Perceptions, Senior Dance Concert:
Senior Dance majors Natalie Shute, Brenna Mateljan, Roxanne Addino, and Kimberly McCormick present their senior project concert, Perceptions, on April 21, 2013. This capstone project, gives senior dance majors the opportunity to showcase their choreography to friends, family, faculty, and other performing arts supporters in the community.
Demonstrating the knowledge they have gained through their four years of study, senior dance majors prepare all year long for this one annual concert. Each senior who participates in the senior project dance concert is responsible for the choreography, choosing dancers, designing costumes, collaborating with a lighting designer, editing music, etc. for their individual pieces. Along with performance elements, the seniors are also responsible for marketing and advertising of the concert, program books, choosing a stage crew, and other tasks included in producing a show. Through this experience, these dancers truly learn how to successfully run a dance concert.
The concert, which the seniors chose to title, “Perceptions,” includes four 10-minute pieces and a special final performance by the senior dance majors.. When asked about the title of the concert, senior Brenna Mateljan said:
“As a group we were determined to find a title for our concert that incorporated each persons piece. Since each of our works are so different from one another, this seemed impossible. But after much reflection, we decided on Perceptions. Though one simple word, it is defined differently for each piece of choreography”
Perception of women in the workplace. Framework choreographed by Senior Dance and Business Administration major Natalie Shute, is based off of the idea of the glass ceiling in the workplace. Inspired by her love for dance and her interest in business, Shute took this opportunity to combine her four years of study in different fields to create a powerful masterpiece.
Framework is a visual representation of the cracking glass ceiling and the way in which opportunities for women in the workplace, while still not ideal, are quickly evolving. The isolation women feel when first entering the workforce, the constriction experienced when trying to achieve high ranking positions and the determination that women continue to have in breaking the barrier of gender inequality is shown through this non-verbal presentation. Shute uses five large wooden boxes which the dancers move in and out of throughout the piece.
Perception of chance. Dance and Communications double major, Brenna Mateljan uses the idea of creating by chance in her piece. Based on the workings and creative process of modern choreographer Merce Cunningham. Inspired by his use of chance operations, such as dice, coins, cards, maps, time, and many others, Mateljan created Chance Suite: Part 1, a piece where she allowed chance to decide the dance’s fate.
Merce Cunningham believed that music and dance could occur in the same space, but should be created separately. In an attempt to stay as true to his workings as possible, Mateljan only created the choreography for her piece. She had her music composed for her by a friend, Miles Wright, an engineering student at Penn State. Much like Merce Cunningham and his composer John Cage, Mateljan and Wright created independently of one another, with little knowledge of each others progress. Then at her final rehearsal, Mateljan played the music for the first time as her dancers performed. But to stay even more true to Cunningham’s workings, Mateljan did not have an opinion on her lighting design either. The first time lights will be set on the piece is a week before the show.
Perception of self. Roxanne Addino, senior Dance and Communications double major, based her piece off of the popular Communications theory of “Symbolic Interactionism,” or the looking-glass self. Combing her duel majors, Distorted Reflections, expresses this theory in relation to a dancer.
The looking-glass self theory stems from each person’s perception of themselves based on what he or she thinks other see within them. When talking about the theme of the piece Addino says:
“Because dancers are constantly judging themselves and comparing themselves to the images of other dancers, I have created a piece that depicts this inner struggle and the ability to overcome the insecurities caused by each person’s distorted reflection.”
Perception of multiple personalities. Many Faces, One Soul choreographed by senior Dance and Psychology major Kimberly McCormick, tells a story about a person living with Dissociative Identity Disorder, also know as Multiple Personality Disorder.
McCormick first became interested in this psychological disorder in high school after reading a book titled “Sybil,” a story about a person living with the disorder. To combine her four years of study in different fields, McCormick decided to create a dance based on this experience. Facing struggles such as disorientation and confusion, the main character is living with four other identities or personalities that come out.
Perceptions will be held in Samuels Theater at Cedar Crest College on April 21, 2013 at 2 p.m. Free admission into the concert and a reception afterwards in the Falcons nest for cast, crew, family, and friends! Please join us for an afternoon of dance exploring perceptions of women in the workplace, chance, self image, and dissociative identities disorder!
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