March 14, 2019

Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance presents 10 people, 4 things

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance at Princeton University will present 10 people, 4 things, a collaborative senior dance concert showcasing new choreography by two seniors in the program, as well as the performance of new works by guest choreographers, on Thursday, March 28 and Friday, March 29 at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 30 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The four performances will take place in the Hearst Dance Theater, located on the Forum level of the Wallace Dance Building at the Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton campus (122 Alexander Street). The students will perform new works by acclaimed choreographers Shannon Gillen and Loni Landon, as well as perform new works by seniors Sicily Kiesel and Sarah Varghese.

seated dancers

Seniors in the Program in Dance who will be performing together in a new work by choreographer Shannon Gillen in the dance concert 10 people, 4 things. Photo by Felicity Audet

The dance certificate program requires students to undertake a rigorous course of study that includes courses in modern, contemporary, ballet, experimental, urban, and African dance techniques, as well as choreography, dance theory, and history, and participate in performance opportunities including the annual Dance Festival. The dance certificate is pursued in addition to a student’s major area of study. 10 people, 4 things is an opportunity for seniors to collaborate on producing their own choreography and to work with professional choreographers, professional lighting, and professional costume designers to bring their vision to life.

An untitled new work by Sarah Varghese explores the dynamics of conversation. Inspired by her experiences with vulnerability and openness in relationships, this work explores the sometimes complicated interaction of conversation — what one chooses to say or not to say and what one says to whom and when. In her work she asks the question: can we repeat something so often that it begins to lose its meaning and emotion? Varghese is majoring in computer science and pursuing certificates in statistics and machine learning, in addition to dance.

Sicily Kiesel, an English major pursuing certificates in dance and gender and sexuality studies, explores the intricate relationship people have with their bodies and how medical trauma or violence towards the body may radicalize this relationship. Drawing from her own personal medical experiences with a congenital heart defect and scoliosis, as well as body theory and philosophy, Kiesel’s dance probes one overarching question: what does it mean to inhabit a body?

The student dancers in these two new works are senior Ariel Fonner, sophomores Jane Brown, Gabby Chapman, Erica Dugue, Phoebe Warren, and Noa Wollstein, first-year student Tori Edington, and graduate student Peter Wang.

Professional dancer and choreographer Loni Landon will stage a new solo work, seeker, on senior Elena Anamos. An excerpt from a larger piece with the working title seeker, the solo features movement motifs and language from the larger work. Landon’s movement aesthetic is highly physical, dynamic, and challenging, while simultaneously delivering a seamless, effortless execution and dynamic shifts of energy and raw emotion via a dancer’s contribution of their own emotional currency. In tandem with innovative choreographed dance movements, all of the elements fuse together in an inseparable bond where one cannot exist without the other because of the interconnectedness of the forms. Anamos is majoring in English literature and pursuing a certificate in dance.

Seniors Lauren Auyeung, Yasmine Eichbaum, William Keiser, James Jared, Lillian Wilkins, Michelle Yeh, and Esin Yunusoğlu, along with Varghese, will perform a new work, Outland, created by Vim Vigor Dance Company choreographer Shannon Gillen in collaboration with Jason Cianciulli and Kiley Dolaway. The seniors have been working on the staging of the piece since the beginning of the fall semester. Outland delves into uncanny territory that is at once remote and familiar. The performers move towards and away from each other, constantly creating and destroying a sense of understanding. The piece suggests that one can think they know, that they can trust their own eyes, but then their other senses betray them. Unabashedly physical, each performer in the piece slices, squeezes and thrashes through space, aiming to leave some fleeting shadow or imprint of existence.

Gillen is a current Lewis Center for the Arts’ Hearst Choreographer-in-Residence at Princeton and will be presenting an informal showing of another new work-in-progress with her company Vim Vigor on March 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearst Dance Theater. This event is free and open to the public.

Professionally designed costumes and lighting for 10 people, 4 things are by Mary Jo Mecca and Aaron Copp, respectively.

Tickets are $10 students, $12 seniors, $12 general admission in advance; $17 general admission day of the event. Tickets are available through University Ticketing online, by calling 609-258-9220, or at the door on the night of the performance.

For more information on this event, the Program in Dance, or any of the more than 100 performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, and lectures presented annually by the Lewis Center for the Arts, visit

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