The Rhythm of Dance and the Visual Arts

Posted on March 20th, 2009 by

Patrick Jeffrey & Emily Bulling in Sarah Jabar’s “Sweet Land of Liberty”

Patrick Jeffrey & Emily Bulling in Sarah Jabar’s “Sweet Land of Liberty”

The adage of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” will be put to the test on April 5 and 7 at the Hillstrom Museum of Art at Gustavus as student choreographers and dancers from the Department of Theatre/Dance perform a visual analysis of works currently on display in the Museum. These performances are open to the public and begin at 3:30 p.m. on April 5 and 5:30 p.m., April 7.

The purpose of this exercise, according to dance instructor Melissa Rolnick, is to give her students an opportunity to “create work for a non-traditional venue that will have public exposure,” and to encourage the dancers to “craft dances inspired by the physical space and the visual art” in the museum. The dances will be short and will involve several pieces in the collection. The performance will be continuous with the audience encouraged to move around the space and the art with the dancers.

Junior choreographer and dancer Sarah Jabar chose a painting by Tom Jones titled Sweet Land of Liberty for her work. Marissa Augustine selected Steven Deo’s sculpture Perpetual Stream for her dance. She felt a sense of mind and body connection with the water flowing around the work and choreographed a progression through flowing water, earth and sky, and finally concrete. The challenge, she believes, is thinking outside the normal dance space and into the box of the museum’s walls and the artwork.

Members of the Dance Composition II class are Marissa Augustine, Emily Bulling, Shawn Grygo, Sarah Jabar, Patrick Jeffrey, Denise Stein and Jill Van Osdol. Their dances involve a ceiling-high stack of blankets, native art of the northwest and a sculpture created from little green army men morphing into three boys playing with the little army.

These dances in Hillstrom Museum of Art are free and open to the public. The cycle of dances will run for one hour beginning at 3:30 p.m. on April 5 and 5:30 p.m. on April 7. The Hillstrom Museum of Art is located in the lower level of the Jackson Student Center.


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