Chatham’s multidisciplinary arts center PS21 (AKA Performance Spaces for the ٢١st Century) has launched its 2022 summer season program, which takes place in its state-of-the-art outdoor pavilion theater and 100 acres of trails and grounds. In agreement with its mission and past programming, PS21’s current internationally-focused summer slates once again contain a revealing overview of exceptional events – 50 of them – that encompass dance, music, theatre, opera, workshops and content for young people.
Premiering this month is Nigerian dance troupe QDance’s “Re:Incarnation” (June 3-4). “All my work makes sense in the context of time,” says QDance choreographer Qudus Onikeky. “[West African] Yoruba philosophy believes in reincarnation, which means there is no distance between the space in which the living exist; the space of deceased ancestors; and the space of the unborn, which belong to the spiritual world. ‘Re:Incarnation’ is inspired by these three spaces, which coexist simultaneously. Israel’s Vertigo Dance Company will also appear at PS21, with “One. One & One” (July 28-29), while the Mark Morris Dance Group will perform three pieces (August 6) and resident troupe 2022 Jamal Jackson Dance Company will premiere “846” (August 6).
For the music of the season, the selections are also outward looking and exciting. The repertoire of Montreal hip-hip collective Vox Sambou fuses traditional Haitian rhythms with Afrobeat, jazz, reggae and hip-hop (June 17). Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha, whose style draws inspiration from their home country’s folk music and culture, will provide live accompaniment to Alexander Dovzhenko’s 1930 silent film masterpiece Earth, about resistance the collectivization of Ukrainian farms by the Soviets (August 11). Doug Perkins of So Percussion will lead 36 percussionists in an outdoor performance of composer Michael Gordon’s “Field of Vision” (July 25).
This summer’s theatrical fare includes the world premiere of “I Am the Utterance of My Name: Divining Mary Magdalene” by Sylvia Milo, Nathan Davis and Joanna Kotze (July 10), which uses theater, experimental music, rituals and biblical, gnostic, heretical, medieval and modern music to try out the first seven apparitions of the Virgin Mary. “Farm Fatale” (September 2-3) by French director and visual artist Philippe Quesne follows the only survivors of an environmental collapse – five scarecrows – in their new roles as dreamers, poets and planetary activists.
South African-born playwright Robyn Orlin’s political cabaret work “And you see…our honorable blue skies and our eternal sunshine…can only be consumed slice by slice…” explores Africa’s relationship with the West with scathing humor (September 16). Another residency, that of the Berkshire Opera Festival, presents a new production of “Three Decembers” by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer (July 21 and 23).
For a full list of all PS21 Summer 2022 events and ticket information, visit the center’s website.