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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 supervisors Alejandro Fajardo, Nic Vincent

Projections supervisors Jess Medenbach, Jorge Morales Picó

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 Universal Music Corp., 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.


maya wendy2.jpg

Photo by ioulex


Booking Inquiries:

Christina Jensen,

Gina Meola,



"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


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.


About the Artists



Describing 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 hailed as “the reigning queen of avant-garde cello” by The Washington Post, dubbed a “cello rock star,” by Rolling Stone and praised as “a force of nature,” by The Boston Globe.

Reinventing solo cello performance in the mainstream arena, Maya is a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, London’s Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican, the Sydney Opera House, the Beijing Festival, Barcelona’s L’Auditori, Paris’ Cité de la Musique, and Stockholm’s Concert Hall. Among the wide range of artists with whom she has collaborated are Louis Andriessen, Philip Glass, Tan Dun, Steve Reich, Brian Eno, Shirin Neshat, Erin Cressida-Wilson, Bill Morrison, Missy Mazolli, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, Evan Ziporyn, Pontus Lidberg, Wendy Whelan, Lucinda Childs, and Joe Hisaishi.


A series of Maya’s critically acclaimed solo multimedia productions were commissioned by Carnegie Hall and chosen for top critics’ “Best Of The Year” lists. Her cello opera, Elsewhere, premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival to rave reviews. Over her decades of trailblazing career, she has performed at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Celebrity Series in Boston, Ojai Music Festival, International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, and numerous major venues and festivals in Paris, Amsterdam, Torino, Milano, Tokyo, Taipei, Athens, Mexico City, Havana, Bogota and Adelaide, to name a few. She has appeared with many of the world’s top orchestras performing new works for the cello including the Detroit Symphony, Montreal Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Boston Pops, Sydney Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Nashville Symphony, China Philharmonic, Shanghai Philharmonic, Barcelona Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, among many others.


Maya’s vast discography includes fourteen solo albums. In her latest album, Maya Beiser x Philip Glass, she creates a multi-layered cello sound sculpture, unveiling new dimensions Philip Glass’s music. Released in July 2021, the album topped the classical music charts. Maya is the featured soloist on many film soundtracks, including an extensive collaboration with composer James Newton Howard. Her performance of Lang’s world to come IV has been featured on the soundtrack for Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar winning film, La Grande Bellezza.


Maya Beiser is a United States Artists (USA) Distinguished Fellow in Music; a Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology; and was invited to present at the prestigious TED main stage in Long Beach, CA. Maya’s TED Talk has been watched by over one million people and translated to 32 languages. She has been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts and All Things Considered, PBS News Hour, and the BBC World News. Maya is a graduate of Yale University.


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 as choreographer in the early 1960s, as a member of the seminal Judson Dance Theater. She formed her own company in 1973 and three years later 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. In 1977, she and Wilson co-directed and performed in I was sitting on my patio this guy appeared I thought I was hallucinating, which they revived for the Festival d’Automne in Paris in 2021, where they also created an evening length work titled, Bach 6 Solo, with the violinist Jennifer Koh.

In 1979, Childs choreographed one of her most enduring works, Dance, with music by Philip Glass and film décor by Sol LeWitt, for which she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship. Dance toured internationally and has been added to the repertory of the Lyon Opera Ballet for which she has also 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, for the Festival d’Automne in Paris. Available Light was presented at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York in 2018 and that same year Childs’s company performed some of her early work as part of the exhibition Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


In addition to work for her own group, Childs has choreographed over thirty works for major ballet companies. She has also directed and choreographed a number of operas, most recently, Philip Glass’s Akhnaten for l’Opéra de Nice Côte d’Azur which won the 2021 trophy for best lyrical opera from Opera Forum. The premier was streamed in November 2020, and live performances took place in Nice in November 2021. Her additional opera productions include Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for the Los Angeles Opera; Mozart’s Zaide, Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and Oedipus Rex, Vivaldi’s Farnace, and John Adams’s Dr. Atomic for the Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg; Handel’s Alessandro at the Megaron Concert Hall in Athens; and Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Atys and Jean-Marie Leclaire’s Scylla and Glaucus for the Theater Kiel in Germany. 


Childs has also collaborated with Robert Wilson for Letter to a Man, based on Nijinsky’s diaries and performed by Mikhail Baryshnikov. She appeared as an actor in Wilson’s productions of Heiner Muller’s Quartett and Marguerite Duras’s Maladie de la Mort with Michel Piccoli. In 2016, in an exhibit titled Nothing Personal, Childs’s 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.


Childs holds the rank of Commandeur in France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. In 2017 she received the Golden Lion award from the Venice Biennale and the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival award for lifetime achievement. She has been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, New York, and received an honorary doctorate from the Université Côte d’Azur in 2021.


In the words of The New Yorker, “With his winning of the Pulitzer Prize for the little match girl passion (one of the most original and moving scores of recent years), David Lang, once a post-minimalist enfant terrible, has solidified his standing as an American master.” 


Lang’s score for Paolo Sorrentino’s film Youth received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, among others. His opera prisoner of the state, co-commissioned by the New York Philharmonic, Rotterdam's de Doelen Concert Hall, London’s Barbican Centre, Barcelona’s l’Auditori, Bochum Symphony Orchestra, Bruges’s Concertgebouw, and Malmo Opera, premiered June 6-8, 2019 with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Jaap van Zweden.


Other recent work includes man made, a concerto for So Percussion and orchestra, co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony; his opera anatomy theater, written in collaboration with visual artist Mark Dion, at Los Angeles Opera; the public domain, a commission from Lincoln Center for 1000 amateur singers;  the mile long opera, an opera / installation on New York City’s High Line, in collaboration with artist and architect Elizabeth Diller; and his opera the loser, based on the novel by Thomas Bernhard, which opened the 2016 Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and for which Lang served as librettist, composer, and stage director.


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 festival Bang on a Can.

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