Three special events to commemorate 9/11 at Lincoln Center

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the US on September 11, 2001, a date that changed history and will live on in infamy. In recognition of the innocent lives lost and the resiliency of America and the courageous people who survived that horrific day and the destruction of NYC’s iconic World Trade Center, three special events will be presented on the campus of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on September 10 and 11.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza (entrance at 111 Amsterdam Avenue, between 64th and 65th Streets), is offering a free presentation of journalist, writer, and TV producer Thomas F. Flynn’s epic poem Bikeman on Friday, September 10, beginning at 4 pm, in the Bruno Walter Auditorium. Narrated by Tony-nominated multi-award-winning actor Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde), the profoundly affecting piece, first published in 2008, chronicles Flynn’s experience of riding his bike quickly towards the World Trade Center’s blazing site after the North Tower was hit, not knowing that a second attack was imminent or that total chaos would ensue.

The author’s style has been described as having “the detail of a journalist and the lyricism of a poet,” which promises to be enhanced further by Cuccioli’s outstanding talent and riveting delivery. Please note that admission is by advance registration only and masks are required; anyone without a mask will not be admitted.

On Saturday, September 11, the Metropolitan Opera will reopen its doors at Lincoln Center following the long pandemic closure with its first in-person indoor performance since March 2020. The special program, Verdi’s Requiem: The Met Remembers 9/11, will be performed by the Met Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and featuring soloists Ailyn Pérez (soprano), Elīna Garanča (mezzo-soprano), Matthew Polenzani (tenor), and Eric Owens (bass-baritone).

Five-hundred tickets have been made available to the families of 9/11 victims; remaining tickets are sold out, but, in keeping with tradition, the audio portion of the on-stage event will also be broadcast live in Lincoln Center Plaza, where the building façade will be illuminated in blue as part of NYC’s annual art installation 9/11 Tribute in Light, and an English-language translation of the text will be projected. In addition, the special presentation will air on the PBS Great Performances series at 8 pm, with ballet star Misty Copeland serving as host, and will become available on demand on the following day.

Table of Silence Project, 2020. Photo by Paul B. Goode.

Buglisi Dance Theatre and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, in partnership with Dance/NYC, honor the 20th year since the attacks of 9/11, and the current crises that face humanity today, with a free livestreamed performance of the Table of Silence Project 9/11, supported by the Arnhold Dance Innovation Fund. The annual public ritual for peace was conceived and choreographed by Artistic Director Jacqulyn Buglisi for the 10th anniversary in 2011; since the inaugural performance of the site-specific work on Josie Robertson Plaza, more than 1400 professional dancers, musicians, and singers representing the diverse voices of the NYC arts community have performed to over 2,000,000 people across all 50 states and in 229 countries via livestream.

Artistic collaborators for Buglisi’s reimagined 2021 program are composer and music director Daniel Bernard Roumain, spoken-word poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Buglisi Dance co-founder and principal dancer Terese Capucilli, and videographer Nel Shelby. This year’s presentation – part of Restart Stages, the outdoor performing arts initiative, constructed around The Green installation on the Plaza to help champion the city’s cultural and economic revival – will be livestreamed from Lincoln Center beginning at 8:00 am on Saturday, September 11, on the Lincoln Center website and Facebook page. The video will also be available on-demand on Buglisi Dance Theatre’s YouTube channel following the premiere.

The Green at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by Sachyn Mital, courtesy of Lincoln Center.

“Through each iteration of the Table of Silence Project 9/11, we have connected the threads of every passing year since September 11th to weave a more profound and meaningful ritual,” said Buglisi. “Expressing so much of what makes us human, the Table of Silence Project’s message of peace and healing is far-reaching and holds great relevance today. Our goal is to offer a transformative experience that honors the strength and resilience of our collective society.”

Henry Timms, President and CEO of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, added, “At moments when we come together to mark milestones like this, the arts must help us process, find community, and move forward together. Our city has been through so much since 2001, and over this last year in particular. We are honored to host this beautiful work of art to honor those lost and provide solace for fellow New Yorkers and those beyond.”

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