Shadowbox Live's Revived Show is Inspired by Art

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Inspired by 21 pieces from the Columbus Museum of Art's permanent collection, "Gallery of Echoes" was created under the artistic vision of Shadowbox executive producer Stev Guyer. From Nov. 6 to 16, viewers can experience the original pieces of art symbolically on stage and projected onto a 27-foot screen encompassing the stage. Shadowbox performer Nikki Fagin attributes the show's re-release to the success of its one-weekend first run in May. "Art is often intimidating," Fagin says. "['Gallery of Echoes'] surprised people."

"Bouquet of Light," Christopher Ries

Moved by the way light transforms Ries' sculpture, Guyer takes the theme of joy through transformation and brings it (literally) to light on stage. In the live version of "Bouquet of Light," bubbles envelop dancers from all sides, with the movement of light playing an equal role to the movement of bodies.

"Bird," Aldo Casanova

"Bird" represents the damage humanity has done to the environment, and it's the fierceness of this almost-armored sculpture that inspired the chainmail and feathered fashion show of the same name. The attributes of the sculpture weren't unlike those of the costumes, Guyer says. "They both say: 'Don't touch. Stay out of my space. Look how extraordinary I can be if you allow me to be.' "

"Before Death All Are Equal," Elijah Pierce

"What have you done for your fellow man?" Shadowbox singer Stacie Boord asks this question in a gospel song that plays to Pierce's themes in "Before Death All Are Equal." "Gathering personal wealth and self-aggrandizing leads to nothing," says Guyer, whose Southern Baptist upbringing helps him relate to Pierce and his religiously themed artwork.

"Ohio Penitentiary, Death Row," Masumi Hayashi

A dancer in prison garb attempts a soft-shoe dance while being shackled by invisible chains in this number paying homage to photographer Masumi Hayashi, who was born in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Hayashi's photograph, a collage from Ohio's death row, is a bleak reminder of human suffering in places of confinement, and a combination of dance and video work brings the image to life.

"Untitled, 2009," Ahmed Alsoudanit

"We wanted to say something about the [Iraqi] culture that has suffered, the culture that is still beautiful," says Guyer of "Untitled, 2009." "It's marvelous, accessible." Katy Psenicka choreographed a dance meant to mimic the physical and emotional chaos Alsoudanit conveys in his drawing of scattered body parts, broken pieces of buildings and the loss of human life during the war in Iraq.