This semester has been filled with many performance opportunities, and here are some highlights from the past three months:
November: “Well of Pearls”, OSU Department of Dance Big 5-OH Motion Lab (MOLA) Performance
I had the honor to work with visiting guest artist André M. Zachery, artistic director of Renegade Artistic Group, on a new work for the OSU Dance Department’s Big 5-OH! It was such a wonderful experience to work in collaboration on this multimedia work and so great to work with the best cast in existence! I took a course last year that introduced me to multimedia performance techniques and the many possibilities that the Motion Lab offers, and it was great to see all the elements of dance + motion capture + graphics + sound + text + audience interactivity work together in this work. I loved that I was able to perform in a space where the audience was included in the performance. We performed this show 32 times, yet each show was unique because the audience and their energy gave weight to the outcome. What a great experience – I couldn’t have asked for anything better for one my last shows of senior year!
October: “From the Ground Up: A Night of Interactive Dance” with Hixon Dance
In August, I joined the Columbus dance company, Hixon Dance, and it has been great to get professional experience dancing in a company while still in my senior year of college. It is also great to be able to grow in such a supportive environment and with an amazing group of dancers. For my first show with the company, I performed a solo excerpt from an older piece of repertory titled “Sarabande”. I felt honored to have been trusted with such a challenging solo both musically and movement quality-wise as my first time performing with the company. The concert also included our “Mad Libs” of dance, which was built off of improvisation and audience participation. Audience members gave improv scores to the dancers and musicians, and that led to the creation of the dances for the evening. I have a newly-found love for improvisation, and it was so fun to be put on the spot and actually engage with audience members in a dance performance.
September: “Madama Butterfly” with Opera Columbus
This was my first time performing with an opera company and what an incredible opportunity it was to work with so many talented artists and experience this new performance world. This opera was a contemporary interpretation of Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. The story told the tragedy of a woman who was abandoned by the man she loved. My role as a dancer was a supporting role to the lead Cio-Cio San (Madama Butterfly) and was a major role in helping translate the Italian libretto into the more universal language of dance. One thing, that was also really cool, was that our dancing incorporated American Sign Language as a tool to narrate provide inspiration to movement. Many nights of rehearsal had culminated into two shows at the beautiful Southern Theatre in downtown Columbus. The process challenged me in many ways, and I can definitely say that I have grown so much as an artist through it. Hopefully, I will get a chance to perform in another in the future!