Imaginary Numbers

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Karl and DeannaMoveSpeakSpin
P.O. Box 8055
Santa Cruz, CA 95061

Release Immediate: Jan., 25, 2009
Contact: Karl Schaffer
831-335-1861 /

Imaginary Numbers



Choreography by Karl Schaffer,
with guest appearances by Keith Devlin and Zambra, and guest choreography by Deana Ross
Fri/Sat/Sun May 15,16,17, 8PM at the 418 Project in Santa Cruz

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Photos by Steve DiBartolomeo.

Karl Schaffer Dancing with BoxesKarl Schaffer is producing a concert of mathematically playful new dance works at the 418 Project in Santa Cruz, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 15-17, 2009, at 8 PM. Entitled “Imaginary Numbers,” the concert features “Harmonious Equations,” a new work directed and narrated by National Public Radio’s “Math Guy” Keith Devlin, and based on music composed and performed by Santa Cruz choral group Zambra. The concert will also include several new works by Schaffer, and guest choreography by Deanna Ross.

The concert includes the following works:
Harmonious Equations, directed by Keith Devlin, music by Zambra, choreography by Karl Schaffer. “Harmonious Equations” is composed of interpretations of some of the most important and beautiful equations in mathematics, in song, prose, and dance. Performers are Devlin, 6 members of Zambra, Saki, Fabricio Olsson, and Schaffer
The Atom Bomb Game, a grimly humorous danced and spoken duet about nuclear war, in which the dancers enact  the “Prisoners Dilemna,” as they imitate superpowers collecting nuclear weapons, performed by Ross and Schaffer, to Mozart, Bach, and tango scores.
Imaginary Numbers, a humorous and philosophical divertissement on the real and the unreal in an age of ubiquitous video imagery, played out as the dancers execute swirling dance phrases, music by Bach.
Switch, a dance that uses permutations of four movements as a metaphor for both the sequencing of DNA and the possibility of change, music by Victor Spiegel and Leroy Clarke.
Can’t Talk Now, choreographed by Deanna Ross, a flight of fancy on cell phone culture, performed by dancers from Monterey Peninsula College, music by Jon Scoville.

Dates: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 15, 16, and 17
Time: 8 PM
Location: 418 Project, at 418 Front St. in Santa Cruz
Funded in part by: the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County
Tickets: $15 general, $12 students/seniors,
or available at the door. Seating is by general admission.
$2 refund for attendance at “Anatomy of a Cloud,” by Shah and Blah Productions, the same weekend, see


Karl Schaffer has co-directed the Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble for the past 20 years.  He and co-director Erik Stern have toured throughout North America performing at such venues as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, and the Mondavi Center in Davis, and most recently in New York and Hawaii. In 2005 they were named to the artist roster of the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education, which sponsors arts workshops at many of the largest performing arts centers in the United States. Schaffer and Stern have received five National Endowment for the Arts Access to the Arts awards for their cross-disciplinary performance work linking dance and mathematics. The latest grant will fund an extended choreographic residency by Schaffer and Stern in Puerto Rico in 2009.

Schaffer also directs several Santa Cruz based touring shows about dance and mathematics; the group has performed in Santa Barbara, Monterey, and Marin recently, and is part of the Spectra Arts in the Schools program. Schaffer was an artist-in-residence at the Mello Center for the Performing Arts in Watsonville for 2004-2005. He has been keynote presenter on integrating dance and mathematics at numerous conferences on the arts, mathematics, and math education throughout North America. He teaches mathematics at De Anza College, and teaches dance as an independent artist.

Additional information about guest artists:
Keith Devlin is Executive Director of Stanford's human-Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute (H-STAR) and a Consulting Professor of mathematics at Stanford. He is a commentator on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Saturday, where he is known as "The Math Guy." He is the author of 28 books, many written for the general public. Devlin is the recipient of the Pythagoras Prize, the Peano Prize, the Carl Sagan Award, and the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics Communications Award. (
Zambra is a Santa Cruz, CA based, global vocal group founded 1994. They have performed at the Cabrillo Music Festival, First Night Santa Cruz, First Night Monterey, concert series of The Monterey Museum of Art and Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Santa Cruz Accapellafest, Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, Voices of the People, Cabrillo College Women's Conference, and numerous other events. Website: The members of Zambra singing in this performance are Therese Johannesson, Janet Herman, Susan Krivin, Victoria Phillips-Larson, Laura Reeve, and Ann Louise Wagner.

Deanna: Steve DiBartolomeoDeanna Ross is a Monterey dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She is dance faculty at Monterey Peninsula College, and has performed with Opera San Jose, Cabrillo Music Festival, and Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra.

Rowan Algoet has been dancing in the Santa Cruz and Monterey areas for ten years, and is the recipient of the Roberta Bristol award for her dance work at Cabrillo College.

Santa Cruz dancers:
Saki, has worked as a dancer and math/dance workshop teacher with MoveSpeakSpin and the Dr. Schaffer & Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble since 1999. She has also performed with The New Pickle Circus, Tandy Beal & Company, Bandaloop, SoVoSo, and other Santa Cruz dance companies. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art in Modern Dance from the University of Utah.
Fabricio Olsson, graduate of UCSC Digital Arts and New Media program, was Brazilian National Gymnastics Champion. He has performed in Southern California at Sea World and Legoland and locally with Tandy Beal and Company and with Moving and Storage Dance Company, and he teaches for Santa Cruz Sports Central.
Rivera with Prop: Steve DiBartolomeoRivera Cooke, graduate of Bennington College, was the 418 Project’s Artist In Residence in 2006. She directs Cook ‘n Company, a local dance/theater troupe which recently produced “We’re Toast” at The 418 Project.
Leslie Viezee is a longtime dancer, who has also performed with Lisa Burnett in Palo Alto, Karl Schaffer, and Tandy Beal.
Noel Wetzel, a dance graduate of Univ. of Utah, who has danced with Tandy Beal and Karl Schaffer, choreographed for Kids on Broadway, and taught with West End Studio Theatre.

Dancers: Photo by Steve DiBartolomeoPhotos are by Steve DiBartolomeo, administrative assistance by Dorah Rosen, tech direction and lighting design by Disa Lindquist.

Funded in part by a grant from the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County, and support from Santa Cruz Sports Central.

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