Stage Door News

Toronto: Blue Ceiling dance presents 8 minutes 17 seconds January 23-26, 2020

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Propelled by the curiosity between the length of time it takes light to travel from the sun to the earth (8:17), Blue Ceiling dance presents its most ambitious work to date. The company celebrates its 16th year with 8 minutes 17 minutes, on stage from January 23th to 25th, 2020, at 8:00pm at The Theatre Centre with a Pay-What-You-Can community matinée performance on Sunday, January 26th at 2:30pm. Conceived and co-choreographed by the company's Artistic Director Lucy Rupert, 8 minutes 17 seconds is a lyrical exploration of the science language inspired by the soul of cosmology and behaviour of light in space through contemporary dance. This is part of DanceWorks CoWorks' 2019/20 Series Event.

“8 minutes 17 seconds is Blue Ceiling dance’s largest full-length production.  I have always been interested in learning the science of our multifaceted universe as a way to understand ourselves more deeply. Art provokes the same discourse, and I think dance is the most direct medium to bypass the intellect and go straight for the viscera, creating a deeper connection.  Involving this large team of artistic collaborators and scientists has enriched this work with a myriad of voices, physical directions, and imagination impulses which challenge the breadth of the work. I can’t wait to share it with audiences.” – Lucy Rupert, Blue Ceiling dance Artistic Director

Building on the allure of the majestic cosmos, 8 minutes 17 seconds is a science-infused dance performance, demonstrating the power of multi-generational and cross-disciplinary influences between arts and science. The length of time it takes light to travel from the Sun to Earth is the pivotal launching point for this kaleidoscopic exploration showcasing a dynamic range of movement within the infinite space above us – the behaviour of light in space and the implications of 8:17 on our sense of mortality.

Inviting an array of choreographic/creative collaborators, Lucy employs a diverse community of local co-creators including: Michael Caldwell, Emma Kerson and Jane Alison McKinney, a monologue written and performed by veteran Toronto actor Hume Baugh, asolo created for Lucy Rupert by the inimitable Karen Kaeja, and creative input gathered from local Toronto-based physicists. 

The performance showcases a stellar cast of 12 performers ranging in age from 25 to 60, featuring Hume Baugh, Michael Caldwell, Marie-Josée Chartier, Francesca Chudnoff, Sky Fairchild-Waller, Emma Kerson, Jane Alison McKinney, Shakeil Rollock, Lucy Rupert, Elke Schroeder, Kaitlin Standeven, and Brendan Wyatt.

The work features original music composed by long-time Blue Ceiling collaborator, Jascha Narveson, as well as Toronto-based composer Marley Rosen. Additional music created by astrophysicist Matt Russo, produced by compressing and expanding the sounds created by the Solar System based on the Black Widow Pulsar. Spectacular lighting design by Michelle Ramsay and stage management by Laura Cournoyea will further illuminate this interstellar experience. 

8 minutes 17 seconds promises to be curious, touching, luminous and mysterious, performed with Blue Ceiling dance’s usual intellectual passion and abandon.

Throughout the creation and development of 8 minutes 17 seconds, Lucy Rupert actively conducted thought-provoking interviews with Toronto-based scientists as part of personal research through a Chalmers Fellowship and to further evolve the dance production. These interviews are published on her blog HERE. Ancillary Arts + Science Evenings outreach events provided an excerpt of the piece to the local community and insight into the scientific process or local scientists, stressing the importance of the unknown in arts and science.

8 minutes 17 seconds 

The Theatre Centre - Franco Boni Theatre
1115 Queen Street West, Toronto ON, M6J 3T4
January 23th – 25th, 2020 at 8PM
Sunday, January 26th, 2020 at 2:30PM, PWYC Rush Seats

Tickets: $25 - $30
To purchase tickets, click HERE.
Tickets available at the door.
This is a DanceWorks CoWorks Series Event.

Photo: Lucy Rupert. © 2019 John Lauener.