From left, Monica Mariiko, Andrea Martinez and Tiana Wong in SHAZAM! Dance + Science. (photo by Chesley Cannon)

The Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is proud to present the fourth and final Mainstage production of this season, SHAZAM! Dance + Science. The dance concert features choreography by UH Mānoa faculty and special guest artists. The show will be performed April 15–24.

SHAZAM! Dance + Science features collaboration between several departments at UH Mānoa. With subjects ranging from engineering to physics, tropical agriculture to neuroscience, the choreographers and their collaborators illuminate the nexus of art and science while demonstrating the essential role of Art in STEM education, forging STEAM.


From left, Christine Maxwell, Katie Patrick and Lorenzo Acosta. (photo by Chesley Cannon)

In addition to pieces created by UH Mānoa dance professors Betsy Fisher and Gregg Lizenbery, multiple guest artists are also choreographing for the concert. Matt Del Rosario, a native of Hawaiʻi and former member of the world-famous dance ensemble Pilobolus, returned to Oʻahu to create a piece commissioned by Professor Emeritus Richard Criley of the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences. Greg Dolbashian, founder and artistic director of The DASH Ensemble, is an up-and-coming New York choreographer who created new choreography for the show.

Connecting dance and science

A madcap science lecture serves as the concert’s framework. Written by Professor of English and Director of the Center for Biographical Research Craig Howes, the lecture will be given by The Professor (played by Maseeh Ganjali), an eccentric, bumbling educator who will address various scientific principles illuminated poetically by the dancers. His group of masked steampunk assistants were choreographed and directed by local favorite, Yukie Shiroma.

Fisher, who is also the director of SHAZAM!, wants to emphasize the connections between dance and science. This collaboration between arts and sciences is partially inspired by a movement among educators in this nation to add art to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) creating STEAM. Fisher is an ardent proponent of this idea. “Something we both (arts and sciences) have in common is the honest and wondrous search to understand who we are and how we fit into the a greater scheme. We’re all digging around in the same garden. The tools we use may be different, but the goals are the same.”

Show information

The Department of Theatre and Dance presents SHAZAM! Dance + Science on April 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. and April 24 at 2 p.m. with a free pre-show chat on the 16th and 23rd at 6:45 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.eticket­­­­, by phone at (808) 944-2697, at official outlets and at the Kennedy Theatre Box Office during sale periods only.

Ticket prices

  • $25 general admission
  • $22 seniors/military/UH faculty and staff
  • $20 UHAA
  • $15 students
  • $8 UH students with valid spring 2016 UH ID

Ticket prices include all service fees. For more information, visit the Kennedy Theatre website.