Arts and Entertainment

Light, sound and movement fill Lelavision show

Leah Mann and Ela Lamblin perform on the photosynthesizer, a sculptural musical instrument created by Lamblin. - Kristen Reitz Green Photo Kristen Reitz Green Photo
Leah Mann and Ela Lamblin perform on the photosynthesizer, a sculptural musical instrument created by Lamblin.
— image credit: Kristen Reitz Green Photo Kristen Reitz Green Photo

A new piece by the talented Island duo Lelavision will be presented at the Blue Heron on Saturday.

The piece, dubbed “Harvesting Light,” aims to cast both artistic and actual illumination on its audience with the debut of a glowing musical creation called the photosynthesizer, a spherical, organ-like instrument made of colorful blown glass resonators.

“It’s going to be a multimedia extravaganza,” said Janice Randall, director of performing arts for Vashon Allied Arts.

Lelavision is made up of the married couple Ela Lamblin and Leah Mann. The two Islanders, who began collaborating 20 years ago, have traveled the world performing what they call “physical music,” pairing Lamblin’s often elaborate musical sculptures with Leah’s exuberant and unorthodox choreography.

In past performances, the pair has strapped themselves to bungee cords, flying up and down so as to bang on percussion instruments hanging from the ceiling. They’ve rolled across the stage in fabricated steel balls that pounded out a music score and whirled through space on a tubular-bell-outfitted instrument reminiscent of sit-and-spin playground equipment.

Their goal, they say, is to explore myth, nature and spirit — something that seems to be clearly at the heart of “Harvesting Light,” the latest show in VAA’s New Works Series. The elegant instrument at the center of the piece was created by Lamblin during a recent residency at Tacoma’s Museum of Glass. The installation is so large, Randall said, that it will have to be re-configured to fit it into the Blue Heron’s tiny performance space.

And while many Lelavision performances feature only Lamblin and Mann, this one is an ensemble piece that will include contributions from composer Jason Staczek and movement artists Lynelle Sjoberg and Abby Enson.

According to Randall, “Harvesting Light” is “inspired by ideas about light — the sun as an energy source, the hidden potential of photosynthesis and light within or illumination of the soul.” The whole point of the performance, she said, is to “bring light and sound to the dead of winter.”

And if this performance is like other Lelavision shows, it will also be a testament to Lelavision’s trademark off-the charts energy and outside-the-box thinking — artistic qualities that keep audiences coming back to the duo’s always quirky and inspiring performances.

“I know it’s going to be amazing, because it always is,” Randall said of the upcoming show.


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