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Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) Hosts Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company’s Space-Inspired Performance

BALTIMORE, MD – The Baltimore Museum of Art announced the Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company, Washington D.C.’s preeminent modern dance company, will present their illuminating multimedia performance, We Choose to Go to the Moon, at the BMA on Thursday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. in honor of Spencer Finch’s impressive light installation Moon Dust (Apollo 17). The half-hour performance will be followed by a conversation with company founder and choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess led by Asma Naeem, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. Tickets are $12 ($10 for BMA Members) and available for purchase online or at the BMA Visitor Services Desk.

A reference to a line in President John F. Kennedy’s 1962 speech that launched the Space Race, We Choose to Go to the Moon is an ode to a generation that realized a dream and still inspires our ideas about outer space today. The score alternates nostalgic music from the 1950s and 1960s such as “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Stardust,” and “Catch a Falling Star” with documentary elements that convey various perspectives of the universe. The voices include Bruce McCandless II, a former Apollo Mission astronaut; Dr. Chryssa Kouveliotou, an astrophysicist who researches black holes, neutron stars, and gamma-ray bursts; Dr. Neil Gehrels, an experimental physicist working in astronomy; Dr. Jim Zimbelman, a National Air and Space Museum geologist who researches geo-logic mapping of Mars and Venus; and Mary Motah Weahkee, a Santa Fe-based medicine woman, anthropologist, and archeologist whose father was an electrician for the Apollo missions.

The dancers in this performance are Christin Arthur, Joan Ayap, Christine Doyle, Trevor Frantz, Felipe Oyarzun Moltedo, Yvonne Faith Russell, Justin Rustle, Aleny Serna, and Baylee Wong, who recently received her B.F.A. in dance performance and choreography from Towson University.

Spencer Finch’s Moon Dust (Apollo 17) (2009) is an abstract sculpture consisting of 150 individual chandeliers with 417 lights that is also a scientifically precise representation of the chemical composition of moon dust gathered during the Apollo 17 mission. Finch translated the diagrams of the chemical formulas of the molecules by using light bulbs in different diameters and fixtures with different arm lengths to create a three-dimensional scale model of the moon’s atomic makeup. The diameter of a globe corresponds to the size of an atom with the smaller globes representing helium, the bigger oxygen. The overall effect is one of science translated into visual wonderment. On view since February 2018, Moon Dust (Apollo 17) is illuminating the BMA’s majestic Fox Court through October 14, 2024.

Moon Dust (Apollo 17) is on extended loan from the collection of Joanne Gold and Andrew Stern, who are generously sponsoring its presentation at the BMA.

More information:

Dana Tai Soon Burgess production of We Choose to Go to the Moon. Photography by Jeff Malet.
Spencer Finch. Moon Dust (Apollo 17). 2009. Installation view at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Collection of Joanne Gold and Andrew Stern. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nordenhake Berlin/ Stockholm. © Spencer Finch. Photography by Mitro Hood.