China Cat Dance: Aquaria

The beauty of the sea inspired choreographer Maggie Lasher to create Aquaria. Presented by the ChinaCat Dance Company, the performance is a mixture of traditional dance, pantomime, puppetry and costumes that transforms people into urchins, octopi and other sea life. Lasher is a master of using body movements to create entire ecosystems for her subjects to inhabit, and often looks to animals for inspiration. She’s never had to tackle something quite this large, though, and the costumes and props that bring Aquaria to life are fairly massive in scale, having grown bit by bit in her studio like the massive coral reefs that first gave her the idea for the show. “I had an amazing dance teacher growing up who always did nature-themed ballets,” Lasher said via e-mail. “She did Rainforest, Grand Canyon, Antarctica, Meadow and a whole host of natural environments. The older I get, the more I realize how deeply these ballets affected me and just how much they shaped my choreography.” Feel the song of the sea as her dancers bring the sunken treasures to the surface to dance.

8 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Rice University, 6100 Main. For information, visit chinacatdance.com. $7 to $10.
Thu., Dec. 12, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 13, 8 p.m., 2013

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