"EINSTEIN'S LEGACY INSPIRES NEW ART"
It was truly serendipitious that we found keynote speakers that met both of our selection requirements: their work should relate to the legacy of Einstein and also this work should involve an art-science collaboration. There could not be a more perfect match to our needs than physicist and noted author, Brian Greene; acclaimed choreographer, Sandra Kaufmann, and the rising-star playwright / videographer, Michael Bassett. This evening's program will begin with an introduction by Brian Greene about the importance of Einstein's talent of pre-visualizing with his "mind's-eye" and brief remarks on his own recent art/science collaborative projects. This will be followed by the fascinating story of the development of the new dance-driven play, Superstrings which will include video clips and a reading from the script that is inspired by Einstein's theories. Below is a preview by the artists themselves.
Superstrings: a multi-media performance celebrating science and art
In the spring of 2000, we sat in the auditorium at the American Museum of Natural History in New York to hear a lecture about the nature of the universe by a young and dynamic physicist named Brian Greene. We were novices to the pure math of physics and seemingly unprepared to understand the grand nature of this material.
Within the first five minutes we were captured. Not only by the man and his presentation, but also more significantly by the proposal itself: the foundation of the universe is the choreographed movements of billions of infinitely small vibrating strings. Superstring theory forges together the previously disparate mathematics of quantum mechanics and Einstein's general and special relativity creating a unified theory to explain all matter and forces in the universe.
From these ideas Superstrings was created to celebrate and explore the human dimensions of pure science. Our challenge was to bring to life the concepts set forth in superstring theory. For our research we relied on Brian Greene's book, The Elegant Universe, as well as several lively and informative meetings with him.
With a grant from the Sloan Science and Technology Commission a multimedia work took shape. Utilizing dance, theatre, video and music we bring audiences on a journey, one not only dramatically and visually exciting, but a journey of their minds as well.
Dance embodies the coordinated energy inherent in these vibrating strings and sets the stage for a play. In the play two estranged brothers emerge from a singularity and personify the differences between the turbulent, hidden quantum world and harmonious sweep of relativity.
Superstrings celebrates the groundbreaking proposition that Einstein's long sought after unified field theory may indeed exist. Audiences in New York, Chicago and Interlochen Festival of the Arts enthusiastically embraced this unique program created by artists and inspired by science.
Biographies of Collaborators:
Biographies of Collaborators:
Sandra Kaufmann (Choreographer) Her work has been featured in New York City at Dance Theater Workshop, the Merce Cunningham Studio, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Ohio Theater, and the Theatre of the Riverside Church among others. She also creates for dance video and for several regional dance companies. Sandra danced for The Martha Graham Dance Company and served as the Artistic Director of The Martha Graham Dance Ensemble. She pioneers kinesthetic education reform utilizing movement to teach core curriculum focused on science and has conducted hundreds of workshops at colleges, universities, dance academies and public schools. Sandra served on the faculty of Barnard College, The Martha Graham School and New York University. She received Dance Magazine Foundation's Jean Gordon Scholarship, and Harkness Dance Foundation, Bossak/Heilbrun Foundation and Tidmarsh Arts Foundation have supported her work.
Michael Bassett (Playwright/Videographer) In May 2000, Michael was awarded the Hawthornden Fellowship to Edinburgh, Scotland for playwrighting. His produced works include The Four Horsemen at The Ohio Theatre in New York 1996, and again in 1998. His Triptych ran at The Ohio in March 1998. He received a commission for Superstrings from Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Sloan Science and Technology Fund in August 2000. Hiroshima, Athens and Rochester Film and Video Festivals honored his video short, The Other. As artistic director of 13Carat Productions he created new works in theatre, dance and digital video. He has directed videos for the musical artists, Goat, Dead Jester Records 2000 and Zoran, Umbrella Minds 2001. Michael holds a B.A. from The University of Alabama and a M.F.A. from Northern Illinois University. Most recently, his play, DRIVE was presented in a staged reading at Manhattan Theatre Club, November 2001. He guest lectures at Loyola University in Chicago.
Pat Daugherty (Composer) Pat composed music for Bill Crutch Shannon's Art of Weightlessness at P.S. 122, The Lenny Bruce Play at Workhouse Theater and Troilus and Cressida for the Experimental Theater Wing. He most recently released the CD Orphan Love Songs. In June 2001, he presented a new play, Set to Forget, a Gulf War tragi-comedy at Here in New York City, and released a CD of songs, the Dance of the Hours. He appeared as Bertram in the American premier of Havel's Largo Desolato and as J. Robert Oppenheimer in the award-winning opera, the Angel Dialogues in Boston. Pat recently released master CD's for both modern and ballet classes distributed through his website, www.dancemuse.com. He accompanies dance at The Martha Graham School, Julliard and New York University and serves on the faculty at Marymount Manhattan College.
For more information about Brian Greene, visit: www.roycecarlton.com/speakers/greene.html
For more information on the multi-media work, Superstrings, please contact: