• The Hammer Theatre Presents
    BELLA GAIA – A Poetic Vision of Earth From Space
    Kenji Williams’ Award-winning NASA-Powered Immersive Experience
    Hammer Theatre Center, San José, CA
    Friday, May 11, 2018

    SPECIAL GUEST ADDED: Deep-Ocean Explorer Sylvia Earle
    Speaking on Behalf of Our Planet’s Oceans


    SAN JOSÉ, CA – March 30, 2018; UPDATED: May 4, 2018 – The Hammer Theatre presents BELLA GAIA – A Poetic Vision of Earth From Space for one night only on Friday, May 11, 2018 as part of the Hammer Theatre’s ArtTech seriesBELLA GAIA is a renowned audiovisual experience lead by director-composer Kenji Williams and the BELLA GAIA Ensemble. The immersive event combines NASA satellite imagery, time-lapse nature photography, cultural heritage footage, and live performances of global beat music and dance to create an unprecedented and powerful exploration of the beauty and interconnectedness of all things on Earth. The award-winning show will take place at the Hammer Theatre Center (101 Paseo De San Antonio, San Jose, CA 95113). The performance will start at 7:00pm. Tickets range from $29 to $46. View video trailer and additional information on BELLA GAIA at http://www.bellagaia.com/sj.html. Visit the Hammer’s site and purchase tickets at http://hammertheatre.com/event/arttech-series-bella-gaia-kenji-williams.

    A very special guest has just been added to the evening! Pioneering oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer Dr. Sylvia Earle, who Timemagazine called a “Hero for the Planet,” will speak briefly. Winner of the 2009 TED Prize, the legendary oceanographer will share her deep knowledge and passion about “the blue heart of the planet.” Perhaps the most famous Ocean conservationist – she even helped James Cameron for his films – Earle tirelessly continues to ignite public support for marine protected areas. Visit her nonprofit Mission Blue – its mission: to protect 20% of the world’s oceans by 2020 – in the lobby that night and online here: https://mission-blue.org

    Inspired by stories of astronauts who described the life-changing experience of seeing Earth from space, director-composer Williams developed BELLA GAIA to simulate this same transformative sense of wonder and awe. The event’s stunning fusion of human art, scientific visualizations, and cultural tradition guides audiences through a visceral flow of beauty and soulful data that culminates with an empowering message of care and respect for our surroundings and the planet.

    “BELLA GAIA shows you how humans and nature are connected, and how art and science are connected,” says Williams. “It’s an exploration of the relationship between human civilization and our ecosystem through time and space.”

    Visually, different cultural regions are explored while world music and dance enrich the experience to allow for greater cultural immersion, such as live performances by a koto master while traveling through Japan, belly dancers on stage while visiting Egypt, and a soulful jazz singer in concert while exploring New York.

    Williams on violin is joined by an all-star cast of artists, including sound healing vocalist and composer Kristin Hoffmann (as seen composing works performed at The Sydney Opera House, and sharing stages with The Wallflowers, Feist, and Brandi Carlile), Japanese 20-string koto master Yumi Kurosawa (who tours internationally at venues such as Suntory Hall Opening Gala with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; guest artist for the opening of The Kennedy Center’s new Terrace Theater), dance artists Mariyah, and choreographer Irina Akulenko (a world dance fusion artist; Assistant Artistic Director Bella Gaia’s Origin Stories project and Principal Dancer and Choreographer with Bellyqueen Dance Theater).


    ABOUT –


    BELLA GAIA is an unprecedented NASA-powered immersive experience that communicates without words, the BEAUTY (BELLA) of the planet – both natural and cultural – and the INTERCONNECTEDNESS of all things on Earth (GAIA).


    A visceral flow of unencumbered beauty manifests for all the senses as BELLA GAIA combines supercomputer data-visualizations – from NASA and other sources – including CO2 emissions, urban population growth, air traffic, and oil consumption – all projected onto a giant screen – that allow audiences to see our planet in an entirely different way.


    Inspired by astronauts who spoke of the life-changing power of seeing Earth from space, BELLA GAIA successfully simulates this Overview Effect* from space flight, and makes audiences “Discover what it’s like to be an astronaut” (Washington Post). The experience leaves audiences with a transformative sense of wonder and inspiration, and the ability to see the Earth as a multifaceted yet cohesive working organism. Attendees will realize deeply and emotionally that there IS something to lose, and therefore that there IS something to preserve and to steward.



    Crafted by the neuroscience-driven methodology of director-composer Kenji Williams, the transcendental effect of BELLA GAIA has been proven to generate the elusive but critical emotional response: A Reason to Care.

    Kenji Williams:   

    Kenji Williams is a composer and director for multi-media live theater, augmented reality, virtual reality, and interactive data visualization. Named a “100 Top Creative” by Origin Magazine, a World Technology Network award finalist in Arts, Entertainment, and Education, and a Grammy voting member, Williams explores the nexus of art and science through diverse collaborations. He has worked with multimedia artist Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky, top world music artists, institutions such as NASA, UNEP, and UNESCO, and even performed in real-time with astronaut Koichi Wakata while Wakata was orbiting the Earth aboard the International Space Station. As an Artist in Residence and Visiting Scholar at the University of Colorado at Boulder Arts & Sciences, Williams is developing a live 3D holographic theater show titled Origin Stories.
    Combining unique skills in film and music, Williams has earned international film awards from the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, Sundance Film Festival, Science Media Awards, Best Soundtrack Composition at the Macau International Fulldome Film Festival, the People’s Choice Award Fiske Fulldome Film Festival, and has garnered media exposure from the Village Voice, BBC, NPR, PBS, USA TodayHuffington Post, and Washington Post.
    Williams expresses his work around the world, at performing arts theaters, museums, and conferences such as, TEDx, Aspen Institute, Smithsonian, Guggenheim Museum, Strathmore, Marin Civic Center, Winspear Opera House, UNESCO, U.S. Department of State, and on film soundtracks.

    The Hammer Theatre’s new ArtTech series, which debuted Spring 2018, offers a revolutionary blend of live music, theatre and dance converging with high tech multimedia to deliver highly engaging entertainment. The culmination of Silicon Valley innovation and creativity, the ArtTech series caters to the theatre lover, techie and multimedia aficionado.

    Hammer Theatre Center:

    The Hammer Theatre is a distinctive, high-quality performance venue in the heart of downtown San José. Operated by San José State University, the theatre serves the university and the community through exceptional programming expressive of the unique characteristics and diverse cultures that comprise Silicon Valley.

    Links –
    • BELLA GAIA – http://www.bellagaia.com
    • Artist Event Page – http://www.bellagaia.com/sj.html
    • BELLA GAIA Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bellagaia
    • BELLA GAIA Twitter – https://twitter.com/BellaGaia
    • BELLA GAIA Press Kit – http://www.bellagaia.com/for-press.html
    • Hammer Twitter – https://twitter.com/hammer_sjsu

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    For more information, photos, or to schedule an interview, or request press tickets, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201 or lynn@greengalactic.com. For information on the Hammer, please contact Sheryl Spann at 408-924-6565 or sheryl.spann@sjsu.edu.


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    QUOTES ~

    “BELLA GAIA is a live concert that mixes music, dance, & NASA immersive imagery that turns the stage planetary. Sublime and Transcendental”

    – Village Voice


    “Out of this World”

    – USA Today



    – Ray KurzweilThe Age of Spiritual Machines

    “BELLA GAIA = mind blown… Deeply meaningful. Meditatively heartfelt.”
    “Beautifully crafted soundscapes”

    – Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky


    “Discover what it’s like to be an astronaut”

    – Washington Post



    – Examiner


    “…haunting classical/world fusion music … a mesmerizing spectacle that should not be missed.”

    – Huffington Post


    “… a sound and visual environment that mesmerizes audiences.”
    “One of the best World/Chill out albums ever”

     One World Music


    “…iridescent landscape of gossamer melodies and labyrinthine rhythms”

    – Nooga.com

    BELLA GAIA Choreographer & dance artist Irina Akulenko
    BELLA GAIA show at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center NYC
    Photo credit: Anna Galuza

    The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution author: Frank White

    Posted on May 4th, 2018 lynn-hasty No comments

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