In late 2011, TEDxGrandRapids approached Dance In The Annex (DITA) Artistic Director Amy Wilson about creating an original piece for the highlight closing ceremonies of TEDxGrandRapids 2012. The event took place May 10, 2012, at Grand Rapids’ Civic Theatre, in Downtown Grand Rapids.
Choreographed by Wilson, the original piece “Forty Six and Two” was performed by Mary Jo Masters, Rael Orao, Melissa Mondry-Sefton, Carolina Pava and Sarah Powell. As part of the “thank you” to the event’s major sponsors, photographer Lora Robertson created original animations, which were projected behind the dancers. William Dunckel created the costumes.
The title of the piece (also the title of the music) is based on Carl Jungs theory of the possibility that a higher state of consciousness can be achieved through human evolution. The numbers 46 + 2 referring to the number of chromosomes found in human DNA.
The original Dance In The Annex (DITA) piece, “Forty Six and Two,” expands on the Tool song of the same name – itself inspired by Jungian principles of expanded consciousness, connectedness, and the sharing of ideas. The title is a reference to chromosomes, figuratively referencing a “jump” from the existing “44+2″ number of chromosomes present in human DNA.
The piece features five dancers, three of whom symbolize the way we chase down ideas and inevitably believe we’ve got something figured out – only to spiral into something new, often through interactions with others.
These three dancers move “out of time,” without intentional unison, in dissonance. This draws on the musicians’ frequent shifts into irregular time signatures – representing our disharmonic state of consciousness.
The other two dancers are the constants, representing community, compassion, understanding, giving and gratitude. A state of being where “we cease to perceive anything outside of ourselves as being separate from ourselves,” in the words of author Drunvalo Melchizedek.
The squaring off between these two dynamics represents the tension of transition to a higher state of being. The piece comes full circle with the mission of TEDx itself, as a community of curious souls engaging with ideas and each other, as an ever-evolving work in progress.
The piece represents that transformation, from our contemporary, inward-looking state of being – to the connectedness of existing as cells in a body, one life, one energy. Or, as Melchizedek and Jung referred to it, the “unity consciousness.”
“Forty Six and Two”
Choreography: Amy Wilson, Artistic Director – Dance In The Annex (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
Music: Vitamin String Quartet (Adapted from Tool)
Visual and Original Animation: Lora Robertson
Costumes: William Dunckel
Dancers: Mary Jo Masters, Rael Orao, Melissa Mondry-Sefton, Carolina Pava, Sarah Powell
Thanks to Community Media Center and Wealthy Theatre