Dancing to a Different Tune

freshworks 2021

2021 concert includes film screening, streamside performance

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

The Dance Theatre Group (DTG) propels its Freshworks concert into new places and mediums this year. The two-act program, which explores a wide variety of themes, begins with a film screening and concludes with an outdoor performance at the nearby LeTort watershed.

The spring senior concert presents work created by student-choreographers the class of 2021: Jadyn Brick, Espoir DelMain, Emily McFerran and Sarah Scarbrough. Performances are Friday, April 23, through Sunday, April 25.

The concert begins with a short film in Mathers Theatre. To ensure socially distant conditions, only select seats will be available; colorful figures, fashioned from recycled political signs by Professor of Theatre Sherry Harper-McCombs, cheerfully occupy the unreserved seats. The film highlights a variety of locations, on and off campus.

Brick, a dance major and the 2021 co-winner, with Kristen Kim ’21, of the Emil R. and Tamar Weiss Prize for the Creative Arts, uses Dickinson’s campus as a backdrop for choreography exploring the nature of generosity and the dynamics of give-and-take. McFerran (biochemistry & molecular biology, dance) depicts the drama and power of natural forces in her original work, filmed in various locations, including Carlisle’s Thornwald Park. Scarbrough (psychology, dance) tackles body image. Her work deploys mirrors and special effects to blend a performance shot in downtown Carlisle’s Cubiculo black-box theatre with dances that fellow students filmed in their homes.

After the film screening, dancers will lead a small group of audience members to the nearby LeTort stream, a short walk from campus. There, an environmentally themed work will be presented along the bank of the stream.

Titled (re)source, the outdoor performance was choreographed by DelMain (environmental studies, dance), who seeks to bring Dickinsonians and community members together to explore their relationship to the LeTort watershed, a valuable part of the local ecosystem, and the site of experiential learning, student research and conservation efforts. “Inspired by the motion and cycles of water as a blueprint of how to build a reciprocal relationship with our place,” DelMain writes, “we use our bodies to explore these patterns and retrace the paths to the source of our existence—water.”

As Director of Dance Sarah Skaggs notes, these dance majors had a tall order to fill this year, as they not only prepared senior projects as dance majors but also worked out a way to safely present their work in the midst of a pandemic. "They came here to study dance, and in their senior year, they've become not only accomplished choreographers, but savvy filmmakers too," she says. 

Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, April 23, and Saturday, April 24, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 25. Free, reserved tickets are required for this event.


Published April 20, 2021