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Slepian contributed interactive media and sculpture to the evening-length, multidisciplinary performance by the troupe Adele Myers and Dancers
Joshua Murray, Photos by Christopher Duggan
“The Dancing Room,” an experimental work that is part dance, part light show, featuring the work of Dean John Slepian and collaborators, will premiere this week at the Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University, Connecticut.
For the premiere, performed by the troupe Adele Myers and Dancers, Slepian contributed interactive media and sculpture alongside choreographer Adele Myers, composer Josh Quillen, costume designer Heidi Anderson, and lighting director Kathy Couch of Amherst College.
Slepian describes the performance as intimate: an audience of 30 people are seated in a circle around four dancers who wear sensors that trigger lights set off by their movement as they interact with his sculptures. The sculptures themselves react to sound and change colors, resulting an onstage environment created by the dancers.
“The dancers are intensely the focus—they create the space for their own performance through their movement,” he says. “It all starts with the dancers: everything the dancers do create this world they’re in.”
Slepian is dean of the school for interdisciplinary arts and Five College associate professor of art and technology.
The evening-length, multidisciplinary performance debuts Tuesday–Thursday, March 7–9.
Slepian is quick to call the presentation a collaboration through and through. “We had a rule about this show—if it’s not greater than the sum of its parts, it’s not a success,” he says. “That’s also the way we teach the arts at Hampshire, without any concern about whether or not we’re staying within discipline, without a preconceived notion about how it’s going to turn out.”
Alum Hayley-Jane Blackstone, who worked with Slepian during her time at Hampshire, contributed to the collaboration.
The piece also runs at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, in Burlington, Vermont, on May 19 and 20, and at the Yard, in Martha’s Vineyard, on a date to be determined.
“The Dancing Room” is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts; the Quick Center for the Arts; and the Yard. The project is also made possible with support from the State of Connecticut and a New England Foundation of the Arts NDP Special Projects grant.
Full information is available here.