In collaboration with NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, James Sewell Ballet presented the world premiere of a ballet inspired by Frederick Wiseman’s groundbreaking and controversial 1967 documentary, Titicut Follies.
The collaboration began as Wiseman’s 2014 CBA Fellowship project. Read more about Wiseman’s and Sewell’s working process in Michael Cooper’s New York Times piece.
Following the performance on Friday, April 28, CBA Founder and Director Jennifer Homans moderated a post-performance discussion with the creative team (James Sewell, Frederick Wiseman, Lenny Pickett, and Steven Rydberg).
Frederick Wiseman (CBA ’14) has made 39 documentaries and 2 fiction films. Among his documentaries are Titicut Follies, Welfare, Public Housing, Near Death, La Comédie Française ou l’Amour Joué, La Danse—Le Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, At Berkeley,and National Gallery. His documentaries are dramatic, narrative films that seek to portray the joy, sadness, comedy, and tragedy of ordinary experience. He has won numerous awards including four Emmys, a MacArthur fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the Lion D’Or Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 Venice Film Festival. His films have played in theatres and been broadcast on television in many countries. He is also a theatre director and has directed The Last Letter, based on a chapter of Vasily Grossman’s novel Life and Fate, and Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days at the Comédie Française. He is an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.