Skip to Navigation Skip to Main Content

In search of art’s value

Minnesota-based dance company Black Label Movement and Science magazine correspondent John Bohannon will perform A Modest Proposal at 8 p.m. April 10 as part of the Mary Jo and V. Lane Rawlins Fine Arts Series.

The performance will be in the University of North Texas Auditorium Building, 1401 W. Hickory St.

Choreographer Carl Flink, Black Label Movement’s artistic director, said the event is a mixture of a TED talk and dance experience. It will include a contemporary dance movement called “Lost Lullabies” and hopefully time for a question-and-answer session, he said. TED is a popular network that brings ideas and innovations in technology, entertainment and design into a common space.

A Modest Proposal was first presented at the 2011 TEDxBrussels in Belgium and is inspired by the 1792 essay by Jonathan Swift. A video of the performance went viral online and has been viewed more than 1.6 million times.

The focus of the performance is to create dialogue about collaboration between dance and science, which people don’t normally think of putting together, Flink said.

The piece itself involves three levels, he said. It touches on the value of artists and scientists coming together “to enrich one another’s levels.” It also looks at alternatives to PowerPoint presentations and asks whether ideas can be presented with creative alternatives such as dance rather than overuse PowerPoint.

Unlike Swift’s essay, which suggest poor children be sold to the wealthy as food, this interpretation of A Modest Proposal makes the analogy that artists are considered unnecessary and of no use, but suggests to audiences that artists be valued and used to present ideas and get information across.

“I hope that they’ll see ... that our company is a very strong group of performers,” Flink said. “My hope is they walk away saying, ‘My gosh, dance is so much more than going to a show.”’

— Britney Tabor


What: A performance by John Bohannon and the Black Label Movement

When: 8 p.m. April 10

Where: UNT Auditorium Building, 1401 W. Hickory St.

Details: Tickets cost $10 for the general public, $5 for UNT faculty, staff and alumni; free admission for UNT students with ID. For advance tickets, visit UNT’s Stovall Temporary Union Building or call 940-565-3805.

On the Web: