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FLEET, A Collaborative Senior Dance Thesis featuring choreography by certificate students and the performance of works by Christopher Wheeldon, Adam Barruch and Rebecca Lazier

Event Information


Friday, November 30, 2012
8:00 PM

Saturday, December 1, 2012
2:00 PM & 8:00 PM

Berlind Theatre
McCarter Theatre Center
91 University Place
Princeton, New Jersey

In the News article

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance will present FLEET, a collaborative senior thesis dance concert showcasing new choreography by certificate students along with repertory by professional guest choreographers and faculty, on Friday, November 30, at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 1, at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m.   The students will perform works by internationally acclaimed choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, staged by Jeff Edwards, New York-based choreographer Adam Barruch, and faculty member Rebecca Lazier, in addition to new dances by seniors Alta du Pont, Christina Campodonico, Emily Francis, and Lindsey Rose Augero-Sinclair with excerpts of works-in-progress by seniors AJ Brannum and Lisa Einstein.

The dance certificate program requires students to undertake a rigorous course of study that includes courses in modern, contemporary, ballet, experimental and African dance techniques, repertory, and choreography, along with performance opportunities which include a major Spring Dance Festival held in February.   FLEET is an additional opportunity for the students to collaborate on producing their own choreography and work with professional choreographers. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate with award-winning lighting designer Aaron Copp and costume designer Mary Jo Mecca.

Senior Emma Zorensky rehearses “What She Likes,” a solo excerpted from the ballet, “There Where She Loved,” by Christopher Wheeldon, with Jeff Edwards, former associate artistic director of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, who staged the excerpt.
Photo by M. Teresa Simao

“This is an incredibly talented group of seniors,” states Susan Marshall, “and they have put together an exciting evening of dance performance, many using live musical accompaniment directed by the Lewis Center’s fantastic musical director, Vince di Mura.” 

Christopher Wheeldon’s “Spring,” a pas de duex, and “What She Likes,” a solo, both excerpted from the ballet, “There Where She Loved,” will be performed by seniors Daniel Cohen and Mary Balzar (duet) and Emma Zorensky (solo).    Balzer, Cohen and Zorensky were first exposed to the work of Christopher Wheeldon as freshmen when they were enrolled in Professor Tina Fehlandt’s course Approaches to Ballet.  Wheeldon was resident choreographer at the New York City Ballet from 2001 through 2008 and is a former dancer with the NYCB and the Royal Ballet, London.  He has created works for the San Francisco Ballet, the Royal Ballet, London, the Bolshoi Ballet, and Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company.  Jeff Edwards, former associate artistic director of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, staged the excerpts on the students. The piece, which will be performed with live music, is a lyrical, sultry work set to songs by Kurt Weill and Frédéric Chopin and was originally choreographed for the Royal Ballet in London. 

A new work by choreographer Adam Barruch explores the concept of time and its differing meanings and emotional responses.  The dance will be performed by seniors Courtney Crumpler and Gretchen Hoffman who met and worked with Barruch when he was a guest choreographer for the Dance Program’s Spring Dance Festival in 2012. Barruch’s choreography has been presented at Dance Theater Workshop, City Center, and NYU/ Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, among other venues.

Each year the Program in Dance presents a work featuring all the seniors as performers. This year Senior Lecturer in the Program in Dance Rebecca Lazier has staged an excerpt of her company’s repertory, “I Just Like this Music.”  The music, Pytor Tchaikovsky’s  Serenade for Strings , will be performed live ina unique arrangement for four-hands, one piano, in addition to a toy piano. According to Lazier, “The romantic and consonant score provides a backdrop of expectations and ideals to question how a dance can subvert sonic expectations, clichés, and pervading paradigms of movement and musical syntax.”

Work created by students includes “Bright Steal” by Alta du Pont, which explores stories and short films, while playing with literary structures and emotional arcs. Music is composed by Vince di Mura and performed by students from Princeton’s Department of Music.  As a psychology major, du Pont notes that she wanted to explore human nature and emotions through dance.   She explains, “ʽBright Steal’  is about my experiences, but it is also about being a part of something that is bigger than yourself, exclusion, joy, guilt, tragedy and the fire inside of each of us that pushes us forward.” 

In “Evensong” Christina Campodonico draws on her experiences as a member of Princeton’s University Chapel Choir and a summer studying abroad at Oxford, where she was inspired by the gothic architecture and the sung Anglican services she heard coming from these sacred places.   “I was immediately fascinated by and attracted to this kind of musical worship,” explains Campodonico, “and wanted to figure out how chants, rhythms, and choral swells could be replicated in movement and incorporated into an original soundscape specifically geared towards dance.” The live music includes a combination of percussive instruments, choral music, and vocalists.

Emily Francis’ “Entropy” is based on the concept of falling into and out of states of equilibrium.  The piece will utilize a slackline, a taught, flat rope on which the dancers attempt to balance.  “I became interested in this idea of falling off balance when learning how to stand and walk on a slackline last spring,” notes Francis. “When you finally find balance on the line, it is exhilarating; however, losing balance happens in an instant, as if you never achieved a state of balance at all.  I wanted to represent this concept visually through dance.”

LindseyRose Aguero-Sinclair will present a work she developed in Marshall’s and Joseph Scanlan’s “Muscle Memory” course this fall, which focuses on the intersection between sculpture and performance. Scanlan is the Director of the Program in Visual Arts.

Excerpts of other student work-in-progress by Lisa Einstein, AJ Brannum, Katy Dammers and Sarah Simon will also be performed. These works will be presented in their entirety in performances in the spring.

Tickets for FLEET are $15 general admission, $10 for students and seniors, and are available through the McCarter box office at 609.258.2787 or on-line at , through Princeton University Ticketing by calling 609.258.9220 or on-line at , or at the Frist Campus Center Ticket Office.

Link to photos:
Photo caption 1: Senior Emma Zorensky rehearses “What She Likes,” a solo excerpted from the ballet, “There Where She Loved,” by Christopher Wheeldon, with Jeff Edwards, former associate artistic director of Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, who staged the excerpt.
Photo credit: Photo by M. Teresa Simao
Photo caption 2:  Seniors rehearse for FLEET, a collaborative dance thesis featuring student choreography and performance of works by Christopher Wheeldon, Adam Barruch and Rebecca Lazier.
Photo credit 2: Photo by M. Teresa Simao

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