OU Winter Dance Concert Presents Range Of Styles

Amy Elyse Brighter

Updated Tue, Feb 28, 2012 12:15 pm

Ohio University’s School of Dance will present its Winter Dance Concert this Friday and Saturday at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium.

In addition to the works of five faculty members, one guest artist will be featured: Sean Curran, original cast member of STOMP.

Curran will present a contemporary urban folk dance that is based on a piece by his own modern dance company. It will be performed again in April when the Sean Curran Dance Company comes to campus.

Visiting Professor Adriana Durant will present Displacement, a new work that explores the limitations of the body through improvisation. The abstract 14-minute piece includes a light that slowly “scans” the stage.

"Audiences come in with expectations," she said. "They think they know what dance is, or what is should be. Quite often my work is met with 'what is this?' They’re going to see things that they may not consider dance."

Gladys Bailin, professor emerita and former artistic director of the School of Dance, recreated a theatrical piece from 1971 that uses newspapers as props. She describes it as enjoyable and humorous.

"It lightens the overall sense of the show," said Bailin. "It's a piece about things that you have to do."

Professor Marina Walchli will present a new work called Blue Lake, which plays with water imagery in both lighting and movement. The seven-minute piece involves constant movement, and is a test of a dancer’s stamina.

Professor John Bohuslawsky has a dual role in the performance as the lighting and technical designer and as a choreographer. He will present Under the Whether and Other Such Baggage, which utilizes a number of props. The Winter Dance Concert presents a unique opportunity for Bohuslawsky to create a performance stage that fits the needs of the School of Dance.

"It’s the one time where we go in and build the stage for our show," he said. "We construct it to fit our needs."

Dr. Zelma Badu-Younge will present her work Taking Flight, which is dedicated in honor of OU President Roderick McDavis’s first trip to Ghana, and was commissioned by the National Dance Company of Ghana. Taking Flight will be performed by Azagano, Badu-Younge’s African dance group made up of current and former students. The piece was presented at the International Association of Blacks in Dance conference in Toronto Canada in January.

"There was a big buzz about the piece [at the conference]," said Badu-Younge. "People were stopping me in the elevator saying, 'Oh, were you that group that performed last night?'"

Accompanied by live drumming from Badu-Younge’s husband Paschal Yao Younge, Taking Flight combines many different types of dance, featuring different styles of African dance as well as Australian Aboriginal dances.

The Winter Dance Concert is an opportunity for students to participate in a real-world, professional performance. Not only are students performing, they are also learning about the technical side by working on the lighting and stage design for the show.

"They get to see the creative process as it's being created," said Badu-Younge.

Sophomore dance student Lauren Silvosky is performing in Curran's and Bailin's pieces and says that she and her fellow students have dedicated a large amount of time to this concert.

"I usually rehearse four days a week, for two to three hours a day," she said.

One of the major strengths of the show is the variety of dance genres that will be featured. Many of the professors are hoping to show what is included in the world of dance.

"The actual umbrella of dance is quite large," said Durant. "By seeing each choreographer’s voice, it shows the dancers that there are a lot of different styles.”

Show time is 7:30 p.m. both evenings. OU students will be admitted free via Arts for Ohio. For more information about the Ohio University School of Dance, visit www.finearts.ohio.edu/dance.

Slideshow: OU Winter Dance Concert


Sean Curran

Zelma Badu-Younge

Adriana Durant

Gladys Bailin (teaching class in 1966)