From March 15-19, LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican’s Junior class traveled to Scottsdale, AZ to participate in the American College Dance Association’s (ACDA) West Conference. They presented a work by choreographer and BFA alumna, Liv Schaffer. Check out this awesome recap of their experience and read more from Liv and BFA Junior, Alisha Ragon, who premiered her own work for the first time during the informal concert series at ACDA.
Liv Schaffer, Choreographer/Alum Class of 2013:
I made the work Can I get your number? as a way of cultivating a webbing of connectivity between the audience witnessing and artists performing. The work included a platform for community building via dancers starting conversations with their peers at ACDA, which was imperative to the work’s success. This layering on and off stage gave reflective opportunity on how we communicate with each other both in the moment of the work’s performance, as well as the during the surrounding interactions throughout the conference.
The art which the class of 2017 presented at ACDA was not reserved for the stage and adjudicators, but instead began with the moment they arrived on conference campus. It required students to be thoughtful on how they walk, talk, take class, order lunch, and absorb newness. It required them to locate the gap of disconnect in our competitive dance culture, and make active choices to address, change, or lead by example to creatively fill or step up. In a way, I see the work as more of an installation of time, versus space, that spanned from March 15th-19th…not quite fitting into ACDA’s 12 minute time limit. It is a piece that doesn’t present a persona on stage, but instead spreads a specific culture through the masses regardless if it is time for our performance slot or not.
Through this experience and process, I am fueled by the metamorphosis within the junior class. I love feeling like I can literally see their ideas and values shifting by the way they invest in movement and interact with instruction. I felt drawn to create opportunity for them to mess with our habitual proscenium experience, and therefore guide students towards illuminating their own definition of dance making and witnessing. I wanted them to see the creative process from a new angle, especially as they plan to embark on their own senior projects next year. So, to keep our own conversations and discoveries going, we generated footage on film from our experience at ACDA that I spliced together as another way of suggesting that the play never ends, that creativity is continuously churning even when at rest. Hoping to propel students to understand that when the curtain goes down, the artist remains; and when the piece is over, the work is never done.
Alisha Ragon, Student Class of 2017:
Being a junior in the Lines BFA program, I have seen and experienced many choreographic processes. Going into the conference, I had a loose structure of what I did and did not want out of my process. My cast of nine dancers and I put the piece together very rapidly. It was nerve-racking, but invigorating to work so fast out of necessity. We put together the 7 minute dance in just about 8 hours, with the bulk of the work occurring at the conference itself. When we gathered to perform the piece, I felt as though we really came together to produce. I will definitely choreograph again. The entire process gave me this alive, vibrant, conquer the world feeling. I think it’s why I’m here.