Deborah Slater Dance Theater - MEN THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN GRASS

MEN THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN GRASS (2010)

"We are asleep with compasses in our hands." WS Merwin, winner Pulitzer Prize

In MEN THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN GRASS, we are attempting to create an artistic response to the issue of global warming different from the direct, factual way in which it is generally presented. We are inspired by the ‘luminous, profound’ work of poet and deep ecologist WS Merwin.

MEN THINK is a large-scale, multi-disciplinary work that draws upon the beauty of the natural world and W. S. Merwin’s poetry to explore the reciprocal relationship between our lives and the environment, while embracing the capabilities of technology. Along with choreography by Ms. Slater, MEN THINK will incorporate poetry, original music, set design, videography, and interactive technology to create an environment that continues to expand, through a wikipedia-like web component, with new information long after the end of the performances. This new form of reciprocity between art, technology, and the stage – artistically innovative, participatory, and solution-oriented – is at the heart of MEN THINK and will shape the creative process and the performance experience for artists and audiences alike.

While the thematic focus of the piece is seemingly ominous, the work itself will be composed of lush and vibrant movement, inspired by nature; the words of a poem projected as a swarm of bees flying; fabric panels creating mobile projection surfaces for shifting images like icebergs or rising and falling weighing scales – the perfect metaphor for global cause and affect and the dynamic collaboration it will take to change it. Working with ideas of memory of place and interconnectedness, Slater has begun to create a visual, moving tapestry that blends sound, word and image using techniques like developing gesture from the poetic text.

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