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End of the Year Performance Must Go-See’s

Hello! As the year wraps up and people begin to leave Ann Arbor the online performance opportunities are not quite through yet! Here are the links to some to keep your eye out for!


Dance Mix:

Traditionally Dance Mix is an evening performance in the Power Center with about 8 dance groups. Each group gets to performance two dances or sets on stage. All of the dancers participating claim Dance Mix is the christmas of dance performances because it is THE BEST time of the year. This year they found a way to bring dance mix to everyone since performing on that large of a scale is just not feasible. The video was directed and edited by the amazing Emma Zordan. Please take a look at all of the hard working teams.


Dance Department Senior BFA Concerts:

Again, there are usually four performances spread out throughout the entire year for the senior dance majors to present their capstone projects. However, the dancers have created a website to share each of their works. The three shows are available through Monday May 3rd. It is free to watch!


Dance Department Power Center Performance:

The Dance Department annually presents works of faculty members and invited choreographers. The show is not available yet but if you follow the SMTD Facebook page they will be sure to post about the show and update their followers on the availability.


Musical Theatre Senior Send-Off:

Again, the senior send-off will be premiering after graduation, keep your eye out on the Facebook for when it becomes available!



Godspell is a musical that some of the musical theatre students have adapted and performed it for the screen! The choreographer for this adaption is a senior musical theatre major.


Be sure to follow the Facebook and Instagram pages for UmichSMTD to keep up to date with the upcoming performances.

We Are Queens Music Video #7

We Are Queens is at it again. They have created another music video bringing artists together in a time of isolation and uncertainty in the community. The organization received submissions from all over the world to come and be a part of this amazing experience, they received submissions from artists in Canada, UK, and Germany. The final cast consisted of dancers from right here in Ann Arbor, California, New York, and finally Wales.

The team consisted of one creative visionary (the person who planted the seed and the entire video is based on), the choreographer, and nine dancers. We Are Queens was also joined by the amazing Morgan Harrison, the professional mentor of the project who provided advice throughout the entire experience and a free master class to the team. Not to mention the We Are Queens executive team backing the entire project.

The idea behind this music video was mental health, or more specifically, celebrating the little things that remind you of the beauty in life. With the choreographer being in New York City the dancers were incredibly talented and hard-working, they learned the entire choreography through a video and performed it in front of the camera less than a week after learning it. The videographer and editor did an incredible job as well, including the dancers that were virtual and recorded themselves doing the choreography separately.

All of the dedication and passion from each member of this team is felt as you watch this music video. I highly recommend watching this and the other videos We Are Queens has produced thus far. In addition to raising money for She’s The First, We Are Queens is also supporting a new organization IGYB (I Got Your Back) a mental health organization raising money and awareness on mental health and the JED foundation by creating really cool merchandise.


She’s The First:

We Are Queens Website:

We Are Queens Music Video:


Basement Arts SLUT Premiere

on March 20th the premiere of SLUT streamed through the Basement Arts website. Slut ​is an all-female written, produced, directed, and performed play about how our society and culture allows sexual violence to exist and ultimately thrive. Just this past month women have come forward and told their story of sexual assault and unfair power dynamics against one of the most popular Youtube stars of our generation. The scenes depicted in the play are all based on true events and therefore may be a trigger to some.

The play originally written by Kate Cappiello has been further adapted into a Netflix series called Grand Army. The play follows Joey del Marco, a sixteen-year-old girl who is sexually assaulted by her three friends one Friday night. Using her interviews and reactions from her peers, family, and friends the play dissects and showcases the way slut-shaming, victim-blaming, and objectification are present in our society and affect justice to survivors. 

The ability to view the online play is completely free so the organization has asked those who are able to, to donate to a few hand-picked non profit organizations. Both of the organizations aim to end domestic abuse and sexual violence in the Wayne and Washtenaw counties.  These organizations also provide resources if you or someone who is a survivor of sexual assault or abuse.

First Step –

Safe House Center –

Director: Alexandra Lee

Assistant Director: Tiara Partsch

Cinematographer: Maddie Davidson

Stage Manager: Karalyn Hood

Dramaturgical Team: Leah Block, Carly Cooper, Alyssa Melani, Simone Clotile Headd

Outreach Team: Alix Curnow, Clara Dossetter, Andrew Cekala, Mackenzie Mollison

The Cast

Joey: Mackenzie Holley 

Natalie: Sofia Angelopoulos 

Christina: Niki White 

Grace: Shea Faraday 

Danielle: Kaila Pelton-Flavin

Jane: Claire Vogel 

Leila: Theresa Dvorocsik 

Dominique: Victoria Vourkoutiotis 

Julie: Tiffany Crosbie-Walsh

Anna: Olivia Fras 

Sylvie: Emilia Vizachero


After watching this play my heart goes out to those who feel as if they cannot come forward due to the fallout that Joey experienced, or come forward and experience similar backlash. This play was completely student directed and produced, seeing students come together to produce an amazing and meaningful production despite the lack of performance opportunities this year is extremely hopeful and inspiring.

Encore Company Spotlight

Encore is a hip hop student run company here on campus. In a normal year they perform at bar nights, other company shows as guest performers, and Dance Mix. Bar nights are exactly what they sound like. The company performs a set at a bar and asks other companies, traditionally hip hop companies to perform at the bar night as well. A set is a dance that is about ten minutes long and is curated of about six choreographed dances, essentially it is like a music mash-up but for dance. This year their company, like many others have operated differently. I was able to meet with one of the presidents, Dana Dean, and ask her how Encore has been affected and how they have preserved.

I know that Dance Mix is still occurring this year, it is just looking a little different, so keep your eyes open for that wonderful performance!

Cadence Dance Company

This past year I was elected co-president of a dance company here on campus, Cadence Dance Company. I have been on this company since my first semester of college. Students on campus may not realize this, but there is a huge dance community here at Michigan. Each year the calendar is packed with performances, bar nights, and the largest event of the year: Dance Mix. The companies were largely impacted by the pandemic, obviously- we were forced to practice outside, online, and socially distanced.

Cadence traditionally has one showcase in addition to participating in Dance Mix. Unfortunately this year, we were unable to have the traditional showcase as expected. My co-president and I decided still create works, however, they will be recorded and turned into concept videos, and starting in April we will begin to release them on the Cadence Instagram and Youtube. This allows us to still be an active team and work towards something, yet still feasible for the situation.

Cadence as a whole is filled with hard working, talented individuals, and no I am not biased. With the uncertainty this year has presented our team was consistently flexible and ready to adjust to whatever was thrown our way. We would often practice outside in the cold, or change practice location last minute, and we even last minute record our piece before leaving for break. Throughout it all our team has been eager, helpful, and positive. We would not have survived this year without them.

This past week we released a dance that we rehearsed and recorded first semester. The dance was choreographed by the incredibly talented Claire DiFranco, and performed by the whole Cadence team. As I said before we last minute decided to record this piece before break. As break began to approach so did the COVID cases, and the school then broke all of its housing contracts with the freshmen. Leaving many of our freshman with no choice but to stay home second semester, consequently taking them out of the company until fall 2022. We really wanted to have one piece with the entire team, even if it meant we were not able to rehearse it and clean it to the extent that we usually do. The weekend  before everyone left for break, we all get tested and recorded Claire DiFranco’s piece outside in the cold for five hours. The entire team was extremely positive and flexible with the last minute filming schedule and undesired weather.

It was such a pleasure to see it all come together that day. I was truly thankful to be surrounded by such incredible artists. Claire and I have had to adjust and find new ways to share our passion in a time of social distancing, however, we have thought outside the box and our team persevered, because of this we have something to show for all of our hard work. Make sure to keep an eye out on the Cadence social medias for the release of more works starting in April!

Claire Vogel- SHE

Claire Vogel is a third year acting major from Athens, Georgia in the school of music, theatre, and dance, she is also minoring in playwriting and dance. She recently created a very moving work entitled SHE. This work was created in support by the Basement Arts here at Michigan. This organization is a student theater organization that is an outlet here at the University to allow students to create, develop, and produce theatre works. This organization is available to all students here at Michigan. They are producing multiple shows throughout this semester, you should definitely go check them out! 

I have the amazing opportunity to work with Claire in class this semester, and have heard about her creation process for SHE a small bit, however, after watching the hour long incredible work I wanted to the opportunity to sit down and ask her questions about the production, concept, and editing processes as well.

What inspired you to create SHE, and what is the story behind it? “In quarantine, I began writing lots of poetry about the contradictions I was feeling in my own femininity. Those poems were the germ of an idea that grew into SHE. Going in to the process for SHE, I knew I wanted the piece to simply be a presentation on ideas of what a woman experiences, rather than any linear storyline.”
What was the creation process like during a time of COVID? How did you navigate rehearsals? “All our rehearsals were via Zoom. We spent a large amount of the rehearsal time on focused free writes, for example, “you have 20 minutes to write about how you experience anger/relationships with food/relationships with other women, etc…” and then the conversations that came out of sharing what everyone had written. I actually think Zoom may have been helpful to our process, because we were so often referencing many documents at once. I also think myself and the cast all felt very close very quickly, and were willing to open up and be vulnerable. I think this may have been aided by the fact that everyone was in the comfort of their own homes, and felt distanced in a way that made sharing difficult or personal experiences easier.”
What was the filming process like? “When I processed SHE to Basement Arts I knew that a short film was the medium that would be best for what I imagined. Because so many ideas were covered in just over an hour, I think a film gave us the opportunity to very quickly set scenes and moods, in a way that may have been difficult in a live performance medium. Many of the sequences were self taped by actors in their homes. For the in-person filming, we split filming between University spaces and peoples own homes, depending on people’s comfort level. All the actors and the crew were tested within 48 hours of filming, and remained masked unless they were actively performing. I couldn’t have accomplished the final product I did without the help of three fabulous film students, Kaley Mooney and Lara Graney who did a good amount of our filming, and Rachel Ienna who helped me complete the final editing of the piece.”
Did you have a clear idea, or as you began to collect footage did the story begin to come together? “I’m a very visual person in terms of creating. All my writing comes from very clear things I see in my head, so many images were set in stone from the very beginning of the process. For example, the image of a woman running towards the beautiful lit up Michigan Theater on State Street, only to be engulfed in a celebration with a group of women dancing in the street was an image I knew I wanted before the first rehearsal, but many of the sequences in the piece were ideas that everyone collaborated on throughout the rehearsal process!”
What was your favorite part of this process? “Oh god, working with these incredible women!! I told the nine of them in our first rehearsal that if all that comes of this project is a couple hours a day for a group of young women to discuss whatever the hell they want, I will be satisfied, and we really did that. It’s incredibly comforting to know that the things that you’re struggling with or wishing you had more of or wondering about are things that people around you are thinking about as well, you just need the space to share them!”
What does the title mean to you and why is your work entitled SHE?  “For the title, I wanted something simple that centered the subject matter I hoped to focus on without making it seem romantic or flower-y. Because the piece is about the female experience, SHE seemed to be perfect.”
What was an unexpected obstacle you had to overcome when creating this work? “Because we couldn’t film more than one person unmasked at a time, due to Covid procedures, we had to be creative with creating group sequences that could be filmed individually and be edited to look as if they were together. I think it challenged us to think differently about what together-ness can look like.”
What can we expect to see next from you? “I will be performing in Basement Arts’ production of Slut premiering March 19! I also choreographed a short film titled Emotional Creature, featuring the women of the Senior acting class that will be premiering March 19th!”
Here is the link to watch this work. I recommend you take the time to sit down and really watch it!