Ocean - A Dance About Science and Conservation

Smithsonian Institution

A dance production combines ocean science and art to empower viewers to take conservation action. Ocean was performed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on June 3, 2012 as part of the Changing Tides series of events, co-sponsored by Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE).

“To inform people about [ocean issues] on an intellectual level is one thing, but how do you really make people wake up and feel like they need to do something?” asked photographer Bill Roden, who co-produced Ocean with choreographer Fran Spector Atkins. “We’re trying to get people at more of a gut level, and this is where I think the power of the arts lies.”

Read more about the performance at "Dancing for the Oceans."

Here's the video breakdown:

0:00-07:25 - Introductory remarks by Nancy Knowlton, the museum's Sant Chair of Marine Science; Paula Keener-Chavis, the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Ocean Exploration's Education Program; and Fran Spector Atkins, choreographer and director of the Ocean dance

07:25-16:57 - "Out of the Blue," a dance piece about ocean diversity, featuring the SpectorDance company with local Washington, DC dancers.

17:12-31:00 - Talk by George Matsumoto, Senior Education and Research Specialist at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, about marine biology and ocean acidificiation.

31:00-01:07:00 - The Ocean dance production, featuring interviews with scientists and community members, original music, and interpretive dance by the SpectorDance company.

01:07:00-end - Audience Q&A with one of the dancers, Fran Spector Atkins, and George Matsumoto.