My MFA thesis concert, Strange Loops, was the culmination of over two years of choreographic research into human consciousness. Douglas Hofstadter’s book Gödel, Escher, Bach was my starting point for the question: How does human consciousness emerge from discrete, repetitive building blocks? I designed mutli-surface projections with the help of mentor and professor Tim Glenn, and built a three-part work that is rooted in movement derived from the mechanistic biological functions of individual neurons, and increased in choreographic complexity from there, zooming up and out to end (almost) where we started–a single human, trying to make sense of the world.
The Queen of Nori
In April 2019 composer and pianist Ian Guthrie approached me about creating a narrative ballet. I just so happened to have a libretto handy, and we have been building The Queen of Nori ever since. Set in an original fantasy world, QoN asks what happens when people in positions of power make bad decisions out of fear, and explores the physicality of magic through contemporary ballet. Our proof-of-concept process happened in Spring 2020, and unfortunately the performance was cancelled due to COVID-19.
in a sleepier century
Composer Isaac Barzo approached fellow MFA Ben Howard and myself in spring 2018 to collaborate on the world premier of his 20-minute ballet in a sleepier century. After a whirlwind rehearsal process, the piece premiered in the Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theater on November 10th, 2018 with live orchestra conducted by Daniel Smith. The music and choreography use shape and repetition to explore loss and progress.
Act VI Pas de Deux
Fellow MFA Ben Howard and myself began talking about humor and gendered expectations in classical ballet in Fall 2017. Talking turned to studio time, and Act VI Pas de Deux premiered in April 2018 as part of the FSU Days of Dance adjudicated concert series. We designed and built the costumes ourselves, using the pieces in conjunction with the choreography to explore whether or not there is inherent humor in a gender-swapped performance.
Photos by Megan Helman