The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are on sale for a September 28, 2018 performance by Catapult Dance, scheduled as part of the Winter/Spring Performing Arts Series of events.
Hosted in the Pollak Theatre, the 8:00 p.m. performance marks the area debut of the “shadow dance company” troupe that was founded in 2009 — and that gained widespread renown when it wowed a national television audience with its performance on Season Eight of NBC’s hit competition “America’s Got Talent.”
To refer to what Catapult does as “shadow dancing,” however, is to describe only part of the picture. Under the visionary direction of choreographer Adam Battlestein — himself a long-time veteran of the groundbreaking Pilobolus Dance Theatre — the troupe’s artists perform behind onstage screens in a way that melds contemporary dance with centuries-old forms of storytelling, and even elements of sculpture.
There’s substance to those shadows, in other words — and a rare sense of wonder as well, as the assembled shape-shifters enact “human transformations” that summon breathtaking representations of worlds both natural (a full-size elephant, a majestic mountain) and man-made (a people-packed house, a hovering helicopter). The artistry of Catapult is a springboard to a form of expression in which all sense of illusion quickly melts away, and the viewer becomes immersed in an awe-inspiring experience that can truly be said to be “for audiences of all ages.”
Catapult’s touring presentation “Magic Shadows” employs hundreds of live “shape transformations” to convey a cycle of eight stories through movement, music, and something very much akin to real-time magic. A set of six shadow-dance performance videos screen as “palate cleansers” between the performance pieces, completing an evening that’s infused with humor, humanity, poetry, emotion, and “poetry in motion.” Chances are, you’ll never look at your own shadow the same way again.
As an event within a Performing Arts season that also boasts appearances by Bridgman Packer Dance and the Mystic India troupe, the September 28 performance represents a renewed commitment to the art, the joy, and the spectacle of bodies in motion. With an enhanced stage area, improved sight lines and other recently completed renovations, the Pollak Theatre takes its place as one of the region’s finest mid-sized venues for movement-based performance; part of a program that has proudly brought the artistry of Koresh Dance, Ailey II, Lakota Sioux Dance, and Imago Theatre to the coastal New Jersey audience in recent seasons.
Tickets for the Catapult Dance company’s “Magic Shadows” are priced at $40 and $50, with children’s tickets priced at $20 and $25. Reservations are available through the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/mca Tickets for other upcoming Performing Arts events — including Douglas Taurel’s “An American Soldier” (October 5) and Mike Super’s Magic and Illusion (October 10) — are also on sale now.