Small Gestures:
A Dialogue with Dance and Drawing

by Eileen Standley and Janice Pittsley

May 15 - June 12, 2015

In conjunction with The School of the Arts National Symposium Devised Works, Naropa University Galleries presents Eileen Standley and Janice Pittsley multi-disciplinary exhibition Small Gestures: A Dialogue between Dance and Drawing in the White Cube gallery at the Nalanda Campus. The exhibit runs from May 15 to June 12, 2015.

Small Gestures: A Dialogue Between Dance and Drawing explores the intersection of dance and drawing as a dynamic site. It is rooted in the synergy between both disciplines that emerged in the twentieth century. The project continues to evolve, following several lines of inquiry as they examine space, time, and movement from the perspectives of a choreographer and visual artist, Eileen Standley and Janice Pittsley respectively. Tracks and traces of material reveal a particular language of intentional movement in time and space: yield, push, pull, reach, scrape, expand, carve, invert, spiral, roll, and retreat. They question the paradigm of large scale by examining small gestures that accumulate over time and space.


Eileen and Janice draw parallels between the place of enactment - the stage and the page. Inherent to their creative process is a particular response to that place: the edge of the performing space corresponds to the perimeter of the picture plane. The practice often involves a dialogue in motion - navigating a pre-determined score and improvisational choices

The project is formed by six series of drawings:

  • Passing Through
  • Palm-of-the-Hand
  • Push/Pull Improvisations
  • Motor Loop Interrupted
  • White Cube – Push/Pull
  • Black Box – Push/Pull

Janice Pittsley and Eileen Standley are professors at Arizona State University in the School of Art and the School of Film, Theatre and Dance respectively.  They met and began their dance/draw collaboration while participating in the Creative Inquiry Research Group. Their research is supported in part by a Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts (HIDA) Project Grant from Arizona State University.