After focusing its final season on New York artists, the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Monday announced a spring season packed with global offerings, including the New York premiere of British choreographer Akram Khan’s “Giselle,” a series of performances by Australian actress Hannah Gadsby and a production of “Cyrano de Bergerac”, starring James McAvoy.
The season will also feature a variety of New York artists, such as contemporary ensemble Bang on a Can and visual artist Saya Woolfalk, who will present a new digital installation.
“It’s local and it’s global,” academy artistic director David Binder said of the new season. “There’s an optimism running through it, where artists are reimagining what the world can be.”
The academy hopes the offers will continue to boost its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The academy saw relatively robust ticket sales in the fall and winter, with several sold-out performances, Binder said, but is still struggling to recover from the turmoil of the pandemic, which forced her to suspend performances for more than a year.
The spring season opens March 24 with the New York premiere of “32 Sounds,” an immersive documentary by filmmaker Sam Green. The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, is told live; spectators wear headphones.
Khan’s acclaimed reworking of ‘Giselle’, which the English National Ballet will perform at the academy in June, has been widely acclaimed since its premiere in London in 2016. It has since been performed in Auckland, New Zealand, as well as in Hong Kong and Dublin.
The New York Times called the 2016 production “a beautiful and clever reworking of the beloved 1841 classic, and probably — and improbably — the finest work Mr. Khan has created.”
During four performances at the academy in May, Gadsby, star of popular Netflix specials ‘Douglas’ and ‘Nanette’, will perform ‘Body of Work’, his latest stand-up show, which explores the themes of love and relationships.
In April, Jamie Lloyd’s Olivier Award-winning production of “Cyrano de Bergerac” will come to the academy, starring “X-Men” star McAvoy.
In addition to ‘Giselle’, there will be a variety of other dance productions. 10-member Brazilian dance group Suave will perform “Cria” in March, after their initial commitment to the academy last fall was delayed due to visa issues. “In C” by German choreographer Sasha Waltz will have its American premiere in April, accompanied by the Bang on a Can All-Stars. The annual DanceAfrica festival returns in May.
Binder said that while another surge of the virus was still possible, he hoped audiences would show up for the new season.
“I feel very lucky that our audience is here and ready for the adventure, and ready and really super engaged,” he said. “People are really ready to come back.