Dancers explore humanity, technology and "dis-connected" interactions - Article, Office of College Advancement

Tuesday, April 22, 2014—Reprinted from Tri-City Voice.

Submitted by Ohlone College.

How often do you find yourself seated in a public place, surrounded by people, while you stare at a miniature screen, or walking around plugged into ear buds, oblivious to those around you, or seated next to someone you love, while each of you is communing, in tandem, with your digital device? Is this the state of modern human interaction?

Dis-Connected, the Spring Dance Production at Ohlone College, is an artistic commentary on the new form of social interaction where human connectivity is filtered through a screen. In four suites, dancers enact the various aspects of life that change with rapid upgrades in technology as we learn how to cope and adapt to the sudden changes.

"Technology has created a whole new world, connections and conveniences beyond our wildest dreams. Alternately, it can also create social solitude," said Janel Tomblin-Brown, artistic director. "This lead me to four categories—suites—that are topical to the questions raised by technology's place in our world today."

The four suites deal with various themes, such as "equipment failure," in the form of the ubiquitous, tangled ear buds, which inspires creative, freeform movement as dancers attempt to untangle themselves, each other, and perhaps their lives as well. Another theme embodies the solitude created by technology as groups of people isolate themselves from each other as they engage in solemn, silent interactions with their electronic device of choice.

Aspects of danger are examined as people, absorbed in their own world on a screen, disregard their environment as violence erupts in their midst. And, the strange, over-dramatized world derived from text-based communication absent of contextual clues is explored as we see how easily miscommunication occurs when we let our screens do the talking for us.

Dis-Connected showcases the work of talented students, who in addition to performing, have often contributed choreography or other design elements to the production. Production design is at the highest level with costumes, set design, lighting, sound from the faculty and production staff of the award-winning department at the College.

Thematically, the production is topical and relevant, and each of us will recognize ourselves or someone we know in the dis-connectedness of human interaction portrayed onstage. A variety of dance styles from hip hop to modern are used in each of the suites and serve as an overlay to say that, through the creative expression and artistry of the human form, we still remain connected despite advances in technology.

  • Dis-Connected
  • Thursday, Apr 24 - Saturday, Apr 26
  • 8 p.m.
  • Smith Center at Ohlone College
    43600 Mission Blvd, Fremont
  • (510) 659-6031
  • www.smithcenter.com
  • $15 General Admission
  • $12 Students and Seniors
  • $2 Event Parking

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