April 12, 2019

Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance presents something happens in between

The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance at Princeton University will present something happens in between, an original production choreographed by Princeton seniors Lauren Auyeung and Esin Yunusoglu. The combined performance showcases the distinctive voices of two artists with unique choreographic questions, yet brings together their shared curiosity for the human body in action. Performances will be held April 25 at 8:30 p.m., April 26 at 8:30 p.m., April 27 at 2 p.m. & 8:30 p.m. at the Hearst Dance Theater at the Lewis Arts complex on the Princeton University campus. The performances are free and open to the public; however, advance ticket reservations are encouraged.

Cast of senior Lauren Auyeung’s “Over-Exposure,” part of the movement exploration performance something happens in between. Photo by Felicity Audet

something happens in between represents Yunusoglu’s and Auyeung’s independent theses in the Program in Dance. The show consists of two parts, “Fail-safe Summit,” choreographed by Yunusoglu, and “Over-Exposure” choreographed by Auyeung.  Both choreographers are motivated by their interest in exploring movement potentials and group dynamics. Yunusoglu’s piece presents a group of people relating to each other and finding ways to move together in a space with its own peculiarities. Her process incorporates impulses and creativity from each performer. With improvised sections, each iteration of the piece is different from the others. Auyeung’s work begins in the world of a hip-hop dance battle, following five individuals as they experience forces of competition, confrontation, and insecurity from their surroundings. As the context dissolves, the individuals are left to experience and explore the visceral forces of human interaction in isolation. This work is an investigation and celebration of movement, using the human body as both the means and the message.

Auyeung is from Chicago and concentrating in architecture. Inspired by the physical virtuosity of hip-hop and urban dance, she seeks to investigate the movement vocabularies of hip-hop in abstracted form, reinterpreting them through her own creative voice. Her current work draws from her training in a variety of dance styles, interrogating the boundaries between movement practices and physical aesthetics.  She ultimately hopes to contribute to the concert dance world by including the vocabularies, bodies, and experiences of dancers from underrepresented communities.

group of dancers

Cast of senior Esin Yunusoglu’s “Fail-safe Summit” part of the movement exploration performance something happens in between. Photo by Hudson Cooke

Yunusoglu is from Ankara, Turkey, and concentrating in philosophy. Since the first dance class she took at Princeton, she has been drawn into improvisation in dance and the possibilities it creates for unconventional movement and interactions. “Fail-safe Summit” is an attempt at framing how a group of people inhabit a space with its own rules, while also finding ways to negotiate group dynamics. A big portion of the piece is structured improvisation, which facilitates real-time decision-making and problem-solving. The piece invites the viewer to be curious and confused about the imperfections, mess, and chaos that happen along the process of moving together, spontaneously. More than anything, notes Yunusoglu, the piece celebrates trust in collaboration — between the choreographer and the performers, among the performers, and between artists of different media.

The student cast includes juniors Aleksandra Kostic, Jhor van der Horst, Sofia Bisogno, Serena Lu, Marshall Schaffer, Cooper Young, and Owen Wheeler, and sophomores Noa Wollstein, Rachel Mrkaich, Leila Ullmann, Phoebe Warren, Liam Lynch, Nina He, and Runako Campbell. Lighting for the production is designed by guest artist Tess James. The production stage manager is Mary-Susan Gregson. Rebecca Lazier and Susan Marshall are the project’s faculty advisors. For Yunusoglu’s section, the musical accompaniment and composition are provided by Jenny Beck, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Music, and supported through funding from the department and Princeton Sound Kitchen. Musical composition for Auyeung’s section was created by Ryan Wolfe.

To learn more about this event, the Program in Dance, and the more than 100 other performances, exhibitions, readings, screenings, concerts and lectures presented each year at the Lewis Center, most of them free, visit

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Steve Runk
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