“The Photographer/Far from the Truth”

brooklyn academy of music

The central conceit of this elaborate production is a provocative one: that both sides of the very contemporary opposition between melodrama and Modernism were embodied in the life of 19th-century photographer Eadweard Muybridge—the one through a famous scandal in which he shot his wife’s lover, the other in his photographic work, the famous motion studies of humans and animals. The idea for a work on Muybridge was conceived by Rob Malasch for the Holland Festival in 1982. The score, by Philip Glass, and Malasch’s three-part structure—play, slide show, dance—were both carried over to this new production, but nearly everything else was changed, as well-known figures in the downtown performance scene were called on to flesh out the initial concept. JoAnne Akalaitis staged the first segment, from a new book by Robert Coe; sets and costumes were designed by Santo Loquasto, lighting by Jennifer

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