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Thursday, December 14

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Dance Wed Nov 09 2011

Spectacle and Science: The Matter of Origins at the MCA Chicago

Dance Exchange: Liz Lerman's "The Matter of Origins" from MCA Chicago on Vimeo.

The MCA Chicago continues its year of in-depth, audience-focused changes with its latest MCA Stage production, The Matter of Origins. Choreographed by original Dance Exchange artistic director Liz Lerman, this multimedia-heavy and theatrical performance continues to push the boundaries of contemporary dance. The work is co-presented with the Chicago Humanities Festival, whose 2011 theme of Technology runs through the core of the dance work.

In a press release, Lerman said that The Matter of Origins examines, "how the human mind flips and stretches to comprehend things that are incredibly small, large, fast, or far beyond the categories of known experience." For the traditional dance fan, the performance offers a one-of-a-kind experience that draws on both history and the reactions of audience members.

448cb01_Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in The Matter of Origins by Jaclyn Borowski_8.JPG

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange performing The Matter of Origins. Photo: Jaclyn Borowski.

In Act One, the story moves from Madame Curie's lab to the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator to the Hubble Telescope. Throughout this journey, video interviews with scientists, ethicists, and philosophers will be projected in the background.

Act Two moves the audience from the MCA Theater to the MCA's second-floor atrium for an interactive experience incorporating everything from dance, media, tea, and conversation. Continuing the skewed and unique science and technology-based themes, a chocolate cake to be served with the tea is an original recipe from Edith Warner. Warner, a native of Los Alamos, opened a small roadhouse restaurant in her home that was later the site of weekly conversations with J. Robert Oppenheimer and other physicists who developed the first atomic bomb.

If this seems like too much to dissect in one evening, consider that to be a good thing. Rather than limit herself to the norms of even contemporary dance, Lerman has created a work that challenges the traditional notions of theater, dance, and the way we learn about the people and things that have ultimately shaped the collective course of our nation.

The Matter of Origins begins Thursday, November 10 and runs through Sunday, November 13. Performances begin at 7:30pm. Tickets are $28, with a limited number of $10 student tickets available, and can be purchased by phone (312-397-4010) or online at mcachicago.org

 
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Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

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