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Prepare to Honor Joe Melillo

Since 1999 Joseph Melillo has been Executive Producer at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). In that time—and even before that as he pioneered the Next Wave Festival—his impact on the New York theatre scene has been monumental. Where do you go to see Peter Brook when he’s in the US? BAM. Where do you go to see Robert Wilson? BAM. Where do you go to see any of the hottest, new theatre innovators from across the Atlantic? The answer is consistently BAM. And we have Joe Melillo to thank for it.

Well, on Monday, May 17, 2010, we’ll have a chance to thank him in person, as the Martin E. Segal center hosts “25 Years at BAM: An Evening with Joe Melillo.” I can only imagine who’s going to be in the audience, but joining Mr. Melillo on stage will be David Lang, Dan Cameron, Susan Marshall, and Marianne Weems, with RoseLee Goldberg moderating the conversation.

Here is some basic info about the special guests to whet your appetite:

David Lang is a Pulitzer Prize winning composer best known for his The Little Match Girl Passion and The Difficulty of Crossing a Field, who has also collaborated with diverse talents such as the Kronos Quartet and La La La Human Steps.

Dan Cameron is an internationally renowned curator, whose most recent work has taken him to New Orleans, where he served as Director of Visual Arts for the Contemporary Arts Center and where he founded the ambitious U.S. Biennial international exhibition. He is currently the curator for the Next Wave Visual Art Festival at BAM.

Susan Marshall is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Award for her groundbreaking choreographic work. Her connection to BAM dates back to the mid-1980s with her Next Wave commissioned piece, Interior with Seven Figures.

Marianne Weems is the artistic director of the New York based theatre company, The Builder’s Association. Her most recent finished work, CONTINUOUS CITY (“a meditation on how contemporary experiences of location and dislocation stretch us to the maximum as our ‘networked selves’ occupy multiple locations”), was commissioned by the Next Wave Festival.

RoseLee Goldberg, recently named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture and Communication, is the author of Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present—the major text for the study of the history and practice of Performance Art. In her various curatorial and producing positions over the years, she has presented works by most, if not all, of the BAM perennial favorites, including Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Robert Wilson, and Meredith Monk.

The panel discussion will commence at 6:30pm, and it’s FREE! I hope to see you there!

–Brad Krumholz

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