On September 20th, 2022, Saint Elizabeth University, Morris Arts, Drew University, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation presented the first opening of Move: Dance in Art, a two-gallery show exploring the way the performing art of dance is portrayed in static artwork. The galleries involved, the Gallery at 14 Maple and the Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery at SEU, each had their own opening receptions and each reception was accompanied by a performance from the wonderful dancers at Drew University. The Maloney Gallery reception featured performances from Kimani Fowlin (a dancer, choreographer, Assistant Professor of Dance, and the Director of the Dance Department at Drew University) and two Drew University students, Bridget Ryan and Kareena Salvi.
The exhibit’s second reception, held on September 28th at the Gallery at 14 Maple in downtown Morristown, further deepened the collaboration between the four partnering organizations with another performance by Ms. Ryan and with Morris Arts staff helping to produce that event.
We were fortunate enough to be able to speak with Ms. Fowlin about the performances. When asked how she chooses dancers for events like these, she replied, “My entire class is open to perform and is based on the schedules of my students and who is available. I also look to match the venue to the Drew student performer.” In discussing the challenges faced by dancers working in non-traditional settings like the gallery reception opening, Ms. Fowlin said, “I feel it makes [the dancers] stronger and more versatile performers by having this opportunity to perform in site-specific spaces and in multi-media/art places. I am honored to collaborate with outstanding arts organizations like Morris Arts. This is just the beginning of infusing dance into non-traditional spaces.”
Bringing the next generation of artists, like Ms. Ryan and Ms. Salvi, into projects like these allows them express their tastes and voices and those of their coevals. Their contributions weave beautifully into the tapestry begun by the current generation of artists, like Ms. Fowlin and the visual artists whose work line the walls of the galleries, to further enrich Morris County’s arts scene. We are so grateful for the participation of schools like Drew University and Saint Elizabeth University in Dance Connections and look forward to more collaborative projects as these events continue!