Tere O’Connor’s BLEED will premiere on July 16 at the American Dance Festival, and the New York Times showcased his approach to choreography and the creation of this new work. Described as having “radically multifaceted movement and exquisite craftsmanship” O’Connor’s dances often deconstruct preconceived notions of movement, form, time, and theme. BLEED features Cynthia Oliver, also of Dance at Illinois, and alumni and joins three earlier works into a piece filled with overlapping and fleeting stories. In BLEED, O’Connor notes, “Things come up and go away.” This transience “is something that dance can teach us about a way to experience our presence on Earth.”
July 14, 2014
Choreographer Cynthia Oliver has received a $15,000 grant through the Illinois Arts Council’s Artist Fellowship Program to complete her duet BOOM! Commissioned by New York Live Arts, the evening-length work with Dance at Illinois alumna Leslie Cuyjet focuses on women’s relationships with history, the future, and the self as it examines how social experiences are managed. Oliver will continue developing the piece for its premiere in October 2014. The Artist Fellowship Program “recognizes exceptional artists who have created a substantial body of work throughout their career by providing awards to support continued artistic growth.”
July 2, 2014
Without music aside from city noises of conversation and traffic, Silas Riener and Michael Ingle performed a duet by Tere O’Connor of Dance at Illinois in New York City’s financial district on June 23. The pair presented powerful but restrained gestures as they walked, ran around the grass, and partnered. The duet was repeated on June 25 and joined other free dances, music performances, and art along Manhattan’s waterfront for the River to River project.
June 25, 2014
Founded by Eric Benson and Steve Kostell of the School of Art and Design, Fresh Press, an experimental studio for designing and producing paper from natural fibers, received a visit from WICD NewsChannel 15’s Kim Shine. Benson described the economic and environmental benefits of using agricultural waste rather than trees, and Zachary Grant, who directs the Sustainable Student Farm where prairie grasses used for the paper are grown, pointed to the potential advantages for farmers.
June 23, 2014
When the International Harvest plant closed in 1983 and nearly 3,000 jobs were lost, Canton, Illinois, took a brutal blow. This summer urban planning students surveyed some of its 15,000 residents and analyzed area resources to determine what the revitalized town still needed so it would continue to grow. Thanks to a wealthy former resident, its picturesque downtown today is the site of a hotel and two manufacturing plants serving the medical industry. A shop with handcrafted candles, an art studio, and other businesses nearby draw shoppers. The urban planning students noted the many historic buildings located on the town square that could be renovated and also identified a desire among citizens for additional specialty stores. As part of an effort to create cities less reliant on a limited number of major employers and more resistant to economic change, their report included other suggestions for improvements, such as a movie theatre renovation and a more welcoming entry to town.
June 20, 2014