A dance of life

A choreographer collaborates with more than 30 scientists to create a multimedia tribute to genetics

Lisa Seachrist Chiu
May 2, 2007
A dancer struts onto the stage in knee-high black boots, ever-so short shorts, a lace bustier and a bullwhip, and starts purring about genetics. Ms. TATA - a dancing double entendre -- teases her audience, noting how she "turned on" the genes producing the curves she inherited from her mother, but won't do the same for the diabetes genes from her father.
Ms. TATA is just one of the characters populating Liz Lerman Dance Exchange's multimedia "Ferocious Beauty: Genome," the end-product of a multi-year collaboration with over 30 scientists aiming to interpret genetics through dance.The dancers' intersection with science begins in a scene from a "laboratory," where they spiral like the DNA helix, relate in groups of three like codons, and "fly" like . In a wry wink, the dancers unzip their costumes -- like DNA, get it? -- to reveal messages written on their bodies,...

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