Stardancing

Dream. Dance. Evolve.

This week I discovered a fantastic endeavour being proposed by Jeanne Robinson as I was exploring the website of her husband, Sci Fi luminary Spider Robinson. The Stardance Project‘s aim is to create and promote dance in space, first through a film simulating what is possible through the form and eventually as a reality. Jeanne was the founder and artistic director of Nova Dance Theatre here in Halifax, among other accomplishments, and has passion, experience and expertise enough to craft something incredible.

Spider and Jeanne wrote about dance in space in The Stardance Trilogy and place an emphasis on the transformative and meditative benefits space may hold for us. I’m very appreciative of their work to bring attention to the good and the beauty that we will be enabling as we advance technologically. We should never limit the fruits of science and evolution to mere mechanics, but embrace the grace and luminosity that a greater vista and lesser physical boundaries permit us to walk into.

Although over 99% of the universe is a zero-gravity environment, our species seems to have a neurotic dependence on the surface of large planets. We’re stuck in the mud. A dance to free our bodies from the pull of gravity, to celebrate life off the planets, may free us to accept and appreciate the unearthly beauty, meditative stillness, and physical comfort that can be found in space.
… [T]here is more to space travel than orbital mechanics, payloads and turbopumps. There is also zero-gravity art. It can be a powerful key to spiritual transcendence, and the kind of accelerated human evolution Spider and I have talked about at length in our novels.

Spider himself recently started a lively podcast, Spider on the Web, where he has been reading essays and excerpts from his most recent novel. The first essay, “Let’s Start Wasting Money in Space“, is in line with Stardance, promoting space tourism as a way to sew the seeds of space art, sport and contemplation (and space sex!). He paints a brief and compelling picture of space as holding our future and maybe a piece of our salvation.

As a personal note, Spider Robinson has been in the periphery of my reading interests for years. My father’s bookshelf was a treasure trove of science fiction and fantasy and this included Stardance. I didn’t read the book then, nor when Spider became one of my favourite guests on my favourite show when I was an early teen, the well-missed Prisoners of Gravity. Now I’m drawn to him again and think this time I’ll dive in.

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