MFA Dance Performance: J. Lindsay Brown and Jessica Post
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (April 4th, 5th and 6th), two MFA candidates in the Dance Department will showcase their long-time-coming theses. I will be there for several reasons. One of which is that I love watching student dance performances, no matter who is dancing. And two, because these two lovely ladies are both instructors of mine. J. Lindsay Brown (who is crouched ever so gingerly in the tree on the left) teaches a Composition/Improvisation class and Jessica Post, the lady in pink on the right, teaches Body Conditioning. Both are productive and challenging courses in all the right ways, though very different from each other. By the sound of it, that’s very how these two dancer/choreographers are, so their collaborative performances will be dynamic and interesting to watch.
Lindsay’s piece is an extension of her undergraduate BA performance, where she explored fairy tales and the untold stories behind them. Through an independent study of German and other European fairy tales, she gathered inspiration and channeled it into movement. Imagining what Rapunzel’s heavy hair must feel like, or Sleepy Beauty’s groggy slumber, Lindsay choreographs a piece that tells age old fairy tales in an unexpected way. And unike many classic stories, this narrative features the female character instead of shunting her to the side to stand prettily in the shadow of the Knight in shining armor.
Jessica’s performance, called “Moving from the Inside Out,” is less theatrical than Lindsays’, and perhaps more athletic and physically oriented. As a somatic study, this dance explores how different bodies perform the same activity, or how the same movement looks different on every body. Using movement techniques which she perfected in her study abroad in Vienna, Jessica designed a three person piece that forces an interaction between muscle and mind. About her process, Jessica said, “It was not enough to make a dance just about movement, I had to include the mind and spirit as well. A new question emerged: “How does one continuously shift between a quest for optimal and idealized movement and the reality of daily stresses and the messy nature of the human condition?”
One thing about this performance that is anomalous to most is the stage. The first piece will be performed by three people (some undergraduate dancers) on a three sided stage and the second will be performed by four dancers on a four sided stage. This non-traditional space reflects the boundaries that will certainly be pushed by the concepts and the movements addressed in these theses. Both Jessica and Lindsay will both perform in their choreographed productions alongside the dancers with whom they spent months collaborating.
Each evening, the show will be held in The Betty Pease Dance Studio in the Dance building. For more information, check out the press release. The show starts at 8pm but $5 tickets sold at the door go fast so get there by about 7pm if you mean business. Enjoy the show and see you there!