The Big 5-OH

Ohio State Dance has been at the forefront of contemporary dance for over 50 years, educating students through a breadth of study. The Big 5-OH Concert in the Barnett Theatre celebrated that legacy with four new faculty works connected seamlessly in a 60-minute work. A tribute to the department’s long history of research and teaching of Laban notation and analysis, each work was presented within the framework of the Laban Movement Analysis qualities of space, time, flow and weight. Faculty members Susan Van Pelt Petry made Trace for space, Daniel Roberts created Nomadic Drift for time, Eddie Taketa crafted Kipuka for flow, and Crystal Michelle Perkins choreographed Lush Departures for weight, all nodding to the progression of modern dance movement aesthetics across the decades.

We transformed our Barnett Theatre into a four-sided performance space, with a white floor onto which we projected evolving spatial designs (Petry), images of sand (Roberts), notation scores and historical photo proofs (pre-show). Sheer fabric provided the dancer-manipulated set (Taketa) and projection screen (Perkins) for the culminating set of images of our founder Helen Alkire, faculty and students from our long history. With inspired student dancing, music from US composers, costumes by Lindsay Simon, beautiful lighting design by David Covey, and production support by Carrie Cox and students, the evening provided a magical, emotional experience for our alumni and guests. 

Audience members entered our rotunda to enjoy our archive and witnessed Well of Pearls in the Motion Lab. Alumni, emeriti and current faculty, and friends joined together on Sunday morning for our alumni brunch and reunion, coordinated by BFA Senior Abby Frank. This warm connection with our classmates and colleagues culminated two weeks of performances and events, celebrating our rich history and pointing to the next fifty years of Ohio State Dance at the cutting edge of university dance programs.

Music by Amy Beach
Lighting Design by Dave Covey
Video by Mason Chapello, BFA ’19

Music by Pauline Oliveros
Lighting Design by Dave Covey
Video by Mason Chapello, BFA ’19



Music by Tower of Power
Lighting Design by Dave Covey
Video by Mason Chapello, BFA ’19

Music by Courtney Bryan
Lighting Design by Dave Covey
Video by Mason Chapello, BFA ’19

This video by Diego Arellano, student assistant with the Thompson Library Special Collections, showcases the historical milestone of Ohio State Dance's 50th Anniversary. Through interviews with some of the faculty and students we get a good glimpse about the lasting impression the department has left on the history of dance and what the future holds!

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