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Arts and Entertainment

REDCAT's 8th Season Begins Thursday, and with a Visual Splash

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courtesy of the artist, Sardono Kusumo

courtesy of the artist, Sardono Kusumo
Our local home for adventurous theater, dance, music and combinations thereof, REDCAT begins its eighth season of presenting new and daring performance work this weekend with the international dance and lighting spectacular, Rain Coloring Forest. A collaboration between Indonesian visionary dance artist Sardono W. Kusumo and renowned American lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, the evening length work runs for only four performances at the downtown venue.Described as an evocative multimedia event, the piece includes five of Sardono's dancers, composer David Rosenboom’s original electronic score, and video/animation by Maureen Selwood. Based on a collection of Sardono’s 30-foot-tall paintings inspired by "Tankas" (sacred Tibetan scrolls), Tipton masterfully transforms them into a compelling and evolving visual environment.

According to the promotional materials, within this dynamic context, Sardono Kusumo’s “movements and sensations organically extend and translate into visuals--oil paint melting, drifting, spreading and flowing naturally on the canvas.” Multi-dimensional images are said to suggest ancient and contemporary experiences, ritual and personal quests. The choreographer, himself, says he dances "as a man who has lost or been uprooted from his own culture.”

Doesn’t sound like anything I’ve seen before and, therefore, that much more enticing! I have been aware of Tipton’s work for a long time and know it to be rich, bold and transcendent. She works with the best in theater, dance and all things that need light to exist. The Jakartan dancer is described as “widely revered for [an] artistry that transcends traditional performance or visual disciplines.”

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So, let's start the new season off with something completely new and different and brace ourselves for the exciting year ahead!