Kennedy Center’s “Direct Current” 2019: Vijay Iyer, Du Yun, Gabriel Kahane, Iranian female composers

Posted on: March 26, 2019

“Nearly every show sold out” at the Kennedy Center’s inaugural two-week multidisciplinary festival Direct Current last year, writes Anne Midgette in Friday’s (3/22) Washington Post. “This year’s Direct Current, which starts Sunday … … includes Bill T. Jones’s ‘Analogy Trilogy,’ three works exploring marginalized populations; performances by jazz pioneers Tyshawn Sorey, Henry Threadgill and Vijay Iyer; and an evening spotlighting Iranian female composers…. [The festival] includes a response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, expressed through butoh dance and large-scale puppets … The festival … aspires to present a cross-section of what’s happening in the arts in America…. A common thread at Direct Current this year is political statement…. The video oratorio ‘Where we lost our shadows,’ by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun … and the Palestinian filmmaker Khaled Jarrar … incorporates film Jarrar shot when accompanying a Syrian refugee family on a journey from Athens to Germany…. Gabriel Kahane, the singer-songwriter-composer, wrote ‘The Book of Travelers’ two years ago…. In his songs, Kahane wrestles with the issues that have continued to divide the country…. The point of Direct Current, though, is simply to create a space where art can thrash out these issues.”

Posted March 26, 2019