Two short weeks ago, Dance Exchange premiered its latest work at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at Maryland. Directed and conceived by Liz Lerman, The Matter of Origins was hailed by the Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning dance critic Sarah Kaufman as
“. . . a work of expansive range, emotional depth and singular beauty.”
Many of you were there and can attest to the radiant energy that was created by the stage work and by the new format we introduced in Act Two of an all-inclusive tea party, complete with dancing, hand-held media, roundtable conversations and delicious chocolate cake.
Indeed, The Matter of Origins has brought together the varied aspects of the Dance Exchange at an unprecedented level: It is a stage dance and a site-specific experience, a state-of-the-art theatrical event and a community engagement project, a trans-domain collaboration and a conversation across the table.
The Matter of Origins is art and science, imagination and research, humanity and technology. All integrated into a unified whole that is garnering recognition from diverse directions:
We earned support from the National Science Foundation to explore the potential of tea as a form of informal science education
We attracted two major universities as co-commissioners on the project
We enlisted the eager participation of 50 student and professional dancers and 50 leaders in science and art to play key roles in the Act Two tea
We assembled a superb design team featuring some of the biggest talents in the field today
We packed the house – and the tables — for both performances
We are fortunate, and deeply grateful.
We are also in need of your continuing support in order to keep the high level of research and development going at the Dance Exchange so we can produce meaningful work about real-world topics, resulting in amazing experiences for audiences, participants and partners.
If you were one of the lucky people who got to see The Matter of Origins, think about how you felt as you left the theater. Think about the sense you had of having just witnessed, participated in and absorbed something that was magical, beautiful and so totally different.
Think about how you can help us bring more experiences like this to you by making a sustaining contribution to the Dance Exchange today.
Liz Lerman Dance Exchange