Great Lakes Ensemble
The Great Lakes Ensemble is an interdisciplinary artistic exploration of the Great Lakes region—its people, culture, history and aesthetics. The ensemble’s work involves collaborations with dance and music, and also includes other artistic elements such as text and projected images. The Great Lakes Ensemble has performed at festivals, in museum and art gallery settings, and site- specific locations such as an outdoor sculpture park.
The Great Lakes Ensemble is developing an ongoing series of programs that is driven by rigorous aesthetic inquiry and expression, as well as research into aspects of this region’s identity that includes the intersections of nature and humanity, its industrial past and present, oral histories, and ways by which its people and locales are imagining how to reinvent themselves as the 21st Century moves forward.
GLE’s dance and choreography, under Lisa LaMarre’s direction, manifests a combination of lyrical spryness and fluid athleticism. The ensemble’s musicians develop sonic textures that explore aspects of the Great Lakes’ dramatic past and present—from the tranquility of a finger lake at dawn, to hulking abandoned factories and the bustle of Chicago’s urban din, to a sonic imagining of glaciers’ southerly movements 16,000 years ago. GLE’s horns and rhythm section can stretch into a languid mode or bust into a densely pointillistic segment, and then change directions again as a performance develops.
GLE uses projected images in its performances—including photographs, paintings, and images from bathymetric maps. Sometimes projections appear on flat surfaces such as video screens or walls, and at other times projections land on uneven surfaces or onto dancers’ bodies in motion. Projected images onto transparent vessels filled with water create a prismatic effect that throws refracted, undulating images across the room.Great Lakes Ensemble/ Chicago Calling
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, text by Jerry Dennis (author of The Living Great Lakes and other books), and photographs by David Schalliol.