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Dance, light, media come together in Confluence

December 6, 2016
two dancers on stageFrom left to right: Nicole Gorski '19 and Anna Alden '17. (University photo/J. Adam Fenster)

Collaborative and multidisciplinary dance works feature students, faculty, and guest artists

The Program of Dance and Movement will present a series of shows on Friday-Saturday, December 9-10, featuring students, faculty, and guest artists in new collaborative and multidisciplinary dance works exploring social issues in the aftermath of the 2016 election.

Among the highlights of Confluence: A Concert of Light, Dance, and Media, are premieres by Rose Pascarella Beauchamp, Missy Pfohl Smith, and Anne Harris Wilcox, as well as by two of the first students to graduate from the University with a major in dance.

Pascarello Beauchamp will present Letters from Other, a media, design, and dance collaboration with her husband, lighting designer Benoit Beauchamp, and artist Erin Mayfield. Pascarello Beauchamp teaches full time in the Program of Dance and Movement and directs the dance company InFlux Dance.

Smith and media artist W. Michelle Harris will share Fallout, which they developed with students as part of a dance performance workshop. The work blends choreography, text, and projected media to explore conversations and responses surrounding the recent election. Smith is director of the Program of Dance and Movement and artistic director of the Rochester-based dance company BIODANCE. Harris is an assistant professor in interactive games and technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and in-residence at the University in both dance and digital media studies.

dancers holding another dancer aloft

(University photo/J. Adam Fenster)

Anne Harris Wilcox will reprise Veritas, a dance inspired by James Morrow’s book, City of Truth. Wilcox is a senior lecturer in the Program of Dance and Movement, artistic director of the dance company Present Tense Dance, and founder of the education company Active Learning Games.

Also performing are Caitlyn Gilmore ’17 and Zhonghui Sun ’17, who are among the first students to graduate from the University of Rochester with a major in dance.

Gilmore will premiere Living, Breathing, Screaming, a work exploring her experience with depression. “Due to the stigma surrounding mental illness and treatment for it, I felt forced to learn how to survive everyday life with depression. I think that experience fueled both my choreography as well as the concept for the performance as a whole,” says Gilmore about her work.

Sun will premiere Black Swan, on the theme of overcoming disability. “Everyone is disabled in some way,” says Sun. We might be “afraid of something or unwilling to face something. But suffering this pain and trying to overcome the fear is also a joy for our life.”

Other student performances include two collaborative works by Anna Alden ’17, Sarah Bjornland ’17, and Charlotte Pillow ’19. They explore the physicality behind female gender conceptions, the social constructions and cultural expectations that result from those conceptions, and how they influence the lives of women in contemporary society.

The event will also include a work by Minsoo Kim ’17, Solitary Solidarity, on the themes of individualism and community.

Performances: Confluence: A Concert of Dance, Light, and Media

  • Friday, December 9 at 8 p.m., Spurrier Dance Studio, River Campus
  • Matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 10

Tickets are $7 for the general public and are available at the Common Market in Wilson Commons or at the door. The event is sponsored by the Program of Movement and Dance at the University of Rochester. For more information, visit or call the Program of Dance and Movement at (585) 273-5150.

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Category: The Arts