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Digital programme: Pam Tanowitz and David Lang's Song of Songs

Seven dancers stand arm-in-arm looking off-stage. They are wearing muted colours.

Find out more about the production and the creative team behind it in this digital programme.


Thank you for joining us at the Barbican Theatre. We are delighted to share with you the work of one of the world’s most sought-after choreographers. Following the phenomenal success of Four Quartets, performed here at the Barbican in 2019, Pam Tanowitz has spent the last few years working with prestigious venues and companies from across the United States and beyond. She now returns to our stage with her own company, who embody Pam’s iconic style of contemporary dance alongside the six onstage musicians.

Taking inspiration from the Biblical love poem Song of Songs, Pam has collaborated with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang to explore their Jewish heritage in this new work. Together they create a captivating dialogue between movement and music, reflecting on the language and rituals that we cherish and yearn for today, for connection and for community. 

While audiences of the Barbican's music programme may already be familiar with David's previous concert works, we are very pleased to welcome him to the Theatre for the first time, and to be working once again with our co-commissioning partner, the Fisher Center at Bard.

Toni Racklin,
Barbican Head of Theatre & Dance


Four years ago the Fisher Center at Bard partnered with the Barbican to bring Pam Tanowitz to London for the first time, with her mighty dance setting of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. Shortly after the 2018 premiere of Four Quartets at the Fisher Center, Pam lost her father, Herb Tanowitz. His death led her to consider her Jewish identity in new ways, and Pam began to study forms of Jewish dance – from traditional folk dances to the work of Israeli and Jewish-American choreographers – as a way of honouring his memory. This research led to the 2022 creation of Song of Songs, inspired by the poem from the Bible, the basis of many world traditions of love poetry.

Pam invited the composer David Lang to collaborate on this new work. David created a score that begins with an analysis of images and attributes in the biblical text – lists of metaphors, comparisons, and attributes. When he set them to music, these words become transcendent. The variations in his score develop into a source of divine mystery and human yearning – powerful currents that run through the original Song. Pam likewise used the themes and motifs of the biblical poem, together with her research into forms of Jewish dance, as inspiration for a new and contemporary work – a study of community and belonging, and a meditation on the nature of dance itself.

Now in its 20th year, the Fisher Center is a production house which supports the development of major new performances across disciplines, in a landmark Frank Gehry building in New York’s Hudson Valley. (We also originated Daniel Fish’s production of Oklahoma! which recently concluded its West End run.) Since 2018 the Fisher Center has been Pam Tanowitz’s artistic home. We’re thrilled to be partnering with our friends at the Barbican again, and wish you a wonderful evening in the theatre.

Best wishes,

Gideon Lester
Artistic Director and Chief Executive
Fisher Center at Bard


Dancers, Musicians and Creative team


Kara Chan

Christine Flores
Zachary Gonder
Brian Lawson
Victor Lozano
Maile Okamura
Melissa Toogood

Maggie Cloud (Understudy)



Soprano Sarah Brailey
Cello Emily Brausa
Viola Caleb Burhans
Soprano Martha Cluver
Alto Katie Geissinger

Percussion Yuri Yamashita


Creative team

Choreographer Pam Tanowitz
Music David Lang
Production designers Harriet Jung, Pam Tanowitz, Clifton Taylor, Reid Bartelme
Sound designer Garth MacAleavey
Dramaturg Mary Gossy
Rehearsal director Melissa Toogood
Music supervisor Caleb Burhans
Production manager and technical director Mark Quiles
Stage manager Betsy Ayer
Tour manager Madeleine Reilly
Producer Jason Collins 

Images by Maria Baranova

Fisher Center at Bard

Fisher Center at Bard develops, produces and presents performing arts across disciplines through new productions and context-rich programs that challenge and inspire. The Center’s relationship with Tanowitz began with the presentation of three works for Bard SummerScape Festival 2015 and continued with the 2018 commission, premiere, and touring of Four Quartets. Following the success of Four Quartets, Tanowitz became the Center’s first choreographer-in-residence. This three-year fellowship supported by Jay Franke and David Herro included four film commissions, comprehensive administrative and touring support, creation residencies and rehearsal space, professional development, and three large-scale proscenium commissions- the last of which is Song of Songs. With the success of Tanowitz’s fellowship, and connected to a 20-year record of developing ambitious productions, the Fisher Center is making its unique brand of long-term, personalised, and holistic support of artists the guiding force of its organisational development into the future. This commitment to American artists like Tanowitz is central to the Center’s mission as a premier professional performing arts centre and a hub for research and education that develops, produces, and presents productions and context-rich offerings that challenge and inspire. It is a priority to nurture artists at all stages of their careers. As such, the Fisher Center serves as Tanowitz’s ongoing artistic home.

The Fisher Center at Bard is Pam Tanowitz’s artistic home. Song of Songs is a co-commission of the Fisher Center, Barbican London, UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with the support of Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Commissioning funds for Song of Songs were provided by Jay Franke and David Herro, with additional support received from the O’Donnell Green Music and Dance Foundation, Judith R. and Alan H. Fishman, Amy and Ronald Guttman, Lizbeth and George Krupp, Virginia and Timothy Millhiser, and King’s Fountain. The Fisher Center on behalf of Pam Tanowitz Dance received a 2020 NDP Finalist Grant Award for Song of Songs, made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to address sustainability needs during COVID-19. Co-commissioning support for the music of Song of Songs was provided by Flagey (Brussels), The Los Angeles Opera, Company of Music (Vienna), and The Crossing (Philadelphia).


Special thanks to Caleb Hammons, Aaron Mattocks, James Egelhofer, Michael McCurdy, Jude Vaclavik, Blake Zidell and Associates, Melissa Hughes, Mariel Roberts, Linda Murray and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts/Jerome Robbins Dance Division, Jeremy Jacob, Rashaun Mitchell, and the Jonathan and Jennifer Allan Soros Foundation. Scenery by Upstate Scenic/Andy Smith.

Music © Red Poppy / Universal Music Corp. (ASCAP), by arrangement with G. Ricordi & Co. (London) Ltd.

A dancer performs with their arms bowed above their heads and one leg raised in the air. Behind them a person dressed all in yellow sits on a blue bench watching.

Love Song: Song of Songs

You and your loving are all over the Song of Songs [1], whose title, if read as a superlative (as in ‘King of Kings,’ for example) could mean ‘the best song there is.’ It is a song like many of the pop songs that reverberate through the decades, the love songs of first loves that make for thrills when they roll out of oldies radio (the youngest the Song is likely to be is about 2,200 years old; some say it’s centuries older).[2]

Your lovemaking, your love, the way you love me, you do something to me, you really got me; love is love not fade away; love, look at the two of us; love me do; nobody does it better. This is a catalogue of modern language to rival any infinite playlist. Oh, oh, those summer nights. Or in the bright light of day, I think we’re alone now, so happy together: Hello! It’s the same old song. I want you, do you want me? You want me? I want you! Let’s stay together, loving you wherever, whether times are good or bad, baby, happy or sad; I’ve lost you, my love. Help me find you! Find me! Yearning and desiring, finding, losing, searching, finding again, falling together at last, body and soul into loving, then wanting more and more and then some; yes, that’s how the Song of Songs goes.

It might seem unusual that a love song laden with bodily eros could be a book of sacred scripture, approved by Jewish and later by Christian authorities and entered into the shortlist of texts that make up bibles.[3] [4] But it is a fact that religions read metaphors in the Song’s flesh, full flagons and flowers. ‘Kiss me with the kisses of your mouth, for your love is sweeter than wine.’ These first words of the Song, taken literally, leave little to the imagination, but over the centuries they have given rise to thousands and thousands of pages of scriptural commentary and argument. Secular literary scholars have gotten into the mix, as have historians of ideas, searching for love in the societies and cultures touched by the Song. How has the Song influenced Jewish mysticism? Is it one of the roots of Sufism? Is it behind medieval Provençal love poetry, and thus a source of courtly love, which is still manifesting in romantic comedies and the endless scores of popular love songs unfurling from all of our devices like player-piano scrolls, into our ears, through the ether?

Help me, I think I’m falling in love again. The Song creates vertiginous reactions indeed. Interpretation with wishes for dogmatic certainty may be almost unavoidable, and belief may settle on a single meaning of this text. A historical point of view can see that the Song started as oral literature, but what we have of it today is written down. We have the Song of Songs because it is text. Text is something woven, like paper or cloth – text’s etymological sibling is ‘textile.’ Human hands were involved in its becoming legible. What is woven here are words. An implication of the Song could be that written words are holy, that there are ways that they can be woven that make them holier because they become more meaningful in many ways, together, simultaneously.

Let’s dance. The holiness comes out of putting one word into motion with another, setting their touch and release in flexible order in the hope that, reaching out, reception might lead to an uncomprehending but felt understanding, with the thud that marks, internally, the knowledge that I have fallen in love with… you, wonderful you. Hearing a song (in one’s head or outside it), writing it down, singing it and then dancing are bodily acts addressing another body: ‘My beloved is mine and I am my beloved’s’ (Song of Songs, 2:16). A crowd of friends is watching. They witness the pairing. The pairing takes place in a community it helps to create, and which holds the two together, giving them the space both public and private that all new lovers need.

The Song of Songs calls forth ‘my love’ (a person) again and again; it names ‘lover,’ ‘beloved,’ ‘friends,’ and tells of ‘lovemaking’ and ‘loving,’ but if it mentions the deity, it does so with the utmost indirection.[5] Only infrequently does it say ‘love,’ the abstract noun we mean when we say, for example, I wanna know what love is or ask What’s love got to do with it? A heart-stopping definition comes, finally, almost at the end of the Song: ‘love is strong as death’; ‘love is as fierce as death’ (Song of Songs, 8:6).[6]

When the inevitable end comes, that word ‘love,’ what it means and does, is still there, holding open its embrace: relentless, ferocious, singing.

© Mary Gossy, Dramaturg



[1] The Song of Songs, translated and with an introduction and commentary by Chana Bloch and Ariel Bloch; foreword by Stephen Mitchell, afterword by Robert Alter (Modern Library/Random House, 1995; U. of California Press, 1998) is a good introduction to the work. It offers a facing Hebrew-English translation. Its ample notes on its own and other translations and commentary provide help to readers and nonreaders of Hebrew and steer a calm and middle course through scholarly and other interpretive literature on the Song.

[2] Bloch and Bloch, 22-25.

[3] Bloch and Bloch, 27-29.

[4] For a clear and concise statement of the Song of Song’s’ history and liturgical usage in Judaism, see Samuel Barth, (April 18, 2014), Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, New York.

[5] See Chana and Ariel Blochs’ note on 8:6, 213. See also Barth, note 4

[6] ‘Strong’ and ‘fierce’ present at once in the Hebrew word, such that the Blochs translate it “strong/fierce.”

8:6, 213.

Discover more

One dancer lies on the floor with their leg and toes pointing upwards while another jumps in the air behind them.

Read: Guardian interview with Pam Tanowitz

Despite her work being described as the greatest dance theatre of the century, Tanowitz can still be found ‘backstage, throwing up’ before shows. Will her new production, based on a Hebrew love poem, help her finally embrace success?


Kara Chan 
Kara Chan is a New York City-based freelance dancer and dance educator, originally from Vancouver, Canada. She has danced lead roles with Twyla Tharp Dance, for which she also assisted in staging Deuce Coupe and Ghostcatcher on American Ballet Theatre. Most recently, she appeared in Justin Peck’s world premiere of Illinois, a dance-music-theatre piece based on Sufjan Steven’s album, which premiered at the Fisher Center in June 2023. Other performance work includes Artemis in Athens with Lar Lubovitch Dance Company; The Hard Nut with Mark Morris Dance Group; Janis Brenner & Dancers; Dance Heginbotham; Gleich Dances; Merce Cunningham Trust; and Barkin/Selissen Project,  among many others. A BFA graduate from The Juilliard School, Kara Chan was named one of Dance Magazine’s ‘25 to Watch’ for 2020.

Maggie Cloud
Maggie Cloud is a New York City-based performer and acupuncturist. She has been seen in the choreographic work of Moriah Evans, Beth Gill, John Jasperse, Neal Medlyn, Sarah Michelson, Pam Tanowitz, Gillian Walsh, the Merce Cunningham Trust and The Metropolitan Opera. She has taught at Chen Dance Center, Brooklyn Arts Exchange and at the University of the Arts.

Christine Flores 
Christine Flores is originally from Toronto, Ontario and has been working with Pam Tanowitz since 2016. She graduated from New World School of the Arts (Miami) in 2015 with a BFA in Dance and received additional training at Springboard Danse Montreal, the Contemporary Program at Jacob’s Pillow, and Cunningham Fellowship workshops. Named one of Dance Magazine’s ‘25 to Watch’ for 2021, Christine Flores is currently based out of New York City and has performed with Company XIV, Dance Heginbotham, Keigwin + Company, Danielle Russo Performance Project, NVA & Guests and Shinsa Collective.

Zachary Gonder
Zachary Gonder was born north of Chicago and trained at the Chicago Academy for the Arts, under the tutelage of Randy Duncan. He graduated from The Juilliard School in 2018 where he performed works by Austin McCormick, Aszure Barton, Pam Tanowitz, Richard Alston, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and Crystal Pite. He lives in Brooklyn, where he is a performer with Pam Tanowitz Dance. He was also a swing in Justin Peck’s new show, Illinois. Other performance work includes PARA.MAR Dance, Brian Brooks Moving Company, the Mark Morris Dance Group, Zvi Gotheiner Dance, Studio 189 and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Brian Lawson
Brian Lawson is a dance performer and educator who began dancing in Toronto, Canada. He achieved his BFA in Dance at State University of New York Purchase College, and while studying performed with Douglas Dunn and Dancers and the Mark Morris Dance Group. He graduated summa cum laude in 2010 and went on to work with Pam Tanowitz Dance and Dance Heginbotham before joining the Mark Morris Dance Group from 2011 to 2018. Brian Lawson left MMDG to begin an MFA from the University of Washington, graduating in 2020. He has given masterclasses at Purchase College, NYU Tisch and the American Dance Festival, and is currently a visiting assistant professor at Skidmore College. He continues to perform with MMDG and is very glad to be rejoining Pam Tanowitz Dance.

Victor Lozano
Victor Lozano is originally from Houston, Texas and has been a member of Pam Tanowitz Dance since 2016. He holds an MA in performance studies from New York University and a BFA in dance from The Juilliard School.

Maile Okamura
Maile Okamura studied ballet with Lynda Yourth in San Diego, California, and at San Francisco Ballet School. She danced with Boston Ballet II, Ballet Arizona, and for 25 years with Mark Morris Dance Group. Maile Okamura has been dancing with Pam Tanowitz Dance since 2016. She also designs/constructs costumes for dance, music and opera, and is an ongoing creative collaborator with choreographer John Heginbotham.

Melissa Toogood
Dancer/Rehearsal Director
Melissa Toogood is a Bessie Award-winning performer who began dancing with Pam Tanowitz 17 years ago. She has assisted on numerous creations including works for the Australian Ballet, Ballet Austin, Martha Graham Dance Company, Juilliard, Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, Vail Dance Festival, and others. Melissa Toogood was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company and is an official Stager for the Merce Cunningham Trust. She has taught Cunningham Technique internationally since 2007, and is a 2013 and 2015 Merce Cunningham Fellow. She has performed with Kyle Abraham / Abraham.In.Motion, Kimberly Bartosik, Wally Cardona, Rosie Herrera Dance Theater, Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, Miro Dance Theater, Stephen Petronio Company, Sally Silvers, Christopher Williams, Michael Uthoff Dance Theater, The Bang Group: Tap Lab, and more. Her own work has been commissioned by the Boston Ballet, New York Theater Ballet, Vail Dance Festival, and presented by The Space Dance & Arts Center, Melbourne, Australia. She has been in residence at Dance Initiative, Carbondale, CO and on faculty at Bard College, Barnard College, and New York Theater Ballet School. Melissa Toogood earned a BFA in Dance Performance from New World School of the Arts (Miami), and is based between New York City and Sydney.

Sarah Brailey
GRAMMY Award-winning soprano Sarah Brailey enjoys a versatile career. Praised by The New York Times for her ‘radiant, liquid tone,’ and by Opera UK for ‘a sound of remarkable purity,’ she is a prolific vocalist, cellist, recording artist and educator. Her numerous career highlights include: serenading the Mona Lisa with John Zorn’s Madrigals at the Louvre in Paris; singing Handel’s Messiah with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; and performing the role of The Soul in the world premiere recording of Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Prison, for which she received the 2020 GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. Other notable recent and upcoming projects include Handel’s L’Allegro, il Pensoroso ed il Moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Julia Wolfe’s Her Story with the Lorelei Ensemble and the Boston, Chicago, Nashville, National, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras; and John Zorn works with Barbara Hannigan at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. Sarah Brailey is a member of Beyond Artists, a coalition of artists that donates a percentage of their concert fees to organisations they care about. She is the Artistic Director of the Handel Aria Competition, the Director of Vocal Studies at the University of Chicago, and serves on the voice faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Emily Brausa
New York City cellist Emily Brausa has performed throughout the world in a wide variety of ensembles and situations. Recent highlights include: premiering Dahae Boo’s cello concerto D’où à où at Lucerne Festival Forward in Switzerland; One Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga at Radio City Music Hall; recording for a new Chromeo track; and premiering and touring with Pam Tanowitz and David Lang’s full-length dance piece Song of Songs. She recently founded and performed in Rockaway Chamber Music, a new music collective that is bringing classical music to the surf community of Rockaway Beach, NY. A graduate of The Juilliard School, she is a member of American Symphony Orchestra, performs regularly with American Ballet Theater, and is on faculty at Third Street Music Settlement. Other recent work includes Sweeney Todd on Broadway.

Caleb Burhans
Music Supervisor/Viola
Known for his animated performances and mesmerising compositions, Caleb Burhans is a violinist, violist and composer who’s been commissioned by Lincoln Center and the Library of Congress, to name a few. He is a member of the duo itsnotyouitsme, the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, and also plays fiddle at New York City’s Central Synagogue.

Martha Cluver
Vocalist Martha Cluver has been an active member of the New York and international music scene since 2003. She is an original member of GRAMMY award-winning vocal band Roomful of Teeth, with whom she frequently performs the music of Pulitzer Prize winners Caroline Shaw and David Lang. World premieres as soloist include works by John Zorn, Caleb Burhans, Emmanuel Nunes, Missy Mizzoli, Ellen Reid and Shara Nova. Notable operatic roles include works by Vivier, Feldman, Berio, Saariaho and George Benjamin. Martha Cluver has performed with Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, New York City Ballet, Seattle Symphony, Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, Remix Ensemble, Prague Modern, LA Phil, L’Instant Donné, ICE, BOAC All Stars, American Composers Orchestra, Fifth House Ensemble, So Percussion, NEXUS Percussion and the United States Air Force Band. She has made TV appearances with John Cale and The Roots, and has performed on the same stage with The Rolling Stones, Glenn Kotche, Merrill Garbus, Tigran Hamasyan, Kanye West, Holly Herndon, Julianna Barwick, Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed. Along with Roomful of Teeth, she is currently a member of ModernMedieval, as well as soprano in the professional choir at Church of the Ascension in New York City.

Katie Geissinger
Katie Geissinger is a Bessie-winning and GRAMMY-nominated member of Meredith Monk’s Vocal Ensemble, with whom she recently premiered Indra’s Net in Amsterdam. She was a member of the original cast of Monk’s Houston Grand Opera production of Atlas, recorded on ECM. Katie has sung in Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson; The Carbon Copy Building by Bang on a Can; Steel Hammer by Julie Wolfe and Anne Bogart; and in works by Michael Gordon, Anne Hamilton, Ben Katchor, David Lang, Baz Luhrmann, Marisa Michelson, Jonathan Miller, Mark Mulcahy and Aaron Siegel. Katie Geissinger has appeared on and off Broadway, in concerts and theaters around the world, and on film soundtracks such as Joker and The Big Lebowski. She will perform this season in London, Amsterdam, Vilnius, Munich, Providence, and New York City.

Yuri Yamashita
New York-based percussionist Yuri Yamashita has been described as ‘brilliant’ by the Financial Times and ‘a standout’ by the Los Angeles Times. She has worked alongside a diverse mix of artists and groups including Tyondai Braxton, Bang on a Can’s Asphalt Orchestra, David Lang, Alarm Will Sound, American Composers Orchestra, Tan Dun and Duran Duran, and performed with various orchestras such as Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Munich Philharmonic, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and as featured soloist on Water Percussion Concerto with Milwaukee Symphony and Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Yur Yamashitai is currently the percussionist of David Byrne’s Here Lies Love on Broadway and a former percussionist of TINA: The Tina Turner Musical. She has also performed in numerous productions including MJ the Musical, Lion King, Frozen, Gloria Estefan’s On Your Feet! and Sweeney Todd, among others. She has appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and PBS’s ALL ARTS. She is a native of Takarazuka, Japan, and a graduate of The Juilliard School and Mannes College of Music and a percussion faculty of Special Music School with Kaufman Music Center in NYC.

Pam Tanowitz 
Pam Tanowitz is quick-witted and rigorous. The New York–based choreographer and collaborator has steadily delineated her own dance language through decades of research and creation. Her work redefines tradition through careful examination, subtly questioning those who came before her, yet never yielding to perceptions stuck in the past. And now, the world’s most respected dance companies – Martha Graham Dance Company, Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, among others – are integrating Tanowitz’s poetic universe into their repertories. Tanowitz’s combination of intentional unpredictability, whimsical complexity and natural drama evoke master dance makers from Cunningham to Balanchine through the clever weaving of movement, music and space. Tanowitz holds degrees from Ohio State University and Sarah Lawrence College, where she clarified her creative voice under former Cunningham dancer and choreographer Viola Farber. After attaining her MFA, Tanowitz moved to New York City to begin her professional career. She immersed herself in dance by working in administration at New York City Center, splitting her time off studying the Center’s archived dance videos and developing her own work in their studios. In 2000 she founded Pam Tanowitz Dance (PTD) to explore dance-making with a consistent community of dancers. She has since been commissioned by Fisher Center at Bard, The Joyce Theater, The Kennedy Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Vail Dance Festival, and many other leading arts institutions. She has received numerous honours and fellowships from organisations ranging from the Bessie Awards, Doris Duke Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Princeton University, Herb Alpert Award, and most recently LMCC’s Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership. When awarding Tanowitz the 2017 BAC Cage Cunningham Fellowship, Mikhail Baryshnikov described her interrogative approach to choreography as ‘a distinct intellectual journey.’ Her dances have been called a ‘rare achievement’ by The New York Times and her 2018 work, Four Quartets, inspired by TS Eliot’s literary masterpiece, was called ‘the greatest creation of dance theater so far this century’ (also The New York Times). Tanowitz is a visiting guest artist at Rutgers University and is the first-ever choreographer in residence at the Fisher Center at Bard.

David Lang
In the words of The New Yorker, ‘With his winning of the Pulitzer Prize for the little match girl passion (one of the most original and moving scores of recent years), Lang, once a post-minimalist enfant terrible, has solidified his standing as an American master.’ Lang’s score for Paolo Sorrentino’s film Youth received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, among others. Other recent work includes the mile-long opera for 1000 singers on The High Line in NYC; man made, a concerto for So Percussion and orchestra, co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony; his opera anatomy theater, written in collaboration with visual artist Mark Dion, at Los Angeles Opera; the public domain, a commission from Lincoln Center for 1000 amateur singers; and his opera the loser, based on the novel by Thomas Bernhard, which opened the 2016 Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and for which Lang served as librettist, composer and stage director. Lang’s opera prisoner of the state, co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Rotterdam’s de Doelen Concert Hall, London’s Barbican Centre, Barcelona’s l’Auditori, Bochum Symphony Orchestra, Malmö Opera and Bruges’ Concertgebouw, premiered in 2019 at the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Jaap van Zweden. David Lang is a professor of music composition at the Yale School of Music and is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York’s legendary music festival Bang on a Can.

Clifton Taylor
Production Designer
Clifton Taylor has created designs for Broadway, the West End as well as opera, theatre, and dance companies around the world. In 2019, he was made a Knight of Illumination in the UK for his designs for Tanowitz’s Four Quartets at the Barbican. His designs for dance have been seen in the repertoires of the Royal Ballet and Rambert in London, Mikhailovsky in St. Petersburg, Scottish National, ABT, and the San Francisco, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Houston, Lorraine (France), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Florence (Italy) ballet companies, among many others. Designs for opera include the New York City Opera, Gotham, several works for the Haydn Orchestra (Italy), Brooklyn Academy of Music (notably: Watermill, Four Quartets, Hagaromo, Itutu, Journey Beyond the West and Passage through the Gong), the New York Philharmonic, Tanglewood Music Center and many other companies in the US and around the world. Clifton Taylor is also a fine art painter with recent shows in New York and Winston-Salem. He is on the design faculty of the UNC School of the Arts and on the board of the Studio School of Design, a not-for-profit dedicated to diversification and increased capacity in the design professions. and

Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung
Production Designers 
Harriet Jung and Reid Bartelme met in 2009 while pursuing fashion design degrees at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. They started designing collaboratively in 2011 and have focused their practice on costuming dance. They frequently design costumes for works by Pam Tanowitz, Kyle Abraham and Justin Peck. They have devised costume-centric performances for commissions from the Museum of Art and Design and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. In 2023 they made their Broadway design debut with Bob Fosse’s Dancin’. They have completed research fellowships at NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. They continue designing costumes and sets for dance productions around the world while expanding the scope of their practice outside the theatre.

Garth MacAleavey
Sound Designer
Garth MacAleavey is a leader in live music, theatrical and new-music opera sound design. He specialises in spatial sound, live surround sound mixing and high-fidelity classical and orchestral reinforcement and recording. An avid musician since his youth, he studied contemporary percussion, jazz drums and classical music at UCSC under the tutelage of Willie Winant, gaining his degree in three years. He is the Director of Sound and Technical Design at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust. In partnership with Meyer Sound, he is an expert in Constellation, Space Map systems and in immersive theatrical speaker systems design. Recent work includes: Illinois by Sufjan Stevens, Justin Peck and Jackie Sibblies Drury; The Night Falls by Ellis Ludwig Leone; Song of Songs by David Lang; In Our Daughter’s Eyes by Du Yun; GRAMMY-nominated Soldier Songs, Black Lodge and Dog Days by David T. Little; Pulitzer Prize-winning p r i s m by Ellen Reid; Aquanetta by Michael Gordon; Nick Cave’s The Let Go, and Peter Sellars and Regg Roc Grey’s FLEXN at the Park Ave Armory; A God of Her Own Making by Jojo Abot and Esperanza Spalding, and problem by Lee Scratch Perry and Mouse on Mars.

Mark Quiles
Production Manager and Technical Director
Mark Quiles is from Queens, New York, and is the Production Manager and Technical Director for the Department of Theatre at Adelphi University in New York. He earned his MFA in Scenic Technology from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2020. Previously he served as the Technical Director for Pam Tanowitz’s Four Quartets, and was the Associate Technical Director for multiple summer seasons at the Bard Summerscape Festival. He has also spent time as the tour manager for multiple internationally touring music groups from the United States.

Betsy Ayer
Stage Manager
Previously for Pam Tanowitz Dance: I was waiting for the echo of a better day, Song of Songs, Four Quartets, and New Work for Goldberg Variations. Other dance credits include: Trisha Brown Dance Company; and FLEXN at the Park Avenue Armory and on international tour. Betsy Ayer was previously Stage Manager at New York City Ballet. Recent opera/ oratorio: Adriana Mater at San Francisco Symphony; Perle Noire at the Dutch National Opera; Monochromatic Light (Afterlife) at the Park Avenue Armory; to feel a thing and Requiem at the Shed; Idomeneo at the Salzburg Festival; and Glass Handel at Opera Philadelphia. Concerts: Interim Production Manager at Carnegie Hall. She is a graduate of Smith College.

Mary Gossy
Mary Gossy is Professor Emerita at Rutgers University; Ph.D., Harvard, and works with close reading and contemplative practice as a scholarly, pedagogical and spiritual approach to the development of human consciousness. Since encountering the essays of Audre Lorde some years ago, she has been relieved to know that ‘Poetry Is Not a Luxury’ and has discovered psychoanalytic and film theory are not luxuries either, or shouldn’t be. The Song of Songs integrates fleshly and divine love, rooted, literally, in the natural world. Its enactment of losing, finding, yearning and fulfilment makes a good example of a syllabus of Gossy’s writing and teaching. She is the author of three scholarly works (The Untold Story: Women and Theory in Golden Age Texts [Spanish]; Freudian Slips: Woman, Writing, the Foreign Tongue, and Empire on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), numerous academic articles, essays on monasticism, mysticism and comparative contemplative practices, and Enclosure, which if not as exalted as the Song of Songs, is, like it, a story about how ‘love is strong as death.’

Pam Tanowitz Dance (PTD) unites critically acclaimed choreographer Pam Tanowitz with a company of world-class dance artists and renowned collaborators in all disciplines. As a choreographer, Tanowitz is known for her abstract treatment of classical and contemporary movement ideas. The work is deeply rooted in formal structures, manipulated and abstracted by Tanowitz until the viewer sees through to the heart of the dance. The juxtapositions and tensions that Tanowitz creates draw upon the virtuosic skill, musical dexterity and artistic integrity of the PTD dancers. Since its founding in 2000, PTD has received commissions and residencies at Fisher Center at Bard, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Chicago Dancing Festival, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Joyce Theater, ICA Boston, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, MANCC, New York Live Arts, Penn Live Arts, and Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, among others. Pam Tanowitz Dance was selected by the New York Times as Best of Dance 2013–22.

A company of dancers perform on stage in muted coloured clothing.

For the Barbican

Barbican Centre Board
Tom Sleigh
Deputy Chair
Sir William Russell
Deputy Chair
Tobi Ruth Adebekun

Board Members
Randall Anderson, Munsur Ali, Stephen Bediako OBE, Farmida Bi CBE, Tijs Broeke, Zulum Elumogo, Wendy Mead OBE, Mark Page, Alpa Raja, Jens Riegelsberger, Jane Roscoe, Irem Yerdelen, Despina Tsatsas, Michael Asante MBE

Clerk to the Board
Kate Doidge and Ben Dunleavy

Barbican Centre Trust
Farmida Bi CBE
Vice Chair
Robert Glick OBE

Farmida Bi CBE, Tom Bloxham MBE, Stephanie Camu, Tony Chambers, Cas Donald, Robert Glick OBE, David Kapur, Ann Kenrick, Kendall Langford, Sir William Russell, Tom Sleigh, Claire Spencer AM, Sian Westerman

Chief Executive Officer
Claire Spencer
Artistic Director
Will Gompertz
Director of Development
Natasha Harris
Director of People, Inclusion and Culture
Ali Mirza
Head of Finance & Business Administration
Sarah Wall
Senior Executive Assistant to Claire Spencer and Will Gompertz
Jo Daly

Theatre Department
Head of Theatre and Dance
Toni Racklin
Senior Production Manager
Simon Bourne
Liz Eddy, Jill Shelley, Fiona Stewart
Assistant Producers
Saxon Mudge, Mali Siloko, Bridget Thornborrow
Production Managers
Jamie Maisey, Lee Tasker
Technical Managers
Steve Daly, Jane Dickerson, Nik Kennedy, Martin Morgan, Stevie Porter
Stage Managers
Lucinda Hamlin, Charlotte Oliver
Technical Supervisors
James Breedon, John Gilroy, Jamie Massey, Matt Nelson, Adam Parrott, Lawrence Sills, Chris Wilby
PA to Head of Theatre
David Green

Production Administrator
Caroline Hall
Production Assistant
Michaela Harcegová
Kendell Foster, Burcham Johnson, David Kennard, Bartek Kuta, Christian Lyons, Josh Massey, Fred Riding, Fede Spada 
Stage Door
Julian Fox, aLbi Gravener

Creative Collaboration and Learning
Head of Creative Collaboration
Karena Johnson
Lauren Brown
Assistant Producer
Rikky Onefeli

Marketing Department
Head of Marketing
Jackie Ellis
Deputy Head of Marketing
Ben Jefferies
Senior Marketing Manager
Kyle Bradshaw
Marketing Assistant
Rebecca Moore

Communications Department
Head of Communications
James Tringham
Senior Communications Manager
Ariane Oiticica
Communications Manager
Communications Assistant
Sumayyah Sheikh

Audience Experience
Deputy Head of Audience Experience & Operations
Sheree Miller
Ticket Sales Managers
Lucy Allen, Oliver Robinson, Ben Skinner, Jane Thomas
Operations Managers
Seán Carter,  Rob Norris, Elizabeth Davies-Sadd, Samantha Teatheredge, Hayley Zwolinska
Operations Manager (Health & Safety)
Mo Reideman
Audience Event & Planning Manager
Freda Pouflis
Venue Managers
Scott Davies, Tilly Devine, Tabitha Goble, Nicola Lake, Maria Pateli

Assistant Venue Managers
Rhiannon Brennan, Melissa Olcese, Daniel Young
Crew Management
Dave Magwood, Rob Magwood, James Towell
Access and Licensing Manager
Rebecca Oliver
Security Operations Manager
Naqash Sheikh

With thanks from the Barbican

The Barbican is London's creative catalyst for arts, curiosity and enterprise. We spark creative possibilities and transformation for artists, audiences and communities – to inspire, connect, and provoke debate. 

We're committed to making a difference locally, nationally and internationally by showcasing some of the most inspiring and visionary work by artists and communities. We're not-for-profit. Each year we need to raise 65% of our income through fundraising, ticket sales, and commercial activities. Our supporters play a vital role in keeping our programme accessible to everyone, which includes our work with local schools; development opportunities for emerging creatives; and access to discounted and subsidised tickets. 

Barbican supporters enjoy behind the scenes access across the centre and see first-hand what their gift enables through enhanced priority booking, as well as access to tickets for sold-out performances and exclusive events. For more information please visit or contact [email protected].


With thanks...

Founder and principal funder
The City of London Corporation

Major Supporters
Arts Council England
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch)
Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
SHM Foundation
Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement
The Terra Foundation for American Art

Leading Supporters
Trevor Fenwick and Jane Hindley
Marcus Margulies

Programme Supporters
Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (Spirit Now London)
Sayeh Ghanbari
Goodman Gallery
Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery
Elizabeth and J Jeffry Louis
Pat and Pierre Maugüé 
Hugh Monk
Romilly Walton Masters Award
Jack Shainman Gallery
The Rudge Shipley Charitable Trust

Director’s Circle
Anonymous (1)
James and Louise Arnell
Farmida Bi CBE
Jo and Tom Bloxham MBE
Philippe and Stephanie Camu
Cas Donald
Alex and Elena Gerko
Trevor Fenwick and Jane Hindley
Sian and Matthew Westerman

Corporate Supporters
Bank of America
Bolt Burdon Kemp
Google Arts & Culture
Linklaters LLP
Norton Rose Fulbright
Osborne Clarke
Pinsent Masons
Standard Chartered
Slaughter and May
Vestiaire Collective

Trusts & Grantmakers
The Austin and Hope Pilkington Charitable Trust
Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne
Art Fund
Bagri Foundation
CHK Foundation
Cockayne – Grants for the Arts
Fluxus Art Projects
John S Cohen Foundation
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Goethe-Institut London
Helen Frankenthaler Foundation
High Commission of Canada in The United Kingdom
Italian Cultural Institute in London
Korean Cultural Centre UK
Kusuma Trust UK
London Community Foundation
Mactaggart Third Fund
Maria Björnson Memorial Fund
Peter Sowerby Foundation
The Polonsky Foundation
Rix-Thompson-Rothenberg Foundation
SAHA Association
Swiss Cultural Fund
U.S. Embassy London

We also want to thank the Barbican Patrons, members, and the many thousands who made a donation when purchasing tickets. 

The Barbican Centre Trust Ltd, registered charity no. 294282