Silver, metallic and modern

University students will perform an interpretive dance to celebrate 10 years of the Weisman Art Museum.

As part of the Weisman Art Museum’s 10th anniversary celebration, University dance students will perform in the museum, filling various rooms and halls with movement and dance choreographed by faculty member Matt Jenson.

The site-specific performance at Weisman is based on the current exhibit, “Frank Gehry, Architect: Designs for Museums.” Gehry designed the Weisman, as well as the recently opened Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, with which it shares many design elements.

The term “site-specific” is used to denote that the dances rely upon the space in which they occur. “The movement, the connection of things, the sequence of things – it’s all dependant on what room we’re in,” said Benjamin

Rasmussen, a dance major senior performing in Jenson’s piece. He said the dancers use props – such as cushions and doors – that give it a very modern feel.

“All of the movements come from inspiration from the actual artwork that’s there,” Rasmussen said. “The human forms come alive creating a story line about people who come to the museum.”

The choreography was inspired by the innovative aspects of Gehry’s work, so the dancing is modern and interpretive in style. It is a combination of moving museum space and architectural representation. Even the dancers’ costumes are representative, with “silver metallic Ö flowy pants” representing the Weisman’s exterior.

Jenson chose music that would fit into the theme of the performance so it, like the dancing and architecture, will be varied. One piece, for example, is a sampling of music by Jimi Hendrix played on a violin instead of guitar.

Rasmussen said the performance should last about 30 to 40 minutes and will take place in segments from room to room. “There’s a bunch of sections throughout

the museum,” he said. “There’s a three-minute dance in one room and then there’s a trio in another that’s looped so it continues over and over again.”

He compared the dance sections to moving art exhibits which viewers can watch as they walk through a room, just like the unmoving art hanging on the walls.

“I think it’s interesting because it takes the museum’s space and makes it alive,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen and the nine other cast members (three men and seven women in total) have been rehearsing in the Weisman for the last two weeks to get a feel for the space and art their dances will interpret. “We actually, in the process, get a lot of funny looks from people,” Rasmussen said. “(They’re) just at the museum for quietness, and we’re playing music and jumping on the floor and doing flips.”