Choreographer Spends Week At WIU As Artist in Residence

David Marchant, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, spent a week with the Department of Theatre and Dance as an Artist-in-Residence.

From University Relations:

David Marchant, Washington University, WIU Dance Artist in Residence

David Marchant, Washington University, WIU Dance Artist in Residence

MACOMB, IL – With creativity, fluidity of movement and a renewed sense of balance, Western Illinois University dance and theatre students recently welcomed a visiting artist into their classrooms.

Professor of the Practice in Performing Arts David Marchant, of Washington University in St. Louis (MO) visited the WIU campus Feb. 18 – 23. In addition to teaching classes, Marchant restaged a piece he choreographed at his home school in 2006 titled, “Belladonna Divertimento.”

A production of the piece by eight WIU dancers will be performed April 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. each night as part of the University Dance Theatre’s Spring Gala in Hainline Theatre.

Marchant said his contemporary dance piece is based in a mix of modern and balletic styles, and also gives the performers some freedom of personal expression. The eight-minute dance depicts a fictitional group of seven forest-dwelling female creatures, ambiguously fashioned between women, birds and insects, and one hapless man who encounters them when he becomes lost in their realm.

While serving as an artist in residence at WIU, Marchant taught a variety of classes, including modern dance for beginning dancers to advanced performers and dance composition.

“I’m trying to re-investigate basic technical skills, such as balance efficiency of movement.” he said. “I find that trained dancers often have many assumptions about how to control their movement, some of which turn out to be ineffective, or even counter productive. I am always trying to discover how to make dancing easier, more natural.”

Faculty Research
In addition to being a performing arts professor, Marchant has conducted research with fellow Washington University faculty on the impact of movement on the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Read more at the University Relations press release.

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