Fueled by a multi-year creative partnership with groundbreaking researchers at York University and interactive designers Aesthetec Studio, Zata Omm Dance Projects’ vox:lumen is arguably the biggest experiment with staging sustainability in Canadian dance and theatre history. The production is lit entirely with energy created by the dancers, the audience and renewable sources. It imagines a situation in which the necessity of illumination structures every human interaction. The world premiere of vox:lumen runs Mar. 4-7, 2015, presented as part of World Stage at Harbourfront Centre.

The piece is driven by the need to generate light and therefore harvests it in a variety of ways, including newly designed power-generating apparatuses created specifically for vox:lumen, operated by both performers and audience members. Throughout the self-fuelled show, audiences engage with five dancers who traverse a dystopian future where they must create light to see, hunt and appeal to a mate.

vox:lumen shines a light on nature as a source material, revealing how delicate that nature is,” says Tina Rasmussen, Artistic Director of World Stage. “Not only is Zata Omm’s Artistic Director William Yong asking audiences to mentally engage with his work, but also physically engage and demonstrate the capability and will to act.”

Research for the creation of vox:lumen has explored using piezoelectric crystals, magnets and coils to transform the energy of body-movement into usable electricity and flexible photo-voltaic solar panels to capture ambient energy. The uniquely designed devices that create and store energy also act as an impulse for the compelling and unusual movement, and the piece integrates these technologies, designs and apparatuses into the swiftness of the choreography, providing scenes of physically innovative technological engagement.

“The piece delivers a dual message,” explains choregrapher William Yong, the creator of more than 60 dance works worldwide. “Firstly it speaks to the imperative to act rapidly to preserve our familiar way of life. Secondly it shows the resilience of the human spirit – our ability to adapt to the ever-changing world we live in.”

Ticket information is available at harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage.

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