It is the source of life, the indispensible molecule, the elemental force that carves rivers, topples mountains, nurtures crops and extinguishes flame.
In “Scattered,” Motionhouse Dance Theatre — one of the United Kingdom’s foremost touring companies — combines daring movement, mid-air acrobatics and state-of-the-art projection technology to capture the might, majesty and savagery of water.
On Friday and Saturday, March 21 and 22, Motionhouse will bring this audacious, physics-defying program to St. Louis as part of the Edison Ovations Series at Washington University.
A world of water
Subtitled “A meteor shower of unlikely moments,” “Scattered” explores the human relationship with water in all its mutable forms and breathtaking environments.
The evening-length work unfolds on a giant curved cyclorama, resembling a skateboarder’s half-pipe, which doubles as a projection screen. Seven dancers, often outfitted with aerial harnesses, face down rainstorms and tumble down waterfalls. They brave rolling currents and oceanic depths. They stagger through parched deserts and slide across ice and snow.
“We truly live in a world of water — the Earth is not called the blue planet for nothing!” said artistic director Kevin Finnan, who co-founded Motionhouse with Louise Richards in 1988. “We cannot live without it; it is fundamental to our existence, and we are born of fluid. Yet we only notice it when we have too much or too little of it.
“Water sustains our bodies” and is also their principal component, Finnan added. Without water, “our bodies would be crushed by gravity.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer called “Scattered” “joyous, tender, frenetic, disturbing, funny and absolutely thrilling.” The Times (U.K.) added that, “The performance is practically jet-propelled — the quicksilver cast almost never stops moving. Dazzling.”
“Motionhouse like to leave their audiences physically disarranged – gobsmacked, stunned, overawed,” added The Guardian. “With a cast of super-athletic dancers, as dexterous in the air with ropes as they are powerful on the floor, this is a company that has long cornered the high-impact end of the dance market.”
Tickets and sponsors
Performances of “Scattered” will begin at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 21 and 22. Tickets are $36, or $32 seniors, $28 for WUSTL faculty and staff and $20 for students and children.
Tickets are available at the Edison Box Office, located in the Mallinckrodt Center, 6465 Forsyth Blvd.; and online, at edison.wustl.edu. For more information, call 314-935-6543 or email email@example.com.
Edison programs are made possible with support from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; the Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis; and private contributors.