The electromagnetic spectrum contains all visible light on Earth. This includes the colors we can see — like red, yellow, and blue — as well as infrared and ultraviolet, which we can only see under certain circumstances. Many choices that we make in our lives are informed by color, and therefore by the electromagnetic spectrum, whether or not we are conscious of it, says Melanie Zeir, co-founder of the New Mexico chapter of The Living Theatre.
“Colors carry different qualities, functions, and natures of energy or fuel,” she says. “For example, red can inspire big initiatives, but is often short-lived, whereas a very little bit of green can lead to extraordinary new innovation if there is capacity to contain it. Fine, pale yellow can inspire great art and evocative poetry or music. Blue brings balance and regulation to our inner lives — just for starters.”
Color also influences the way we feel physically. For instance, according to an article about home decor in Psychology Today, when people are in a room that is painted in a “warm” color, like red or orange, they perceive the room’s temperature to be higher than when they are in a similar room that is painted a “cool” color, such as blue or green. (Psychology Today recommends green to stimulate creativity and counsels against surrounding yourself in red in spaces where clear thinking is required.)
Melanie and Paul Zeir have been presenting a series of interactive workshops on the language of color that include the history of color in art and architecture, in cultural ceremonies, and in the performing arts; they also address how the color spectrum appears in nature. The workshops feature vision experiments and exercises in rhythm and movement, including folk dancing, theater games, and improvisation.
The Living Theatre presents “The Coded Language of Color” at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 30, at the Santa Fe Library’s main branch (145 Washington Ave.). No experience in theater is required, nor is attendance at previous Living Theatre workshops. Free. For more information, call 505-231-5869 or go to thelivingtheatre.com.