Between the Seaweed and the Star

Between the Seaweed and the Star, a commission from the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco for their 1978 Homage to Loïe Fuller, juxtaposed ancient and modern science. The title is a phrase coined by the French writer Colette. Seen above, Linda Harrour and Bronwyn Warren. Images courtesy NASA. Photo © 1978 Marion Gray.   More photos...

 





About the work

Between the Seaweed and the Star was one of the first dance-theater works to evidence what would become the MAFISHCO methodology. The elements of the stage environment are assigned equal weight: object, light-as-object (a laser beam), image, gesture, rhythm, body, sound and word. Spoken texts in English and Hindi are joined by sounds from the esoteric yoga breathing exercise "brahmari" (the bee). Movement vocabulary contrasts gestures that simulate a zero gravity environment and those subject to the earth's gravitational pull. A laser beam seen as a line of red light crosses the theater to end as the red dot placed between the eyebrows of a yogi. The enlarged, godlike figure of the Western astronaut contrasts the human scale of the guru transmitting knowledge to a disciple.    

Credits

  • Choreography: Margaret Fisher
  • Assistant Choreographer: Bronwyn Warren
  • Dancers: Linda Harrour, Susan Rosen, Bronwyn Warren, Margaret Fisher
  • Musicians and VoicOver: Archana Gupta, Straight Flush Ensemble of Navajo Horn Posture
  • Projection and Sound: Jerry Carniglia and Ron Vincent of Berkeley Lights Theatre Ensemble
  • Lighting: Michael Bush and Richard Herbert
  • Shadow Screen Design: Drum Song and Dance Company, Holografix, and Margaret Fisher
  • Images and Equipment: NASA-Ames Research Center

Performance History

  • Preview: 1750 Arch Street, Berkeley, CA, December 17, 1977
  • Premiere: Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, January 28 & 29, 1978
  • Excerpt: 80 Langton Street Gallery, San Francisco, March 3, 1979

Links to Posters

 






   
left: Bronwyn Warren and Linda Harrour;
right: Margaret Fisher and Bronwyn Warren
Photos © 1978 Marion Gray.

below: script for Between the Seaweed and the Star