Dance preview ‘Into the Wind’ represents unique, collaborative look at wind energy

May 29, 2014
Laurel Thomas

 Dance preview 'Into the Wind' represents unique, collaborative look at wind energyEVENT ANNOUNCEMENT

DATE: 7:30 p.m. June 11-12, 2014

EVENT: Inspired by the potential for harnessing wind as a renewable energy resource, “Into the Wind” is a dance, music and poetry performance that will be previewed in Ann Arbor, prior to an August performance in Muskegon, Mich.

The preview provides audiences with a sneak peek and the opportunity to learn from the interdisciplinary team of collaborators about the creation of the work that has provided a unique learning opportunity for University of Michigan dance students.

Michigan’s first wind farm appeared in 2007 and today there are more than 600 wind turbines in rural communities throughout the state—with more in the planning or research stages, including offshore wind farms.

“Even for people who are pro-alternative energy, attitudes about wind energy are mixed,” said Jessica Fogel, U-M professor of dance and artistic director of Ann Arbor Dance Works. “Opponents to wind turbines have concerns about the impacts on marine and avian life, fishing and boating, tourism and property values. Noise from turbines and the flickering shadows cast on nearby homes are common complaints. Above all else, opponents see wind turbines as visual blights upon the landscape.”

The Into the Wind project will include a post-performance dialogue with community members. The performance also explores the history of the Muskegon location, which is where Continental Motors once stood, by incorporating some voices of those who worked at the plant.

“With debates about renewable energy ramping up as Michigan prepares for new policies in 2015 to address our state’s renewable energy future, Into the Wind is a timely discussion,” Fogel said. “The question that guides Into the Wind is, ‘How might the arts contribute to our understanding and reframe our perceptions of our evolving landscapes as we transition toward renewable energy sources?'”

PLACE: U-M Department of Dance Betty Pease Studio Theater, 1310 N. University Court, Ann Arbor. Tickets are $5 general admission. Seating is limited and advance sales are recommended.

INFORMATION: Advance tickets can be purchased in person or charged by phone at the Michigan Union Ticket Office, located on the ground floor of the Michigan Union, 530 S. State St., Ann Arbor, (734) 763-8587, or online at Tickets can be purchased at the door but advance sales are recommended.

SPONSOR: Conceived and directed by Fogel, Into the Wind was created in collaboration with students, alumni and faculty from U-M and Grand Valley State University. The previews will be presented by Ann Arbor Dance Works, the resident professional dance company of the U-M Department of Dance.

Collaborators include:

  • Sara Adlerstein, associate research scientist and visual artist, U-M School of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Robert Alexander, composer, NASA JPFP Fellow, sonification specialist and design science Ph.D. candidate at U-M
  • Shawn Bible, choreographer, GVSU associate professor of dance and U-M MFA dance alumnus
  • Dave Biedenbender, composer and lecturer, U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance
  • T. Arnold (Arn) Boezaart, executive director of the Michigan Alternative & Renewable Energy Center, Muskegon
  • Sarah Mills, doctoral candidate, U-M Urban and Regional Planning Program
  • Erik Nordman, associate professor of natural resources management, GVSU
  • Keith Taylor, poet, coordinator of undergraduate creative writing in the U-M Department of English and director of the Bear River Writers Conference

This project has received funding from the U-M Third Century Initiative; U-M Office of Research; Grand Valley State University; U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance Faculty Research Fund; U-M Gay Delanghe Endowment; U-M Department of Dance; and U-M Office of the Vice President for Communications.

Note: The August performances will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 22-23 at the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center, a central site for offshore wind energy research in the Great Lakes. It is located at 200 Viridian Dr., Muskegon. For further information, call (231) 722-4371.

Ann Arbor Dance Works: