2020–21 Season

Healing and Transformation

Healing and Transformation

2020–21 Season
Responding to the events of 2020, the projects in this season explore and reflect on what it means to live through and create work in the midst of a pandemic, global crises, and political turmoil. Audiences will be invited to experience and engage with each of these projects in entirely different ways, yet together the season seeks to build community and activism in isolation. 

All offerings will be available on UPSTREAMING, the Fisher Center’s online venue.
Meshell Ndegeocello
Artwork by Rebecca Meek

Meshell Ndegeocello

Chapter & Verse:
The Gospel of James Baldwin
September–December • New content released monthly.

A 21st-century ritual tool kit for justice inspired by James Baldwin’s truth-telling treaty on justice in America, The Fire Next Time, and our endlessly changing world. 

Each month, we offer gifts—music, thoughts, meditations, and visual testimonies of resilience—from artists including Meshell NdegeocelloCharlotte BrathwaiteStaceyann Chin, and more. 
Pam Tanowitz
Pam Tanowitz by George Etheredge; Maile Okamira and Lindsey Jones by Maria Baranova; Kathleen Chalfant

Pam Tanowitz

Four Quartets Experience
October 31–November 1

Three landmark contemporary artists (Pam Tanowitz, Kaija Saariaho, and Brice Marden) joined to imagine T. S. Eliot’s haunting and mysterious meditation on time, Four Quartets.

UPSTREAMING will host a limited streaming of the 2018 world premiere, accompanied by the release of a new film that provides intimate and personal reflections on the work from the perspective of those who perform it, and the release of an audiobook from actress Kathleen Chalfant reading the poem—the first authorized recording of the poem read by a woman.
Theater & Performance Program

Theater & Performance Program

The Future is Present: A Casting the Vote Project
Launches in October

A high-impact, liberatory media project that engages a core group of Black and Indigenous youth activists and art makers working in tandem with Bard students and adult movement leaders, artists, and researchers. Led by Charlotte Brathwaite, Justin Hicks, Janani Balasubramanian, Sunder Ganglani, with Alyssa Simmons and June Cross.
Tania El Khoury and Basel Zaraa
Image Courtesy of the Artist

Tania El Khoury and Basel Zaraa

As Far as Isolation Goes
Launches 2021

A live-streamed, 1-on-1 performance to bring audience members in contact with those faced with inhumane detention centers and a mental health system that disregards their political and emotional humanity.

A collaboration between live artist Tania El Khoury and musician and street artist Basel Zaraa, reimagined online during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, the piece explores the mental and physical health experiences of refugees.
Peter Sellars
Image Courtesy of the Artist

Peter Sellars

“this body is so impermanent…”
(Vimalakirti Sutra, Chapter Two)
Launches in 2021
What can we learn from a virus? Can we recognize COVID-19 not only as an affliction but also as a messenger? The Vimalakirti Sutra, an inconceivably radiant Buddhist text from the first century CE, understands illness as a path of spiritual awakening. Four virtuosic and singular artists—South Indian singer Ganavya Doraiswamy, dancer Michael Schumacher, calligrapher Wang Dongling, and director Peter Sellars—are collaborating remotely from around the world on a film made in real time, offered for free as a gift to a world in pain.
Pam Tanowitz
Photo by Sara Kearns

Pam Tanowitz

Past Present Future 
and
Finally Unfinished
Launching in 2021

Pam Tanowitz, the Fisher Center’s first and current Choreographer in Residence, is developing two new dance for camera works, created out of necessity in this time when live performance isn’t possible: Past Present Future, a tryptic of short films reimagining existing Pam Tanowitz Dance material in unusual settings; and Finally Unfinished, a Jasper Johns-inspired work with music by Caroline Shaw. Both films made in partnership with Cyprian Films.