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Brown Arts Initiative, UC Irvine, And Rhode Island School Of Design Present YOUR OCEAN, MY OCEAN

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Brown Arts Initiative, UC Irvine, And Rhode Island School Of Design Present YOUR OCEAN, MY OCEAN

The Brown Arts Initiative (BAI) at Brown University will present YOMO/Intermedia, an experimental dance, music, media and visual art performance, at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University on April 1 and 2, 2019. YOMO/Intermedia is part of Your Ocean, My Ocean (YOMO), a series of art and technology projects produced by University of California Irvine (UCI) in collaboration with the BAI and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). The presentation at Brown will be an expanded version of YOMO/Intermedia that premiered at UCI's Contemporary Arts Center in February.

Breaking down traditional boundaries between disciplines, the 80-minute performance features dancers and musicians onstage with a larger, virtual cast appearing in video projections integrated with footage of ocean and coastal locations. A related series of animated films also are presented in a multi-channel video installation. Together, they evoke the precarious natural beauty of oceans and the threats posed by environmental degradation.

Developed at UCI's Institute for 21st Century Creativity (21C),YOMO speaks to issues of environmentalism, climate justice and community engagement. This ongoing series of performances and exhibitions brings together artists, designers and environmental experts to create experimental artworks responding to the beauty of oceans and coastlines and detrimental human impacts on ocean ecosystems, including habitat destruction, overfishing and pollution.

The presentation of YOMO/Intermedia at Brown is produced and directed by UCI Arts professor John Crawford in conjunction with RISD Architecture professor Kyna Leski and the BAI leadership team: Butch Rovan, faculty director and music professor; Anne Bergeron, managing director; and Chira DelSesto, associate director. Students from all three universities will participate in the presentation at Brown.

Butch Rovan said, "YOMO goes to the heart of BAI's Arts and Environment programming. We are delighted to partner with John Crawford and Kyna Leski on this special project. We look forward to working with them to stimulate even broader engagement within the Brown and Providence communities and contributing to the global conversation on the plight of oceans and their conservation."

John Crawford said, "Our goal is to create a piece that speaks both to the extraordinary beauty of the oceans and to their tragic vulnerability. Thanks to the artistry of a dedicated group of co-creators at RISD, Brown and UCI, we've created a compelling call to action. I'm very grateful to our choreographers: UCI Dance professors Lindsay Gilmour, Molly Lynch, Lisa Naugle and Tong Wang, to our composer and violinist, UCI Music professor Mari Kimura, and to all the faculty, students and staff at all three schools who have contributed so much to this project. We're thrilled to be presenting YOMO/Intermedia at Brown."


The multi-faceted, experimental production combines dance sequences with music, video projections and an interactive soundscape. The choreography features elements of ballet and contemporary dance onstage and in the projections. A prerecorded string quartet alternates with live music and sound. Throughout, the projections create an immersive visual environment that integrates footage of dancers and spoken word performers with multi-layered abstract representations of oceans and coastlines.

The performance begins with images and sounds of waves crashing on shore in a sequence called Emergence. Five dancers work with a 20-foot square piece of white silk fabric, creating one enormous costume undulating like waves. In the second dance sequence, Gyre, sailors race across the ocean until they encounter a massive garbage patch. Dancers become engulfed in plastic detritus and fishing line, tangling them to a point where they can barely move. The next sequence is a balletic duet of dancers seemingly enjoying their day at the beach until they are surrounded by an Oil Slick in the form of a dancer dressed in black who enshrouds them in his cape and sweeps them off stage. The production ends on a melancholic but hopeful note in Refuge, a modern dance sequence in which dancers interact with more plastic filaments coiled and spooled on stage, speaking to the devastating impact of humans on oceans.

The dance sequences are interspersed with interstitial sections in which Mari Kimura's live violin solos alternate with a soundscape featuring ethereal voices and natural sounds, generated by an interactive computer system that responds to her movements, accompanied by live video projections that also are influenced by her performance.

This BAI/21C/RISD collaboration supports the work of established and emerging artists, students and scholars while offering hands-on learning opportunities to students and providing meaningful, immersive experiences for constituents of all three organizations.

Click here to register for free tickets to attend YOMO/Intermedia - April 1, 2, 2019 at Granoff Center for the Creative Arts at Brown University.

About Institute for 21st Century Creativity (21C)

UC Irvine's Institute for 21st Century Creativity (21C) supports new approaches to creativity through cultivating experimental projects that link art, technology and design. The Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) at UCI is widely recognized for its departments of Art, Dance, Drama and Music. Within CTSA, 21C expands upon these traditional areas of excellence through promoting new forms of creation and expression spanning multiple disciplines, and supporting faculty-led and graduate student projects that employ emerging technologies to re-imagine the world afresh with each iteration. The objective is to engage with artistic methodologies (which can reveal and critique problems) as well as with design methodologies oriented to developing creative solutions. Looking beyond a utilitarian focus on technical innovation, the vision of 21C is to engender opportunities for creators to become agents of and catalysts for cultural transformation, generating positive change in our communities by connecting research and development with socially engaged artmaking.

About Brown Arts Initiative

The Brown Arts Initiative (BAI) at Brown University seeks to cultivate creative expression and foster an interdisciplinary environment where faculty and students learn from one another and from artists and scholars in a wide range of fields across the campus and around the world. A consortium of six arts departments and two programs that encompass the performing, literary and visual arts, BAI works collaboratively to enhance curricular and co-curricular offerings, directly engage students with prominent artists working in all genres and media, and supports a diverse program of concerts, performances, exhibitions, screenings, lectures and symposia each year. BAI takes full advantage of the University's Open Curriculum and builds on Brown's reputation as a destination for arts exploration, contributing to cultural enterprise through the integration of theory, practice and scholarship with an emphasis on innovation and discovery that results from rigorous artmaking and experimentation.

BAI comprises and integrates History of Art and Architecture; Literary Arts; Modern Culture and Media; Music; Theatre Arts and Performance Studies; Visual Art; the David Winton Bell Gallery; and Rites and Reason Theatre/Africana Studies.

Image: YOMO/Intermedia at UCI, 2/9/19 - Oil Slick. Choreographer Tong Wang. Director John Crawford. Photo Leandro Damasco

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