I Dreamed a Dance: Photolocation and Point Blank

Published on: February 24, 2013

Ronald Gerber

The Daniel Arts Center saw a double-bill of dance theses on Saturday, Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 10. Caitlin Murphy ’09 and Julynn Wilderson ’09 presented their final performances, called Photolocation and Point Blank respectively, in the McConnell Theatre and the upstairs Dance Studio, one directly after the other.

Murphy’s thesis, Photolocation, was a thematically complex piece set curiously simply. It featured four dancers – Gemma Gearhart ’10, Grace Rossman ’11, Tara Turnbull ’10, and Murphy – who weaved across McConnell’s stage carrying out similar motions that were often staggered to give the group a sense of a domino effect. The dancers were free to move on and off the stage throughout the piece, which lasted roughly 13 minutes, but only Rossman had a solo. The dancers all wore green tops and black pants (aside from Murphy, who wore a long green, glimmering dress), which contrasted the gorgeously subtle blue and yellow lighting. After the performance, Murphy explained the lighting to be the primary driving force for the piece.

Wilderson’s thesis, Point Blank, was a carnival-like, three-dimensional affair. The “Artist’s Note” in the program described it as dealing primarily with the idea of memory. As the audience moved upstairs to the Dance Studio, performers Sage Cammers-Goodwin ’12, Avery Mauel ’10, Heather Meehan ’10, and Dat Nguyen ’09 were already moving in and around the complex set, and were joined by Wilderson once everybody had their seats on pillows and blankets spread around the room. The set included mirrors and veils, and unlike Murphy’s piece, Wilderson’s thesis crossed into other arts. The spoken word, shadow play, and translucent costuming – done by Elliot Kang ’12 – constituted an art of their own.

Members of the Simon’s Rock community received both theses warmly, and the talk-backs that followed each piece – in which the audience got to speak with the creator and performers – were thoughtful and insightful. It was a memorable experience to add to Simon’s history of performing arts.