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The Abyss 

Wednesday, Apr 11 2012
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We love watching dance inspired by science, but often the science is left to a few lines in the program. Capacitor never makes that mistake. The dance-circus performance group not only consults with scientists, it workshops with them. During the making of the ocean-themed Okeanos, marine biologists and oceanographers regularly met with the company and traded information — lectures by one group, work-in-progress dance by the other. With Okeanos, Capacitor goes so far as to include noted speakers before each show (we’re most excited about the TEDxSF panel with Andy Sharpless and the “Diving into Deep Sea Technology” panel with Virgin Oceanic’s Chris Welsh). There’s also a post-show “Ocean Solutions Café” with conservation groups. As for the action, Okeanos pairs four dancers with four circus artists to present an “ocean sensory immersion,” aided by the company’s trademark sculptural props and audio/visual blast. Given the science-heavy vibe, few in the audience will be unaware of James Cameron’s recent immersion in the Mariana Trench, 7 miles deep. What they might not know is that the inspiration for Okeanos came from Artistic Director Jodi Lomask’s father, who, a half-century ago, spent three hours in a trench of his own off Italy, 2 miles deep. Deep-sea exploration and dance seem like an obvious fit.
April 12-15, 2012

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Michael Leaverton

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