Dance Downtown 2016 Highlights

As a state-of-the-art space located at the heart of campus, Sullivant Hall's Barnett Theatre is a celebrated venue and home to several dance performances throughout the year. But every autumn, students and faculty leave Sullivant and head downtown to the Davidson Theatre (formerly the Capitol Theatre), to bring a taste of the department's creativity and passion to the core of the city in Dance Downtown.

As in years past, Dance Downtown 2016 was a weekend of brilliant performance that allowed faculty choreographers to bring their visions to life, and our talented students to share their dancing with family, friends and the Columbus community. This year's highlights included:

Announcement of a Major Donation from Helen P. Alkire's Estate

This year’s program was presented in memory of the late Helen P. Alkire, founder of Ohio State's dance program, who passed away at home in Orient, Ohio, in November 2015 at age 100. The show’s tribute to Alkire was made even more meaningful with the announcement of a major gift from Alkire’s estate of $980,000 to the Helen P. Alkire Scholarship Fund. This generous gift has grown this endowed fund to over $1.3 million, which will help the department continue to attract and support passionate dance students for many years to come. 

Stunning Choreography from Faculty Members Ann Sofie Clemmensen and Eddie Taketa

Visiting Assistant Professor Ann Sofie Clemmensen's students opened the show with "Fjorten," (Danish for "fourteen"), a piece that examined the strength and beauty of the female body and its relationship with gravity and structural pathways. Set to an electronic soundscape and featuring dancers dressed in dark uniform-cut dresses to reference the layers of culturally constructed perceptions and assumptions about women, the piece abstractly navigated ideas of possibility and constraint through movement.

Bessie Award-winning lecturer Eddie Taketa choreographed the piece "Onionskins, Opaques, Oxbloods and Pearls," a high-energy performance that required his dancers to move seamlessly while taking risks nearing recklessness as they fell to the floor and leapt through the air. Their movement to symphonic melodies by Phillip Glass sculpted the stage into a dynamic landscape, and invited the audience along on a journey through a myriad of visceral sensations.

Watch rehearsal clips of both performances below:

Dancers in “Fjorten”:

  • Julia Ayau (BFA ’20)
  • Jacqueleen Bordjadze (BFA ’20)
  • Amanda Colangelo (BFA ’19)
  • Elyse Dakin (BFA ’17)
  • Anna Hershinow (BFA ’20)
  • Erica Jackson (BFA ’17)
  • Emily Jones (BFA ’19)
  • Danielle Kfoury (BFA ’18)
  • Kelly Korn (BFA ’19)
  • Kyla Makovsky (BFA ’19)
  • Emily Schrepferman (BFA ’17)
  • Katherine Sprudzs (BFA ’19)
  • Gabriella Wiltz (BFA ’17)
  • Sheila Zeng (BFA ’17)

Dancers in “Onionskins, Opaques, Oxbloods and Pearls”:

  • Amy Allen (BFA ’18)
  • Hazel Black (BFA ’19)
  • Caroline Haidet (BFA ’18)
  • Mikaela Hayes (BFA ’18)
  • Callie Lacinski (BFA ’17)
  • Madeline Mazzola (BFA’18)
  • Heidi Murr (BFA ’17)
  • Chloe Napoletano (BFA ’17)
  • Natalie Newman (BFA ’18)
  • Alizé Raptou (BFA ’19)
  • Madeline Wallace (BFA ’17)

Distinguished Professor Bebe Miller's Captivating 360-Degree Performance and Final Bow

With Distinguished Professor Bebe Miller retiring at the end of the semester, her piece “Sel Fou!” closed the program and examined the happenstance of memory with dancers sharply moving through and around props with force and intricacy. Crafted out of separate events from independent repertory works, Miller’s choreography borrowed movement, music and the concept of relationships to set disparate activities into motion. And in a first for Dance Downtown, the performance was captured by a 360-degree camera, giving the audience an opportunity to experience what it's like to be on stage, and Miller's dancers an exciting challenge to work around while performing.

Watch the full 360-degree performance below in a Chrome browser, but it is best on a smartphone:

Dancers in “Sel Fou!”:

  • Brandon Adams (BFA ’17)
  • Joshua Anderson (MFA ’19)
  • April Biggs (MFA ’18)
  • Chris Cogell (MFA ’18)
  • Cole Henry Jones (BFA ’19)
  • Gina Hoch-Stall (MFA ’19)
  • Lilianna Kane (BFA ’17)
  • Madeleine Leonard-Rose (BFA ’17)
  • Mel Mark (BFA ’17)
  • Anna Brown Massey (MFA ’17)
  • Anthony Milian (BFA ’17)
  • Claire Moore (BFA ’17)
  • Kylee Smith (BFA ’17)
  • Charlotte Stickles (BFA ’17)
  • Ashlee Taylor (MFA ’18)
  • Anna Vomacka (BFA ’18)
  • Erin Yen (BFA ’18)

Next year, the Department of Dance will collaborate with BalletMet and the Wexner Center for the Arts to present a new show for the Columbus community in place of Dance Downtown. Stay tuned for more details!