Interactive musical sculptures, dance, music and theater intersect in the world of Seattle performance group Lelavision. The group’s latest production, “Vessels of Vibe,” comes to the Shorecrest Performing Arts Center on March 5 as part of the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council’s Arts in Culture Series.
Pioneered by co-founders Ela Lamblin and Leah Mann, Lelavision’s “Physical Music” is the complete integration of music and movement.
The choreography, instead of being performed to a musical score, as is traditionally the case, arises entirely from the performers playing the instruments, which are designed specifically to evoke such movement. Performances are centered on themes of invention, discovery and play.
The name Lela is more than a play on the names of the founders; derived from two Sanskrit terms meaning “creation” and “creative spark,” with references to “play,” it denotes the spirit of the performance group. The six-member company combines modern and aerial dance, music, theater, and large interactive musical sculptures to create innovative works of awe and whimsy.
Lamblin and Mann began their collaborative efforts in 1992 in Atlanta, Ga., joining Lamblin’s skill creating kinetic sculptural musical instruments with Mann’s choreography experience as director emeritus and co-founder of the award-winning company, Moving in the Spirit, a dance and urban outreach program. Using sculpture, music, and movement to develop themes based on myth, nature, and spirit, in 1996 they founded Lelavision Physical Music in Seattle.
Lelavision has been presented by entities such as The New Genre Festival of Tulsa, Okla., Dance Umbrella of Boston, Mass., Emory University of Atlanta, Ga., Barking Legs of Chattanooga, Tenn., and the National Performance Network in America. Abroad, the company has toured the UK, Italy, Singapore and Bangkok with entities such as Teatro della Tosse (Genoa), Singapore International Children’s Festival and AnTobar Arts Center on the Isle of Mull.
Lamblin’s innovative work has also been acknowledged though grants by the Seattle Arts Commission, Artist Trust, King County Arts Commission and the Jack Straw Foundation. Mann is also the founder/adminstrator of Integrated Music, a roster of 12 artists providing music at Harborview and UW Medical Centers. A former competitive gymnast with a passion for aerial dance, Mann has been awarded numerous grants and commissions from entities such as the NEA.