating the infinite variety of the variation form.
- Other concerts include Academy of Ancient Music performing Purcell’s King Arthur, Kid Creole & The Coconuts and Arto Lindsay, Wolfgang Voigt’s ambient project GAS, Gilberto Gil with Cortejo Afro and a screening of Shiraz: A Romance of India with live musical accompaniment by Anoushka Shankar.
- The Barbican presents Basquiat: Boom for Real, the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988). The exhibition brings together an outstanding selection of more than 100 works, many never seen before in the UK. The Grime and the Glamour: NYC 1976-90, a major season at Barbican Cinema, complements the exhibition and Too Young for What? - a day celebrating the spirit, energy and creativity of Basquiat - showcases a range of new work by young people from across east London and beyond.
- Barbican Art Gallery also presents Purple, a new immersive, six-channel video installation by British artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah for the Curve charting incremental shifts in climate change across the planet. Barbican Cinema screens a series of films which have influenced John Akomfrah ’s work .
- Cinema Matters continues with a look at film’s ability to bring people together featuring the UK premiere screening of the 4K restoration of Gillo Pontecorvo ’s The Battle of Algiers.
- Ninagawa Company ’s Macbeth introduced UK audiences to the work of Yukio Ninagawa 30 years ago and this epoch-making production is reprised in the Barbican Theatre to celebrate the work of the late Japanese director.
- As part of Dance Umbrella, London’s international dance festival, Spanish dancer Rocío Molina performs Fallen from Heaven (Caída del Cielo), borrowing from feminine, masculine and animalistic codes to devise a personal performance about womanhood. Barbican Cinema presents three feature-length dance documentaries as part of Dance Umbrella, screenings include Paris Opera Ballet documentary In the Steps of Trisha Brown , the touching Before We Go and, in honour of festival artist Rocio Molina, Flamenco, Flamenco.
- Barbican Artistic Associate Michael Clark Company returns with an extended version of Clark’s latest show. Having premiered at the Barbican in 2016, the Olivier Award-nominated to a simple, rock ‘n’ roll . . . song. comprises a triple bill of arresting choreography with music by Erik Satie , Patti Smith and David Bowie.
- The Barbican’s foyer programme continues with four installations including Interlock: Friends Pictured Within, devised by Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning with musician Anna Meredith and artist Jonathan Munro; Less than Thirteen, a new digital work from award-winning artistic duo Cleary Connolly ;HÍBRIDOS, The Spirits of Brazil by Vincent Moon and Priscilla Telmon , a poetic filmic tapestry of constantly evolving ritualistic forms and theatrical sacred rites; and The People’s Forest: The Fairlop Oak by Gayle Chong Kwan, a monolithic geometric sculpture drawing upon investigations into the history, politics, and people of Epping Forest.
Ninagawa Company – Macbeth
By William Shakespeare
Thu 5–Sun 8 Oct 2017, Barbican Theatre
Press performance: Thu 5 Oct 2017, 7.15pm
Ninagawa Company ’s Macbeth introduced UK audiences to the work of Yukio Ninagawa 30 years ago and this epoch-making production is now reprised at the Barbican to celebrate the work of the late Japanese director.
Faithful to the text’s depiction of honour and revenge, yet rich in symbolism, this staging of Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy blurs the divide between the sacred and secular. Masachika Ichimura and Yuko Tanaka, stars in Japan of stage and screen respectively, lead the cast in this revival which transposes the action to a 16th-century samurai world in war-torn Japan.
Macbeth is performed in Japanese with English surtitles.
Following its London run, Macbeth plays at the Theatre Royal Plymouth (Friday 13-Saturday 14 October).
Rocío Molina – Fallen from Heaven
Thu 12–Sat 14 Oct 2017, Barbican Theatre
Press performance: Thu 12 Oct 2017, 7.45pm
Spanish dancer Rocío Molina strips flamenco down to its purest form: a passionate and exhilarating expression of freedom.
For her newest piece, part of this year’s Dance Umbrella, she borrows from feminine, masculine and even animalistic codes to devise a personal performance about womanhood. As she adopts different guises and inventive costumes, provocative and playful images emerge. At times alone, at others collaborating with four phenomenal onstage musicians, Fallen from Heaven (Caída del Cielo) is a physically demanding progression from shadow to light, silence to sound, order to chaos - a fall with no return.
Molina’s last visit to the Barbican, with Bosque Ardora, proved a hit of Dance Umbrella 2014, earning her an Olivier Award nomination.
This year Barbican Cinema joins forces with Dance Umbrella to present three feature-length dance documentaries. Screenings include Paris Opera Ballet documentary In the Steps of Trisha Brown , the touching Before We Go and, in honour Rocio Molina, Flamenco, Flamenco.
Michael Clark Company – to a simple, rock ‘n’ roll . . . song
Wed 18–Sat 28 Oct 2017, Barbican Theatre
Press performance: Fri 20 Oct 2017, 8pm
Michael Clark is back with an extended version of his latest show. Enjoying its premiere here in 2016, the Olivier Award-nominated to a simple, rock ‘n’ roll . . . song. comprises a triple bill of arresting choreography by Barbican Artistic Associate Clark.
At first, a reflection on Erik Satie and his influence on Clark’s mentors past and present – the dance meticulous and coolly refined. Next, commanding choreography pulsating with a propulsive force to the punk rock of Patti Smith ’s landmark album, Horses. Then, an iridescent tribute to David Bowie that is intricate and sublime, the mood moving from elegiac to joyously rebellious.
Performances by a company of fearless and otherworldly dancers are complemented by Charles Atlas’s scintillating lighting design, which features a stage adaptation of his multi-channel video installation Painting by Numbers.
The Grime and the Glamour: NYC 1976-90
Fri 29 Sep–Thu 5 Oct 2017
In a major season at Barbican Cinema audiences get a taste of the blisteringly creative streets of late 1970s and 1980s New York , with a season of films that take us back to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s home town . Screenings include hip-hop classic Wild Style , and Jim Jarmusch ’s first feature, Permanent Vacation, Susana Seidelman’s cult rom-com Desperately Seeking Susan, and Chantal Akerman’s poignant time capsule of NYC in 1976, News From Home .
Cinema Matters Part 5 – Collective Visions
Sun 10 Sep-Thu 26 Oct 2017
In the on-going Cinema Matters series at Barbican, Part 5 looks at film’s ability to bring people together , forming collective identities, and how cinema inspires ideologies, revolutionary ideas and dissident voices. The series includes a UK premiere screening of the 4K restoration of Gillo Pontecorvo ’s The Battle of Algiersand Barbara Kopple ’s Harlan County, USA .
Silent Film and Live Music: The End of St Petersburg
Sun 3 Sep–Sun 1 Oct 2017
The End of St Petersburg by Vsevolod Pudovkin with live musical accompaniment by HarmonieBand.
Basquiat: Boom for Real
Thu 21 Sep 2017–Sun 28 Jan 2018, Barbican Art Gallery
Media View: Wed 20 Sept, 10am –1pm
Basquiat: Boom for Real is the first large-scale exhibition in the UK of the work of American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960—1988). One of the most significant painters of the 20th century, Basquiat came of age in the post-punk underground art scene in Lower Manhattan in the late 1970s. By 1982, he had gained international recognition and was the youngest ever artist to participate in Documenta in Kassel. Basquiat’s vibrant, raw imagery springs from an impressive erudition, seen in the fragments of bold capitalised text that abound in his works — offering insights into both his encyclopaedic interests and his experience as a young artist with no formal training. Since his tragic death in 1988, Basquiat has had remarkably little exposure in the UK where there is not a single work in a public collection.
More than any other exhibition to date, Basquiat: Boom for Real focuses on the artist’s relationship to music, text, film and television, placing it within the wider cultural context of the time. Paintings, drawings and notebooks are presented alongside rare film, photography, music and ephemera in a design that aims to capture the dynamism of Basquiat’s practice. These exhibits are brought together for the first time in 35 years, allowing visitors to understand how Basquiat so quickly won the admiration of his fellow artists and critics.
To accompany the exhibition, the Barbican Cinema will run The Grime and the Glamour: NYC 1976-90 alongside the show.
Too Young for What?
A creative celebration of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Sat 7 Oct 2017
In celebration of major exhibition Basquiat: Boom for Real, the Barbican stages an innovative programme of free events, installations and special performances on Saturday 7 October. Providing opportunities to develop and showcase young people’s creativity Too Young for What? celebrates the spirit, energy and creativity of Basquiat and showcases a range of new work with and by young people from across east London and beyond. Too Young for What? also explores what Basquiat and his practice means to young and emerging artists today through a range of art forms including music, performance, street art and poetry. Programme highlights include Basquiat inspired work from Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning’s community of young creatives, including the Barbican Young Poets, Young Programmers and Young Visual Arts Group . The day culminates with a ticketed concert in the Barbican Hall that evening, featuring vibrant, party-starting music by Kid Creole and The Coconuts and Arto Lindsay.
John Akomfrah: Purple
Fri 6 Oct 2017–Tue 7 Jan 2018, The Curve, Barbican Centre
Media view: Thursday 5 October, 10am–1pm
Barbican Art Gallery presents a new commission by British artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah for the Curve. His most ambitious project to date, Purple is an immersive, six-channel video installation which charts the incremental shifts in climate change across the planet and its effects on human communities, biodiversity and the wilderness. As the follow up to Vertigo Sea (2015), Akomfrah’s standout work at the 56th Venice Biennale, Purple forms the second chapter in a planned quartet of films addressing the aesthetics and politics of matter. Symphonic in scale and divided into six interwoven movements, Akomfrah has combined hundreds of hours of archival footage with newly shot film and a hypnotic sound score to produce the video installation. Akomfrah’s Purple brings a multitude of ideas into conversation including mammalian extinctions, the memory of ice, the plastic ocean and global warming.
To coincide with Purple , John Akomfrah selects a series of films which have influenced his work and life over the years, including Far From Vietnam, Salvatore Giuliano , Memories of Underdevelopment, and in a digital restoration by Martin Scorcese’s Film Foundation The Night of Counting the Years (aka The Mummy).
Purcell’s King Arthur
Academy of Ancient Music
Tue 3 Oct 2017, Barbican Hall, 7pm
AAM Music Director Richard Egarr returns to the Barbican stage for the second of a three-year Purcell opera cycle co-presented with the Barbican, following the success of The Fairy Queen in October 2016. As with the first opera in the cycle, this semi-staging of Purcell’s Restoration semi-opera King Arthur, with a libretto by John Dryden, is directed by celebrated young director Daisy Evans, who brings her powerful imagination to the story of Arthur’s quest to recover Cornish princess Emmeline from his arch-enemy the Saxon King. With the insertion of new poetic text and some careful restructuring, Evans’ production highlights the ongoing relevance of the Arthurian legend – a legend which ultimately revolves around questions of British identity. Soloists include Louise Alder, Mhairi Lawson, Reginald Mobley and Peter Harvey and featuring the Choir of the AAM.
Kid Creole & The Coconuts / Arto Lindsay
+ Justin Strauss
Sat 7 Oct 2017, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
The Barbican hosts an evening of music drawn from the life and times of American artist Basquiat featuring Kid Creole & the Coconuts and Arto Lindsay. Both musicians inhabited the same cultural sphere as Basquiat in the New York City of the 70s and 80s.
Kid Creole a.k.a. Bronx-born and raised August Darnell and his big band, the Coconuts, returns to the Barbican for the first time since 2010 with a selection of hits from the back catalogue. No Wave legend, New York icon Arto Lindsay also returns to the Barbican to present a new chapter of his genre-defying music career: the new album Cuidado Madame, mixing pop, noise and Brazilian reminiscences. DJ Justin Strauss joins the evening’s line-up. A former resident at NYC’s infamous Mudd Club, Strauss soundtracked nights when Basquiat, Kid Creole and Arto Lindsay took to the dancefloor.
Produced by the Barbican in association with Como No
+ Huerco S Live
Sun 8 Oct 2017, Barbican Hall, 8pm
German artist, music producer, label manager and co-founder of Kompakt Wolfgang Voigt returns to the Barbican in October, following his two sold-out shows in 2009. This autumn he brings the latest live iteration of his iconic ambient project GAS, featuring new audio-visual creations and material from his full-length release NARKOPOP . The opening set will be performed by Brooklyn-based Huerco S aka Brian Leeds, presenting material from his 2016 album For Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have).
Produced by the Barbican in association with The Hydra
Jeremy Denk: Milton Court Artist-in-Residence
Jeremy Denk/Mozart: the Late Sonatas
Thu 12 Oct 2017, Milton Court Concert Hall, 7.30pm
Jeremy Denk: Infinite Variations
Sun 15 Oct 2017, Milton Court Concert Hall, 11am, 3pm, 7pm
Acclaimed American pianist Jeremy Denk is the second Milton Court Artist-in-Residence, following Richard Tognetti’s successful series of concerts during the 2016-17 Barbican Presents season. Denk’s series of concerts begins on 12 October with a recital of Mozart’s late piano music and continues on 15 October with Infinite Variations, a three-part day of music celebrating the infinite variety of the variation form; the day is structured in three parts and the last concert of the day sees him sharing the stage with Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman in a performance of Variations on Heartbreak . . . and Hope. The evening will include an eclectic range of variation-based works – Monteverdi, Brahms, Verdi (filtered through Nina Simone) and John Adams (a European premiere) – and will culminate in Beethoven’s final piano sonata, a journey from tragedy to transcendence.
Denk is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, the Avery Fisher Prize and Musical America’s Instrumentalist of the Year Award, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.
Denk will return to the Barbican 2018, performing with the Britten Sinfonia and concludes the residency with a final recital in early March 2018 with a programme including Schumann, Beethoven and Prokofiev’s Visions fugitives. The residency will be supported throughout by masterclasses and workshops with musicians from the Guildhall School.
Gilberto Gil + Cortejo Afro
with Nucleo de Opera da Bahia and Orquestra Nova Lisboa
Tues 31 Oct 2017, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
Brazil’s iconic singer-songwriter Gilberto Gil returns with a brand new show complemented by the rhythms and vocal power of the visually stunning Bahian group Cortejo Afro, the Nucleo de Opera de Bahia and chamber ensemble Orquestra Nova Lisboa – with specially commissioned arrangements from musical director Aldo Brizzi – to create an exuberant and life-affirming celebration. Presenting a mix of African rhythms, electronic beats and pop, Cortejo Afro create a sound they refer to as “afro-baiana musical revolution”.
Produced by the Barbican in association with Serious
Shiraz: A Romance of India (1928)
Featuring a newly commissioned score composed and performed by Anoushka Shankar
World premiere live screening of the BFI National Archive’s latest restoration
Sat 14 Oct 2017, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm
The BFI National Archive ’s restoration of the Indian/British/German co-production Shiraz will receive its film premiere as the Archive Gala at the 61st BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express. The screening will be accompanied by a live performance of a specially commissioned score by the Indian composer and sitar player Anoushka Shankar.
Silent film Shiraz tells the love story of the 17th century princess who inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal. Later in the year the film, which has rarely been seen in India since 1928, will be screened in Agra with the Taj Mahal forming a backdrop to the event and at festivals and cinemas across India as a powerful symbol of the partnership between India and the UK as part of BFI’s India on Film programme and The UK India Year of Culture.
A BFI London Film Festival Archive Gala presented by the Barbican
Other October highlights include the first ever Darbar Festival show to take place at the Barbican, featuring celebrated Indian classical music singer Kaushiki Chakraborty (Sun 8 Oct, Milton Court), and a concert by the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig: Beethoven and Bruckner led by Herbert Blomstedt, returning to the Barbican in the year of their 275th anniversary (Sun 22 Oct, Barbican Hall). As part of the ECHO Rising Stars concert series, string quartet Quatuor van Kuijk, will perform music by Ravel and Janá č ek as well a new, specially commissioned work by French composer Edith Canat de Chizy (Fri 27 Oct, LSO St Luke ’ s) . B ringing Transcender 2017 to a close this year will be a performance of newly-commissioned global projectDifferent Trains 1947 (Sun 1 Oct, Barbican Hall), an audio-visual collaborative response to the declaration of Indian Independence 70 years ago, featuring British musicians Actress and Jack Barnett (from These New Puritans) and Indian music producer Sandunes.
Additional contemporary music highlights include : the one-night-only Spacebomb Revue (Fri 6 Oct 2017, Barbican Hall), hosted by Matthew E White with arranger Trey Pollard that will bring together some of the finest artists and collaborators to have worked in the Spacebomb studios; a new score to Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 film Koyaanisqatsi performed by Manchester trio GoGo Penguin (Wed 11 Oct 2017, Barbican Hall); two UK premieres of immersive live performances by European electronic artists Dasha Rush & LCC ( Wed 18 Oct, Milton Court); producer and composer Matthew Herbert’s response to Brexit, The Matthew Herbert Brexit Big Band (23 Oct 2017, Barbican Hall), which features singers, a choir and guest musicians from the UK and Europe; Moondog for Gamelan (Sat 28 Oct, LSO St Luke’s), a concert in homage to the work of composer Louis Thomas Hardin performed by Iwan Gunawan and Stefan Lakatos alongside Gunawan’s ensemble Kyai Fatahillah; and a performance by internationally - celebrated artist and award - winning singer and composer Camille, (30 Oct 2017, Barbican Hall) who returns to the Barbican to present material from her latest release OUÏ.
Two Barbican foyer commissions also form part of This is Rattle. The Barbican and LSO have jointly commissioned a new digital work from award-winning artistic duo Cleary Connolly. Less than Thirteen (Thu 14 Sep 2017 to Sun 7 Jan 2018) is a large-scale projected artwork, situated in the heart of the Barbican’s foyers, which interprets the movement of Sir Simon Rattle conducting. The silent, abstract videos reduce the human form to a series of animated dots based on motion capture of Sir Simon’s conducting of Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The work explores the inherent musicality of movement, investigating how the conductor’s movement, although silent, can conjure up an aural response from the orchestra. Interlock: Friends Pictured Within (Thu 14 Sep 2017 to Sun 7 Jan 2018) is a new interactive multimedia installation from musician Anna Meredith and artist Jonathan Munro devised by Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning together with over 100 community participants from east London. It also explores Elgar’s Enigma Variations, a piece Elgar wrote to characterise his closest friends, representing aspects of their personalities and memorable episodes in their relationships. The participants composed their own variations based on each other’s personalities; which are expressed in different art forms such as music, dance, illustration, poetry, visual art and animation. Each of these pieces interlock when placed into the interactive installation, bringing together the individual artworks. Visitors to the Barbican Centre will be able to trigger the different audio visual artworks using floor sensors, creating their own composition. Both installations form part of the Barbican’s foyers programme which extends its programme beyond the walls of its venues and into its public spaces, giving visitors opportunities to experience outstanding art for free.
HÍBRIDOS, The Spirits of Brazil
Fri 29 Sep – Fri15 Dec 2017
Opening to accompany the 2017 Transcender series, the Barbican foyers will host a site-specific film installation by independent French filmmakers Vincent Moon and Priscilla Telmon. The installation Híbridos, The Spirits of Brazil is a poetic filmic tapestry of constantly evolving ritualistic forms and theatrical sacred rites that lasts 24 hours in total. The large-scale projection brings together numerous short films which explore present day spiritual groups in Brazil, mixing tradition and modernity.
Over the past three years, Priscilla and Vincent have collected audio-visual recordings from over sixty different ceremonies across Brazil, from the indigenous ancestral rituals of Acre, the Afro-Brazilian religion of Candomblé in Bahia, the new forms of Umbanda ceremonies in Minas Gerais, to one of the biggest Catholic gatherings in the world in Belém do Pará.
This Barbican foyer installation can be experienced whenever the Centre is open and is the latest event in the ongoing multiform project HÍBRIDOS, which also includes a feature length film, a large online archive, 75 digital albums of recordings of ceremonies, live cinema experiences, and more.
Projections by Christie
The People’s Forest: The Fairlop Oak
Fri 13 Oct 2017 – Sun 18 Mar 2018
Epping Forest is the inspiration for The People’s Forest, artist Gayle Chong Kwan’s most ambitious project to date, the result of her two-year investigation into the history, politics, and people of London’s ancient woodland. In installations, photography, sculpture, drawing, audio, and photographic work, Chong Kwan explores the forest as a site of shared and contested resources, conflict between capital and common, private and public, and as a liminal space between rural and urban.
At the centre of the project is The Fairlop Oak, Chong Kwan’s monolithic geometric sculpture of the famed pollarded tree that was once in Epping Forest and the site of a famous eighteenth century fair. The sculpture was presented at Walthamstow Garden Party festival in July 2017, where people were invited to add their own miniature sculptures attached to a branch and inserted into the trunk of the tree. The Fairlop Oak will grow to eleven metres for its installation in the Barbican, rising up from the mezzanine level through the lightwell and out into the ground floor.
The Fairlop Oak is part of t he Barbican’s 2018 season The Art of Change, which explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.
Sagar Shah, Communications Officer: 0207 382 7321, email@example.com