The Ohio State University’s (OSU) College of Arts and Sciences commissioned Stephan Koplowitz, Dean of The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts, to conceive and choreograph a site-specific performance event that celebrates the history and future of the university’s recently renovated Sullivant Hall.
The completed work, Sullivant’s Travels, was performed on Sept. 20 and featured several simultaneous works and performances, occupying sometimes unexpected spaces in and around the building, which houses the university’s dance department. More than 35 dancers and 50 vocalists were included in the large-scale project’s cast.
From Ohio State:
Each of the 11 performance works is a world premiere and is inspired by the history of the building, the architecture, and/or the current use of specific spaces. The cumulative effect of these works serves as a metaphor for learning, collaboration, creative play and dreaming. Koplowitz’s goal in collaboration with the Department of Dance, faculty from the Advanced Computing Center for Art and Design (ACCAD), and School of Music chorale groups, is that audience members will gain a new perspective on the life of and the intention of both the building and its mission.
The audience members were allowed to choose their own path through Sullivant Hall to experience the performances—and the building—in their own way. Given the nature of the promenade performance, no audience member would be able to view the work in its entirety.
PBS member station WOSU recent aired a short video about Sullivant’s Travels (posted above), including footage from the performances and an extensive interview with Koplowitz.