At the peak of thesis craziness, many seniors are currently living in the depths of Olin and haven’t seen the light of day for weeks. Lucky for the Wesleyan community, six talented senior dance majors have thesis projects that extend beyond paper and make their way to the stage. Kate Finley, Elisa Waugh, Matthew Carney, Jiovani del Toro Robles, Lindsay Kosasa, and Kelsey Siegel will be showcasing their choreography in the ’92 Theater this weekend in the Spring Senior Thesis Dance Concert as part of their projects. This concert is the perfect representation of what four years in Wesleyan’s creative community can produce.
The six dances explore a range of styles. The musical accompaniment spans from sounds of static to Sarah Bareilles, and costume pieces transition from pretty, flowered dresses to checkered full-body suits. Each piece captures the unique point of view of the choreographer, and the show’s variety makes it all the more enjoyable.
The show will begin outside of North College, where Finley—along with Tess Jonas ’15 and Zoe Mueller ’13—will perform Finley’s dance entitled “Meat.” The dancers will become animalistic creatures right before your eyes as you watch them interact with the dirt and trees and contort their bodies past the point of seeming human. Any passersby will be lucky to view this artistic display right outside of Usdan.
Waugh takes a more soothing approach to her choreography, as she explores religion and spirituality in her piece, “An Offering.” The flowing skirts of her dancers accentuate their fluid movements, and the sensual use of hands conveys her message of giving and sacrifice.
“For me, in the most broadest sense, my piece looks at connection, the pain and beauty, the challenge and triumph of that,” Waugh said. “It also seems to play with the dialogue between individual life and communal life.”
Carney creates the choreographed version of a zombie apocalypse with “Desert[ed] Bodies (non-narrative, non-didactic).” Carney has recruited 24 dancers to bring his piece to life, making the impact of their pulsating movements appear regimented at times. The piece has an interesting contrast between these assembly line movements and featured solos, allowing the audience to focus on the impact of both many bodies and one.
Kosasa transcends the laws of physics in her piece, “Navigable Reverie,” in which she constructs believable illusions of the human body’s capabilities with only a wall and a video camera. The piece displays a beautiful sense of community among the seven female dancers as they reposition one another’s limp bodies across the stage.
“Stochastic Elements” by Siegel is an interesting combination of live performance and film. The dancers are all dressed in full-body suits that make them resemble a giant crossword puzzle that includes their faces. The choreography takes place in front of a film that contrasts ink and paper with nature and humanity. The dance has some elements of comedy, with an entertaining back-and-forth between two of the anonymous dancers during the intro. Each dancer displays astounding acrobatic talent throughout the piece.
Robles’ thesis project takes form in a video presentation entitled “Twerk: An Homage to Dance on Film Today.” The burlesque style of the film uses different camera angles to capture the movements of the body.
“My first inspiration came from an exploration of how dance is represented in popular culture, particularly through media, today,” said Robles about the project. “I wanted to see how and why today the byproduct of what we see on film related to dance is this form of hypersexuality.”
This unique collection of choreographed pieces provides for a captivating performance that should not be missed. To see the pieces in the flesh, as they are intended to be experienced, be sure to get your tickets at the Box Office in Usdan. Tickets are $4 for Wesleyan students. Performances will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday in the ’92 Theater.