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Dance students explore evolution processes in capstone performances

'Dance Transitions: Cumulus Twenty-Two' showcased the choreographed pieces from 12 students


Graduating bachelor of fine arts students with a focus in dance presented their capstone performances in a combined show called "Dance Transitions: Cumulus Twenty-Two." 

Inspired by nostalgia, community bonding, energy transfer and more, dance students' studies culminated in their capstone projects this past weekend.

This past weekend at the Margaret Gisolo Dance Theatre, graduating bachelor of fine arts students with a focus in dance presented their Spring 2022 capstone performances in a joint project titled "Dance Transitions: Cumulus Twenty-Two." 

The show featured contemporary, lyrical dance pieces from 12 students and each choreographer performed their project in two parts over a two-day period. 

Lauren Jimenez, a senior studying dance, said the 12 unique works in the show provided a platform to help launch the dancers' future careers.

Jimenez choreographed her piece, "Disturbing The Tendency Towards An Equilibrium" after finding inspiration at the start of the pandemic and from an admiration for the innovative music of Janis Joplin and Frank Sinatra. 

"I found this constant theme in my life of endings, and having a lot of regret and nostalgia associated with said endings," she said. "My work has a very specific theme of time and how the idea of an ending is going to happen no matter what, and there’s nothing we can do about it."

For Takela King, a senior studying dance and team lead of the ensemble, inspiration for her composition came during the first peak of the pandemic. 

"I was really inspired by how everyone was coming together and creating these safety pods of people that they could go to at this time when we weren’t allowed to be around each other," King said. "It made me just question how communities are built and why they were built, and how they can be a selfish means towards preservation."

King and Jimenez sought to find ways in which their own personal struggles reflected problems penetrating the world at large.

Stricken by the influx of energy crises plaguing the globe, choreographer and senior dance student Faith Markovetz decided to approach her own work through a scientific perspective.

"I was really interested in looking into concepts of energy and matter and how I could find correlations between those concepts within a science viewpoint, and then translate them into a creative aspect that can be utilized in dance," Markovetz said. 

The show not only provides an outlet for performers, it is a great way for the ASU community to come together and enjoy themselves, Jimenez said.

"Art, and specifically dance, is so important because it gets rid of the divisiveness that our country is often experiencing," Jimenez said. "Dance is a universal place that everyone can understand and get something away from."

King said this performance exemplifies what the dance program has to offer. 

"There are 12 unique artists that showcase 12 different lessons that they've learned here at the program, and you get to see what we're all working on," King said.

After having to shift to virtual performances for the past few semesters, King said the program is trying to push more live shows, and students are even starting to push boundaries and incorporate interdisciplinary work such as theater and art into their performances.

"Our students are just hungry to get out there and contribute something to the field of dance," Jimenez said.

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Devon Mendrzycki Echo Reporter

Devon is a junior studying management. 

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