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Wharton Center to Present OF EQUAL PLACE: ISOTOPES IN MOTION in November

The performance is on Sunday, November 6 at 1:00PM.

Wharton Center to Present OF EQUAL PLACE: ISOTOPES IN MOTION in November Of Equal Place: Isotopes in Motion will incorporate dance, video, and physics to create an exhilarating and engaging performance on Sunday, November 6 at 1:00PM. This project is a mass collaboration between Wharton Center, the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), Dance Exchange, Women and Minorities in Physical Sciences (WaMPS), and community organizations. After the performance, audience members will be invited to tour FRIB and enjoy a variety of activities that explore dance and science. Tickets are on sale now at the official Wharton Center Ticket Office, online at, or by calling 517.432.2000 or 1.800.WHARTON.

Contemporary dance and science are often physically and intellectually separated from one another, however, one of the world's most advanced science facilities, FRIB, is located next to one of the world's premiere performing arts centers -Wharton Center- on the campus of Michigan State University. The two internationally renowned facilities are partnering with Dance Exchange, a nonprofit dance organization based in the Washington, D.C., region to create a new piece of work called Of Equal Place: Isotopes in Motion.

MSU is establishing FRIB as a new user facility for the Office of Nuclear Physics in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. As an important research tool for America, it will allow scientists to make discoveries that will lead to improved quality of life in areas like health, energy and national security. Of Equal Place: Isotopes in Motion is part of FRIB's outreach endeavors to both share FRIB with the community, and to inspire youth to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Wharton Center's Executive Director Mike Brand says, "Part of Wharton Center's mission is a promise to pursue what makes us different, because when you bring differences together, it makes us more. We are excited to discover the relationship between the groundbreaking research conducted at FRIB and dancers' talents. We have found an extreme amount of creativity that will fuel staff members from both buildings for years to come, and we feel this project will inspire the next generation to push the limits of their imagination."

Artemis Spyrou, a professor of physics at Michigan State University and FRIB hopes that the program will spark audience member's interest, "We want the audience to walk away realizing science is more than just being in a lab in front of a computer doing an experiment isolated. You have to build on your history, work on your creativity, you have to have a vision for the future. You need a complex project like this to communicate it."

Dance Exchange is a nonprofit dance organization that creates groundbreaking dance works that expand who gets to dance, where dance happens, what dance is about, and why dance matters. Founding Artistic Director Liz Lerman and current Executive Artistic Director Cassie Meador have cultivated the company's unique intergenerational ensemble into a leading force in contemporary dance. A source of inspiration for Of Equal Place: Isotopes in Motion is Lerman's 2010 piece The Matter of Origins, which addresses physics and the inner workings of matter. After scientific evaluation by MSU, it was determined that the performance and its audience engagement components were an effective mechanism of informal science education particularly for those who identified themselves as women or people of color. This inspired FRIB to collaborate with Dance Exchange on an original work that explores nuclear science. Dancers will physically represent the scientific data and language occurring at FRIB.

Co-Creators Keith Thompson and Elizabeth Johnson hope this work will engage audiences who might be new to watching dance and/or new to thinking about physics. They say, "As you watch, resist the temptation to feel like you are not' getting it.' Watching a dance is a creative process, much like the creative process of scientific research: you set up an experiment. You observe. From those observations, you collect data. Then, there's the key process of interpreting the data in a way that makes sense to you. Notice what you connect to, what meaning you are making, and let your own discoveries unfold."

Dance Exchange is committed to dancemaking and creative practices that engage individuals and communities of all ages and backgrounds. Of Equal Place: Isotopes in Motion is no exception and centers the contributions of and possibilities for youth, women, and people of color in both science and dance. Dance Exchange's intergenerational company will partner with local youth and artists from Happendance Dance Studio in Lansing, Michigan. Dancers will range from ages ten through seventy, and together they will harness the power of creativity and inquiry through dance to connect, learn, and create.

Clarence Brooks, one of the Dance Exchange performing artists says, "They were looking for a range of diversity. As an elder, black male dancer, that was one of the reasons why they chose me for this project. It is an extremely diverse project which is why I was really fascinated by it. I am also fascinated by the collaboration...the fact this is dance and science, that it is trying to reach out and grab the youth, women, people of color to see the deeper workings of what is actually going on in this incredible facility that is being built."

"We thought that looking at physics and FRIB through the lens of the arts would be a great way to celebrate this wonderful thing that is happening to MSU, but also to celebrate dance and educate our audience on what physics is all about." - Bert Goldstein, Director of the Institute for Arts & Creativity.

Please visit the Wharton Center website at to review the most up-to-date information and requirements pertaining to COVID-19.

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