New Works Festival
The Theater and Dance Department’s New Works Festival took place this past weekend. Four performances over three days gave student collaborators and artists the opportunity to display their hard work. Performances included one act plays and original dance pieces by student artists, students doing independent studies in dance and students in dance classes.
Logan Hunter ’11 and Ellie McGuire ’13 performed the duet “Float” as part of their independent study on Saturday afternoon. The dance involved a great deal of physicality on the two dancers’ part, with leaping and lifts. The two would chase after one another, mimicking each others’ gestures.
Katie Ouimet ’11 performed her aerial dance piece, “Falling.” She was suspended 20 feet in the air as she wound through rungs of a ladder (see photo below).
The Collaborative Dance class performed “Defining Edges,” which was an exploration of space. The dance asked the dancers to move in lines through the stage space without showing emotion. When viewed from the orchestra seating, the dance was about layers of space, as the dancers lined up. But when viewed from the balcony, the dancers looked like a kaleidoscope.
The New Works festival also saw the premiere of Professor of Theater and Dance Annie Kloppenberg’s new work “Expert Witness,” with a professional dance group. The gestures evoked physical and sexual violence, and was both riveting and disturbing to watch. To see their bodies obscured by the curtains was almost like seeing mutilated bodies on stage. The dance lasted nearly 30 minutes.
The Festival also featured five short plays written, directed, acted and staged by students. Only Darlin’ Coree was written by Professor Emeritus Dick Sewell. Sewell’s play explores the intersection between romance and ethics.
Mike Trottier’s ’12 play Rot effectively used setting and lighting to explore the themes of reality and unreality and multiple realities. The writing was also strong, especially in terms of the color symbolism Trottier employed. The play featured an intense performance from Jack Harris ’12.
Other plays included Din/Raat by Ahmed Asi ’12, Stars by Shelley Kind ’13 and Office Hours by Michael Langley ’13.
It was a busy and creatively rewarding weekend for both audience members, student artists and for the department who supported them. Congratulations to everyone involved.