Christine Marie Presents Shadow Theater at TED 2012 Conference

Shadow artist and CalArts alumna Christine Marie (Theater/IM MFA 09), one of 25 selected TED2012 Fellows, speaks about her work at the TED2012: Full Spectrum conference in Long Beach today.

Marie’s art involves large-scale cinematic shadow theater spectacles with stereoscopic 3D effects.

In an email, she writes that her TED talk explores the “ancient roots of shadow theater and how the form is well-suited to portray archetypal characters that ‘speak’ to the psyche, allowing the audience to activate their imaginations and dream awake.”

She also performs an except from her original work, Ground To Cloud, with fellow CalArtians Alexandra Kustin (Theater BFA 11), Paul Turbiak (Theater MFA 08) and Rachel Mestrovich (Theater MFA 10). Composer Billy Mark (Music 09) provides live accompaniment.

Here’s what the Los Angeles Times said about Ground to Cloud, which was performed at last summer’s Radar LA festival:

“Ground to Cloud” is the handiwork of Christine Marie and Ensemble, who explore the relationship between lightning and electricity in terms as abstract as they are vivid. An incandescent bulb, Ben Franklin’s kite and St. Barbara, the patron saint of lightning, are the ostensible poles of narrative, but that’s about as specific as it gets. Against the invaluable environmental music of William Mark and designer E.M. Gimenez’s static-and-thunder-laden sound plot, a choreographic blend of Balinese puppetry, shadow play and  controlled  physical placement unfolds as though in a fever dream. Christine Marie, Paul Turbiak and Rachelle Mestrovich are the lithe, disciplined performers, with lead puppeteer Eugenia Barbuc doing yeoman’s work. If the relatively shallow space prohibits the fullest impact of some forced perspectives, or the 3-D effects midway cannot completely register, this is nonetheless a striking example of pure kinetic performance.

The TED Fellows program is designed to bring “young world-changers and trailblazers who have shown unusual accomplishment and exceptional courage” to the TED community to help amplify their ideas around the world.

Marie follows TED2011 Fellow Lars Jan (Theater MFA 08), making this two consecutive years that a CalArts School of Theater alum has been selected for the program.

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