Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre included 200 fiberglass sculptures during their Spring 2014 Concert. Professor Sarah M. Barry who created the “Aeolian” piece, integrated the “cresente” sculptures (title of the entire collection) created by master’s student Kelly Shannon, who is studying studio art with an emphasis in sculpture.

After seeing Shannon’s work in a gallery over the summer, Barry was inspired as a choreographer, and quickly approached Shannon about collaborating with ARDT.

“If you think about creative personalities, there’s no real reason to have set and regimented delineations between the arts – between theater or dance, or music or sculpture, or painting and drawing,” Shannon said in a recent story published by The Crimson White. “There’s so many similarities between them that a lot of those divisions seem pointless.”

Shannon and Barry have both been pleased with the way this collaboration of art media has transferred to the stage setting.

“Something that’s really interesting about … the way the sets are placed on stage, is that, depending on where you’re sitting in the audience, you’re going to have a really different perspective of the dance,” Barry said. “So you’re really kind of viewing the movement almost through the sculptures. … Sometimes you really mostly see the sculpture, and sometimes you see more the dancing. Also, this piece has become more of a visual experience than a kinetic experience, which is a little different for me.”

Barry began “aeolian” – which means “wind blown” – by pulling words from the artist statement and thesis paper Shannon wrote about the sculptures, using those as roots from which movement could then grow. The choreography is the final combination of phrases composed by both Barry and her dancers.

“It was really exciting for me to see some of the early rehearsals where the dancers would start out on the floor, where they would be eventually screened by the sculptures, and then have an arm pop up that was just sort of doing this growing, popping up out-of-nowhere thing … [Barry] definitely was trying to be inspired by the things that inspired me, and it’s been really exciting to see that transformation,” Shannon said.