Rowland Hall’s interdisciplinary performance “Gallery” brought the departments of music, art, dance, and creative writing together in a collaborative showcase that challenged viewers to let their senses be their guide.
A gallery stroll through the Upper School hallway preceded the traditional dance concert featuring jazz music played live by the sixth and seventh grade bands. Freshly painted gallery-white walls and newly installed track lighting illuminated students’ visual art pieces, and creative writers seamlessly integrated poems and essays into the evening. Patrons could drop a token into a bucket next to a dancer frozen in place to receive ninety seconds of improvised movement to the ongoing tunes.
Students said the collaboration inspired artistic growth within their own art and gave them a glimpse into other artistic worlds. Music teacher Bret Jackson said that the improvisatory nature of jazz lends itself to working with dancers who often improvise in composition classes. “Yet, we’ve never worked experimentally as departments like this before," he said. "It’s been a great learning experience.”
Twelve student-choreographers and three pieces by dance teachers Sofia Gorder and Allison Spehar presented work that showed the creative collision that occurs when different genres, skills, or human emotions come together.
It took a creative team of teachers Ms. Gorder, Ms. Spehar, Mr. Jackson, Jeremy Innis, Rob Mellor, Joel Long, and well over one hundred student performers and stage-techies to make this fresh, energetic evening of magic happen. The show ran for three consecutive nights, from March 31 to April 2, 2016.