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Performance artist brings new perspective on science to BHSU

Acclaimed artistic director and choreographer Jodi Lomask will bring her multi-disciplinary approach in drawing attention to scientific, biological and ecological issues to the Black Hills State University campus.

Lomask, who has trained at several prestigious dance school sincluding the Royal Ballet Academy, Merce Cunningham Studio, and London Contemporary Dance School, will speak in the Pangburn Theatre Monday, Dec. 3, at 7:30 p.m. She will also give a talk at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m.  During her talk, Lomask will take a deeper look at the creative processes that scientists and artists share.  She will also show video of her troupe’s performances.

In 1997, Lomask founded the Capacitor dance and began collaborating with world-renowned research scientists to create original dance works that draw attention to critical environmental issues.

Through her dance company, she designed a novel conceptual space – “The Capacitor Lab” – where artists, scientists, designers, engineers and philosophers exchange ideas and information that leads to the creation of new performance pieces. Through discussions and debates, the Capacitor Lab brings a broader outlook to the creative process.

“These collaborations are part of my ongoing inquiry into creative problem solving and my desire to understand it in multiple realms,” Lomask said.

The Capacitor Lab process serves not only the creative team, but also the participating scientists by giving them an opportunity to view their work in a new light, she said.

Through the Capacitor Lab, performers have dived with marine biologists and oceanographers, walked the Monteverde Cloud forest with an ecologist, talked space with astronomers, and worked with botanists and architects on flower reproduction and the little intricacies of living architecture.  “Each of these Capacitor Labs results in a conceptually-rich dance/cirque piece that we perform nationally and internationally – encouraging curiosity and conservation,” Lomask said.

Sponsors for the event include BHSU, BHSU University Foundation, Rapid City Arts Council, Dr. Brian Schwartz and the National Science Foundation. Lomask’s appearance, and similar events that involve scientific exploration, are facilitated through a partnership with Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead.

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