ASU dance season kicks off with 'Known and Unknown'

September 25, 2014

The School of Film, Dance and Theatre presents “Known and Unknown,” the kick-off event of the ASU dance season, featuring nine works created by an impressive roster of ASU faculty, musicians and local artists. Using a range of dance and media platforms, these imaginative artists venture into the worlds of science, perception and ritual. The event will take place at the Galvin Theatre, behind the ASU Art Museum, at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 26; 7:30 p.m., Sept. 27; and 2 p.m., Sept. 28.

The concert includes ASU premieres by faculty members Larry Caves, Mary Fitzgerald, John Mitchell, Jessica Rajko, Melissa Rex, Karen Schupp, Eileen Standley and Christian Ziegler. Joined by Datura and J.A.Movement performance media ensembles, sound/video artist Casey Farina and other local performers too numerous to mention, this show captures the full spectrum of contemporary dance offered at ASU. dancer Jessica Rajko interacts with a video piece by Casey Farina Download Full Image

“What is remarkable about this concert is the range of aesthetics presented, from highly experimental dance and media pieces to physically charged, Afro-Brazilian and Latin/ballroom fusions,” says Mary Fitzgerald, artistic director for the school's MainStage season. “I think this demonstrates some of the most current trends in the field and showcases the artistic breadth of the program.”

In addition to the works on stage, the evening includes pre-show, intermission and post-show film installations in the lobby and outside of the theater, as well as a dance and media piece in the Dance Laboratory. Audience members are given an opportunity to see the works from an intimate perspective and engage with the artists informally throughout the evening.

“There really is something for everyone in this show,” Fitzgerald says. “Many of the pieces are inspired by complex scientific concepts, such as brain neurogenesis, perception and physics, while others celebrate the pure physicality of movement in high energy ensemble works. The rich collaborations between choreographers, dancers, musicians and filmmakers take the concert to an entirely different level of creativity.”

Also new this year is a suite of Latin and ballroom ensemble pieces directed by senior lecturer Larry Caves. Cast members will lead adventurous audience members in a social dance class at the reception on opening night.

Ticket prices are: $16, general admission; $12, ASU faculty, staff and alumni; $12, senior; $8, student. Special discount: $5 admission for high school students (please bring ID).

Media contact:

Deborah Sussman

Communications and media specialist, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts


Award helps ASU advance urban, environmental solutions

September 25, 2014

Signaling a new chapter in its study of urban systems, the Urbanization and Global Environmental Change (UGEC) project – hosted by Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability – has received a significant award from the Future Earth initiative.

In this so-called Century of the City, UGEC recognizes the opportunity embedded in urban environments. Often associated with environmental ills, cities can serve as an excellent source of innovative, sustainable solutions. UGEC has dedicated over eight years to uncovering these solutions, primarily by fostering promising research collaborations in the social sciences. Urbanization in Hong Kong  Download Full Image

The Future Earth award, supported by a National Science Foundation grant, represents a chance to expand UGEC’s efforts. Through a two-year visioning process titled “Critical Knowledge Pathways to Liveable Urban Futures,” an entirely new project to address urbanization and global environmental change will take shape.

The visioning process will be guided by an Urban Transition Team, chaired by experts including Patricia Romero Lankao of the National Center for Atmospheric Research and David Simon of Royal Holloway University of London.

The team will work cooperatively with Thomas Elmqvist of the Stockholm Resilience Centre on a comprehensive workshop series. By convening practitioners from an array of disciplines, the series will articulate best practices for fostering inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations. This will enhance the effectiveness of the new project, which will be built within the Future Earth framework.

“We’re excited to broaden the initiative by incorporating more of the natural sciences – areas like ecology, climatology and urban health management – into our knowledge base on urbanization and global environmental change,” says UGEC’s Executive Officer Corrie Griffith. “Adequately addressing these complex urban sustainability challenges really demands this integrative approach.”

A comprehensive, edited publication is another intended outcome of the visioning process. The publication will detail the many conceptions of the term “urban,” aggregate existing knowledge on the relationship between cities and environmental change, and explore relevant developments in the scientific community.

“Understanding cities is vitally important because we now live on an urban planet,” says School of Sustainability Dean Christopher Boone, who sits on UGEC’s steering committee. “We need to figure out how to make things work in cities because if we don’t, we can’t make things work on a planetary scale.”

The visioning process will begin as Future Earth adopts all projects formerly administered by the International Human Dimensions Programme, UGEC’s parent organization.

UGEC’s second international conference, “Urban Transitions and Transformations: Science, Synthesis and Policy,” will be held in November of this year. It will take place Taipei, Taiwan, an appropriate location as Asia contains some of the most rapidly urbanizing regions in the world.

The conference, attended by practitioners from across both the sciences and world, serves as an ideal opportunity to introduce and initiate this exciting move into the next phase of urban research.

Communications specialist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability