"Guardians" at the Honda Pacific Visions Theater
The Honda Pacific Visions Theater has more than 300 stadium-style seats facing a 32-foot-tall, 130-foot-wide screen that is curved in a 180-degree arc to capture viewers’ entire range of vision. It is located inside the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.

Performances:
Friday, March 4th - 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 5th – 7:30 p.m.
LongBeachPost
Long Beach Ballet In ‘Guardians,’ the Aquarium of the Pacific highlights ocean life through dance
"Ten years ago, dancers from the Long Beach Ballet performed in the multimedia production of “Guardians” for the first time. Now, the ballet is returning to the Aquarium of the Pacific the first weekend in March.

In 2011, the Aquarium of the Pacific commissioned Long Beach Ballet Director David Wilcox to create a ballet that told the story of how our society is damaging our oceans and how marine life should be protected..." - Jackie Rae

(scroll down to continue reading or click the link below to read Long Beach Post)

Dr. Allen J. Friedman

5/5

"If science can inspire art, can art inspire interest and learning about science?

. . . Guardians, co-produced by the Long Beach Ballet and the Aquarium of the Pacific, and performed on the main floor of the Aquarium. A ballet may be an extreme example of communicating science in a science-rich cultural organization, because there are literally no words in this communication. There are music, video, costumes, props, and above all motion. But no words. A year earlier I would have pleaded for words, at least a full explanation in the program of the science which informed the ballet, preferably with a scene-by-scene explanation of the history and the scientific understanding which I believe is represented in each scene. But that must not be how successful ballet works, because somehow, without any words, and only a single paragraph of explanation in the program, this performance manages to “discuss” the evolution of life in the seas, the very different kinds of life which later evolved on land, how the two realms came into conflict, and the sensibility which might allow that conflict to be resolved."

(excerpt from Curator Magazine - The Museum Journal, 2013)

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Dr. Allen J. Friedman, Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science 1972-84 and the New York Hall of Science 1984-2006

In ‘Guardians,’ the Aquarium of the Pacific highlights ocean life through dance

Ten years ago, dancers from the Long Beach Ballet performed in the multimedia production of “Guardians” for the first time. Now, the ballet is returning to the Aquarium of the Pacific the first weekend in March.

In 2011, the Aquarium of the Pacific commissioned Long Beach Ballet Director David Wilcox to create a ballet that told the story of how our society is damaging our oceans and how marine life should be protected.

Wilcox created a tale we know all too well: Big business comes in to build, then the power of industry begins to pollute and destroy marine life. But in this ballet, the industry tycoon sees first-hand how his big payday has dire consequences for the ocean.

In 2011, Johnny Zhong was tasked to choreograph the critically acclaimed ballet. Now, he’s doing it again because he believes it’s an opportunity to show the value and importance of ocean life.

“For me, the ocean is a different world,” he said. “They are life. I think fish are much smarter than humans. They are more loving. They live in the same place and I think they are the best thing in this world.”

He says that passion is what helped him bring this ballet to life. “We don’t really care how they live,” he said. “We don’t care how they affect us as humans.”

Zhong says the technology of the new Honda Pacific Visions Theater will help tell the story and pull the audience in. Megan Wilcox, who is the returning lead in the ballet, said that the first rendition of “Guardians” required them to build a stage under the Aquarium’s iconic blue whale and use drapes to give the feel of the ocean.

But now, she says, the new theater will really draw the audience in.

“It’s a smaller stage,” said Wilcox. “It’s a circle. Normally, when you perform ballet it’s always a rectangle, which has been a little bit of a challenge.”

Both Wilcox and Zhong believe the stage is what is going to give the audience a truly unique experience. And both believe “Guardians” will allow the audience to gain a new understanding of both the Aquarium and the Long Beach Ballet.

“The arts don’t do super well in Southern California,” said Wilcox. But she is hopeful that “Guardians” will show those attending the value of the arts and why it is important to support their local ballet.

Zhong said it is important that we understand how we are harming the ocean. “This is the only thing I can do,” he said. “Choreograph the movements so the audience can see that it’s a problem. That it’s a very bad problem. And we have to address it soon or we’ll be losing more life. More fish life.”

Showtimes for “Guardians” are Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5 at 7:30 pm. Reserved seats are $65. You can purchase tickets here.

◊ LONG BEACH BALLET  ◊◊◊  1122 E WARDLOW RD, LONG BEACH, CA  ◊◊◊  562-426-4112 ◊◊◊  www.LongBeachBallet.com