Crazy Atoms

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Pablo Picasso

Fate sometimes puts a gift in our path — and we are wise to embrace it. One of my dog-walking pals, Claire, was raving one morning about a dance program she had just seen. She was so excited about it that she inspired me to check it out. I’m so glad I did. It was an amazing experience — inventive and provocative!

“The Matter of Origins,”was created by the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and offered by Peak Performances at Montclair State University. A fantastic alchemical brew of dance, words, science and art, it was inspired by two ideas: first, Liz Lerman’s curiousity about “the emotional ways that advances in science affect us” and second, a book on J. Robert Oppenheimer called American Prometheus. Says Liz: “In it, one sentence caught my eye and inner ear: the mention of Edith Warner, whom Oppenheimer hired to feed some of his fellow physicists on the secret project a few nights a week at her desert tea house. In an instant I imagined these people in her little space, eating, talking, questioning, wondering, and I mused on the possibility of the same for an audience.”

What an explosive creative mix: the atomic bomb and “tea and sympathy!” Using words, dance, video, and a small number of props, the piece blends art and science in a dazzling, disorienting way. In one sequence, we see the words, “My body spins, entangles, and decays” projected as two older dancers slowly wrap themselves around each other. In another sequence, a young woman interacts with a chair in at least 10 different ways.

In Act II, the audience is brought up on stage, fed tea and Edith’s special chocolate cake, and guided in a discussion by a group of gentle “provocateurs” — scientists who offered their own insights and solicited ours.

What an enchanted evening! If you hear about something that sounds intriguing, go for it! It will fuel your wonder — and your creative juices.

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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