BWW Review: Rhythms, Silence, Underscore Ohio State Department of Dance SPRING CONCERT
In a variety of pieces ranging from intimate dances performed to a still, silent room to contemporary choreography paired with unconventional soundtracks and grooving rhythms, the Ohio State Department of Dance's "Spring Dance Concert" explored the connection that binds movement and sound.
The concert, held in Sullivant Hall's Barnett Theatre, featured 11 pieces, choreographed by guest artist Eddie Taketa, two graduating seniors, as well as undergraduate and graduate students from OSU's Department of Dance.
Audience members were immediately thrust into the experimental program with Biag Gaongen and Nicole Garlando's sensual piece, "Nicole and me; Biag and me," performed to the lulling sounds of an unaccompanied metronome. The hypnotic clicks of the steady beat kept time as the dancers used every inch of the darkened stage to delve into the action of movement in an environment void of memory and imagination.
Other pieces included in the program also capitalized on the strategic use of sound and silence. Lilianna Kane's "Revel in 2" began with an upbeat waltz and ended with two dress-clad dancers mirroring each other as lilting French lyrics faded away into nothingness.
Kimberly M. Wilczak's "Central Park: A Plexus of People & Place" used two mediums -- kinesthetic movement and tangible fabric design -- to pay homage to New York City's famous attraction through the creation of geometric forms with dancers' bodies. The fluidity of the imagined landscape ebbed and flowed to the layered vocalizations that drifted through the theater's speakers, emerging from a serene silence interrupted only by the sounds of the performers' feet gripping the floor.
Also in the first half of the concert, BFA senior Cailin Manning presented a thoughtful piece titled "From Four to Two" that touched upon her choreographic research, which focused on the anthropological motivations behind movement and dance.
About five minutes before the end of the program's intermission, Anna Vomacka's immersive piece, "Breathe With Me," began as stage technicians began dropping crumpled balls of paper onto the floor and outlining rectangles on the ground with white masking tape. Soon thereafter, the performance space came alive with audience members moving from their seats onto the stage, taking advantage of the experiential nature of the work to watch three dancers generate a live sound score that was mixed through Arduino Lilypad Boards and an Xbox 360 Kinect Controller.
BFA senior Serena Chang's "Our Hour," funded by the Pelotonia Undergraduate Fellowship Program and Arts Undergraduate Research Scholarship, continued the theme of experimenting with sound and dance to convey a distinct idea, this time focusing on the components of cancer and how the disease is depicted through community and science.
Two other works from the second half of the program, Julia Ayau's "Grove Whims" and April Biggs' "Waist Deep in Body" explored the nature of relationships, with Ayau whimsically depicting a trio of dancers moving to the delicate sounds of water droplets and Biggs featuring a soulful duet to the lyrics of Bill Withers.
The program ended with Taketa's "Onionskins, Opaques, Oxbloods and Pearls," which featured a cast of white-clad dancers darting across the stage to the recorded sounds of a string quartet, each choreographed leap a visual link to the fervent movement of the musicians' bows across their instruments.
The Barnett Theatre is located in Sullivant Hall, 1813 N. High St., on Ohio State's Columbus campus.
More information about the Ohio State Department of Dance can be found on the department's website.