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May 17, 2007

Snappy Dance Theater


String Beings

Snappy Dance Theater threads together computer science and classically-trained musicians via contemporary dance and theater in its newest work String Beings, Celebrating its 10th Anniversary Season :: May 30-June 10, 2007 :: The Virginia Wimberly Theatre, Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, Boston :: Press Night / Opening Night: Wednesday, May 30 ::

Widely acclaimed for its edgy, ironic and acrobatic performances, Snappy Dance Theater celebrates its 10th anniversary with the world premiere of String Beings, a collaboration with MIT scientist and new media artist Jonathan Bachrach and BSO first violinist Lucia Lin. With real-time video feedback using intelligent video processing and live musicians who become part of the choreography, the new work explores the metaphors of string, focusing on relationships, and commonalities that tie us together by means of Snappy's signature daring, muscular and witty style.

Martha Mason directs the new work, and is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Snappy Dance Theater, a Boston-based contemporary dance company of nine performers who tour nationally and internationally. Mason envisioned the collaboration in early 2006 and brought these artists together to share and develop their ideas. Working closely with Mason is new media artist and MIT computer scientist Jonathan Bachrach Ph.D. He uses his own uniquely-designed intelligent video processing to manipulate live video footage of the Snappy dancers, and then projects the animated video onto the stage, allowing live dancers and virtual “dancers” to interact. String Beings is set to the music of Berlin composer Michael Rodach, and will be performed by Lucia Lin (Boston Symphony and Muir Quartet) and an electric guitarist. Virtuosic Lin brings Rodach’s haunting contemporary score alive, while partnering with the dancers. In one scene, she is lifted and passed between the dancers without ever touching the ground.

Technically, the group works with 2-3 cameras, 2 projectors, multiple screens and stage lighting. Coordinating these technical aspects with the physical, artistic and human elements has created a unique playground for the collaborators. Through the year-long creative process, the artists have explored the dark and humorous sides of social manipulation and the dynamics of power changes both in society and in our personal lives. Snappy’s unique blend of dance, theater, puppetry, circus arts and acrobatics, has provided the artistic and physical elements in which to present these themes. Mason and Bachrach work closely with lighting designer, Joseph Levendusky to experiment with staging and lighting these varied elements. Mason’s direction provides a provocative balance between comedy and tragedy that creates compelling and surprising scenes.

Snappy is the leading contemporary dance company in Massachusetts, and has been presented in 18 States and four countries. The company has attracted major commissions (The Temperamental Wobble by Bank of America Celebrity Series), received critical acclaim in publications, and developed an extensive youth outreach program that complements its general programming. String Beings is partially funded by the LEF Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, an anonymous donor and the artists themselves. String Beings is presented in Boston in association with World Music/CRASHarts and Boston Center for the Arts, as part of the BCA’s 2006-07 Cultural Partners Series.

Performances run Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7:30pm; Friday and Saturday at 8pm; and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3pm. Tickets are $15―$45. Tickets and information: CRASHarts (617) 876-4275 or www.CRASHarts.org, or at www.BostonTheaterScene.com.

Learn more about the artists:
Snappy Dance Theater – http://www.snappydance.com
Jonathan Bachrach, Ph.D. - http://people.csail.mit.edu/jrb/jrb.html
Lucia Lin - http://www.bso.org/biography.jhtml?area=bso&id=2100095
Michael Rodach - http://www.michaelrodach.com/

Contact Snappy to interview the artists. Carey Foster, cmckinley[at]snappydance.com, 617-947-8370

Posted by jo at May 17, 2007 01:46 PM