Making Dance Still, Stillness Dance
SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University dance faculty and students will present a visual arts experience titled, “The Essence of Dance” Feb. 3-26 at the Kress Gallery in River Park Square. An opening reception is 5-8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 3. The exhibit displays paintings, drawings and photos of the art form by Instructor Suzanne Ostersmith and her students.
During the reception, Gonzaga’s a cappella group Big Bing Theory will perform in the food court adjacent to Kress Gallery, followed by a performance by Odyssey Grade School’s seventh-and eighth-grade Jazz Band and Combos. First Night Rising Stars – a program sponsored by Gonzaga that highlights emerging artists – is sponsoring the events.
The opening reception is part of Spokane’s Visual Arts Tour, and includes a live dance sculpture as well as a choreographed video of two dancers using their feet to manipulate charcoal and create a large abstract drawing.
“The exhibit accepts as its challenge the presentation of a three-dimensional art form in two dimensions,” says Ostersmith. “How can one make dance still, and stillness dance? We tackle these questions with creativity and enthusiasm from our daily immersion in the discipline.”
The exhibit also shares two Gonzaga dance program service-learning elements: Zag Dance, a free, after-school dance initiative for local elementary school students, and Dance for Parkinson’s, which helps patients manage their disease through dance and stretching. Gonzaga dance students serve the community through these programs and gain a deeper understanding of how dance can improve people’s lives. Community service also is part of Gonzaga’s mission.
More than 200 students participate in the various Gonzaga dance programs. The University offers a minor in dance study, exposing students to various dance styles, the thrill of performance and the dynamics of teaching dance in an after-school program for elementary students.