West Chester University
Dance Professor Opens Art Exhibit

Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at West Chester University, Liz Staruch, leaps into a new role at the University this month when A THING IS DETERMINED BY ITS NATURE opens in Knauer Gallery, Swope Music Building andan exhibit from A Thing Determined By Its Nature Performing Arts Center, 817 S. High Street. The exhibit runs January 22 – March 1, 2019, Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. An artist and press reception will be held on January 30, 2019, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Staruch’s A THING IS DETERMINED BY ITS NATURE is a multi-sensory, collaborative work that blends dance for camera and art installation. The exhibit draws upon the artistic theories and practices of the Bauhaus, a German art school operational from 1919 – 1933, made famous for its approach to design. The work’s title comes from a quote from Walter Gropius, an architect and founder of the Bauhaus.

Staruch says, “The Bauhaus was founded on the principal that all arts -  architecture, dance, music, theatre, visual – would eventually be brought together, the very definition of interdisciplinary as we now call it. This exhibit was inspired, in part, to honor the 100th Anniversary of the Bauhaus, which we will celebrate this year.”

She adds, “Taking the ideas of minimalism and design that came out of the Bauhaus and translating them to physical movement is the concept behind the dance for camera work on display.”

Staruch choregraphed the dance for camera piece with three West Chester dance minor graduates (Mackenzie Holmes ’15, Morgan Miller ’16 and Kelsey Zolochik ’16.) It was shot at a Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse in Philadelphia because as Staruch says, “we were working amidst the objects that have a direct lineage to the Bauhaus.”

The work is co-created with Mark O’Maley, the Dance Technical Director at Bennington College, who serves as Production Designer and Video Editor for the exhibit. West Chester Professor, Constance Case, provides Costume Design.

In addition to the dance for camera piece, the exhibit also includes the film’s costumes, inspired by Bauhaus paintings, along with period furniture pieces and colors found in the Bauhaus. An artistic response to A THING IS DETERMINED BY ITS NATURE will be performed by the dancers of <fidget>, a performance company based in Philadelphia whose mission is to decrease the distance between art and life.

About West Chester University

Enrolling more than 17,000 students, West Chester University is the largest member of the 14-institution Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Founded in 1871, the University is a comprehensive public institution, offering a diverse range of more than 200 undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs in more than 50 fields of study. In addition to West Chester, the University offers programs through its graduate center, Philadelphia, and online. Six colleges and two schools comprise the University: University College, Colleges of Arts and Humanities, Business and Public Management, Education and Social Work, Health Sciences, and the Sciences and Mathematics, as well as the Wells School of Music, and the Graduate School.

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