SummerScape 2024 • On Sale Now!

Presented by the Fisher Center at Bard and the Boethius Initiative at UCLA

this body is so impermanent…

with special in-person guests

February 8–12, 2023

Add to Calendar2023-02-08 7:00 pm2023-02-08 7:00 pmESTthis body is so impermanent…Upstate Films (Rhinebeck & Saugerties) and Rubin Museum of Art (NYC),
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“Extraordinary … Their human bodies, their environments, the sounds around them, and the sutra merge into a single expression unfolding before and within us … It is, for us, a transformative experience.”—Tricycle


Join us at Upstate Films and the Rubin Museum of Art for a screening of this body is so impermanent… a film produced by the Fisher Center and directed by Peter Sellars, featuring singer Ganavya, calligrapher Wang Dongling, and dancer Michael Schumacher who during COVID lockdown, created an hour-long meditation on the visionary, radiant Vimalakirti Sutra, a Buddhist text from the first century CE.

A businessman, having chosen a path of illness towards spiritual awakening, teaches the visitors at his deathbed with depth and penetration: how to face life with no illusions. The artists, across three continents and three artforms, interpret the text individually and collaboratively, sharing a story of acute pain, deep healing, and radical transformation.


Wednesday, February 8 at 7 pm
Special Guests: Ganavya Doraiswamy, Michael Schumacher, Peter Sellars, and Dominique Townsend

Reserve Tickets at Starr Cinema

Thursday, February 9 at 7 pm
Special Guests: Ganavya Doraiswamy, Michael Schumacher, and Peter Sellars

Reserve Tickets at Orpheum Theater

Rubin Museum of Art · NYC
Friday, February 10 at 7 pm
Special Guests: Peter Sellars and Dr. Kunga Wangdue

Reserve Tickets at Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art · NYC
Saturday, February 11 at 2 pm
Special Guests: Peter Sellars, Ganavya Doraiswamy, Michael Schumacher, Yibin Wang, and Tim Squyres

Reserve Tickets at Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art · NYC
Sunday, February 12 at 2 pm
Special Guests: Peter Sellars, Dr. Craig Blinderman, and Carol Becker.

Reserve Tickets at Rubin Museum of Art



A production of The Boethius Initiative at UCLA and Fisher Center at Bard

Director: Peter Sellars
Executive Producers: Peter Sellars, Gideon Lester
Producers: Julia Carnahan, Cheng-Sim Lim, Caleb Hammons, Susan Pertel Jain, Jason Silverman, Cathy Teixeira
Cast: Wang Dongling, Michael Schumacher, Ganavya Doraiswamy
Director of Photography (Hangzhou): Yu Lik-wai
Second Unit Photography (Portland): Eben Joondeph Hoffer
Sound Designer: Shahrokh Yadegari
Editor: Tim Squyres

Vimalakirti Sutra
English translation: Robert Thurman
Chinese translation: Kumārajīva

this body is so impermanent… is made possible with support from:
June and Simon Li
The J. Paul Getty Trust
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
The Fisher Center Artistic Innovation Fund, with lead support from Rebecca Gold
Barbara and Sven Huseby
University of Kentucky International Center
Asia Society, Center on U.S.-China Relations
The Thendara Foundation
Carol and Harvey Berman
UCLA Film & Television Archive

Special thanks to:
Wang Dongling
Ink Studio

These screenings are made possible through support from the Fisher Center at Bard, New York Life, Barbara and Sven Huseby, June and Simon Li, The Getty, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Columbia University’s Division of Narrative Medicine, and Columbia University School of the Arts.