V E R S U S: Fall 2017 Senior Projects in Two Parts

VCU Dance presents V E R S U S: Fall 2017 Senior Projects in Two Parts

Part I: Site Specific Works at 1708 Gallery’s InLight Exhibition
Part II: Works for the Concert Stage at Grace Street Theater

Richmond, VA. The Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Dance and Choreography presents V E R S U S, the Fall 2017 Senior Project Concert in two parts. Part I features two site-specifics works presented at 1708 Gallery’s InLight Exhibition on Friday, November 3, at 7:00pm. Part II features eight works presented on the Grace Street Theater stage on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, November 16, 17, and 18 at 8:00 pm, 934 West Grace Street. InLight performance are free. Tickets for the Grace Street Theater performance  are $15/$10 for students with a valid VCU I.D. and can be reserved by calling the box office at (804)-828-2020, or via showclix.com.

The senior project is a rigorous, capstone experience for VCU Dance’s BFA in Dance & Choreography. This semester, the ten BFA candidates have worked closely together to create, produce, and present their capstone projects. These new works explore a sense of duality, contrast, and inner conflict.

This fall, in Part I of the senior project series, VCU Dance is delighted to partner for the first time with 1708 Gallery to feature two senior project works as part of the 2017 InLight Exhibition on November 3. InLight Richmond is a FREE, public exhibition of light-based art and performances. Each year, InLight Richmond features performances, sculpture, video, and interactive projects that illuminate pathways, walls, sidewalks, green spaces, and kicks off with the Community Lantern Parade. 1708 Gallery’s 10th Annual InLight Richmond will take place in the City’s Arts and Culture District. InLight 2017 takes as its inspiration the 1901 Electric Carnival that enlivened Broad Street with a replica of the Eiffel Tower and tens of thousands of lights. VCU Dance seniors Taylor Diggs and Michelle Koppl will present their works as part of InLight.

One Drop, created by Tay Diggs, will premier at 1708 Gallery’s InLight Exhibition. This site-specific work will showcase the dichotomy of colorism by incorporating: paint, light and shadows, and spoken word. The piece will evoke various experiences with intraracial discrimination while creating a narrative that seeks to educate an audience that is unaware, and resonate with an audience that relates.

Michelle Koppl’s site-specific piece Phosphorescence, presented as a part of 1708 Gallery’s InLight Exhibition, explores and modernizes the work of Loie Fuller. Music by Andrew Bird and original projections designed by Holly Ashton accompany five dancers as they transform the space through energetic and unique movement that reflects the life of radioactive particles.

For Part II of the senior project, eight seniors will present their capstone projects on the Grace Street Theater stage in a fully produced concert on November 16, 17 & 18.

Emotional, societal, and physical barriers expose the resiliency of five dancers in Taylor-Leigh Adams’Rebound Effect. Adams and dancers utilize humanistic, dynamic movement to develop the power of individual voices compressed within a larger society.

Experimental Opposition of a Paradigm by Noelani Corey explores social conformity and the likeliness of an individual conforming based on the group size and the  cohesiveness of their surroundings. Inspired by the social conformity experiments by Solomon Asch, seven dancers will explore the idea of “choice” while showcasing the freedom of deviance.

In L’arène Secrète, performed by seven dancers, Eslie Djemmal recreates a personal experience by utilizing the recordings and photographs from that experience. This piece investigates how the architecture of Les Arènes de Lutèce a historic site in Paris, choreographs the individual in, out, and through the space. The research focuses on the site’s history, the therapeutic qualities a park contains which escape from the city, and the well-being this destination creates.

Grasp by Kaity Myers, captures a moment inspired by two of Renoir’s paintings, embodying comfort and intimacy with both others and one’s self to paint the fluid brush strokes of Renoir into movement.  Music by Simon Rackhan and liquefied movement will allow nine dancers to blend and weave through each other in a hypnotic manner.

Brianna Rivera’s ISPERITY investigates opposing physical states, vacillating between chaotic cacophony and sense of self. The six female dancers will embody dissonance, individual strength, and revelation: emphasizing the continual fight for the sense of individuality amongst the pressure to conform to societal standards.

Penumbra, a new work by Kari Schackmann, investigates the concept of shadows and their association with fear and uncertainty. Delving into psychological theory, surrealist art, and drawing inspiration from the striking imagery of film noir, the work explores the twisted nature of what is real and what is exaggerated, finding familiarity in pedestrian behaviors amongst the droning intensity.

Confinement is a feeling humans experience in their life one way or another. Deeply influenced by Assata Shakur and Maya Angelou, Taylor Sparks’ work (Un)Caged will portray the feeling of being confined and how each individual performer reacts when they are given the opportunity of freedom.

Inspired by George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984Hannah Wojszynski’s Doublethink Consequences uses six dancers to create a world overcome by a totalitarian regime. Through swift and strong movements and stark contrast lighting, she puts the audience inside the world of 1984 to witness how the individual’s personal identity is affected by the government’s control.

V E R S U S is the second event of the VCU Dance 2017-2018 Season. The presenting program of VCU Dance is committed to building and engaging dance audiences in the University and Richmond community while providing opportunities for artists to present and create work.

Funding for the 2017-2018 season is graciously provided in part by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. Recognized by professional dancers and choreographers as “a place where things are happening,” Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Dance and Choreography offers a vibrant and stimulating atmosphere where students prepare for careers in dance.