The Bodiography Contemporary Ballet (BCB) strives to be the premier non-profit contemporary ballet company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Providing quality, innovative, and artistic multi-genre movement material with a strong foundation in classical ballet technique, Bodiography showcases entertaining dance that is accessible to audiences of all ages.
An upcoming performance produced by the BCB is scheduled to take the stage. The production, "108 Minutes: Regenerating the body one step at a time," is scheduled for February 18 and 19, 2011, at the Byham Theater.
This full length contemporary ballet set to the live musical score of Cello Fury personifies the research and innovation of the scientists of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Based upon interviews with McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty members Stephen Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD, Johnny Huard, PhD, Blair Jobe, MD, Eric Lagasse, PharmD, PhD, Alan Russell, PhD, and William Wagner, PhD, the piece will become a story highlighting the passions of the scientists and exemplifies the exhibition of their fascinating research. It particularly focuses on success stories that regenerative medical techniques have had in limb, organ, and tissue replacement for our wounded warriors. Drs. Badylak, Huard, Jobe, Lagasse, Russell, and Wagner (pictured) will participate in the ballet performance. Watch a video clip of the upcoming show here. Get additional information and tickets here.
In addition to the ballet performance, a medically inspired art exhibition will be featured in the lobby of the theater. The exhibition will include a wide range of art and photography, including the "Medically Influenced Fine Art" by Jason Shorr, the scientific imagery of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Biologic Imaging, and the "DiagnosisART" by Penny Oliver.
In February 2010, BCB had their most memorable production to date when they premiered "Heart (function vs. emotion)" at the Byham Theater. The 2-day performance drew nearly 1,200 attendees. The project began a year before the performance when McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine affiliated faculty member Dennis McNamara, MD, approached Artistic Director of BCB Maria Caruso with the idea for this unique collaboration.
Critics observed that Ms. Caruso's time and investment in "Heart (function vs. emotion)" paid off as the performers (company members, patients, and, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Robert Kormos, MD) left their hearts on the stage with a stunning production. The format of "Heart" was as follows:
- Act One, "Function," was choreographed as an artistic representation of the actual functioning of the heart.
- Act Two, "Emotion," began with a demonstration of the preparation for and actual operation of heart transplantation, performed by Dr. Kormos and Ms. Caruso. The second half allowed the dancers to portray the patients' experiences with heart disease through their physical interpretation.
Heart transplant patients Pasquale Ceblasio, Patricia Dippold, Julie Drain, Merle Reeseman, Philip Rostek, and Holly Tissue-Thompson also participated in the performance. Mr. Rostek drew on his own creative side and illustrated his experience on an easel as his dancer moved across the stage. As a painter, he is very much interested in the relationship between art and health. He believes that playing the piano, doing artwork, and writing poetry have helped in his recovery.
After the show, Dr. Kormos explained to the audience how this kind of performance was completely out of his (and the patients') element, and described the incredible "ingenuity and energy" of Ms. Caruso to put together such a show.
Bodiography, 108 Minutes: Regenerating the body one step at a time 2