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‘A Casual Interaction’ Dance Performance Explores Movement and Space

Students discover their environment through dance with series of site-specific performances; composer Michael DeQuattro accompanies with original score

Strolling through campus on Thursday afternoon, you may have found yourself involved in  a series of interactive performances by Roger Williams University dance majors.

The exploratory ‘A Casual Interaction’ project challenged dancers to explore the relationship between movement and space with a series of site-specific routines across campus. Utilizing locations from the University Library to the Mario J. Gabelli School of Business to the School of Engineering, Computing and Construction Management,  the unconventional performance sites were chosen to allow the audience – their fellow students – to be active participants in the productions. Resident composer and adjunct faculty member Michael DeQuattro accompanied the dancers with an original score.

Eighteen dance majors – all junior and senior students – have studied site-specific dance in their Performance Lab and Movement Analysis class, which allows dance students to discover the way the process of personal transformation through creative expression can have a positive social impact. First explored in the 1960’s during the post-modern dance movement, site-specific dance occurs outside of the conventional theatre space. The dance students choreographed a piece that responds to and expands upon traditional behavior and movement that happens in these spaces.

“Bringing dance to the steps of a library or to the sidewalk in front of your school brings the community closer to dance and dance closer to the community,” says Arianne MacBean, artistic director of Big Show, Co. Her course titled Site-Specific Dance: Promoting Social Awareness in Choreography served as inspiration for the experimental display.

The project reveals not only the talent and knowledge of the RWU Dance majors, but also their ability to create movement and present it outside of the traditional setting. The performance also gave other RWU students, faculty and staff the opportunity to experience the power of dance and how it fits into everyday life.

For more information, contact Associate Professor France Hunter at (401) 254-3558 or fhunter@rwu.edu.