UW Dance Piece Fuses Science with Music and Theater

September 19, 2012
Evo-Cete: The Big Blue Journey promo graphic
Evo-Cete is part dance production, part science lecture for children learning about whales and evolution.

“Evo-Cete: The Big Blue Journey,” a dance production that teaches the evolution of and scientific facts about whales, will have its premiere at 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, in the University of Wyoming College of Education auditorium.

More than 30 community students have participated in dance training and rehearsals for three months, culminating in the two public performances.

“I really like 'Evo-Cete: the Big Blue Journey.' It is a great way to learn the evolution of whales, and it is fun,” says Hazel Homer Wambean, a home-school sixth-grader who plays the Sea Queen, holder of the whale myths.

UW's Program in Ecology and UW Theatre and Dance (Theatre for Young Audiences) created the production. It involves the work of community artists working together with university students, children and youth of Laramie, and the Laramie High School's dance team. It is directed by community guest artist choreographers Wendy de la Harpe, Landee Lockhart, Leann Mattis and Teresa Thompson.

“I love ocean life -- it fascinates me -- and I also love anything to do with theater, too. So, I love this and hope that everybody else loves this as much as I do,” says Laramie Junior High student Abigail Bargdill, who portrays Evolution Sister, the science teaching robot.

UW Theatre and Dance Professor Cecilia Aragon and UW Geology and Geophysics Department Associate Professor Mark Clementz produced the performance that includes a scripted narration by UW student playwright Jeremy Smith and a musical score by UW music student Evan Bradley. The music highlights the various periods of whale evolution and ecology.

Funding is provided in part by the Wyoming Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Science Kids of Wyoming and National Science Foundation.

For more information and photo opportunities, contact Aragon at (307) 766-2164 or email ccaragon@uwyo.edu.

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