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Weekend of dancing with elements of love combined at OSU
N. SHUMATE, OUT OF THE BLUE     posted: Nov. 19, 2009
The emotion of love and the art of dance will combine this weekend at The Ohio
State University's Sullivant Hall, 1831 N. High St.  

The dance pieces with five married couples and four other works, featuring six
faculty members and three visiting artists, will be performed in the Ohio State
Department of Dance’s “Manimals and Other Human Creatures.”  The event
will begin at 8 p.m. on Nov. 19, Nov. 20 and Nov. 21.

“Love has a lot to do with art,” said Susan Van Pelt Petry, chair of the dance

"Patterns of Prayer" will open the show and is a collaboration of Petry’s
choreographing skills and the visual artistry of her husband.   

“We actually met because of art,” she said.

Her piece features nine dancers that will perform in front of a video projection
made by Ric Petry of the Columbus College of Art and Design.

“In the film there is an image of a piece of twine that moves across the screen
and the figure of a dancer spinning,” Petry said.  “There is also the idea of
prayer in different cultures and religions that serve as metaphors as opposed to a
literal narrative.”

David Covey, professor of dance, will perform "For Merce and John."  Covey’s
solo piece celebrates the collaboration of late choreographer Merce Cunningham
and composer John Cage.

“There was a partnership between Merce and John,” Petry said.  “David is
paying homage to honor the couple in memoriam”

On the eve of their retirement from the Ohio State dance faculty, John Giffin and
Victoria Uris will perform a duet called "Companions."

“They have been married for over 20 years and they met at Ohio State when
they joined the faculty,” Petry said.

The piece choreographed by Susan Hadley, professor of dance, is about
memories, friendship and spending a life together.  

“It’s a silent work with no music.It’s a very sweet portrait of two people who
have been together for years and are companions in how they move in rhythm
together,” Petry said.

Visiting artists Abby Yager and Ming-lung Yang will perform "Nocturnes No. 4
and No. 6," a work by dance professor Melanie Bales set to the music of French
composer Erik Satie.

“Abby and Ming-lung are a couple that met when in a dance company together,”
Petry said.

Ohio State dance instructional aids associate and sound design specialist Michael
Wall composed the original score for his wife’s solo performance of "George
Lassons the moon."

Frank Capra’s use of shifting symbolic meaning in “It’s a Wonderful Life” is the
reference for Meghan Durham’s solo piece which plays with light, gesture and

Also being performed is a new work by Giffin titled “Manimal House,” inspired
by Saint-Saen’s zoological fantasy “Carnival of the Animals.”

“He [Giffin] has a sense of humor in his choreography,” Petry said.  “He takes
portraits of an animal and uses them as portraits of people, as behavior scenes
from sketches that are ‘manimals.’”

Petry said the school of dance has presented fall performances like this in
different forms since the 1980s.

“It presents a faculty research and creative activity forum for residents, visiting
artists and undergraduates,” she said.  “You can safely say that our department
involves undergraduates and graduates in research to a higher degree.”

The hour and a half event with an intermission has nine discreet pieces all with
different appeal, Petry said.

“It’s a nice chance to see contemporary dance and not feel intimidated. This is
not like confusing elitist stuff,” Petry said.  “It’s really good date night material.”

The box office will open at 7:30 p.m. with $5 tickets for students and senior
citizens, and $10 tickets for general admission.  

(photos provided by Melissa Bontempo)
This article posted on www.thelantern.com on 11.17.09 in "Arts"  CLICK !
This article printed in The Lantern's "btw"
weekly arts' insert on 11.18.09  CLICK ! -->
Abigal Yager and Ming-Lung Yang
Abigal Yager and Ming-Lung Yang
Meghan Durham