"We're still learning how to run our new space," Professor David Covey says as he bounds up the stairs. He lands at the control board where he's been teaching his students how to produce a dance concert in the newly renovated home of the Ohio State University Department of Dance in Sullivant Hall.

“We’re still learning how to run our new space,” Professor David Covey says as he bounds up the stairs. He lands at the control board where he’s been teaching his students how to produce a dance concert in the newly renovated home of the Ohio State University Department of Dance in Sullivant Hall.

The winter concert, entitled “Inflecting Space” and running through Saturday, is the first concert in Sullivant’s big black box Barnett Theatre since the monumental public inauguration of the building in September 2014.

Nine choreographers (from the bachelors and masters fine arts programs) have been working with 28 graduate and undergraduate dancers as well as a crew comprising dance majors and minors to create the concert. For everyone involved, it’s learning by doing. That includes Covey, who admits to having initially been intimidated by the Barnett’s LED technology.

“It’s like getting a 2015 Cadillac after driving an old pickup truck for years,” he said.

Technological evolution aside, what motivates dancers and choreographers remains fairly constant. Choreographer Liliana Kane (BFA 2017) came from a performing background with Brooklyn’s pre-professional Dancewave Company.

“I still love to dance and perform,” she said, “but I think there is something extremely special and exciting about having ideas, questions and concepts, and being able to explore them through other dancers’ bodies.”

Her composition “third” explores harmony in diversity. Having noticed the contrasting qualities each of the dances brought to their dance composition class, Kane “wanted to see if and how I could use these differences to create unity among them. From then on, the piece was driven by my desire to see the dancers’ differences act as a force in bringing them together, and pulling them apart.”

Bringing it together: The ultimate goal of Covey, Kane and all the other learners and doers as they adapt to their new space.