Listening to the Earth’

By By Cressa Perloff

By Cressa Perloff

Scene: 230 elementary school students. Forty U students. Some parents. A couple of babies. One stage.

Who would have imagined such a thing could occur? Tandy Beal would have. “Listening to the Earth,” a product of her creation, is in its 21st year. This year, U modern dance faculty member Kaye Richards coordinated and directed the project.

“Listening to the Earth” is a family event that will be performed this Saturday afternoon at Kingsbury Hall. It is the product of a six-week process during which U modern dance majors worked with students of Edison Elementary School, which is notable for its diversity and the many languages spoken by its students, as well as in the surrounding community. Thus, dance becomes an appropriate mode of communication and a way to build bridges between the students.

“Listening to the Earth” gives U modern dance students the opportunity to take their love for dance outside the studio and see its powerful effects on communities. It allows the elementary students involved to connect with others and feel a sense of hope and confidence.

The performance is based around a story in which a man listens to the earth and claims he can hear all the world’s joys and sorrows. The children on stage become incredulous and embark on a journey so they can hear it as well. On the journey they make discoveries about the world both around them and within.

“Listening to the Earth” will be performed Saturday at 2 p.m. at Kingsbury Hall. Tickets are $5 for the general public, $3 for children, and can be bought at the Kingsbury Hall box office.