Hourglass with the Robin Cox Ensemble, Stephanie Nugent at CalArts on Thursday


'Hourglass' will be performed at The Sharon Disney Lund Theater at CalArts. | Photo: Andre Andreev

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Hourglass, a live music and dance improvisation “community event” comes to CalArts tomorrow night (Sept. 16), and features the music of the Robin Cox Ensemble as well as improvisational audience participation, guided by Stephanie Nugent.

Cox, a composer and violinist who teaches music for BFA and MFA dancers at The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts, said that Hourglass is a “large-scale work for movement and performance.” While the music is fixed, the dance component of the work doesn’t have set, specific choreography.

“Instead, we’re encouraging spontaneity and immersed movement from the audience,” said Nugent, a dance faculty member who specializes in dance/theater and improvisational dance forms. “We want the audience members to feel like they’re listening to a concert in their living room.” Nugent will offer audience members concepts for movement for the piece at the start of the evening.

Audience members will be encouraged to do what they want–either observe and listen or actively participate in the improvisational dance.

“We’re calling this a ‘dance experience,’ not a ‘dance performance,'” added Cox.

The live score will be performed by the Robin Cox Ensemble, whose members include Cox on violin, Matthew Cook (Music MFA 10) on percussion, Danny Holt on piano (Music MFA 06), Erik Leckrone on percussion, Derek Stein on cello (Music MFA 10) and Marty Walker (Music MFA 91) on bass clarinet.

The experience, which has been performed at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica and the ARCpasadena, lasts exactly one hour. There’s even a digitally projected clock included in the piece that times the performance.

with the Robin Cox Ensemble and Stephanie Nugent
The Sharon Disney Lund Theater
Thursday, Sept. 16
8 pm

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