Grand Valley to participate in Olympic events

David Osbon connects performers in Allendale with those in London
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David Osbon connects performers in Allendale with those in London
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Not every Olympic event will take place in athletic arenas, nor only in London.

“Bodies in Motion” is a transcontinental project that will take place over three days, July 9, 10 and 12, in Allendale, Amsterdam and London, with simultaneous interactive performances captured for live webcasts, viewable each day at http://research.kingston.ac.uk/bodiesinmotion.

The Grand Valley State University Symphony Orchestra, directed by Henry Duitman, and members of the Grand Valley Dance Ensemble, directed by Shawn T Bible, will be joining Kingston University in London and the Amsterdam Conservatory to present inventive performance events as part of a special Cultural Olympiad.

On July 9, at 2:30 p.m. and July 10, at 1:30 p.m. Grand Valley student dancers Judi Jaekel and Jessica Loosenort will be performing at Grand Valley’s Allendale Campus as ensembles from Kingston University and the Amsterdam Conservatory perform music. The dancers will be wearing special costumes that contain Wii controllers to allow their movements to trigger specific pre-recorded music events. The dancers kinesthetic performance incorporates the athleticism of the Olympic games while integrating modern technological advances.

On July 12, at 12:30 p.m. the Grand Valley Symphony Orchestra will perform in Allendale as dancers from the other two universities respond to the music. Fully embracing today’s technology, Grand Valley student composers Adam Cuthbert and Daniel Rhode composed new work that combines traditional orchestra instruments with a solo electric violin and several iPad performers.

“We were asked to compose music for orchestra that related to the work of the Kingston-born photographer Eadweard Muybridge, who is noted for his stop-action photos used to study the movement of horses,” said Rhode. “We decided to make a study of the orchestra through the lens of electronic dance movement.”

The Cultural Olympiad celebration of the 2012 London Olympic games through dance, music, theater, film and digital innovation is the brainchild of David Osbon, head of Collegiate Music at Kingston, who said it will be the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. The “Bodies in Motion” performances will be captured for live webcasts so audiences throughout the world can experience the unique interactive events.

The collaboration is also in celebration of the 25-year partnership between Grand Valley and Kingston University, which has provided international opportunities for hundreds of students, faculty and staff members.