Welcome to The Leonardo Blog. Check back often for news and updates about Utah's newest museum!
POPUP@The Leonardo: The Leo's new collaborative theatrical experience
Saturday, February 9, 2013
At The Leonardo we strive to inspire everyone that walks through the doors to learn how to see the world in a different way. We want to shed light on science and technology in ways that might not seem obvious at first, and we do this through art, through creativity, through interactive exhibits and activities that ignite your curiosity.
One way to do this is through theater! POPUP@The Leonardo is a theatrical experience that uses performance to highlight principles of science and society in ways that couldn't be more different from any boring middle-school science textbook. POPUP's latest production, LOVE, touches on some of the chemical reactions that occur in the brain and body during "love," but using that as a jumping-off point goes into the parts of Love that can't easily be defined.
The performances of LOVE, in The Leonardo auditorium, have been huge hits and have certainly stirred emotions that even the great scientists can't define. Let's turn the blog over to The Leonardo's Scott Smith, as he talks more about POPUP@The Leonardo.
POPUP was born out of the desire to create devised or collaborative theatre.
When considering how POPUP would align with the mission of The Leonardo,
it seemed that this collaborative process was a perfect fit. A fusion of science,
technology and art was the perfect place to start this collaborative process.
Taking these three components and using them to inform the narrative and
visually create our world through technical elements the art was given life.
Along this journey we also discovered inspiration from our own namesake
Leonardo Da Vinci. I have to credit this discovery to Alexandra Harbold. Andra
has been a co-creator in the last two productions SENSES 5 and LOVE, without
her direction, and unique talent POPUP wouldn't have been possible. The great
thing about working with Andra is that together we come to the table with a
creative willingness to say yes and then the confidence to challenge each other
along the way. While working on SENSE S 5 Andra discovered had discovered
what Leonardo Da Vinci called the guiding principles:
CURIOSITÀ | insatiably curious approach to life and unrelenting quest for
DIMOSTRAZIONE | a commitment to test knowledge through experience,
persistence, and a willingness to learn from mistakes
SENSAZIONE | the continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the
means to enliven experience
SFUMATO | a willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty
ARTE/SCIENZA | the development of the balance between science and art, logic
CORPORALITÀ | the cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise
CONNESSIONE | a recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of
all things and Phenomena
How does this work itself into the collaborative process? In the beginning
ideas, sparks, thoughts, concepts and yes, even horrible ideas are thrown
into the mix. We have to be fearless and take risks, which requires challenging
ourselves to think outside the box, within the box or throwing away the box.
When we come up out of the overflowing piles of creative beginnings we then
take these guiding principles to ask ourselves those very questions. This process
allows us to find a focus within the creative chaos to tell a story.
Another component to our work is the incorporation of video. I'm an MTV baby
and I love a good music video. I’m drawn first to visual elements then text.
Some artists that I admire, respect, and take inspiration from are Robert Wilson,
Madonna, Wooster Group and Complicite. What I think is most important about
the visual is in the attention to detail. Not just in the video, but in the set, the
blocking, the physical world and even the space itself.
I've also been quite fortunate to find someone that has been willing to play and
dive into this collaborative process. Conor Provenzano's work is glorious, layered
with subtlety, and inspired. I honestly could not have done this without him and
his talent. I look forward to creating more work with him especially to continue
challenging ourselves to go beyond our comfort zone. I see great things for him
as an artist and filmmaker.
Lastly, I will suggest that one guiding principle that we feel was left out of
Leonardo's list was FUN! It is part of my personality and those that know me are
fully aware of the inner 6 year old child that tends to express himself with dance
breaks, tons of laughter, and an occasional childhood story that may or may not
involve carnies, roller skates, bowling, dad's taxidermy and mom's teddy bears.
POPUP is finally taking flight and there's so much more to explore, create and
share. I've been dreaming of this type of work for what seems like a lifetime. We
hope that you will continue to support this work and at one point or another along
the way that you will join us in the collaborative process as we continue to fuse
science, technology and art into a theatrical experience unlike any other.
P.S. You have to be brave!
Photos by Caitlin Blue
The Leonardo thanks the voters of Salt Lake County for their support of the Zoo, Arts & Parks program which has helped make this possible.
Posted by The Leonardo at 2/09/2013 06:27:00 PM 1 comments