by Parini Shah
Photography by Mae Davis
What seemed to be a bleak Thursday evening filled with last-minute assignments, complaints about the unpredictable Boston weather and procrastination via Netflix was enlivened by a magical evening of art. Students from all over Boston University trudged through the wintry evening to reach the 808 Gallery, where the Dance Theatre Group presented their Motion Art Event, a collaborative effort by dancers, singers, artists, musicians and poets.
Funded in part by a grant from the BU Art’s Initiative, the Motion Art event sought to bring the community together and highlight the power of all forms of art, whether spoken, painted, danced or sung.
“This campus is full of arts groups but we always see them independently, so we often forget that art is a communal thing by nature,” said Carli Dimeo (Sargent ’18), program coordinator of the event and vice president of the Dance Theatre Group. “We wanted to bring them all together so that the whole arts community and the audience could see the mediums of art that resonate best with them as opposed to just one.”
The evening was off to a dazzling start as the Treblemakers, one of BU’s most popular a capella groups, enthralled the audience with their diverse repertoire, energetic performance and talented soloists. The show went on to feature other equally famous groups such as BU on Tap, the only on-campus tap-dancing group; West Coast Swing club, a group dedicated to learning, teaching and dancing West Coast Swing, both socially and competitively; BU Ballroom Dance Club, a group of ballroom dance lovers that share their passion through instruction, competition and showcases; and Speak for Yourself, a spoken word group that creates art through words and poetry. The event was also an opportunity for talented individual artists such as Yuta Takano, a musician in the College of Fine Arts, who has been playing the cello since he was 4 years old.
Unlike most events where the audience is seated while the performers seamlessly move on and off a fixed stage, the Motion Art event introduced a new way of viewing different art forms. The audience was able to move around from exhibit to exhibit as each group performed their piece in different corners of the gallery.
“It was unusual but kind of interesting,” said Ilyas Nazarov (ENG ’20), an engineering student with a passion for the fine arts. “It almost felt like a museum, except the exhibits were in motion-singing, dancing and speaking.”
The Motion Art Event also revealed innovative arrangements by combining diverse art forms into one visually striking performance. For instance, while the a capella group performed their piece, a group of contemporary dancers complemented their voice with fluid and expressive dance movements, Similarly, spoken word poets were complemented by improvisation dancers that provided a visual representation of their words.
The Motion Art event dazzled its audience through by combining different mediums of cart that cohesively mingled together.