Time Has Set the Table for Tea: A Matter of Origins Project
Liz Lerman, Creative Campus Fellow
This 360-degree performance happening and "conversation with big minds" was accompanied by tea and chocolate cake in February 2011. A component of The Matter of Origins project, this unique experience was inspired by Liz Lerman's encounters with the scientists of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva. The notion of tea and conversation harkens back to Edith Watner's 1940's tea house in Los Alamos, where the physicists of the Manhattan Project met for conversations after their daily work splitting the atom and building the atomic bomb.
This performance was made possible by a grant from the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The event tied into Liz Lerman's teaching course at Wesleyan, Ways of Knowing: The Use of Creative Research in Artmaking Practices.
Liz Lerman is a choreographer, performer, writer, educator, and speaker whose dance/theater works have been seen throughout the United States and abroad. Her aesthethic approach spans the range from abstract to personal to political. She founded Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in 1976 and cultivated the company's unique multi-generational ensemble into a leading force in contemporary dance. Liz and the Dance Exchange have collaborated with Wesleyan as part of Science Choreography, a project made possible by the Wesleyan Hughes Program in the Life Sciences. Inspired by the sequencing of the human genome, Liz has been working with scientists who investigate genes and their function in order to teach science and encourage students to think creatively about science.
In 2011, Liz passed the artistic leadership of the company over to the next generation of Dance Exchange artists. Now she is pursuing new projects with fresh partnerships, beginning with a semester spent at Harvard University as an artist-in-residence. She will also participate in a fellowship at Wesleyan, made possible by the Center for The Arts Creative Campus Initiative. Liz is currently working on a project called The Threadmill Tapes: Ideas on the Move, in which she engages in conversations with scholars while on threadmills. Propelled by the act of keeping in step with one another, Liz and her guests exchange bright thoughts and curious sentiments concerning a wide range of topics and issues. A conversation with President Michael Roth will be available for viewing soon.
For more information about Liz Lerman, visit her website.
Purchase Liz's book Hiking the Horizontal Field Notes from a Choreographer, published in 2011 by WesPress.