Wonderstruck at “Sequences and Spirals”

Two Saddleback College students observe student artwork from the event that focused on Fibonacci's sequence and the Golden Ratio. (Sasha Baharestani/Lariat)

Two Saddleback College students observe student artwork from the event that focused on Fibonacci’s sequence and the Golden Ratio. (Sasha Baharestani/Lariat)

This past week, the music and dance department at Saddleback College came together to present “Sequences and Spirals” at the McKinney Theatre.

The event explored the ideas of Fibonacci, a mathematician who is credited for the discovery of the Fibonacci sequence, that eventually lead to the Golden Ratio that shows itself through spirals that make up everything from nature to architecture to even our own anatomical make up.

“Sequences and Spirals” was put together by dance instructor Deidre Cavazzi.

“[She] started the whole thing,” said music instructor Norm Weston. “She really wanted to do a collaboration with everybody so she came forward with it and came up with the idea of the Fibonacci and I jumped at that [be]cause it’s just so much fun to do.”

The night began with lectures given by instructors Deanna Valdez, Robert Farnsworth and Blake Stephens, who gave explanations of Fibonacci as applied to mathematics, nature and design. They provided in-depth explanations regarding the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Ratio, which left those without prior knowledge awestruck.

Students were able to showcase their work and abilities with an exhibit outside the theatre featuring work from Digital Photography III, Drawing II & III, 2D Design and Color Theory. Each piece was created with either the sequence or spiral as the blueprint of its composition.

The lecturers said the Golden Ratio is recognized as contributing to beauty. An example of this, is that someone who is perceived as beautiful usually possesses this in their facial features, and this takes place without the prior knowledge.

“It’s beautiful. The Golden Ratio is used all the time in music, because when you write a piece of music if you use that ratio, listeners find it very satisfying they don’t even know that they’re hearing it, but I think really because its everywhere that when you hear that ratio, it works for you.” Weston said.

This same idea carries on to music, demonstrated through performances. First by Weston himself, then a piece he wrote and lead specifically for the event, that was paired with choreography. It illustrated the golden ratio, through an aural and visual representation. With these representations so interwoven, it seemed there was an obvious collaboration that took place, but this was not the case.

“[Deidre Cavazzi] let me write the piece, so I wrote the whole piece, and I gave it to her and she did the choreography. So there wasn’t actually a whole lot of collaboration” Weston said.

The mix of performance art became most intense at the end.

“It showed that the numbers are extraordinary but they’re also ordinary, and I think the first half made it seem very ordinary but then the finale with the dancers and the music made it seem extraordinary,” said student Kaylie Manville. “I kind of wish that the whole thing would’ve combined all the different elements, the architecture, the visuals, the music and the dancing.”