BW Recital Uniquely Blends Poetry and Dance

Matthew Gesicki, a junior at Baldwin Wallace University, recently stood in the spotlight at the fyoo zh ən dance recital. Gesicki was not dancing; rather, his poetry was used as the inspiration for many of the dance pieces.
“My involvement with fyoo zh ən 2013 began last year during Summer Scholars,” Gesicki said. “I met the wonderful Sara Whale, who teaches ballet and modern dance here, through the program, since she was working with another student writing a ballet. She approached me with the possibility of a collaboration between poetry and dance, and I was thrilled.”
The Summer Scholars Program
allows undergraduate students at BW to facilitate a research project under the mentorship of a professor.
This past summer, Gesicki was chosen to be a summer scholar under the mentorship of English professor Dr. Sharon Kubasak. Gesicki’s project, titled Ancient Cinders of a Heart: In Poetic Dialogue with Pablo Neruda, is a sequence of prose poetry he wrote inspired by Pablo Neruda’s One Hundred Love Sonnets. His project came to serve as the creative platform for the original works of music and dance in the fyoo zh ən dance recital.
“For me, it was an honor and privilege to be part of the creative journey that these dedicated choreographers, dancers, and composers embarked upon,” Gesicki said. “It was a glimpse into dance, an artistic medium that I knew almost nothing of beforehand, and through my participation I was able to understand how, at some deep, fundamental level, all artistic mediums stem from the same urgent desire to articulate something that is beautiful, almost otherworldly, and yet that is still totally within the limits of human expression. Art is the human reach for transcendence.”
Gesicki, an English major and religion minor, has a passion for creative writing, especially poetry. He is currently the Assistant Editor of The Mill, the campus literary publication, and has worked on its Selection Committee since his freshman year.
Dozens of hopefuls were turned away as maximum capacity was reached both nights that it was performed in the John Patrick Theatre at the Kleist Center for Art and Drama.
In addition to Gesicki’s enthusiasm for creative writing, he is well versed in travel.
Gesicki was a participant in the 2012 Seminar in Europe, which shaped his global perspective and left him with a desire to travel again in the future as well as a desire to discover culture in the Cleveland area.
Gesicki is enthusiastic about the energy he has found in the community and greater Cleveland area.
“The diverse layout of the campus itself, partly residential and suburban but close to Cleveland, and also near the Metroparks, is excellent. The cultural entertainments in Cleveland are always within access, but the campus itself is quiet and picturesque (especially in autumn!) and walking through the Metroparks and Coe Lake is a great opportunity for reflection and meditation,” Gesicki said.
Next school year, Gesicki will work as a Peer Advisor for Explorations/ Study Abroad, serving his fellow classmates and assisting them in the study abroad process.