Beginning out of doors near Euclid Avenue, a group of dancers gather and enter a set of doors, snaking their way through the Galleries at Cleveland State University, leading a procession of audience members in tow.
I had never witnessed dance quite in this way before. I was used to the familiarity of a seat in the audience at a comfortable distance, but here, I was asked to move about the space and see dance through a different lens.
This immersive experience was all part of the event, Intimate Lens: Dancing Through Art, presented by the CSU Art Gallery and CSU Dance Company. The performance highlighted both the student dancing and the student artwork of the current Student Art Show, serving as inspiration to each other’s art form.
After the opening of the event which led us through the space, each dancer dispersed about the galleries to a specific piece of artwork. This artwork, chosen by the dancer in advance, served as the subject and inspiration for the choreography of a series of solos. The solos took place two at a time with each dancer performing theirs twice, so viewers could wander around the galleries viewing the dances and artwork in the same manner.
The first solo that I witnessed was choreographed and performed by Noa Cook. This solo was danced to the song “Only When I” by Alice Phoebe Lou. The source of inspiration for this choreography came from the visual artwork “Hypnotic Beauty” by Erin McHugh.
The next solo I happened upon was choreographed and danced by Dalauntae Turnipseed. This dance was inspired by the visual artwork “Ebb and Flow Flow Counseling” by Kelly Dufour.
Heading back into the front room of the galleries, I discovered “Cool Girl” by Kit Hannum, where Laurie Bocachica found the inspiration for her choreography and performance.
Incorporating the use of his costume as a prop in this solo, Bryan Ward drew inspiration from “Entrelazado, Siempre (Intertwined, Always)” by Ashley Sandy.
The final solo I witnessed for the evening was choreographed and performed by Hannah Eickleberry. This piece was inspired by the visual artwork “The Final Resting Place by Raven Grice-Wolfe.”
At the end of the evening, the five dancers gathered at the back of the Galleries, so that viewers could recognise the group of individuals. The setting encouraged mingling and conversations, creating an entertaining evening, surrounded by art.
The current visual art exhibit will continue to be on display at the Galleries through May 27th. This is the final exhibit to be held at 1307 Euclid Avenue, before the Galleries move to a new location this summer. I, for one, hope to see more collaborations like this in the future once they get settled into their new venue!
The Galleries at CSU is free and open to the public Tuesday thru Saturday between Noon and 5pm. Read more about their upcoming move in this article. More information about Dance at CSU is available here.