Section: Arts

Choreographers and composers collaborate with Feast

Choreographers and composers collaborate with Feast

Cora Markowitz, Collegian

By Anna Dunlavey and Cora Markowitz

Live music and dance performances brought art to life in the Gund Gallery this past Tuesday. Students, mostly from Professor of Dance Kora Radella’s Choreographer II and Professor of Music Ross Feller’s Composition courses, incorporated the works on display in the Gallery’s Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art exhibit into the performance. A crowd of around 20 people wound their way through the exhibits, stopping in each room to watch a new performance unfold.

This was the second site-specific piece that Radella’s students choreographed this semester, the first being “Barn Dance” at the Hammersong Farm in Mount Vernon in September. According to Radella, performing in the Gallery space was a very different experience for her students. “Rather than a barn, and the dangers there, [an obstacle] was the Gund Gallery and what you can touch [and] what you can’t touch, where you can be [and] where you can’t,” she said.

Radella’s students, Tate Glover ’16 and Kiri Staiger ’16, shared similar sentiments. “I was working a lot from the space itself and using that as a starting point to come up with ideas,” Glover said. Staiger agreed, saying “I think there was also sort of this tension, as dancers, wanting to interact with the space but it’s a museum, and you can’t — so this was this kind of tension I was playing with,”

Feller’s students worked with the choreographers to compose music to be performed live for the pieces. “With live music, there’s always a chance that the musicians will upstage any other visual part of the performance, [such as] the dancers,” Feller said. “There was a lot of discussion with the choreographers and composers about where to place the musician so they wouldn’t be in the sight line of the dancers, and I think for the most part, those all went very well.”

The performance began with Marc Ferraro ’17 dancing on the landing of the Buchwald-Wright Gallery in his piece, Wake, a beautiful ballet performance accompanied by a moving song played on violin and piano by Alayne Wegner ’17 and Rae Rose Schultz ’16, respectively. Schultz also composed the music.

After Ferraro, who is not in the Choreographer II class, Radella’s students performed in groups of three, comprised of one choreographer and two dancers. Stephan Beavers ’15, Karin Cao ’15 and Glover all danced in each other’s pieces, while Pankti Dalal ’17, Brianne Presley ’16 and Staiger worked with one another. Jaime Cohen ’15, Conor Dugan ’15, Ned Vogel ’15, Lily McBride ’16 and Sam Graf ’16 composed the music for the five dances.

Radella said she hopes her class will perform more site-specific pieces before the end of the semester. “You can create in the environment you’re performing,” she said, “but you can also take something you’ve performed, say in a studio, and place it [in another space].”

[starbox id=”Cora Markowitz,Anna Dunlavey”]

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