Senior Concert 2023
Senior BFA students present their capstone projects, which paint an engaging and captivating picture of their experiences and time at Ohio State.
ADMISSION IS FREE, but an online reservation is required and an online donation is appreciated. We suggest donating $5 (or $500!) to one of our funds that helps our students and department do its hard work. Choose one that aligns most with what you’re interested in or choose all three! Thank you.
- The Dance Innovation Fund – helps with theatre, film, and digital technologies equipment and growth;
- The Dr. Melanye White Dixon Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fund - helps support initiatives and projects for equity and social justice;
- The Chair’s Discretionary Fund – helps with student needs, special opportunities for faculty and students, and emergency funds.
If you want to reserve a seat for the BFA Concert performances in the Motion Lab, please visit:
Let's Play! Motion Lab>>>
Photo and video: Katie O'Loughlin
“ADA: Advocating for Dance Accessibility,” by Devon Brown looks at the intersection of dance and disabilities regarding representation, treatment and acceptance of people with disabilities within the arts. Brown interviewed dancers who relate to this experience to increase awareness and advocate for accessibility while lifting them up in the process.
“A Body in Motion,” by Abby Buchanan explores the overlap between rehabilitation and dance movement. Buchanan’s solo embodies the ideas that can result from participating in dance movement therapy, exploring stability, kinesthetic awareness and increased mobility of the body.
“Tag! (you're it)” by Madison Burris began as an exploration of how connections are cultivated with one another. Through months of process, Burris and the dancers found that reconnecting to the softness of childhood brings excitement and laughter that ultimately enables them to dive deeper into each other. The piece resembles a nostalgic time where things felt light, helping us realize that that ephemeral joy of being still exists inside of us. We are every version of ourselves, even the ones that feel out of reach. Let’s go play tag and laugh until our stomachs hurt.
“Tsunami,” by Emma Carver investigates how martial arts practices can complement dance and how the two practices interact with one another in the same space. Carver practices wushu, aikido, and kenjutsu and experiments with how subtle differences between them connect in performance. She worked with her partner to transcribe and arrange Kishi Bashi's "Violin Tsunami" for a live string ensemble.
“Functional Footprints,” by Vivian Corey demonstrates the results of her scientific study of the effects of a mat Pilates training program on dancers' active turnout and pelvic stability. These dancers participated in a nine-week training program that targeted muscles that contribute to dancer turnout, or external rotation of the legs. They were measured weekly for their angle of active turnout, and they also completed pre- and post-training motion capture sessions to quantify changes in pelvic stability. While this research could have concluded simply with a research paper and presentation, the motivation for this study was to improve dance movement effectiveness and efficiency, and what better way to demonstrate those things than through dance performance?
“From One to Two,” by Leila Hill asks how she can take her solo choreography and focus it towards two people. She collaborated with a musician to make an original composition, pushing the norms of what is done on the piano while combining that with an original track to enhance the dance.
“My Body. My Instrument,” by Alyssa Jagodzinski studies the function of the human skeletal system and its connectivity through joints and pathways. Jagodzinski’s research expands on the kinesthetic knowledge she gained with her own body structure and explores how it can inform her internal and external choreographic process and movement sensations.
“Rock, Paper, Scissors,” by Sophie Kussman, has roots in her passion for museum spaces. Through embodied research and play at museums around Columbus, Kussman gathered information on how the kinesthetic body can be a tool to experience and understand. In collaboration with her cast, the dancers unpacked their discoveries and used them to inform a choreographic process, leaning into topics such as agency, kinesthetic memory, informal vs. formal spaces and storytelling. Ultimately, this piece reveals that our lived experience and human nature show up everywhere if we are open to seeing it.
A process-based distinction project that dives deeper into exploring the human experience and natural world through structured improvisation, “Ebb & Flow: The Nature of the ‘Unnatural,’” by Abbey Malec-Kenyon asks how do these things intertwine as one ecosystem? What is nature? What is natural? Movers will work together to cultivate an immersive experience for themselves and observers, investigating and playing with these ideas in the performance space.
“Introspection: A Project on Self-Exploration,” by Sam Marszalek asks, "what disciplines make your body move the way it does and why does it look that way?" Marszalek captured individuals' moments of vulnerability and authenticity in a different country, Denmark, and other unknown spaces and recorded how the difference in environments influences their moods and movement. She documented her research in a film format which later helped her transform a traditional performance space into the spaces and locations her dancers experienced. The final product is a short display of the intense but rewarding self-explorative journey they all encountered during this project.
“Caberet,” by Kamryn Oplinger, which focuses on the choreography side of musical theatre dance and finding the joy throughout this process.
Structured as a TED Talk, “Movement IS Medicine,” by Estee Serbin, discusses her journey with body dysmorphia. Serbin is developing deep connections between sports medicine, the sport of bodybuilding, and the art of dance. Her work was made to create an understanding of the body and its physical limitations, if any, to break the barriers to push to levels that haven’t been reached before.
“Untitled,” by Lacy Slaats, which balances a variety of movement textures and influences, while being driven by constant fluctuations in tempo. Improvisation plays a key role in Slaats’ movement generation process, and she is curious what natural tendencies also show up in the work she sets on others.
What sparks joy for you? This was the driving question for “Joy is…” by Allison Smith as they were seeking to create something stemming from our own authentic selves. We made a world inspired by these sparks, and we are continually in the process of exploring and discovering this world. We invite audience participants to enter this world with us, where time slows down, where we have agency to listen to ourselves and follow our playful impulses. The hope is that in this world, we can make space for our joy.
"Always remember the past for therein lies the future. If forgotten, we are destined to repeat it.” Clancee Synco created “Dancing Between Redlines” to commemorate the beauty and complexity of Southern Black dance culture. This study examines the way in which segregation, political events, and other factors played a role in the lives of dancers during the Civil Rights Era in Birmingham, Alabama, that influenced the way in which current structures of the dance community have evolved because of actions. Synco thanks Donna Edwards Todd and Jacqueline Lockhart for sharing their stories and serving as the basis for this project.
“Por Mi Corazon” or “For My Heart,” by Lexi Valentin shows the process of her choreographic study that centers ideas of lineage and identity. This piece takes you along the journey of her two grandmothers, Maria Castelo and Eugenia Valentin. These women immigrated and migrated from their prospective countries of Cuba and Puerto Rico for a better life. Without her grandmothers coming to the United States, Valentin would not have the same access to the opportunities she has today. She is forever grateful for their courage and bravery to be able to leave a life they knew for a life they deserved. Whether you understand the Spanish language or not, please enjoy the passion and promise behind her grandmothers’ voices as they share their stories and experiences with us.
The duet “A Whole Lot of Something,” by Aya Venet explores various extremities in movement. Through a collaborative process, the dancers defined different modes of extremities by exploring the extents of things such as speed, space and proximity. Once these modes were established, they created improvisational scores to further explore these different modalities and solidify movement sequences. This became the foundation for this piece.
“Two EyEz,” by Kaniya Webb analyzes the audience’s aesthetic and how they react in a possibly uncomfortable environment. This piece considers the audience’s personal aesthetic when watching dance and challenges it to new levels of deep thought. Using a fusion of hip hop and contemporary movement, Webb asks her dancers to explore and express their internal mind through what makes them comfortable and uncomfortable as a mover.