The Day

2019-20 MIT Performing Series and Fay Chandler Creativity Grant

Maya Beiser and Wendy Whelan, The Day, Jacobs Pillow, 2019. Credit: Hayim Heron. Courtesy of Jacobs Pillow.
Maya Beiser and Wendy Whelan, Work-in-Progress showing of The Day, 2019. Credit: Nils Schlebusch.

Artists collaborate on a sensory exploration of life and the eternal


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


Postponed Events

Conversation with Wendy Whelan and Maya Beiser, moderated by Sara Brown
Spring 2020
MIT Campus

Maya Beiser + Wendy Whelan + Lucinda Childs + David Lang: The Day
April 24 – 26, 2020
ICA Boston
25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA

Past Events

Summer Stages Dance @ ICA: Maya Beiser, Wendy Whelan, Lucinda Childs + David Lang, The Day Work-in-Progress Showing
Sunday July 21, 2019 / 3:00pm
ICA Boston, 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA

The Day Dance Festival
July 31 – August 4, 2019
Jacobs Pillow
58 George Carter Road, Becket, MA


Maya Beiser, CAST Visiting Artist, is a cellist who defies categories. Passionately forging a career path through uncharted territories, Beiser has captivated audiences worldwide with her virtuosity, eclectic repertoire and relentless quest to redefine her instrument’s boundaries. The Boston Globe declares, “With virtuoso chops, rock-star charisma, and an appetite for pushing her instrument to the edge of avant-garde adventurousness, Maya Beiser is the post-modern diva of the cello,” while Rolling Stone calls her a “cello rock star.”

Biography: MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology
Social: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter  | YouTube

Sara Brown is a set designer and Assistant Professor in Music and Theater Arts. Brown’s designs have been seen at the BAM Next Wave Festival, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Festival d’automn in Paris, and The American Repertory Theater in Cambridge. Brown joins The Day collaboration as scenic designer.

Biography: MIT Music and Theater Arts

Wendy Whelan is a dancer and the Associate Artistic Director of New York City Ballet (NYCB). One of the most acclaimed dancers of her generation, she followed a storied 30-year career at NYCB with a variety of multi-disciplinary projects with cultural organizations around the world. She was named NYCB Associate Artistic Director in February 2019.

Biography: NYC Ballet
Social: Instagram

Choreographer 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. 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. She was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, New York.


Passionate, prolific, and complicated, composer David Lang embodies the restless spirit of invention. Lang is at the same time deeply versed in the classical tradition and committed to music that resists categorization, constantly creating new forms.


Technical Instructor in Music and Theater Arts at MIT Joshua Higgason is a video, lighting, scenic, and interactive designer for theater, opera, concerts, and live performances.

BiographyMIT Music and Theater Arts


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

The Day was conceived by Maya Beiser.

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; and the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA; and was supported, in part, by the Inaugural Artist Fellowship at the Joyce Theater Foundation’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 is part of the 2019–20 MIT Performing series, a prototyping and presenting series programmed by Jay Scheib, professor offor Music and Theater Arts, which is presented by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology and supported in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT. MIT Performing promotes a research-based artistic practice and serves as a new platform for contemporary performance.

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.

In the Media

“Beiser is a strong but not melodramatic presence who lets Lang’s music sing and cry and speak with clarity and passion. Whelan’s refreshingly unmannered dancing — a clean, disciplined, service-to-the-steps beauty — is as present as ever.” The Boston Globe

“This momentous melding of multi-genre creative genius, created collaboratively by Beiser and Childs, explores memory, life’s journey, resilience, and survival of the soul through the shared language of music and dance.” Jacob’s Pillow

The New York Times, “A Lucinda Childs Dance for Wendy Whelan Is Coming to Jacob’s Pillow”

The New York Times, “LUMBERYARD’s First Season Includes New Work by Lucinda Childs”