Emory Report
February 2, 2009
Volume 61, Number 18

For more festival
information, visit www.creativity.emory.edu.



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February 2
, 2009
Arts experiment with evolution

By Sally Corbett

Timed to the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of his “The Origin of the Species,” the “Emory Evolving Arts: New Works Festival” looks at evolution through the lens of the arts, bringing a larger audience into a provocative dialogue about our lives, our planet and our future.

The Feb. 5–28 festival organized by the Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts (CCA) features new dance, theater and sculpture based on themes from the October 2008 Evolution Revolution Symposium presented by the Emory Computational and Life Science Initiative.

Evolving Arts commissions for non-Emory artists and faculty grants totaling $44,250 were awarded in spring 2008 by the CCA. Funding from Emory’s Creativity & Arts Strategic Initiative, led by University Vice President and Secretary Rosemary Magee, supported the four commissions and two grants.

“The evolution project and festival are a provocative first experiment for the Center for Creativity & Arts,” says Leslie Taylor, the CCA’s executive director. “We immersed actors, choreographers, writers and a sculptor in the latest theories and debates on our origins and introduced them to E.O. Wilson, Frans de Waal and other great science minds of our time. I’m eager to experience the art they will generate, and hope it sparks broad public conversation.”

A chronology of free festival events:

Eve Andre Laramee’s dramatic multimedia gallery installation, “Halfway to Invisible” (Opening Reception: Feb. 5 at 5:30 p.m., Emory Visual Arts Gallery) juxtaposes animal cages, Cold War-era Geiger counters, images of extremophile organisms known for their ability to survive, and more. Laramee’s work tells the story of the biological impact of uranium mining for atomic weapons and nuclear power on the American West, especially the way 1,200 mines affected many Native American and other Pueblo cultures that suffered higher rates of cancer, miscarriage and birth defects. The exhibit is on view through March 6.

New play readings in the Schwartz Center’s Theater Lab, part of Theater Emory’s semi-annual Brave New Works Festival, are free with reservations by contacting 404-727-5050 or boxoffice@emory.edu. The guest playwrights all hail from Brooklyn, N.Y. These events are through a grant to Emory Playwriting Center Director Lisa Paulsen.

“The Fifth Great Ape”
(Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.) was developed by Kenneth Weitzman and Out of Hand Theater. It explores our true nature through bonobos and chimpanzees, and offers new ideas and questions about power, sex, violence, kindness and morality. “What’s Wrong with Me” (Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. with “Wax Wings”) is John Walch’s musical adaptation of the science best seller by Olivia Judson of the New York Times, “Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex.”

The lead characters in Matthew Maguire’s “Wax Wings” (Feb. 21 at 5 p.m.) are scientists who put aside their pure research when they find common cause in confronting an epidemic.

“The Evolution Project” (Feb. 26–28 at 8 p.m.) is a professional dance concert of new choreography exploring Darwin’s ideas about change, variation and difference. Featured are: “Big Eater (heart of glass)” by David Neumann and “How the Human Got its Big Head” by Emory’s Lori Teague. Teague’s work looks at humans at their best and worst. Teague’s work examines the way species connect and the effect such collisions may have on power, speed, energy and sensory abilities.