‘The Wizard of OZomeness’ dances through Art Prize

CMU faculty member and students to perform at international art competition

Grand Rapids’ Art Prize isn’t just art on the wall – and Central Michigan University faculty member and professional street dancer Ricky “Bird” Clarkson and three of his students will prove it.

The group will perform “The Wizard of OZomeness”— a fusion of hip hop, ballet, street dancing, contemporary dance, theater and crowd interaction — at this year’s Art Prize in Grand Rapids.

“I am trying to take everyone on a journey,” Clarkson said. “For me, it's always been a story about having a dream, believing in yourself, easing down the road of life's challenges, and knowing everything you need is already inside of you. But, it's the choices we make and journeys we take that help or allow us to manifest those things that are inside.”

Bay City sophomore Sarah Anderson, Plymouth junior Charlie Dillon and Oak Park senior Justin Sansom will perform alongside dancers of all ages. Anderson is a part of the Wicked Witch crew, Sansom is the scarecrow known as Mr. Patches, and Dillon is Leonidas the Lion. Mr. Tin, the tinman, is played by 13-year-old Ty Bader, son of CMU alumna Ashley Bader of Alma, Michigan.

The Wizard of Oz-inspired performance, choreographed by Clarkson, is one of 1,453 entries at the annual international art competition.

Experience “The Wizard of OZomeness”

Performances will take place at the Grand Rapids Public Museum at 272 Pearl Street NW in downtown Grand Rapids on the following dates and times:

• Saturday, Sept. 24: 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

• Sunday, Sept. 25: Noon, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

• Saturday, Oct. 1: 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

• Sunday, Oct. 2: Noon, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Media Contact

Rachel Esterline Perkins