Maya Beiser + Wendy Whelan + Lucinda Childs + David Lang


Performers Wendy Whelan and Maya Beiser
Choreography Lucinda Childs

Words and Music David Lang


Scenic design Sara Brown
Sound design Dave Cook
Projection design Joshua Higgason
Lighting design Natasha Katz
Costume design Karen Young

Creative producer Maya Beiser
Managing producer Christina Jensen
Production manager Emily McGillicuddy

Lighting supervisor Alejandro Fajardo

Projections supervisor Jess Medenbach

THE DAY, Part 1: the day
THE DAY, Part 2: world to come

Recorded vocals, text, and multitrack cello performed by Maya Beiser.

the day and world to come composed by David Lang are performed by arrangement with G. Schirmer, Inc., music publisher and copyright owner. 

THE DAY is a new music/dance work by cellist Maya Beiser, dancer Wendy Whelan, choreographer Lucinda Childs, with music by David Lang. 


A collaboration among legends, THE DAY is an evening-long sensory exploration of two journeys—life and the eternal, post-mortal voyage of the soul. This bold, highly collaborative work explores universal themes through the shared language of music and dance.


Cellist Maya Beiser, who conceived the piece, has been described by the Boston Globe as “a force of nature” and by Rolling Stone as a “cello rock star," and is a veteran of the world’s most revered stages. Wendy Whelan, widely considered one of the world’s leading dancers, spent 30 years as a principal dancer with New York City Ballet and originated numerous roles in new works by the world's most esteemed choreographers. The two will be onstage all evening, embodying the iconic choreography of Lucinda Childs (a Commandeur in France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and 2018 inductee in Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance) to the original music of Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang.



THE DAY was conceived by Maya Beiser. 

THE DAY was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


THE DAY was co-commissioned by Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; Carolina Performing Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Jacob's Pillow (world premiere at Festival 2019); The Joyce Theater; Ludwigsburg Festival, Germany; and Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA.


THE DAY was supported, in part, by the Inaugural Artist Fellowship at The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc.'s Artist Residency Center, made possible by lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Additional commissioning support was provided by the Wendy Whelan New Works Initiative.

Substantial development support for THE DAY was provided by LUMBERYARD Contemporary Performing Arts and Summer Stages Dance @ ICA/Boston.


THE DAY was supported in part by a Fay Chandler Faculty Creativity Grant from the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology.

Additional development support was provided by Baryshnikov Arts Center.

world to come by David Lang was commissioned in 2003 for Maya Beiser by Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, UC Santa Cruz Arts & Lectures, On the Boards, and Connecticut College, with support from Meet The Composer. the day by David Lang was commissioned in 2016 for Maya Beiser by Hancher Performances at the University of Iowa.

(Short Version)

THE DAY was conceived by Maya Beiser. 

THE DAY was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

THE DAY was co-commissioned by Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; Carolina Performing Arts at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Jacob's Pillow; The Joyce Theater; Ludwigsburg Festival, Germany; and Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA; and was supported, in part, by the Inaugural Artist Fellowship at The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc.’s Artist Residency Center. Substantial development support was provided by LUMBERYARD Contemporary Performing Arts and Summer Stages Dance @ ICA/Boston, with additional support from Baryshnikov Arts Center. THE DAY was supported in part by a Fay Chandler Faculty Creativity Grant from the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology.

maya wendy2.jpg

Photo by ioulex


For booking inquiries:

North and South America:

Christina Jensen,

Gina Meola,


Europe, Asia, Australia, and Israel:

as is productions

Gal Canetti,


2019-2020 Performances

July 31-Aug 4: Jacob's Pillow (World Premiere) – Becket, MA

Oct. 15: Carolina Performing Arts – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Oct. 18-19: UCLA, Center for the Art of Performance – Los Angeles, CA

Oct. 22-27: The Joyce Theater – New York, NY

Nov. 6: Lafayette College, Williams Center for the Arts – Easton, PA

Dec. 6-7: The Kennedy Center, Eisenhower Theater – Washington, DC

Jan. 18: OZ Arts Co-Presentation with Tennessee Performing Arts Center & Nashville Ballet – Nashville, TN

Jan. 24-Feb. 6: Théâtre de la Ville @ Espace Cardin – Paris, France

Feb. 27-28: San Francisco Performances – San Francisco, CA

April 7: The O’Shaughnessy & Walker Art Center Co-Presentation – St. Paul, MN [Cancelled]

April 10-11: Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College – Hanover, NH [Postponed]

April 24-26: ICA Boston – Boston, MA [Postponed]


June 11-14: Ludwigsburg Festival - Germany [Postponed]


"Memorable . . . utterly relatable, The Day is music every bit as good as its idea."

 The Nation

"A gut punch . . . nothing short of life itself: by turns hopeful, funny, surprising and tragic."

 – The New York Times

“A musician with stunning technical resources and intense musical instincts”

– The Financial TImes

“America’s greatest contemporary ballerina.”

– The New York Times


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About the Artists



Describing renowned cellist, producer, and multifaceted artist Maya Beiser, The New York Times writes, “The adventurous Ms. Beiser has been called the 'cello goddess,' which is not hyperbole: She summons from her instrument an emotional power so stirring that even the most stoic audience members risk turning into sobbing sacks of flesh.” Passionately forging her artistic path through uncharted territories, Maya Beiser has been captivating audiences worldwide, bringing a bold and unorthodox presence to contemporary classical music, experimenting with various musical styles, and defying conventional norms with her boundary-crossing performances. Hailed as “the reigning queen of avant-garde cello” by The Washington Post, she has been called a “cello rock star,” by Rolling Stone and praised as “a force of nature,” by The Boston Globe.

Raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, by her Argentinean father and French mother, Maya spent her early life surrounded by the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, while studying classical cello repertoire. At the age of 12, she was discovered by the late violinist Isaac Stern who became her mentor throughout her early career. She is a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, BAM, The Kennedy Center, BBC Proms, London’s Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican, Sydney Opera House, Beijing Festival, Barcelona’s L’auditori, Paris’ Cité de la Musique, and Stockholm’s Concert Hall. Maya’s critically acclaimed multimedia productions World To Come, Almost Human, Provenance, Elsewhere: A Cello Opera, All Vows and Spinning have consistently been chosen for top critics’ “Best Of The Year” lists. Among the wide range of artists she has collaborated with are Louis Andriessen, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Tan Dun, Steve Reich, Shirin Neshat, Bill Morrison, Robert Woodruff, and Lucinda Childs.

Maya’s vast discography includes eleven solo albums. Her recent albums TranceClassical (2016)
and Maya Beiser: Uncovered (2014) topped the classical music charts. Her next album, delugEON, will be released in August 2019 on Maya’s new Islandia Music Records imprint. She is the featured soloist on many film soundtracks, including an extensive collaboration with composer James Newton Howard for M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening and After Earth, Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters, Edward Zwick’s Blood Diamond and Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman.

Maya Beiser is a 2015 United States Artists (USA) Distinguished Fellow in Music; a 2017 Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology; and she was recently a Presenting Artist at the inaugural CultureSummit, held in 2017 in Abu Dhabi. Invited to present at the prestigious TED main stage in Long Beach, CA, Maya’s 2011 TED Talk has been watched by over one million people and translated to 32 languages. Maya is a graduate of Yale University and was a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars.


Wendy Whelan, widely considered one of the world’s leading dancers of her generation, began dance lessons at the age of three in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Whelan began intense professional training at the Louisville Ballet Academy. She was accepted to the summer program of the School of American Ballet at age 14; a year later, she moved to New York to continue her studies as a full-time student. In 1984, she was named an apprentice with New York City Ballet and joined the corps de ballet a year later.

Wendy Whelan went on to spend 30 years at New York City Ballet, dancing virtually all the major Balanchine roles, and working closely with Jerome Robbins on many of his ballets and originating roles in ballets by such notable choreographers as William Forsythe, Twyla Tharp, Alexei Ratmansky, Christopher Wheeldon, Jorma Elo, Shen Wei, and Wayne MacGregor. She was promoted to soloist in 1989 and to principal dancer in 1991. Her most notable choreographic collaboration at NYCB was with Christopher Wheeldon, who created roles for Whelan in thirteen of his ballets, including Polyphonia, Liturgy, and After the Rain. At his own company, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, he again chose Whelan for several new works, and in 2007, she was nominated in London for both an Olivier Award and a Critics Circle Award for her performances.

Wendy Whelan has been a guest artist with The Royal Ballet and the Kirov Ballet and has performed all over the U.S., South America, Europe, and Asia. She received the Dance Magazine Award in 2007, and in 2009 was given a Doctorate of Arts, honoris causa, from Bellarmine University. In 2011, she received both The Jerome Robbins Award and a Bessie Award for her Sustained Achievement in Performance.
Since 2013, Wendy Whelan has been developing her own independent projects. Her inaugural project, Restless Creature with four dancer/choreographers — Kyle Abraham, Joshua Beamish, Brian Brooks, and Alejandro Cerrudo – was co-produced by The Joyce Theater Productions and premiered at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 2013, later touring the U.S. She followed up with the development of two more projects in 2015, Whelan/Watson Other Stories, co-produced by the Royal Opera House in London and Hagoromo which was self-produced with American Opera Projects for the BAM Next Wave Festival. In 2016-2017, she premiered Some of a Thousand Words with Brian Brooks and Brooklyn Rider at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, which was co-produced by The Joyce Theater Productions and toured throughout the U.S. 

In February 2019, Wendy Whelan marked a return to New York City Ballet when she was appointed Associate Artistic Director of the Company. 
A documentary, entitled Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan, was released in movie theaters across the country beginning in summer 2017 and is now available on iTunes and Amazon. The film recently won the Chita Rivera Award for Best Dance Documentary.


Lucinda Childs began her career at the Judson Dance Theater In New York in 1963. Since forming her dance company ten years later, she has created over fifty works, both solo and ensemble. In 1976 she was featured in the landmark avant-garde opera Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass and Robert Wilson, for which she won an Obie Award. She subsequently appeared in a number of Wilson’s productions, including I Was Sitting on My Patio This Guy Appeared I Thought I Was Hallucinating, Quartett, by Heiner Muller, Wilson and Glass’s opera White Raven, Wilson’s video project Video 50, and Maladie de la Mort by Marguerite Duras (opposite Michel Piccoli). Most recently, she appeared in Wilson’s production of Arvo Part’s Adam’s Passion and also recorded spoken text and collaborated on the choreography for Letter to a Man, which was based on Nijinsky’s diaries and performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov.

In 1979 Childs choreographed one of her most enduring works, Dance, with music by Philip Glass and film décor by Sol LeWitt, which continues to tour internationally and has been added to the repertory of the Lyon Opera Ballet, for which she has choreographed Beethoven’s Grande Fugue. In 2015 she revived Available Light, created in 1983 with music by John Adams and a split-level set by Frank Gehry. It was presented at the Festival d’Automne in Paris and the Manchester International Festival. In 2016, in an exhibit titled “Nothing Personal,” her choreographic scores were shown at the Thaddeus Ropac Gallery in collaboration with the Centre Nationale de la Danse, to which she has donated her archive.
Since 1981 Childs has choreographed over thirty works for major ballet companies, including the Paris Opera Ballet and Les Ballet de Monte Carlo. She has also directed and choreographed a number of contemporary and eighteenth-century operas, including Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for the Los Angeles Opera, Mozart’s Zaide for La Monnaie in Brussels, Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and Oedipe, Vivaldi’s Farnace, Handel’s Alessandro, and John Adams’s Dr. Atomic for the Opera du Rhin. Her production of Jean Baptiste Lully’s Atys premiered at Oper Kiel in 2014 and her production of Jean-Marie Leclaire’s Scylla and Glaucus premiered there in 2017.
Childs is the recipient of numerous awards. She holds the rank of Commandeur in France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 2017 she received the Golden Lion award from the Venice Biennale and the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival award for lifetime achievement. In 2018, Childs was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance.


David Lang is one of the most highly esteemed and performed American composers writing today. The New Yorker wrote: “With his winning of the Pulitzer Prize for the little match girl passion (one of the most original and moving scores of recent years), Lang, once a postminimalist enfant terrible, has solidified his standing as an American master.” His works have been performed around the world in most of the great concert halls. 

Lang's simple song #3, written as part of his score for Paolo Sorrentino's acclaimed film YOUTH, received many awards nominations in 2016, including the Academy Award and Golden Globe. Recent works include his opera prisoner of the state, which premiered in June 2019 with the New York Philharmonic; his opera the loser, which opened the 2016 Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and received a West Coast premiere in April 2019 with LA Opera; the public domain for 1000 singers, which premiered at Lincoln Center’s 2016 Mostly Mozart Festival; his chamber opera anatomy theater premiered at the Prototype Festival in New York and then at LA Opera; the concerto man made for the ensemble So Percussion and a consortium of orchestras, including the BBC Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; mountain, commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony; death speaks, a song cycle based on Schubert, but performed by rock musicians, including Bryce Dessner from The National and Shara Worden from My Brightest Diamond; the whisper opera, for the International Contemporary Ensemble and soprano Tony Arnold; and love fail, an evening-length work for the early music vocal ensemble Anonymous 4.

Lang is a Professor of Music Composition at the Yale School of Music and is Artist in Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York's legendary music collective Bang on a Can. His music is published by Red Poppy Music (ASCAP) and is distributed worldwide by G. Schirmer, Inc.