It’s hard to believe the premiere has come and gone already. To say the show was a success does not do it justice.
Act one provided divine dancing– nuanced movement paired with grand leaps and lifts, the world of physics revealed in Liz’s own artistic experimentation. My favorite moments? Was it Thomas running in place, Sarah being tossed around on and off of stage playing with gravity and uncertainty, or the way that Keith, a seemingly small figure with immense power with glorious Hubble images projected behind him, can take a pedestrian movement and blend it into a spin, leap, and fall? Maybe it was the way three elegant Edith’s– Cassie, Shula, and Tamara– toss their red hair in sync over their tea cups, then rise with both grace and pride as the splendor of Los Alamos appears in bits and pieces behind them? Or Ted’s funky movement that slides out of the ensemble moment, showing off his muscularity and versatility? Paloma’s amoebic form when she explosively leaps into a group of dancers, an image that stays in my mind like a Polaroid snapshot? The urgency in which Martha appears, counting and tapping her leg, or the suspension of gravity as Ami tilts forward on relevé before Keith scoops her away? Ben’s precision and fluidity when dancing with his former self on the other side of the world in the confines of CERN, man vs. machine, real vs. surreal? The lush scenery, the high tech lighting, the equations, the white outs? The soundscape that ranges from intensely loud techno-tronics to soft, supple, serene, and soulful sounds? I cannot pick a favorite, but even after watching the performance three times, I could head back to the theater right now for a fourth and still find new moments, movements I missed before, and elements to the projections that have yet to register with my mind.
As if Act Ones’s deliciousness was not enough, Act Two gave us more delicious moments– more dancing from a huge cast of tea servers, more thinking, and more satisfaction, this time in the form of Edith Warner’s chocolate cake. It was a kind of social experiment where we all played the roles of scientists and test subjects while sipping tea and musing about art, science, life, and our own origins. Each table (50 in all) had a different experience, depending on who their provocateur was and who else happened upon that particular table. Physicists, theological professors, artists, asking questions about what we saw or didn’t see, what we know and don’t know.
I could go on and on, but don’t just take my word on it. Read Sarah Kaufman’s review in the Post here, George Jackson’s thoughts here, and physicist Phil Schewe’s reactions here. And start planning your trips to Montclair, NJ and ASU now.