Cetacea (pronounced se-tay-shuh) is a sonic and video installation dance performance that contemplates oceanic time-scapes. This new work elaborates on choreographer and dancer Aurora Lagattuta’s prior solo, Inside the Whale. Cetacea further develops movement, sound, and video research on the temporal experience of cetaceans (primarily whales and dolphins).
This multimedia performance communicates with virtual and material presences in a performance ecology, integrating fragments of reality, virtuality, and imagination. Cetacea aims to transport the audience into reflexive states around how audience members experience time and underwater landscapes.
The performance is a collaboration among choreographer Lagattuta, visual artist and projectionist Maya VanderSchuit, and composer Kevin Zhang. Lagattuta is an MFA Dance candidate who toured her previous work, Inside the Whale, across Europe. Her collaborators are also UC San Diego graduate students: Maya VanderSchuit is an MFA Visual Arts candidate, and Kevin Zhang is a Ph.D. student in Music with an emphasis on composition.
Choreographer and dancer Aurora Lagattuta is a second-year MFA candidate in Contemporary Dance Making and Performance at UC San Diego, where she received the prestigious San Diego Fellowship. She was also awarded the Best Multi-Media Solo Award for her performance of Inside the Whale at the United Solo Festival on Broadway in New York City. In addition to Inside the Whale, Lagattuta also recently collaborated with Maya VanderSchuit and Elisabet Curbelo on a video-and-dance installation, Benthic Light, that premiered at UC San Diego’s Visual Arts Common Gallery last March.
Maya VanderSchuit is an MFA Visual Arts candidate at UC San Diego in the Visual Arts department. She received her B.A. from the University of San Diego (USD) with a double major in Visual Arts and Art History. VanderSchuit has exhibited her work at San Diego Art Institute, UCSD’s Visual Arts Gallery, Birch Aquarium, IKO Studios in Los Angeles, USD’s Visual Arts Gallery. Her work has been awarded the SURE Grant and AS Grant. VanderSchuit’s recent work uses the surfaces of digital video projections and iridescent materials to explore the body’s ontological relationship to real and virtual spaces. The time-based installations juxtapose the real and the virtual by extending screen space into actual space.
Kevin Zhang received his undergraduate degree in music at the New England Conservatory of Music, an MFA in Music from UC Irvine, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Music at UC San Diego with an emphasis on composition. Zhang is also an Instructor for the Music Department at UC San Diego.
Performance Documentation from IDEAS Festival, 2018: Choreography by Aurora Lagattuta in collaboration with dancers: Lauren Christie, Marcos Duran, and Katy Gilmore. Projectionist/ Visual Artist/ Set Design – Maya VanderSchuit Sound Composition – Kevin Zhang Light Design– Minjoo Kim