Park Avenue Armory today announced dates for its premiere of Party in the Bardo, a collaboration between multidisciplinary artist and MacArthur “Genius” Jason Moran, who curates the Armory’s Artists Studio Series, and multi-Grammy Award–winning performance artist Laurie Anderson. For four performances from May 5 through May 9 , Anderson and Moran will perform in the Armory’s 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall, underpinned by the soundscape of Lou Reed: Drones, a sonic installation utilizing guitars from Reed’s collection and curated by his former guitar technician Stewart Hurwood. Each performance, Anderson and Moran will invite special guests to add their own layer of artistry over the Drones, joining them in these improvisational sonic meditations for the city of New York.
Party in the Bardo is part of the Armory’s Social Distance Hall commissioning initiative, which launched with SOCIAL! the social distance dance club (previews April 9-12; performances April 13-22) conceived by Steven Hoggett, Christine Jones, and David Byrne, and also includes Afterwardsness by Bill T. Jones (May 19-26). Social Distance Hall provides artists with the space and resources to create and present to in-person audiences new works devised for and reflective of a society grappling with COVID-19. The Armory, with its immense, 55,000-square-foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall and multiple airy rooms and entrances—featuring an air volume comparable to being outdoors—can provide an early pathway and model for the re-opening of the performing arts in New York and beyond.
Rigorous safety protocols for audiences that extend from arrival, entry, and seating to performance and departure have been developed, workshopped, and tested with invited audiences . Among these safety procedures are: masks worn properly at all times; a detailed and monitored system of audience flow to ensure artists, patrons, and staff are socially distanced at all times throughout their visit; contactless temperature-checks and ticket scanning outside at the door; no points of gathering in the building or on the sidewalk; no retail concessions, food and beverages, or ticket sales; restroom use limited to one person at a time, with cleaning between each use; and refreshing of the Drill Hall air three times pre-show and post-show. Rapid Testing will be conducted on-site at the Armory.