BIODANCE in Anomaly Photo by Matt DeTurck
BIODANCE in Anomaly
Photo by Matt DeTurck

Year: 2016-2017
DanceForce Member: Kim Engel
Artists: W. Michelle Harris (media artist), Missy Pfohl Smith (BIODANCE), Emily Wozniak (Sound ExChange)
Community Partners: BIODANCE, Max and Marian Farash Foundation, RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium, Sound ExChange
Audience: 719
County: Monroe

Anomaly brought together the artistry of contemporary dance company BIODANCE and new music collective Sound ExChange with live cinematic mix by visual artist W. Michelle Harris. The goals of the project were to create a site-specific, immersive, collaborative multi-arts experience to a wide audience inside the 4-story dome of the Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Strasenburgh Planetarium. This multi-art, experimental show was intended to test the boundaries between audience and performer. Providing a narrative thread for the 45-minute show, virtuosic musicians from the Eastman School of Music will performed live music from today’s leading composers. With original choreographic work, including the premiere of a new dance to the music of Eastman alum and percussionist Kurt Fedde (Missy Pfohl Smith), the dancers from BIODANCE joined the musicians in a collaborative and multi-sensory arts experience transported the audience to a deeply reflective state about existence within our larger universe. “…a brilliant merging of modern dance, classical music and eye-popping visuals…’Anomaly’ is a true sensorial experience.” (City News) Ticket selling objectives exceeded all expectations, selling out the entire run before opening night and playing to 619 people.

BIODANCE, Sound ExChange, and W. Michelle Harris returned to RMSC’s Strasenburgh Planetarium with the sold-out phenomenon from Rochester’s 2013 Fringe, Anomaly.  Three shows took place on Thursday, September 15 at 7PM, and Saturday, Sept. 17 at 2pm and 7pm at the Rochester Museum and Science Center Strasenburgh Planetarium. The Strasenburgh Planetarium, the fourth collaborative entity in this project, a 4-story dome at the Rochester Museum & Science Center was fully on board with the project, providing time for rehearsal and full access to the spaces for performance, experimentation, and dressing rooms. Anomaly not only took place in the Planeatrium dome, but also started in the lobby amidst the waiting audience, and had a video installation in the side lobby on three adjacent screens permanently installed in the space that allow back projection. On Saturday at 5pm preceding the evening show, University of Rochester held an alumni gathering in the Strasenburgh Planetarium lobby during a reception that featured remarks from UR President Joel Seligman, Rochester Fringe Festival Producer Erica Fee and BIODANCE Artistic Director Missy Pfohl Smith.