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Arts and Entertainment

Cloud Eye Control: Under Polaris @ REDCAT 10/14-10/18

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Cloud Eye Control Polaris.jpg
Under Polaris | Photo by Steven Gunther

Under Polaris | Photo by Steven Gunther
Cloud Eye Control's latest multimedia performance piece, Under Polaris opened Wednesday night at REDCAT and plays throughout this weekend.

Under Polaris tells a story of woman (performed by Anna Oxygen) who embarks on an Arctic journey to preserve humanity. Her journey is wrought with challenges -- from the extreme ice elements to her own nadir of self-doubt. As the woman encounters animal spirits, she crosses the many symbolic thresholds.

Cloud Eye Control is an LA-based performance collective with a founding core group of Miwa Matreyek, Anna Oxygen and Chi-wang Yang. The group integrates animation, experimental theatre, pop music and puppetry.

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Under Polaris is instantly compelling on several levels. Technically, the piece is visually stunning; the projected animated screens and overall art direction combine to make an environment that is both surreal and hallucinatory. The music, from the atmospheric electronic textures to the opera and overtures, is not at all just background incidental music but an integral and evocative thread of the piece’s fabric. The narrative carries mythic symbolism that suggests some of Joseph Campbell’s work on the hero’s journey. The woman in the story interacts with animal spirit guides and also transforms into a creature, which is an archetype seen in many myths. Under Polaris also suggests the balance of nature and man; when the lead woman crosses thresholds, the audience makes that journey into the world of dreaming and the unconsciousness.

Overall, the combined production of Under Polaris is impressive and innovative. Besides being technically breathtaking at times, the piece is humorous and accessible, which only augments the magical playfulness of the performance.

Questing for a fantastic multimedia and multidimensional performance journey? Cloud Eye Control’s Under Polaris will transport you there.

Showtimes 8:30 p.m; Sunday night 7:00 p.m. General admission $20, Students
with current I.D. $16, CalArts students, faculty and staff $10. For more information on buying tickets.