FAIRY DUST and FEVER DREAMS: 11 Questions with the Senior Dance Majors

TEXT BY: SOPHIA JENNINGS ('16) CREATIVE DIRECTOR

PHOTOS BY: MIRANDA ORBACH ('15), CONTRIBUTOR

As a friend (or perhaps, charity case) of the Wesleyan dance community I'm always curious as to how the majors choreograph their theses. When I stop them in Pi to ask, the seniors normally respond with sounds, nouns, or gestures. Notice the lack of adjectives and/or verbs. Yes, it can be heard to talk about choreographing. Even when you're used to writing lab reports like Stellar Levy ('15) or full length plays like Tess Jonas ('15).

Regardless, in celebration of this weekend's Senior Fall Thesis Concert (Thurs-Sat @ 8 in the 92), I caught the five choreographers late Sunday night before tech week. Check out the interviews below then head over to the box office for tickets.

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NAME: Tess Jonas PIECE: “inside voice” DANCERS: Eury German, Chloe Jones, Kehan Zhou, and myself. SOUND: John Butler Trio with recordings of my home family and this dance family. WHAT I TELL MY PARENTS IT'S ABOUT: Performativity and spectatorship in interracially adoptive families. WHAT I'M WORRIED IT'S REALLY ABOUT: Moths. FIRST PIECE OF INSPIRATION: My younger brothers. IT CHANGED AFTER: I read J.M. Barrie's original version of Peter Pan. IT FEELS LIKE: Playing with cake, fairy dust, and yo-yos. IT LOOKS LIKE An open field in Wakefield, New Hampshire on a clear August evening around 9:27 PM. Also, Neverland. TIMES I'VE CRIED: 3. # OF INJURIES: 4. YOU SHOULD SIT in the 5th row.

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NAME: Min Suh PIECE: "Fever Dreams" DANCERS: Ella Israeli, Ari Kaufman, Rick Manayan, Mika Reyes. SOUND: DSKK, The Housemaid Soundtrack. WHAT I TELL MY PARENTS IT'S ABOUT: Pain from political and medical perspectives. WHAT I'M WORRIED IT'S REALLY ABOUT: Crying until you throw up. And cuddle puddle! FIRST PIECE OF INSPIRATION: Rain. Brain. Pain.  IT CHANGED AFTER: The last rehearsal before tech week. IT FEELS LIKE:  A ritual. IT LOOKS LIKE: Elves. TIMES I'VE CRIED: 0 so far but that can change this week. # OF INJURIES: Approximately 30 floor burns and scratches. YOU SHOULD SIT wherever. 

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NAME: Miranda Orbach PIECE: "reconfigured // form" DANCERS: Talia DeRogatis, Lakisha Gonsalves, Rebecca Hutman, Claire Marshall, Jillian Roberts, and Nora Thompson. SOUND: Yann Tiersen, Philip Glass, Philip Glass Ensemble, Michael Reisman. WHAT I TELL MY PARENTS IT'S ABOUT: Women's bodies, deformity, ballet, the early American freak show. WHAT I'M WORRIED IT'S REALLY ABOUT: Vaginas. FIRST PIECE OF INSPIRATION: Ballerinas and Freaks/Politics of the Body/Training/Policing our Bodies /The Ballet as a kind of Freak Show.  THE POINT WHERE IT CHANGED: When I realized it was about FORM + DEFORM and the ways we are all simultaneously formed and deformed. IT FEELS LIKE: My Fierce Dancers are Watching You / Maybe someone should be wearing combat boots. IT LOOKS LIKE: A Creepy Music Box on Steroids. TIMES I'VE CRIED: Crying as I write this... # OF INJURIES: Worried that this may jinx me (knock on wood). 0? YOU SHOULD SIT in the 2nd row [or closer than you normally would...]

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NAME: Stellar Levy PIECE: tbd DANCERS: DeNeile Cooper, Rachel Fox, Ari Markowitz, Hibiki Mizuno, Alexis Moh, Andrea Schindler, Rachel Weisberg. SOUND: DJ Tr!p, Eriq Robinson, Helios.  WHAT I TELL MY PARENTS IT'S ABOUT: Somatics and cyborgs. WHAT I'M WORRIED IT'S REALLY ABOUT: RENT and super early Sunday mornings.  FIRST PIECE OF INSPIRATION: Puss in Boots: Can You Empathize?  THE POINT WHERE IT CHANGED: Still changing.  IT FEELS LIKE: Oobleck thrown against a wall and confused. IT LOOKS LIKE: Take the grass out of field, the building out of structure, the human out of people. TIMES I'VE CRIED: 0!!!!!!!  # OF INJURIES: Few bruises.  YOU SHOULD SIT in the third row, to the left... (what?)

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NAME: Ibironke Otusile PIECE: "Imọlẹ" DANCERS: Bridget Adarkwa and Olayinka Lawal. SOUND: Silence. WHAT I TELL MY PARENTS IT'S ABOUT: Dance and Disability; specifically blindness. WHAT I'M WORRIED IT'S REALLY ABOUT: Tiny waists. FIRST PIECE OF INSPIRATION: My lack of eyelashes. IT CHANGED AFTER: I realized I can wear false eyelashes, if I chose to, which I haven't yet but this goes deeper than hairs stemming from my eyes. Some people really actually can't see, talk less of admiring false lashes. IT FEELS LIKE: Going off the edge but thankfully Marco Polo always saves the day. IT LOOKS LIKE: Two lab rats running around a maze. TIMES I'VE CRIED: I don't cry. # OF INJURIES: Zero. YOU SHOULD SIT anywhere you choose.