“fyoō zh ən ‘14: new music + dance” Debuts


Brittany Callahan

Anthony Sagaria and Megan McHugh in “Separated.” Choreographed by Ian Gregory Hill/Composed by Steven Hixson.

Alex Farone, Co-News Editor

Baldwin Wallace University’s “fyoō zh ən ‘14: new music + dance” will debut March 20-23. This collaborative dance concert pairs choreographers with composers in an all-student production of new music and dance.
Student dancers will bring these creations to life on the John Patrick Theater stage in Kleist Center for Art and Drama. The concert will consist of tap, modern, and jazz dance pieces.
“Dancers have been inspired by shows like So You Think You Can Dance, which brought modern and contemporary dance to the forefront,” Sara Whale, Co-Director of fyoō zh ən and Dance Department faculty member, said. “We want to push their creativity beyond what is popular.”
Last year’s fyoō zh ən concert was centered upon current senior Matt Gesicki’s 2012 Summer Scholars project “In the Church of the Earth: A Poetic Dialogue with Pablo Neruda.”
This year, the dance inspiration is drawn from a very different source. The dances in the 2014 fyoō zh ən concert will share a common thread stemming from 2013 Summer Scholar Jake Butchko’s chemistry project entitled “Synthesis of a Chiral Ionic Liquid.” Whale chose Butchko’s chemistry project as the theme for fyoō zh ən with the goal of interdepartmental exchange.
“It’s really good for the choreographer and composers to stretch their imagination, but the choreographers have pretty free interpretation about working with this science project,” Whale said. “They don’t necessarily create dances about science or chemistry.”
Choreographers have choosen individual visual or stylistic elements of the project that interest them and incorporate them into dance.
For example, choreographer Chelsea Lewis used a chart from the project as inspiration. The sharp back and forth lines in the chart were interpreted into running patterns and dance movements.
The members of the dance faculty use fyoō zh ən to give the students experience in the real world of professional choreography.
“The choreographers submit proposals in September to be chosen for the concert, and next year we will ask them to submit a video for their proposal like real choreographers must do,” Whale said.
The dancers must audition for the choreographers, who then must choose the dancers they want for their pieces.
The composers and choreographers participate in a “speed dating” event to pair with one another, which was very successful this year. “Some composers and choreographers work closely together, but others don’t communicate much,” Whale said.
The show will end with a memorial piece to the late Janiece Kelley-Kiteley, a former BW faculty member who choreographed many productions for the Music Theatre department. Co-Director and Dance Department faculty member Greg Daniels will be restaging one of her dances as a tribute.
“This is a chance for students to do something pretty independent. Greg Daniels and I oversee but don’t dictate. We do give feedback because this is still a learning experience for the students,” Whale said.
This year’s fyoō zh ən concert will be the first show in the Theatre and Dance Department to “go green” completely. There will be no printed programs; instead, projections will be used during the performance for basic information on the pieces.
Tickets for “fyoō zh ən ‘14: new music + dance” can be purchased or reserved at the Kleist Center Box Office or by calling 440-826-2240. The next Dance Department show will be a Dance “Easter Egg Hunt” in Kleist with site-specific pieces hidden throughout the building in mid-April.