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Man in the Middle

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

One of the world’s most famous images is Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man,” the drawing of a naked figure, arms and legs extended, fitting perfectly into a square superimposed on a circle. It’s considered the model of ideal human symmetry and proportion, as described by the Roman architect Vitruvius and created by Leonardo as a marriage of science and art. More Clearly in Dreams is a new dance-theater piece that takes its theme and imagery from that classic artwork.

Created by Smith College dance professor Rodger Blum, with a script drawn from Leonardo’s writings, it’s a voice-and-movement meditation on “the passage of time and the act of creativity” in which, says Blum, “I focus on the play of shadow and light as metaphor.” Two professional performers portray Leonardo himself: actor Greg Wood and dancer Roger Creel. Designer Dan Rist has created a large-scale model of another one of the artist’s famous designs, the ornithopter flying machine, with a 20-foot wingspan. A preshow video features artists from the Pilobolus dance company.

Nov. 15-17, 8 p.m., Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Smith College, $25-$9, 585-ARTS (2787), smith.edu/smitharts.

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