BABEL will play a limited engagement at The Theater at the 14th Street Y (344 East 14th Street, New York, NY 10003). Performances begin Wednesday, January 18, 2017 and continue through Sunday, February 5.
BABEL is a physical spectacle that reinvents one of the oldest stories in the world: The Tower of Babel, told through Acrobatic Dance Theater. The company of 22 powerful dancers build the world of the play, a sculpture garden of bodies. Sitting in three quarter round, the audience is immersed in the tower where performers climb, fly and play–building it so high that it offends the gods.
Review Fix: What inspired BABEL?
Jeremy Williams: WT McRae shared his vision of BABEL with me over a coffee in 2013. He had all kinds of questions about how to tell this story about the origin of language with bodies rather than words. The story of BABEL shows up everywhere in our culture and in many other cultures around the world. It’s a common myth that speaks to many people. I love working with common stories and finding new ways to tell them. BABEL is an old story told in a totally new way.
Review Fix: What do you think makes it special?
Williams: We strive to build a company that is diverse in backgrounds, age, gender, body type, and cultural heritage. Our audiences always tell us how special it is to experience this kind of diversity within the storytelling. For me, BABEL is special because of the people involved. It’s an incredible community of 30+ artists actively working on the show right now. Plus we’ve had an additional two dozen or so collaborators with us along the way over the past 3 years.
Review Fix: Why is it an important time to tell this story?
Williams: BABEL is about coming together to build something great despite our differences. After the tower falls and language is divided the hope is that people will not build anything so great again. However we know this is not the case. BABEL shows us a way to move beyond conflict and misunderstanding. I think we desperately need that right now.
Review Fix: Who will connect with this story the most?
Williams: Anyone who loves to see humanity, not just individuals, succeed through striving together.
Review Fix: What do you want people to take away from this?
Williams: That humans are incredible. That working and striving together is beautiful. That we can overcome differences between us without all needing to be the same. Difference is something to be celebrated.
Review Fix: Why must someone see it?
Williams: It’s an incredible combination of acrobatics, dance, and acting to tell a powerful and exciting story.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Williams: For BABEL, we are making a film version and a tour. There’s always more fun for BABEL! We are also presenting The Woman Who Was ME this spring in NYC as well as our Latin-Jazz cabaret A Mexican Affair. We also have a few new shows in development. The CTC kitchen is always cooking up something!
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to say?
Williams: WT and I are so excited to be running in rep with our friends Cirque-Tacular Entertainment and their show Snowkus Pocus. We love that you can experience circus and physical storytelling in two different ways.
To learn more about BABEL visit http://www.convergencescollective.org/babel.html
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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