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Dance of Life

ae_tandybealthe afterlife Fabriccio Ollsen and Frank Widman perform in Tandy Beal's "HereAfterHere."Tandy Beal & Company invites you on a journey to the other side of death

Let’s say you’re walking along the path near Seacliff Beach. You look fantastic. It’s a brilliantly sunny day, and you happily observe that the bounce in your step is in perfect synch with that song in your heart.

No. Scratch that. You’re walking down Pacific Avenue, and you’ve just stepped in gum. You’re being panhandled, and a creditor is ringing your cell phone.

Whatever.

In any event, that’s when it happens. A runaway bus. That heart attack you’ve been dreading. A wad of genetically modified yam gets lodged in your throat.

However it transpires, you’ve just managed to achieve the inevitable—you’re dead.

Now what?

That’s the question being posed by Tandy Beal & Company at its performance of “HereAfterHere: A Self Guided Tour of Eternity,” playing  Sept. 9-11 at Cabrillo College’s Crocker Theater. The multimedia dance-theater experience combines original music, theater, written word and humor, sprinkled throughout with video clips of your neighbors  describing their takes on the afterlife.

In one sound bite, a sixty-something woman says death will release her spirit to mingle with the cosmos. A bearded man predicts his consciousness will fade to black. A bright-eyed teen explains his theory about the light we’ll all see when the show is over.

“Wellllllll … I think we’re going to restart everything,” says one young girl. “As the

same person, but in a different world, and

different everything.”

And so it goes.

“Now you see it, now you don’t. It’s the biggest trick in the world,” says Tandy Beal, choreographer and artistic director of the show, which was years in the making and benefits Hospice of Santa Cruz.

Beal herself isn’t offering any answers about death, but seems elated that the performance is inspiring people to live in the question.

“Americans can talk about sex, they can talk about money, but we can’t really talk about this astonishing event that’s going to happen to all of us in our lives,” she says. “Death is the last taboo.”

Clips of the performance on Beal’s website, tandybeal.com, show graceful, poignant and often humorous vignettes, featuring lively and dreamlike original music composed by Jon Scoville (clips of Scoville’s CD are available at albertsbicycle.com).


 

“HereAfterHere” presents the work of 25 actors and dancers, including longtime Beal collaborators John and Nancy Lingemann, who weave a romantic tango throughout the show, connecting moment to moment in what Beal describes as a “dance of life.”

A $50 donation per ticket for the opening performance on Sept. 9 benefits Hospice of Santa Cruz, and includes premiere seating and an invitation to a private reception before the performance. For benefit tickets, call 430-3082.

Regularly priced tickets are also available for the opening show and other performances, $13-$35/advance, $16-$38/door, plus service charges. Call 420-5260 or visit www.santacruztickets.com. Tickets are also available at the SC Civic Auditorium Box Office.

The show runs in tandem with several events exploring the concepts of death and dying. See tandybeal.com for a schedule of related events.

A booksigning of “A Mother’s Final Gift” by local authors Joyce and Barry Vissell benefit Hospice of Santa Cruz. A talk and booksigning will take place at 10 a.m. Sept. 11 at the Center for Spiritual Living, 1818 Felt St., Santa Cruz.


Shows take place Sept. 9-10 at 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 11 at 3 p.m.


 

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