Dance performances scheduled this month
CHAMPAIGN — Art by Ray Johnson, his contemporaries and other artists isn't all you'll see this month at Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois.
Starting this week are dance performances representing the second installment in the museum's Openstudio series — live musical or dance performances in connection with artist residencies meant to forge interdisciplinary learning and cultural exchange.
For example, UI dance professor/choreographer Tere O'Connor will premiere "Sister," the latest work in his "Bleed" project, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the museum. A public reception and gallery conversation with the artists will follow the Wednesday performance, and a gallery conversation will follow the Thursday performance.
Earlier this year, O'Connor received a Doris Duke Artist Award worth $275,000. He also is a Guggenheim Fellow and has received multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. With his New York-based company, Tere O'Connor Dance, he has won three New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Awards.
Commissioned by Krannert Art Museum, O'Connor's "Sister" will feature two members of his company: Cynthia Oliver and David Thomson. Each have won numerous honors in the areas of dance, choreography, higher education and arts advocacy.
Oliver is a UI dance professor and University Scholar. Thomson is an artist-in-residence at Gibney Dance and Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City.
At 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, Illinois dance Professor Jennifer Monson will present at the museum an hourlong solo performance as a component of "Live Dancing Archive."
The piece includes a video installation featuring footage from Monson's 2002 trip tracking the migration of osprey from Maine to Venezuela, during which she and three colleagues danced on beaches and in parks along the way.
The dance performances will take place in the art museum's East Gallery, the largest gallery on the main floor. When not being used for a rehearsal or performance, the space will be filled with dance: UI dance Professor Rene Wadleigh's "Dance on Video" installation.
A former dancer and teacher with the Paul Taylor Company, Wadleigh has collected videos of dance performances for more than three decades. The pieces in the installation illustrate relationships between developments in contemporary art and dance that took shape in the 1960s and intensified through the 1990s.
Wadleigh also will give a gallery talk, "The Intersection of Dance and the Visual Arts," at 5 p.m. Monday; her installation will be on view through Sept. 22 at the museum.