Experience the Beauty and the Bizarre with National Geographic

By Rachel Woodward, March 7 2017 —

National Geographic is universally known for showcasing rare occurrences of nature from the comfort of your own home. On March 12 and 13 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, National Geographic Live: Beauty and the Bizarre comes to Calgary, featuring photographer Anand Varma and his work on the lives of bees, hummingbirds and other tiny creatures.

The show is happening through Arts Commons Presents. Director of programming Jennifer Johnson says that National Geographic Live is the perfect fit for the organization’s mandate.

National Geographic and Arts Commons are first and foremost a fit for each other,” she says. “Our vision is a creative and compassionate society inspired through the arts. National Geographic’s mission is inspiring people to care about the planet. We use our arts platform to share inspiration, so to speak. National Geographic works specifically with art centres like ours worldwide in presenting these programs.”

Varma’s presentation will consist of a lecture and a photo presentation depicting his findings. Arts Commons Presents hosts four National Geographic Live shows per year. Each show is also presented  to an audience of kids in order to create an educational atmosphere.

Johnson feels Varma’s work is unique in the field due to the content he will present and his ground-breaking abilities as an explorer.

“[Varma] is the next generation of explorer. He’s inspiring in that respect. He also studies all of the worlds we don’t see — the microcosmic,” she says. “All of the habitats of these insects and tiny little creatures that we don’t really have insight to, and it’s not very well studied. His work with the bees is, I think, the first project like it in the world. It’s an amazing look at the things we don’t normally see in everyday life.”

There will be a 20-minute question and answer period after the shows.

Johnson says Varma’s presentation is arriving at the perfect time because of the current devastation of bee life.

“What a timely topic in the world than the life and disappearance of bees. And how important is that in especially a place that is agricultural like Alberta,” she says. “I believe that Calgarians, for the most part, are very tied to the land that we live in. This is an outdoor city. We choose to live here for that connection with nature. We are a city of science and engineers and people who love the meaty bits of engineering and microbiology and those kinds of things that are in the National Geographic shows.”

Beauty and the Bizarre will show on March 12 and 13 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall at various times. Tickets are available online.

For more information, visit artscommons.ca

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