Class #2 Afro Jazz with Ann Brown Allen

Class # 1 Modern with Micki Taylor-Pinney

Dance Showcase 2012

Come join your fellow DTGers and BU community in a performance of works by Faculty and Guests of Boston University.

Friday, September 28th @8PM
Saturday, September 29th @8PM

Companies/Choreographers:
Aerialicious Entertainment/Gina DeFreitas
DanceVisions, Inc. /Margot Parsons
KAIROS Dance Theater/DeAnna Pellecchia & Ingrid Schatz
Lorraine Chapman The Company
Lynn Modell with Ann Brown Allen, Carlo Rizzo & Micki Taylor-Pinney
Boston Ballet II performing work of Igor Burlak and Jorma Elo

Lighting Design; Lynda Reiman

Tickets: $15, $13 for Boston Dance Alliance card holders, $10 for students and BU community
* Those who volunteer to usher will get to see the show for FREE. If interested, contact Dance Director, Micki Taylor-Pinney at mtaypin@bu.edu

Also, please join DTG for a lovely pre-show dinner at 6:30 both Friday and Saturday night at the Back Court of the GSU :)

Behind Visions 2012: “Perfection” by Micki Taylor-Pinney

Last fall, I recalled how many times I had heard my suburban neighbors tending their lawns. I thought of the patterns they made, mowing one direction and then another, and the sound of the machines – the mowers, trimmers, and the leaf blowers. Sometimes there were swarms of men mowing, raking, and trimming. And this goes on for months on end. While I don’t share this passion for the perfect lawn, I thought it might make for an interesting piece. Not all of my DTG dancers have ever mowed a lawn, but they’ve been getting into character with great zeal. After all, we can all see the fixation for the perfect lawn as a metaphor. In fact, I’m calling the piece “Perfection” and I’m hoping the slightly obsessive/compulsive behavior will be something that resonates with the audience. When it came time to costume the piece, the other two mentors questioned if the “Mad Men”/”Stepford Wives” inspired attire should be replaced with flannel shirts and jeans. But I opted to keep the formal costumes. Though it is bizarre to see the juxtaposition of the dresses with the mowing-inspired movement vocabulary, the tailored dresses and precise patterns are both examples of the quest to achieve a certain look. I hope those who love their perfect lawns won’t take offense.

Behind Visions 2012: “Hey I Like You Let’s Be Friends” by Gracie Novikoff

I’m not very good with words. So many times in my life, I have prepared a speech in my brain of exactly what I want to tell this one particular person. Sometimes it’s to say thank you, sometimes it’s to tell them how disappointed I am, and sometimes its just a never-ending rant. But alas, it never goes my way. I always stumble with my words or leave out parts I had flagged in my brain as critical. I have always strived to find a way to articulate myself. I never thought that choreographing would do this for me.

My piece for Visions 2012 will be my fourth and last (seeing how BU is insisting that I finally graduate). Each of my pieces have embodied a conversation that I wish I could have had with someone. Last semester, I choreographed a piece entitled, “it’s just a flesh wound”. The choreography, music, and lighting conveyed the overwhelming feeling of needing someone who simply isn’t there for you. It was my last-ditch effort to let someone know that they had broken my heart. Emotional? Well, maybe just a bit. But instead of ranting and screaming, throwing something and regretting it, my dancers expressed exactly how I felt through movement. Their bodies were tense, yet strong. By the end of the piece, you understood that they had been hurt, but that they knew how to carry onwards. Choreographing that piece was cathartic. It gave me a means to express what I could not verbally say. This creative outlet that Dance Theatre Group gave me was a monumental part of my healing process.

This healing allowed me to embrace my final semester of college as a time to enjoy what I have and the beautiful friends who have always been there for me. My piece this semester is called, “hey i like you lets be best friends.” It represents the thank you conversation that I wish I could have with the people who have gotten me through the last four years. They are the friends who I could rely on for everything from advice to midnight trips to get frozen yogurt. My dance this semester is essentially 5 duets, rolled into one (hopefully) cohesive piece. Each duet is a friendship, like the one you maybe had with someone in kindergarten. You don’t know why you are best friends, but it makes sense. It feels right. It’s silly and wonderful and you laugh so hard that you almost pee for no reason whatsoever. You could never really articulate to a best friend like that why you love them so much. It would be impossible to make a list of all of the reasons why they are wonderful. So, this is my thank you list. Thank you to the beautiful women who got me through the last four years. Thank you to Dance Theatre Group, for giving me a creative outlet and a means to articulate myself. I hope that you will enjoy Visions 2012, and find a piece or two that speaks to you in a way that words could not.

Behind Visions 2012: Becca Kaughman’s Concept

I thought of the concept for this piece as I was lookingback over my time at BU. As a senior, I feel my experiences and the people I’vecome in contact with helped to shape the person I have become. Sometimes, situations have a way of getting you down and this piece explores the struggleinvolved in overcoming these situations. I was able to work closely with mydancers to craft a piece which means something to all of us. I want to thankthem for all their patience, hard work and dedication.

Behind Visions 2012: “What the Funk?” by Megan Pisani

My piece this semester is all about having fun and letting out that funky, quirky self that we all have inside of use. In past semesters, I have drawn inspiration from very serious, personal experiences and while my initial inspiration for this piece comes from an emotional place, I have chosen to turn it into an all out dance party. During my audition last semester, someone told me how funny I was. I never really thought anyone except for me thought that I was funny because it was difficult for me to let that side of myself out around certain people. This year by surrounding myself with people who encourage my quirky ways, I was able to let that funny personality out and have the confidence to put it on the stage. I no longer care if people think I’m a fool because the people that matter to me support who I truly am—a quirky, funny person who isn’t afraid to be just that. It’s my last semester in DTG, so it’s about time I go out with a bang.

Behind Visions 2012: “Pull It Together” by Natalie Schiera

Being my last semester at BU and thus my last semester in Dance Theatre Group, I knew that I would forever regret not choreographing for Visions 2012. I didn’t know where to start, I didn’t have any specific subject matter or music, I just knew I had to request a space and rehearsal time for the piece that I will eventually figure out–this was in no way an easy road. I tried starting the process with general ideas about movement quality, but nothing stuck. It turned out that the music I found is what really set the ball in motion.

The song I chose is by Youngblood Brass Band, a jazz/hip-hop/punk brass band that I discovered in high school. The mix of Latin and New Orleans jazz gave rise to a movement quality and a loose concept that I determined as “marionette-esque.” I envisioned these dancers being tugged around by some master puppeteer as the dancers struggle to gain control. However, it wasn’t until I spoke to one of the faculty members, Brian Feigenbaum, that I realized that there is always a bigger picture. He saw the piece as relating to society’s tribulations and struggle to overcome them.  After overcommitting myself to a plethora of activities and responsibilities for most of my life, I realized the subconscious decision that I made for this piece.

In reality, choreographing the dance was a struggle to overcome in itself. I have been in DTG long enough to know what the faculty advisers look for, but applying them off the bat did not come naturally — especially with the short amount of time we have to work on these dances. I could work on this dance for a lifetime and still want to make changes, but that’s how the creative process works: you create, you alter, you create, you alter, etc. until you eventually settle.

Combining this clumsy choreographic process with the initial marionette concept and the more developed parallel to society led to the title choice-”Pull It Together.” I can happily say that I did this (eventually), and I owe so much of this to my dancers. I am so proud of them for putting up with my weekly rehearsals full of chaos and back pain.  I am excited for the dance to be complete with the costumes on, the lights set and an audience to watch it.

Behind Visions 2012: “The Seven Stages” by Kristin Wagner

There is a quote that I once saw, on Facebook of all places, that resonated with me deeply, and that now comes to mind as I begin to write about my experience choreographing this semester.  Kurt Vonnegut once said, “Go into the arts.  I’m not kidding.  The arts are not a way to make a living.  They are a very human way of making life more bearable.”  This last line struck me the instant I read it, sending a shiver up my spine.  Kurt Vonnegut read my mind.  I have been asked time and time again in professional interviews, “You are a hospitality student, so why do you clearly spend so much time dancing?”  I usually talk about how dance is good for your mind as well as your body, it has taught me to accept criticism well, and other such impressive and interview-friendly answers.  But Kurt Vonnegut knows why I really spend so much time dancing, and especially why I spend so much time choreographing.

Last semester I choreographed a piece entitled “(scream)” in an effort to deal with my various frustrations in my life at the time.  I believe anyone going through a major life change (for me it was the penultimate semester of college) could relate to that feeling of powerlessness, accompanied by intense anger.  In the four semesters I have choreographed for Dance Theatre Group, I have never created a piece that does not apply to my life in its current state.  This semester is no different.  “The Seven Stages” is deeply personal to me and the feelings I have been trying to deal with for the past year.  It does not only represent these feelings and experiences, but creating it helped me to deal with those feelings and experiences.  And that is the most insight into this piece that I will give you.

I personally do not believe in telling the audience the meaning of a piece, simply because I do not feel the audience benefits from this.  Viewing dance, just like creating dance, is a very personal experience.  The beauty of watching a brilliant piece of choreography is that you feel something very personal to you.  You may not know exactly what you are feeling or why, and you may not know if you “should” be feeling whatever it is that you are, but the best part is that it doesn’t matter, because there is no way to be wrong.  If I have choreographed successfully, then “The Seven Stages” will make you feel something.  I don’t know what that feeling will be.  Most people need to make a story out of what they feel.  I understand this completely, as I do it myself almost every time I view dance.  Most people also need to validate their story; they want to be told whether or not they were right.  If you are one of these people, then I would like you to know that I am completely sincere when I say whatever story you develop is right.  If you do not develop a story, but just feel an emotion, that is also right.  And if you do not feel anything, then you still are right.  In this last situation, the only person that is wrong is me, because I haven’t done my job.  I never want any audience member to walk out of this show feeling frustrated or stupid.  This concert is not a test of your intellectual ability, but rather a way for us to share our talents and ideas with you.

Kurt Vonnegut finishes the quote with the following, “Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake.  Sing in the shower.  Dance to the radio.  Tell stories.  Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.  Do it as well as you possibly can.  You will get an enormous reward.  You will have created something.”  Choreographing this piece has made my soul grow, and I did it as well as I possibly could.  I hope that it makes you feel something, and I don’t care what that something is.  I have created something.  I am excited to share it with you, and I am flattered that you will have dedicated six minutes of your life to viewing it.

-Kristin Wagner

Visions 2012

Visions is coming up soon! April 20th at 8pm & April 21st @ 4pm/8pm.

Check out the facebook event to get more information!

Visions 2012