Meredith Monk at BAM

I’m a city girl, but if anyone can make me feel at one with nature, it’s Meredith Monk. The tones of her voice seem to rise up out of the earth or drop from the sky, the rhythms seem to ride the waves of the ocean or crackle like fire.

To celebrate her 50th season of making work—dances, music compositions, operas, films—she is presenting On Behalf of Nature at BAM Dec. 3–7.

On Behalf of Nature, all photos by Julieta Cervantes

On Behalf of Nature, photos by Julieta Cervantes

The word unique doesn’t even begin to describe how singular, inimitable, and towering Monk is as a multidisciplinary artist. Many dance artists have passed through her work, including Ralph Lemon, Ann Carlson, Blondel Cummings, Liz Lerman, and Janis Brenner. (Not to mention Monk’s huge influence in the music world.) And for those of us who never coexisted in a studio with her, experiencing her large and deep vision (for me, it started in the 70s with Vessel and Education of a Girlchild) invites a kind of archetypal connection to reverberate in one’s soul. She’s a national treasure, whether or not there is official recognition of this.

Ellen Fischer, photo by Julieta Cervantes

Ellen Fisher in On Behalf of Nature

On Behalf of Nature reflects Monk’s longtime involvement in Buddhism, with its ideas of compassion and harmony. Eight performers, moving collectively about the stage of BAM’s Harvey Theater, suggest the a contemporary understanding of spirituality. The costumes, designed by Yoshio Yabara, are made from the performers’ old clothes. On Behalf of Nature won’t be an action-packed adventure, but it is sure to give us insight into who we are on this earth today.

Click here for tickets.


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