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Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents First Two Installments of Digital Spring 2021 Season

January 21, 2021 | By Katlyn Morahan
Morahan Arts and Media



Kristen Miles
Baryshnikov Arts Center

Katlyn Morahan
Morahan Arts and Media


BAC Bijayni & Hicks Composite.png

Bijayini Satpathy’s Vibhanga Premieres on February 1;
Justin Hicks’ Use Your Head For More Premieres on February 15

New Works Commissioned by BAC Available to Stream Free On Demand at
For Two Weeks Following Premiere Dates

January 21, 2021, New York, NYBaryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) presents the first installment of its 2021 digital spring season beginning on Monday, February 1 at 5pm ET. The series kicks off with Vibhanga, a non-narrative dance set to a reimagined score of traditional South Indian music, conceived and choreographed by classical Indian dancer Bijayini Satpathy. The piece draws from the curvilinear tendencies of the Odissi dance form, and is influenced by explorations of rhythm, displaying the layered complexities of the classical movement technique. Vibhanga marks Satpathy’s first choreographic endeavor following 25 years of touring with Nrityagram Dance Ensemble.

“Odissi is my mother-expression,” says Satpathy. “After four decades of dancing, I feel the yearning to move at my will with a sense of responsibility and respect that I feel as an heir and inheritor of Odissi. I feel ready to move with that sense of knowing: defying it, coaxing it, humoring it, honoring it and allowing it.”

The new work will be available to view free on demand at until Monday, February 15 at 5pm ET. The program offering also includes a live-streamed conversation with Satpathy, who is based in Bangalore, hosted by New York-based contemporary dance choreographer Mark Morris. Free registration for the live Zoom conversation on Wednesday, February 10 at 8pm ET will be available beginning February 1 at

Music and sound artist Justin Hicks’ Use Your Head For More—a work composed of found sound, spoken texts, and vocal samples by Hicks’ relatives—premieres on Monday, February 15 at 5pm ET. Presented as a series of audiovisual portraits recorded and shot in the artist’s home, the sound and video work regenerates the transcription of a conversation between the composer and his mother from 2004, considering the phrase “Use your head for more than a hatrack” as a prompt for tactile sound explorations that render domestic objects into dreamlike audio environments.

Available to view free on demand at until Monday, March 1 at 5pm ET, Use Your Head For More retells the memories of multiple generations as a single thread, highlighting the theme of ingenuity by engaging found sound and personal archive in a performance of reimagining, remembering, and reminding.

“The saying ‘Use your head for more than a hatrack’ became a song my mom wrote as a reminder to her children that mining your imagination offers a way to create lushness with little at hand,” says Hicks. “She would also use it in moments to let us know that your brain is much more valuable than anything you could acquire. She used songs to remind us of things that kept us safe.”

Both Vibhanga and Use Your Head for More are part of the BAC Artist Commissions initiative, which was established September 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and supports the development of new work by providing resources for artists to realize their creative visions specifically for online presentation. Upcoming premieres include: Mariana Valencia’s brownout (March 1 to 15); Holland Andrews’ Museum of Calm (March 15 to 29); Stefanie Batten Band’s Kolonial (May 3 to 17); Tei Blow’s The Sprezzaturameron (May 17 to 31); and Kyle Marshall’s STELLAR (June 7 to 21). Each premiere is available for two weeks at A future schedule of live-streamed conversations with the artists to discuss their projects and creative processes will be announced.

Event Information

Bijayini Satpathy

(Digital World Premiere)
February 1 – February 15 (Monday at 5PM until Monday at 5PM)
Free and available on demand at
Running time: 14 minutes

In Conversation: Bijayini Satpathy with Mark Morris
Live on ZOOM
Wednesday, February 10 at 8PM EST
Free / Registration required at

Concept and Choreography: Bijayini Satpathy
Composers: Dhaneswar Swain, Srinibas Satapathy
Performer: Bijayini Satpathy
Musicians: Roopa Mahadevan, Sai Raman, S. Kavichelvam, Vishveshwar, Srinibas Satapathy
Lighting and Set Designer: Sujay Saple
Cinematography: Mahesh Bhat
Additional Cinematography: Vanmayi Shetty and Allan Mathew
Film Location: Bangalore International Centre, Bangalore, India

Vibhanga is part of a larger work, Abhipsaa, co-commissioned by Baryshnikov Arts Center and Duke University.

Bijayini Satpathy was a 2014 BAC Presents Artist and was a collaborator of 2016 BAC Space Resident Artist Surupa Sen.

Justin Hicks 
Use Your Head For More 

(Digital World Premiere)
February 15 – March 1 (Monday at 5PM until Monday at 5PM)
Free and available on demand at
Running time: 30 minutes

Creator/Performer: Justin Hicks
Artistic Collaborator/Editing: Breck Omar Brunson
Artistic Collaborator/Lighting: Tuce Yasak
Additional Vocals: Jade Hicks
Additional Vocals: Jasmine Hicks
Camera and Styling: Kenita Miller-Hicks
Audio Mix: Sean Davis
Film Location: The artist’s home in Bronx, NY

Justin Hicks was a collaborator of 2014 BAC Resident Artist Kaneza Schaal and 2019 BAC Space Resident Artists Mallory Catlett and Aaron Siegel.

About the Artists
Bijayini Satpathy’s passion for Odissi was first groomed in Orissa and later honed in the famed Nrityagram Dance Ensemble after she was selected in an audition by the late founder, Protima Gauri, and became the solo debutant in 1997. She studied and perfected Odissi with Nrityagram as a performer, teacher, research scholar, and administrator until 2018. Considered one of the foremost masters of Odissi in the world, she began conceptualizing her solo work to choreograph and expand the form after 25 years of touring globally with Nrityagram. “She’s easily among the top five dancers I’ve ever seen in my lifetime” said Mark Morris. Hailed by The New Yorker as “a performer of exquisite grace and technique,” Bijayini Satpathy’s solo debut in the U.S., Kalpana, The World of Imagination, has been listed as one of the best dances of 2019 in Dance Magazine and was nominated for a 2020 Bessie Award. As Principal Dancer of Nrityagram, Bijayini has shared a unique partnership with Nrityagram’s Artistic Director and Choreographer, Surupa Sen, in all her original works in the last two decades and has contributed to them with her skill as a performer, scholar and designer. Her duets with Surupa Sen are considered singularly admirable and exemplary. Their duet Vibhakta was rated as one of the best dance performances of 2008 by Joan Acocella in The New Yorker.

Justin Hicks is a multidisciplinary artist and performer whose sound and music work has been featured at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Performance Space New York, The Public Theater, JACK, Paisley Park, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Highline, and The Institute for Contemporary Art (Philadelphia) among many others. Hicks has collaborated with notable visual artists, musicians, and theater-makers including Abigail DeVille, Kaneza Schaal, Cauleen Smith, Helga Davis, and is a member of The HawtPlates. In 2018, he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his work as the composer of Mlima’s Tale by Lynn Nottage (The Public Theater, dir. Jo Bonney). Hicks was born in Cincinnati, OH, raised in Lafayette, IN and is based in the Bronx, NY.

Breck Omar Brunson (artistic collaborator/editing) includes his audience in his work through simple suggestive gestures, finding ways to provoke consideration of belonging in his created environments and objects. Brunson builds site specific works and considers most of them ongoing or semi-permanent with an edge of jest that morphs with time. His artwork utilizes found objects to narrate his presented encounters. He also works as a builder/designer specializing in smaller furniture pieces and decor. Brunson has appeared in various music outfits as a writer, vocalist, and producer and is currently based in Philadelphia, PA.

Tuçe Yasak (artistic collaborator/lighting) has been following light in New York City since 2008, creating over 100 site-specific light installations for performance in the US and abroad. Yasak received the 2018 BESSIE (...Memoirs of a... Unicorn by Marjani Forte-Saunders at Collapsable Hole and NYLA) and 2019 BESSIE (Oba Qween Baba King Baba by Ni'Ja Whitson at Danspace) for Outstanding Visual Design with her lighting design. She has ongoing collaborations with Raja Feather Kelly/the Feath3r, Ana Maria Alvarez/Contra Tiempo, Ni’Ja Whitson, Nia Witherspoon, and Justin Hicks. Her recent collaborations include Hysteria by Raja Feather Kelly at New York Live Arts, The Bridge Called My Ass by Miguel Gutierrez (The Chocolate Factory/NY, Montpellier Dance Festival/France, The Walker Center/Minneapolis, PICA/Portland) Skinfolk: An American Show written by Jillian Walker/directed by Mei Ann Teo (The Bushwick Starr, NYC), We're Gonna Die written by Young Jean Lee, directed by Raja Feather Kelly (2nd Stage Theater/NYC), M---ER by Autumn Knight (On The Boards), JoyUS JustUS by Contra Tiempo (national tour), and Patch the Sky with 5 Color Stones by Daria Fain at the Chocolate Factory among many others. Light, movement and architecture intertwine in Yasak's work to support space-making and story-telling.

About Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC)
 is the realization of a long-held vision by artistic director Mikhail Baryshnikov who sought to build an arts center in Manhattan that would serve as a gathering place for artists from all disciplines. BAC’s opening in 2005 heralded the launch of this mission, establishing a thriving creative laboratory and performance space for artists from around the world. BAC’s activities encompass a robust residency program augmented by a range of professional services, including commissions of new work, as well as the presentation of performances by artists at varying stages of their careers. In tandem with its commitment to supporting artists, BAC is dedicated to building audiences for the arts by presenting contemporary, innovative work at affordable ticket prices. For more information visit

BAC is grateful for the support of its generous individual and institutional annual fund donors in 2018––20.

Anonymous (2); Pierre Apraxine; Joanne and Tuvia Barak; Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lisa Rinehart; Simon Basner; Carol Baxter and Loren Plotkin; Michael Benari; Ray and Jane Bernick; Jamie Bishton; Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Borer; Catherine Brennan; Dino Buturovic and Mirjana Ciric; Pamela Ceglinski; Frank and Monique Cordasco; Nancy Dalva; Richard and Jennie DeScherer; Janet Dewan; Joseph and Diana DiMenna; Estate of James H. Duffy; Cheryl Lee and Steven C. Dupré; William James Earle; Alan and Judy Fishman; Barbara G. Fleischman; Anne and Chris Flowers; Sandra Foschi; Eve R. France; Alex and Jenia Fridlyand; Randy Gaugert; Carol Giles-Straight; Jon Gilman and Brad Learmonth; Denise L. Stefan Ginascol; Slavka B. Glaser; Michael Goldstein and Carolyn Katz; Peter Greenleaf; Cynthia Harvey; Kim Hendrickson and Grant Delin; Jeffery Hentze; Jano Herbosch; Joan Hooker; In Honor of Roger Hooker; Sarah Hooker; Huong Hoang; Fred Humphrey; Yukiko Inoue; Susan Israel; Bobbo Jetmundsen; Carine Joannou; Stephanie Joel; Colleen Keegan; Leo and Nadine Keegan; Donald M. Kendall; Herman E. Krawitz; Iya Labunka; Nicole Leibman; Lisa and Anton LeRoy; Jarrett and Maritess Lilien; Julie Lilien; Topper Lilien; Bruce Lipnick; Marianne Lockwood and David Bury; Nick and Cass Ludington; Sarah and Alec Machiels; The Honorable and Mrs. Earle Mack; Deanna Maclean; Maia Mamamtavrishvili; Elizabeth Manigault; Paul and Caroline McCaffery; Karen McLaughlin and Mark Schubin; Gary Miller and Valerie Beaman; Bob and Carol Morris; Brooke Garber Neidich and Daniel Neidich; Alessandra Nicifero; Ingrid Nyeboe and Louise Fishman; Zoya and Anna Obraztsova; Alvise Orsini; Denis Pelli; Ray Pepi and Karen Arrigoni; Alvin Perlmutter; Steven and Michèle Pesner; Georgiana Pickett; Ronnie Planalp; Noni Pratt; Christina Repetti: Piedad Rivadeneira; Laila Robins; James Roe; Isabella Rossellini; John Sansone; Sophia Schachter; Hillary Schafer and Mark Shafir; Dorothy Scheuer; Natasha Schlesinger; Laura Schoen; Vernon Scott; Dawn Sequeira; Dennis T. Serras; Joel Shapiro and Ellen Phelan; Wallace Shawn and Deborah Eisenberg; Sandy Siegel; Jeremy Smith; Gus Solomons; Ellen Sorrin and David York; Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley; Christina Sterner and Steve Poses; Angele Surault; Lev Sviridov; Anne and William Tatlock; Michael Tersigni and David Palachek; Jennifer Tipton; Deidra Wager; Robert and Kathleen Wallace; Robert Warshaw and Debbie Schmidt; Mary R. Waters; Suzanne Weil; Roger Weisberg and Karen Freedman; David N. White, Edgar Wilson; Michael Worden

Affirmation Arts Fund; Altman Foundation; Amazon Smile Foundation; American Chai Trust; Anonymous (2); Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust; Bay and Paul Foundations; Blavatnik Family Foundation; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Dance/NYC’s New York City Dance Rehearsal Space Subsidy  Program, made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; DeWitt Stern/Risk Strategies; The Enoch Foundation; Ford Foundation; Howard Gilman Foundation; Harkness Foundation for Dance; Irving Harris Foundation; Francena T. Harrison Foundation Trust; Dubose & Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund; Consulate General of Israel in North America; Japan Foundation; Jerome Foundation; Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation; Sean Kelly Gallery; Kent Van-Alen Fund; The Frances Lear Foundation; The Lupin Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation; New England Foundation for the Arts Dance Project with lead funding from the Doris  Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; North American-Chilean Chamber of Commerce; Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation; NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust; Muriel Pollia Foundation; Princess Grace Foundation-USA; Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; The Reed Foundation; The Jerome Robbins Foundation; Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund; Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; The Shubert Foundation; The Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation; Soros Fund Charitable Foundation; Consulate General of Switzerland in New York; The Thompson Family Foundation; Trust for Mutual Understanding; Twin Beeches Foundation

Baryshnikov Arts Center is also grateful for support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Funding is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Yamaha is the official piano of the Baryshnikov Arts Center.

As of December 10, 2020

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Image of Bijayini Satpathy by Mahesh Bhat; image of Justin Hicks by Maria Baranova



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