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BellaGaia

Art in Orbit: NASA-funded Bella Gaia Performance Comes to Chandler

The cosmos are often a source of inspiration for artistic expression. Bella Gaia, an ensemble performance of musicians and dancers, takes that to a new level with the use of satellite imagery provided by NASA and other multimedia pieces that encapsulate the inter-connectivity of the Earth and how humans interact with our home.

 

Bella Gaia, meaning beautiful Earth, uses stunning imagery and data that NASA has curated over the years to communicate to the audience that everything that humans do on our blue planet has an effect on the environment around them.

 

Kenji Williams, composer and director, came up with the idea after speaking with NASA astronaut Mike Fincke, the current American record holder for most time spent in space. Fincke told Williams about how when he first looked out into space, he was changed forever and realized how important Earth was and how the planet and everything around it was all one.

 

Williams wanted to bring all of the data and knowledge that NASA has and communicate it to the world through one of the oldest forms of communication: art.

 

“Bella Gaia shows the inter-connectivity of Earth in a digital way,” Williams said. “It takes you on a journey through space and time around and in the Earth.”

 

On the screen are representations of forest fires in the world, the polar ice caps melting and flight patterns that are constantly moving all around the world without the use of words.

 

Three astronauts have personally seen the show and have told Williams that the show gives them the feeling that they’re back in the cosmos, orbiting Earth.

 

Williams has used planetarium software to produce the show and is now in the middle of making the show into a 26-minute film that can be shown at planetariums around the world.

 

Audiences have seen Bella Gaia 200 times in nine countries, many of the shows were of just Williams and his laptop. The show in Chandler, as mentioned previously, includes an ensemble of performers.

 

Williams will take the show solo to Beijing, China for the International Planetarium Society’s Biennial conference this June in hopes of bringing the show to planetariums around the world.

 

Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., Chandler, Friday, March 28, 7:30 p.m., $32 to $44

Buy tickets here.