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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of October 8 - 14, 2003

Arts and Entertainment

Dancing by the numbers

Express Staff Writer

Avant garde art has many factions, including breakthroughs like bebop jazz and John Cage’s musical compositions, cubism, Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol, the dance of Isadora Duncan, the theater of Samuel Beckett and James Joyce’s "Ulysses."

Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern

If it seems like it’s all been done, consider the combination of dance and mathematics as demonstrated by Karl Schaffer and Erik Stern for a 21st century avant garde idea.

The duet show "Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern, Two Guys Dancing About Math" will be presented 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the old Wood River High School Auditorium. The ensemble is also performing their piece "Two Guys Who Dance About Math" for the entire Wood River Middle School, and will give four workshops, including one for Blaine County teachers.

The Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern show has been performed approximately 400 times since 1990 in the United States and Canada. The show traces the humorous escapades of two characters as they ponder how dance and mathematics are found in everything we do. It includes a trio for two men and a basketball set to music, an a capella tap dance, and a dance titled "Private Fly" set to a jazz score in which the dancers wield larger and larger fly-swatters in a kind of cold-war arms spiral.

The company recently received three successive years of education grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for their work integrating dance and mathematics. It recently published a book, "MathDance with Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern," in collaboration with author and company member Scott Kim on how to do simultaneous mathematics and dance explorations in the K-12 classroom.

Schaffer has a Ph.D. in Mathematics from University of California at Santa Cruz, and teaches mathematics full-time at college level. He also dances and choreographs professionally. Stern teaches dance at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, and is presently on sabbatical.

Tickets are available through the Sun Valley Center for the Arts $5 for members and $7 for non members. Kids 12 years old and younger are free. Call 726-9491.



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.