Making connections between art and the cosmos isn’t far-fetched—humans have been doing it for years. We write poetry about the stars, we paint the planets, and we compose songs about the moon. But what about dance? This interesting relationship is currently being explored at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago (1300 S Lake Shore Dr.) with Cosmic Rhythms, an educational film being presented in the full-dome Grainger Sky Theater, starting on February 14, 2024, and running until April 17, 2024, on Wednesday evenings.
The 20-minute film is a collaboration between Action Lines Productions, The Joffrey Ballet, and the Adler Planetarium—an exciting Chicago partnership that brings seemingly opposite fields of study (dance, film, and science) into a single visionary work that explores the idea of relationships on both anatomic and cosmic levels.
In order to learn about celestial bodies, we can relate them to our own physical and emotional bodies: the way we interact with and respond to others is a gateway to understanding how the universe functions. Impossible concepts about astronomy are made easier through analogies to our everyday interactions and how we navigate our personal relationships.
While educational for all ages, it’s also visually stimulating. You’ll witness a mix between live action dancing and animations based on the Joffrey dancers’ duets. The music also adds to the journey, aiding the shifts in mood as we traverse the universe. Hard-hitting trap music is paired with explosive jumping, and contemplative jazz is paired with a soft face gazing out from inside the image of a moon.
The film is a lovely addition to a night of stargazing at the Adler Planetarium. The planetarium is not just great for introducing young kids to science, but it also makes for a fun date night in Chicago. Exhibits are interactive, and the Grainger Sky Theater films are fantastic in that they explain big, astronomical concepts in creative, artistic ways.
Tickets to Cosmic Rhythms are $15 in addition to Museum Entry, and you can purchase online at https://www.adlerplanetarium.org/event/cosmic-rhythms/. (A reminder that Illinois Residents get free Museum Entry on Wednesday evenings, which is when Cosmic Rhythms is screened!)
Now, sit back, relax, and get immersed by visuals of not just the cosmos, but of bodies swirling among burning stars. Perhaps after viewing it, the connection between dance and outer space won’t be so extraordinary after all…
All photo credits: Video still, Cosmic Rhythms. Courtesy of Action Lines.