Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dance + Environment = Perfect Partners

Dancing to the Music of Nature

Add the wind in the trees to choreographed feet on the ground and what do you get? 
The Soundscape Project is Sonoma State University’s Department of Theatre Arts & Dance fall dance concert.  Three unique interdisciplinary dances move with and through the sounds of Sonoma County’s natural world November 21 through to November 24 in Rohnert Park, CA.

The concept of a multi disciplinary approach isn’t new. Dance has long been an important part of ceremony, rituals and entertainment. Archaeologists have recorded traces of dance from as far back as 9,000 years ago. The old Bhimbetka rock shelters paintings in India and Egyptian tomb paintings depict dancing figures from c. 3300 BC. This form of physical expression has also been part of healing practices and remains a popular story telling vehicle. 

But Soundscape Project  - which brings together theatre, dance, engineering and environmental studies - has something new and important to tell and show us. Moving in sync with the symphony of nature – bird calls, wind rustling through trees, crickets at sunset – remind us of how rich our environment is. Perhaps, more importantly, it can inspire us to connect the dots between our physicality and that of the world we live in.

The unique dance piece, featuring the sounds of the Sonoma State University’ Nature Preserves, was created with the collaboration of professionals working with university students.

Some say it is the perfect merger of art and science because it blends video and acoustic recordings by world renowned bioacoustics expert, Dr. Bernie Krause, with new dance pieces. Krause has been recording wild soundscapes -- the grunting of a sea anemone, the sad calls of a beaver in mourning, the subtle sounds of insect larvae -- for 45 years. Already assured a place in pop culture canon thanks to his musical resume which includes Stevie Wonder and The Byrds, he documents the fading voices of nature that have made our ecosystem complete.

Soundscape Project is choreographed by Christine Cali, Kristen Daley and student dancers and original music is provided by Jesse Olsen Bay.  The work of noted guest choreographers Lisa Jaroslow and Rogelio Lopez will also be featured.

More Info: The performances take place 7:30 pm November 21-23 and at 2 p.m. November 24  at Evert B. Person Theatre, Sonoma State University, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, CA 94928. Ticket prices are $10-$17 and do not include $5 parking fee. 
Photo courtesy of SSU Dept. of Theatre Arts & Dance.

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