Odd pairings create cool fusion

BY JUSTUS FLAIR | APRIL 03, 2015 5:00 AM

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Music and dance aren’t a ground-breaking pairing, but music combined with physics and engineering create odder couples.

These disciplines fused at Mission Creek Festival’s First Kiss collaborative performance event in the Old Capitol Town Center Thursday evening.

The event teamed artists and scientists who had never worked together before and gave them a limited time to concoct a performance piece.

Watching from the crowd, one of the scientists was visibly moved to hear the music his work had helped create.

“I think [First Kiss] fits perfectly well in Mission Creek,” said audience member Nola Garda.

“Mission Creek is all about innovation and new things, and this is as innovative as you can get in many ways. When many different people from different backgrounds come together, such as physics and dancers and literature, I think it’s exciting.”

The first piece, “Eden, Eaten,” caught Garda’s eye by using the mall’s escalator. Fulfilling the dream of mischievous children, the dancers rode up the down and down the up escalators, no parents in sight, all while balancing and tossing apples.

“[Choreographer Jennifer Kayle] wanted it to be more of a consumerism-type feel, so it turned into a sort of Garden of Eden type thing,” performer Andrea Larabee said.

The last piece made use of the mall staircase. Garda found the unconventional “stages” intriguing.

“At the same time that I like to go to the theater and see a performance, I do like all the environments of the performance where you have to deal with whatever is happening, like in life,” Garda said.

The event was eye-opening for the performers as well as the audience.

“There’s a lot of different integration [of] the engineers and arts, music and dance,” Larabee said.

“As dancers, you collaborate a lot with the other artists on campus, so it was fun to see a different aspect with the engineers working with the theater.”

Other performances had a more direct message. A piece by Ari Craven (theater) and Kassia Lisinski (literature, art) humorously depicted the stress of meeting new people.

Craven represented a child in her “awkward stage,” Lisinski the helpful guiding voice such kids need most. The show even came complete with advice: Put away your phone for a bit and give in to the uncertainty of real human contact.

Luckily, the audience listened, approaching the unconventional performance with an open mind.

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