Dance: Portraiture and Perception at OSU Urban Arts Space

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From the March 29, 2012 edition

Navigating through space, whether it’s a crowded street or a furniture-filled living room, is a skill we normally acquire without much thought. But OSU dance MFA candidates Fiona Lundie and Rashana Smith have put a lot of thought into it.

“We were both interested in a performance installation and exploring the same thing in different ways,” Lundie said.

Together they dissect the relationship between human bodies in motion and space, objects and other people in the Urban Arts Space performance installation “Portraiture and Perception.” Final performances take place Thursday and Friday.

Smith presents “Remnants,” a work inspired by the groups the dancer-choreographer is connected with, including the Ohio Roller Girls. She’ll be joined by some of her teammates for tonight’s performance.

“I was thinking about the dynamics in a group of women. I look at movement qualities and how different and similar they can be,” Smith explained.

Smith incorporates these movements into her own, creating a physical group portrait against a backdrop of videos showing each influence.

In “Second Hands and Square Feet,” Lundie fixes on “how we are navigating and rearranging space, and how perception of space changes radically with reconfiguration.”

Dancers interact with fixed, rolling and swinging set pieces in a narrow section of gallery. At a certain point, the audience is asked to switch places and make its own way through the set for a new perspective.

A second section features alternating solos that expand to different parts of the gallery, including a performance space with virtually no light. But your perception — more specifically, your pupils — will adjust accordingly.