Brooklyn Babylon at The Brooklyn Academy of Music

As part of the 2011 Next Wave Festival, The Brooklyn Academy of Music commissioned the world premiere of Brooklyn Babylona tale of future Brooklyn, the tallest tower in the world, and a man’s journey to reconcile the past and the present.

The show, the brainchild of grammy-nominated composer Darcy James Argue and painter/animator Danijel Zezelj, incorporates live, big band music, animation and live painting, seamlessly, to create the kind of storytelling children only dream of. Zezelj’s animation plays as the eighteen-member Secret Society, led by Argue, bring the narrative to life with flutes, saxophones, clarinets, trumpets, tubas, pianos, drums and a host of other instruments.

The presentation is so well integrated that, at times, it’s easy to forget you’re sitting before a live band. The musicians guide the story contained in the crude-only-in-its-simplicity animation in a way that spoken words never could. When the screen is raised, Zezelj steps into the spotlight and treats the audience to live painting that continues to tell the story where the film leaves off.

From the Secret Society’s boisterous, yet orchestral entrance down the aisles to the barely-there, now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t animation to the delightful ending, Brooklyn Babylon is a true audio-visual treat.

Brooklyn Babylon runs until Saturday, November 12th at BAM Harvey Theater. The show starts at 7:30 pm and runs approximately one hour with no intermission. Tickets are available online and at the BAM box office, at 30 Lafayette Avenue, from 12-6 pm Monday-Saturday.

Photos by Rahav Segev

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