Categorized | Arts & Entertainment

Spring Dance Concert includes guest artist, I.S. project

Meg Itoh
Editor in Chief

The College of Wooster’s Theatre and Dance Department is presenting its annual Spring Dance Concert from Thursday, April 19 through Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Freedlander Theatre.

While the concert showcases the talents of guest artist, Liliona Quarmyne — an independent solo artist in Nova Scotia, Canada who has extensive training in contemporary, modern, African, ballet, hip-hop and jazz dance — pieces by student choreographers will also take center stage. The student choreographers include Meredith Bruch ’18, Brigitte Galauner ’18, Kimi McBryde ’18, Vincent Meredith ’18, Rachel Lau ’19, Teagan Robinson ’19 and Katherine Kurz ’21.

Kim Tritt, professor of theatre and dance, explained that the concert presents students with the opportunity for creative expression and the agency to bring their visions onto the stage. “It’s their work and they take responsibility for it,” she said.

Tritt will be directing the concert and presenting “Newspapers,” which is a reconstruction of original choreography by Gladys Bailin, a director emerita and distinguished professor of dance at Ohio University (OU). Bailin boasts an impressive life intertwined with dance, beginning with when she met and trained with Alwin Nikolais beginning in 1948 at Henry Street Playhouse in New York City. From 1950-63, Bailin performed with a company originating many roles in signature Nikolais works, choreographed solo and group works and taught at the school. She currently teaches Dance Composition at OU.

Tritt is excited for audience interpretation of the performance. “[The piece is] timely because of all the ‘fake news’ [and] it can be interpreted in so many different ways,” she said.

Tritt was also quick to note the unique nature of collaboration that defines the spring concert. “Isn’t that incredible? That you can put on a concert like this with students,” she said, “[and] each concert that we present is so varied from the year before.”

One element that adds a level of difference to the annual concert is the Independent Study (I.S.) performances that change from year to year. The 2018 Spring Dance Concert will showcase part the I.S. of Justine Walker ’18. She is a double major of physics and theatre and dance, and has created a piece that combines elements of both disciplines.

“My I.S. is more than just looking at how the mechanics of dance change at lower gravities, such as on the moon. It’s also about understanding the impact of space travel on humanity and the cultures we will form in the future,” explained Walker.

Her I.S., self-defined as “eccentric, fun, scientific, artsy, energetic and insightful,” reminds us of the complex relationship that exists between gravity, dance and earth. As Walker points out, gravity can indeed change movement, causing the act of dancing to be different on a planet beyond the bounds of the Earth.

This exploration of the sciences and dance has been on Walker’s mind for years now. “During my summer before sophomore year one of my classes got cancelled, and because of a bunch of random circumstances I ended up in two Theatre and Dance classes that [fall] semester,” she said. “I ended up falling in love with dance.”

Walker had always considered a combined I.S. “Kim told me about a physicist who had wrote about the physics of dance (Kenneth Laws) and since I was working with [Professor of Physics John] Lindner on a space related computational SoREP project at the time … Eventually Kim, Dr. Lindner and I all decided on dancing in lower gravity being the next frontier for space S.T.E.A.M. [Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math],” she said.

Tickets, which can be purchased at the Freedlander Box Office, are $9 for general admission and $6 for senior citizens as well as faculty, staff and non-College of Wooster students.

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