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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Bennuval! event exhibits the similarity between arts, science and comedy


Geoff Notkin is a speaker at Bennuval!, held on Sept. 12. Geoff appeared on the show “Meteorite Men” and will be speaking on his experiences and learnings.

An evening of space, art and music. What more could anyone ask for in a show?

Today, these qualities will all reside under the Fox Tucson Theater’s roof in the showing of Bennuval!, a celebration of science, art, music and their undeniable chemistry—pun intended. 

Created by UA professor of planetary science and cosmochemistry, Dante Lauretta, Bennuval! will “definitely be different,” according to Lauretta, as “no one has done this before, and only Tucson can really pull it off.”

This event will encompass a wide variety of entertainment, including guest speakers such as Geoff Notkin , from TV series “Meteorite Men,” and Lauretta himself. 

There will be musical performances by ChamberLab, comical relief from the Tucson Improv Movement, art exhibits from the Art of Planetary Science and a routine from Flam Chen,the circus act. “It will be limitless,” Notkin said.

This show transcends from science to circus in one night.

Tucson, particularly the UA, has been deeply involved in our country’s efforts to explore space and push the never-ending frontier. UA is currently involved in the first asteroid sample return mission in hopes of collecting information from the asteroid, Bennu.

Tucson is also home to many creative and artistic minds. According to Chris Black, founder of ChamberLab, these art and science “types” of people are actually one and the same.

“In January of 2006, they launched 1,000 pounds of New Horizons [spacecraft] to Pluto. … That’s a lot of science and a lot of art to make something like that happen and I think it’d be hard to separate the two,” Black wrote. “I mean, someone got creative. Problems got solved, just like problems get solved in music composition. Except that if we fail to resolve a chord progression perfectly, nothing explodes.”

Both Notkin and Lauretta agree completely with the idea that art is scientific and science is creative. “I am delighted personally and professionally for this event,” Notkin said. “The world should see art and science together because it’s natural.”

Notkin will be the master of ceremonies for Bennuval!, and plans to share some of his most interesting stories from his travels to find rare meteorite samples with the audience, all while the Tucson Improv Movement tries to act them out.

As both a scientist and an artist, Notkin feels that Bennuval! will be like “finding a pair of vintage cowboy boots that fit perfectly,” meaning this combination of events is meant to be.

Lauretta hopes to make Bennuval! an annual event as a celebration of Tucson’s scientific and artistic achievements.

“I want the world to see that as scientists, we are creative and we do what we do out of passion and love,” Lauretta said. “I want to share that passion.”

Bennuval! certainly appears to be an experience to learn how Tucson scientifically contributes to the world, as well as an opportunity to view amazing performances and displays of artistic beauty.

Bennuval! will be at the Fox Theater Saturday, Sept. 12th at 7 p.m. Find tickets online

Follow Thea Van Gorp on Twitter.

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