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The group dances together

Happenings: The Buzz on Soundpainting

Today’s post comes from Taylor Shoolery, class of 2012 and Art Center student docent.

The performers from the Powerhouse Apprentice Company at Late Night

Last night at the Art Center we were joined by the Powerhouse Apprentice Company for one in a series of dance theater performances called soundpaintings. Working at the Art Center, I had heard the buzz about soundpainting build as we got closer to the first performance, but exactly what it was remain a mystery, so, naturally, I was excited to see what was in store for me.  The crowd at Late Night was waiting eagerly for the performance to begin when a group of unsmiling figures in sunglasses processed through the atrium and straight into the gallery—the performance was on. Next, we in the audience realized there were strange figures, all dressed in formal black and white apparel in many of the surrounding galleries. Not quite sure what was about to happen, I wandered in to the adjacent gallery and followed one of the performers around the space. But soon our attention was drawn back to the largest room as music played and the players began to dance. One man, standing before the rest of his troop, was clearly the director, using a special sign language, which I later discovered was developed in the 1970s by Walter Thompson so the director can communicate with the dancers as the performance unfolds. The unusual and exciting piece I witnessed last night will be performed every Thursday at 6 p.m. for the next 3 weeks. However because of the nature of soundpainting, each week the performance will be different. The performance space, the costumes, and the intro remain the same, but the piece unfolds differently each evening. I am looking foreword to seeing it again next week.

One performer is split from the rest of the group
The group dances together

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