Last weekend I discovered an old friend was in town. My wife noticed she was doing a show at the Kravis Performing Arts Center in West Palm Beach just a fifteen minute drive from where we recently moved to. I perused her Facebook and saw that she posted something about a show she was stage managing and that day they had a wonderfully engaged audience of homeschooled kids. I hit her up to see how long she was in town and invited her to hang out. She said I should bring my two unschooled kids to see the show. I always enjoyed a night at the theater.
To begin with, the Kravis Center is an architecturally impressive structure with multiple venues surrounded by stunning lighting sculptures and waterfalls. We certainly felt treated when we arrived. The theater was packed. Soon after being seated the lights dimmed and vocalist and pianist, Kristin Hoffman, took center stage.
After giving a brief intro, she stepped behind a keyboard and the show began. Bella Gaia is a multimedia live performance. A film plays upstage while Kristin and other performers occupy the set.
The music throughout the show flows from New Age style ambient textures to airy electronica flavored breakbeats to world fusion. The imagery depicts awe inspiring views of the Earth mostly from space.
The imagery and data presented on many of the slides are provided by NASA. Kristin explained, at the start, that the show is always evolving with newly updated data and pictures. She said she’s been doing the show for a few years and it seem it is never quite the same.
Over some of the music, there are samples of astronauts sharing how seeing Earth from space for the first time affected their perspective of our planet.
As the show progresses and the music becomes more percussive, several dancers decked in culturally appropriate garbs enhance the show with eastern styles of dance and encourage audience participation to lighten the mood after some of the more somber messages portrayed by the film.
It is easy to see how overwhelmingly life changing it must be to see our blue sphere whizzing through the universe at thousands of miles per hour around the closest star which we claim as our sun. While we may wish to one day see space and all its wonders, Bella Gaia shows us that it is more impelling to look down at Earth from outside the confines of our atmosphere.
After leaving the theater I could not help but feel more connected to everything happening around me. Much like the afterglow of a profound psychedelic experience, I was left believing that I could feel the vibrations of all the energy flowing in, out, through and around this wonderful world we call home. I was reminded, as I often am when I see litter and people discarding single use plastics, that our behaviors, decisions and actions act on all of the forces of nature and ripple through the entire universe as we traverse time and space. I was prompted to reiterate to my children that even though we may soon possess the technology to explore and populate other parts of the solar system, for now, and for many centuries to come, this planet is the only one we have and we ought to treat it and each other as such.
Bella Gaia is currently touring major cities. Be sure to get the word out to your family and closest friends. If you are a teacher or parent ask about group rates and plan an outing. Bella Gaia is unlike any other night at the theater, it is entertainment with a deliberate purpose intended to motivate and spark some valuable discourse.
We really do only have one planet. We really do share one interconnected biosphere. We really are one.