Dancing Under a Whale: Armitage! Gone Dance at the Museum of Natural History
March 24, 2015
If you’re craving some science and dance and you’re in NYC between now and
, why not head to the American Museum of Natural History?
There, in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life—perhaps most famous for the 94-foot, 21,000-pound model of a blue whale suspended from the ceiling—30 performers from Armitage! Gone Dance will premiere Karole Armitage’s On the Nature of Things. Why the seemingly obscure location? The work deals with climate change and its context in today’s culture. It was created in collaboration with the museum and Paul Erhlich, a biologist who’s written about the gap between the specialization of today’s scientific research and the general public’s understanding of the issues at hand. Aside from a corps dancing amidst the polar bear dioramas—a fitting setting for a dance about climate change, if you ask me—the production also includes live narration by Erhlich and music by John Luther Adams, Philip Glass, Michael Gordon, Henryk Górecki and Arvo Pärt.
Though the use of museum galleries as performance spaces certainly isn’t new to the dance world, On the Nature of Things will be the first dance piece staged under the museum’s giant, blue whale.