The Chocolate Heads debuted their 2012 show Red Shift Friday February 3, 2012 in a packed studio in Roble Gym. Standing room only, audience members included high-profile Stanford faculty such as Dean of Residential Arts Jim Cadena and esteemed choreographer Robert Moses, who mingled amongst Stanford students and outside guests who came to experience an incredible show. The energy in the room was mysterious and anxious as audience members softly chatted about what the term ‘Red-Shift’ could mean in the context of performance. All questions were answered when the lights dimmed and the show began with pint-sized 8-year-old astronomer lecturing about dark matter and dark energy.
The Chocolate Heads transformed Roble Gym into their Universe. They utilized the entire space, reminiscent of the Universe’s expansion and vastness. All dance styles were incorporated, mimicking the diverse celestial bodies. The music was provided via a live DJ who mixed throughout the show. The energy was light and airy, yet the dancers created gravity with their bodies. They orbited each other, collided, dodged, divided, and blended. There was no axis or origin to their movement; they moved throughout the Universe and expanded throughout time. The show incorporated dance, spoken word, and music. Midway through the show poet Janani Bala performed a piece about how she “built [her] life on dark energy.” She glowed in a sparkly dark dress that contrasted with the dancers white and silver attire. Janani was a comet, a passing body through the show that interacted with the dancers and left a trail of silvery dust along her path.
In Red Shift The Chocolate Heads transcended time, space, and dimension. They concluded the show by drawing close together into one body, suggestive of the ‘Big Crunch’, which is one hypothesis for what could happen at the ‘end’ of time. Some scientists think that as the Universe expands it will eventually reach a point where it will expand no further, and will instead, in essentially an opposite of the Big Bang, collapse into nothing. At the end of ‘Red Shift’ the Chocolate Heads merged, collided, and molded, not into nothingness, but into a culmination of life, energy, and motion.