Category: 10/11 Performances (0)
Adaptation is one of the cornerstones of the dramatic arts. It has always been and it will continue to be as long as art survives. The incredible thing about adaptation, though, is the fact that it can be a near recreation of the source material, or it can be its own individual beast, barely recognizable except for some shared commonalities that still link the two. The Troubleyn | Jan Fabre production Prometheus–Landscape II, written by Jeroen Olyslaegers, lies somewhere between those two extremities, though probably a little closer to the latter. It has a definite outline and shape from the Aeschylus original, but it takes new form and adds many changes to the presentation of the material that makes it a unique and innovative experience. Read more »
In a time when it is common practice to Facebook favorite quotes or sayings, I must admit, I ran home after seeing Prometheus–Landscape II and quoted Pandora: “To instruct is to destruct.” These five simple words possess an infinite amount of possible meaning that portrays huge concepts. It is this use of language that made the script so compelling and intriguing. The show asked the audience uncomfortable questions such as, “Where is our creativity?” and “Will you allow your imagination to be extinguished?” without being completely in your face. It was subtle, and those with an imagination had the potential to pick it up. Read more »
As I sat onstage in the Alexander Kasser Theater, drinking tea during act two of Liz Lerman’s The Matter of Origins, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Is this really dance?”
I know this is dance—it must be dance—because it’s been scheduled as a dance performance as part of Peak Performances’ spring season. So why am I questioning it? Read more »
On March 23, Olivia Fermi, granddaughter of physicist Enrico Fermi, gave the keynote address for the Department of Mathematical Sciences’s Second Annual Physics and Art Exhibition. Fermi’s talk was part of Peak Performances’ season-long exploration of collaborations between art and science and was held in conjunction with performances of The Matter of Origins by the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Sara Wintz gives her impressions of this special event cosponsored by Montclair State’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programming, College of Science and Math, and College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
In her talk, “On the Neutron Trail: Seeing Fulcrums and Frames,” Olivia Fermi discussed sociological, cultural, and historical details surrounding the creation of the atom bomb. Like the participants in Montclair State’s Physics and Art Exhibition, who were invited to create images that illustrate a scientific concept, Fermi illustrated the context that surrounded the creation of this landmark scientific event.
“Part of the philosophy of ‘The Neutron Trail’ is to embrace the disconnects,” Fermi said in an interview following her presentation. “I grew up feeling a mixture of pride and guilt, but the people that would meet our family, they were always very respectful and, well, beyond that, there’s just tremendous gratitude for my grandfather’s work…in general…but when it comes to our nuclear legacy, it comes with more conflict than that.” Read more »
This brief guide to some of the sights, sounds, and speculations that helped to inspire The Matter of Origins was compiled by Sarah Gubbins, Production Dramaturg, and John Borstel, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Humanities Director.
“When heaven and earth were still one, the entire universe was contained in an egg-shaped cloud. Deep within its swirling chaos slept the giant Pan Gu. One day after 18,000 years, he awoke and stretched, cracking the egg to release the matter of the universe.”
—The Classic of Mountains and Seas (Classical Chinese text)
Every culture has its tradition of how the world and its contents came to be. Over the course of history, the question of the origins of the universe was taken up by philosophy and then by science, where it has become the domain of modern physics. Cosmology, which employs instruments like the Hubble Space Telescope, allows us to track evidence of past events in the universe’s currently observable activity. Particle physics, using such tools as the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) Large Hadron Collider, studies the scatter and decay of subatomic particles, observing their behavior for what it can tell us about the early formation of the universe and matter. With regard to both space and time, these two branches of physics observe phenomena at vastly contrasting extremes of scale. Read more »