By Sasha Ray
Boston University News Service
For the first time since 2019, BU Dance Theater Group’s Motion Art event was brought to life in the Fitness and Recreation Center. Performers took the stage (or front entrance, or hallway, or rock wall, or staircase, or squash court) for a number of student-run performance groups on March 31, featuring acapella singing, spoken-word poetry, and several dance performances, one of which was choreographed by its participants only an hour before it was performed.
The various locations of the performances gave onlookers on nearby treadmills or stair machines observational access as they pushed themselves physically.
“It’s wonderful to have all these groups coming together for a little impromptu performance,” said Micki Taylor-Pinney, director of BU’s dance program. “The purpose is to really have people happen upon it. We think of it as part of our community aspect of the social fabric, and it’s a chance to show off all the talent we have here at BU.”
BU on Tap, the Dear Abbeys, Chankaar, Forte, and several performances by veteran members of DTG were unveiled over several hours, changing locations and guiding audience members to observe in arbitrary locations around the building.
DTG member Lavinia Kosher’s original work, “Sunrise,” also featured in Origins 2021, was performed on a squash court, giving an interesting view of dancers through a semi-translucent glass box to their audience.
Chankaar, an all-female dance group showcasing traditional Indian fusion dance mixed with elements of hip hop and modernized styles of dance, performed a high-energy piece depicting an exorcism, mother-daughter relationships, and the bond between women, incorporating spoken-word voice-overs alongside music.
Forte, BU’s all-female acapella group, followed Chankaar, with their rendition of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” and showcased several soloists.
Keeping with the Adele theme, the Dear Abbeys performed BU’s all-male acapella group, “Skyfall,” as well as “The Way Things Were” by edbl and Isaac Waddington.
“It was an unusual gig,” said Neil Baker, music director of the Dear Abbeys after his FitRec performance. “The best thing was being so close to the audience. We got to see their faces and interact with them afterward, which is not something we always get to do.”
Event coordinator Ally Tellstone had the perspective of both an observer and entertainer and noted the amount of pressure to bring Motion Art back with a bang after its two-year hiatus.
“We did a virtual one last year, but I still didn’t really get the sense for what Motion Art was, said Tellstone. “I almost cried when I saw how many people were here.”
“It was very rewarding to see how many people showed up, how well it ran, and how interested in it people were.”