photo by Patrick J. Cashin
“Saltwater Cures Everything!” is a multi-media dance performance that combines contemporary dance with time-lapse video projections of the Atlantic shore. Presented as an interactive dance event, the production aims to transport urban communities to a day at the beach and present concert dance in a new format that is socially engaging.
In 2013 the National Endowment of the Arts published statistics showing that non-musical theatrical attendance was declining at a rate of 12%. Attracting new audience members is a challenge for all performing artists. Petrusak states, “I strongly believe that new formats need to be developed in order to attract new audiences, especially young adults and families, who could potentially become life-time fans and supporters of the arts. I feel that presenting dance as an interactive event such as, “ Saltwater Cures Everything!” is an innovative model and will be an effective way to interest communities in dance. Bringing together video, dance, and a boardwalk-style beach party we will recreate a day at the seaside, provoking both the enjoyment and the introspection that one experiences near the ocean.”
The work itself is a visual narrative of the human relationship with the seashore. Petrusak continues, “I am intrigued by the act of beach-going: the stripping away our everyday clothes, and for a bit, shedding our responsibilities as we lay in sand near the gritty Atlantic water. Perhaps it is because we ourselves are 75% water that this act has the ability to calm, to relax, and to restore. Perhaps the ocean is simply the meeting-place that allows us to come together and enjoy life, or at times, the vast emptiness we need to be alone and look inwards. By recreating a pocket of seaside in the hubbub of New York City, I am hoping to conjure up an experience that allows people to stop for a moment, relax, and reflect on what it means to be human.”
The piece opens with a humorous staging of vacationers at the beach and then spirals into a deeper investigation of one’s search for solace in nature. The work reminds audiences of the importance of water in our lives and the importance of our oceans. Feeling connected to our natural world in turn allows us to connect with ourselves, and with our fellow human beings.
In an effort to raise awareness of the growing global clean-water crisis, a portion of proceeds from the event will be donated to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund which provides health services for children who were affected by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Thursday May 5th, 8pm
Friday May 6th, 8pm
Saturday May 7th, 8pm
Sunday May 8th, 5pm
357 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY
$25 General Admission/ $20 Students & Seniors