Presented by the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance on
April 30, 2021, at 8:00 PM
Choreographer: Enver Ramadani ’21*
Editor: Enver Ramadani ’21*
Videographer: Enver Ramadani ’21*
Music: Enver Ramadani ’21*
Dramaturge: Lily Akerman
Dancers: Yolore Airewele ’21*, Molly Gibbons ’22*, Samantha Grayson ’21*, Ive Jones ’24, Zi Liu ’24*, Samantha Liu ’22, Julie Shin ’22*
In “i.me”, several dancers in solo vignettes perform experiences of navigating emotion and loss set to a soundtrack drawn from interviews with the cast. The work explores the volatility of being: how the pull into intimate, internal headspace challenges and complicates awareness of the physical, pedestrian self.
Thank you first and foremost to my advisors and consultants, Susan Marshall, Lily Akerman, Daniel Madoff, Mary Jo Mecca, and Vince di Mura for their continued patience, expertise, and wisdom. This project would have been nothing without your guidance. Thank you to my cast for putting trust in me and being a part of this process — you are some of the most brilliant and talented dancers I have ever known and I have become better for it. Thank you to BodyHype Dance Co. — you are my family and have helped me grow in ways I never expected. And finally, thank you to Elizabeth Alleva for introducing me to the world of dance and to Dr. Judith Hamera for reminding me that I belong in it.
— Enver Ramadani
Empty Your Head
Choreographer: Liam Lynch ’21*
Editor: Liam Lynch ’21*
Videographers: Liam Lynch ’21*, Nina He ’21, Zi Liu ’24*
Sound Design: Ryan Wolfe
Dancers: Liam Lynch ’21*, Nina He ’21, Zi Liu ’24*
Empty Your Head is a reflection on Lynch’s relationship with his grandfather, who has dementia, and the questions of memory, identity and subjectivity that his condition gives rise to. The piece tracks the transformation from a structured reality to a world in which context slips away.
Thank you to my cast, Nina He and Zi Liu, for being so open-minded and free with me on countless hours of Zoom and in person rehearsals. Thank you to my friends and roommates for the constant emotional support (and physical support of helping me move furniture). Thank you to my advisors, Miguel Gutierrez and Susan Marshall, as well as the rest of the incredible staff of the LCA for all of their work in making my ideas a reality. Thank you to Ryan Wolfe for bringing my movement to life with your sounds. Finally, thank you to my family for their unconditional love which has fueled me over the past year.
— Liam Lynch
Choreographer: Sophie Blue ’21*
Editor: Alexander Deland ’21
Videographer: Alexander Deland ’21
Music: George Rettaliata ’21
Dancers: Sam Grayson ’21*, Margaret King ’22*, Naomi Benenson ’23, Leah Emanuel ’23*, Emma Wang ’23, Natalia Lalin ’24
“əˈfem(ə)rəl” explores the intimacy and strength of the female moving body, as captured by the simultaneous choreography of the camera. Seeking to offer the audience a new lens into the dance, the highly prescribed usage of videography works against “objectifying” or “feminizing” the bodies and moving of the full female-identifying cast. Developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, this piece served as a centralizing site of movement production amidst social isolation, embodying the here and now of our times. Spelled phonetically, “ephemeral” visually nods to the feminine implications of the piece and its meaning refers to the fleeting yet impactful nature of this short COVID-19 period of time on dancers.
A big thank you goes out to my incredible dancers; you brought this piece to life. Sam, Leah, Naomi, Margaret, Emma, and Natalia, thank you for moving and grooving with me all year and never giving up on me and my creativity, even over Zoom. To my loyal and talented co-collaborators Alex and George, you visually and sonically brought my vision to life. I could not have done this project without your creativity and endless support. To Susan, Rebecca L., Mary-Sue, Miguel, Judith, Rebecca S., Tina and all the staff and faculty in the Dance Program, thank you for shaping me into the dancer I am today and making this thesis, amidst all the logistical obstacles of this past year, a reality. Also, a final thank you to the Adam family for funding and granting me the Alex Adam award, without which neither of my theses would have been possible.
— Sophie Blue
*denotes a student earning a certificate in the Program in Dance
The screening will be followed by discussion with the artists.
PRODUCTION + DESIGN TEAM
Costume Consultant: Mary Jo Mecca
Music Director: Vince di Mura
Film Production Manager: Daniel Madoff
Event Stage Manager: Mary-Susan Gregson
Faculty Production Advisor: Tina Fehlandt
Preshow Music: Daniel Johnson, Wesley Rast, Vince diMura
Event Host: Miguel Gutierrez, Hearst Choreographer-in-Residence
Stream Master: Matt Pilsner
Stream Associate: Torrey Drum
LEWIS CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Chair: Tracy K. Smith
Executive Director: Marion Friedman Young
PROGRAM IN DANCE (2020-2021)
View all faculty and guest profiles »
Tina Fehlandt, Acting Associate Director, Spring 2021
Judith Hamera, Professor
Rebecca Lazier, Associate Director, Senior Lecturer
Susan Marshall, Director, Professor
Netta Yerushalmy, Princeton Arts Fellow
Laurie Abramson, Ballet
Lauren Auyeung, Hip-Hop
Sherry Greenspan, Somatic Pilates
Adam Hyndman, Musical Theater Dance
Elaine Matthews, Ballet
Kathleen Moore Tovar, Ballet
Vince di Mura
PRODUCTION AND ADMINISTRATION
View all staff profiles »
Producer: Darryl Waskow
Production Manager: Chloë Z. Brown
Production Stage Manager: Carmelita Becnel
Resident Musical Director/Composer: Vince di Mura
Assistant Stage Manager: Rob Del Colle
Costume Shop Manager: E. Keating Helfrich
Assistant Costume Shop Manager: Julia Kosanovich
Draper: Caitlin Brown
Technical Director: Timothy Godin
Assistant Technical Director: Jesse Froncek
Theater Technician: Torrey Drum
Lighting & Stage Supervisor: Matt Pilsner
Props Master: Allie Geiger Khanna
Scenic Artist: Melissa Riccobono
Master Carpenter: Michael A. Smola
Sound Supervisor: Kay Richardson
Dance Program Associate: Cindy Rosenfeld
Physical Therapist: Claudia Wohl
Director of Communications: Steve Runk
Multimedia Specialist: Zohar Lavi-Hasson
Visual Communications Specialist: Tracy Patterson
Web & Multimedia Strategist: Jonathan Sweeney
Communications Associate: Jaclyn Sweet
Communications Assistant: Hope VanCleaf
SOPHIE BLUE ’21* (Student Choreographer) is an Anthropology major receiving certificates in Cognitive Science, Gender Studies and Dance. While at Princeton, Sophie continued to actively develop herself as an artist and a leader within the arts community on campus. She maintained a deep involvement in the dance program, diSiac Dance Company and Princeton University Ballet. In 2019 she founded Trenton Youth Dancers as a fellow for the Trenton Arts Fellowship, working to expand the accessibility of dance. Her dedication to arts outreach and enrichment at Princeton and beyond has fueled her passion for serving leadership positions such as President of diSiac Dance Company (2019) and President of Princeton’s Performing Arts Council (2020). Over the summers she has interned in the Dance Division of the 92nd Street Y and for working artists Sidra Bell and Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener. Sophie is immensely grateful to all her mentors in the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Dance for shaping her into the dancer and person she has become over the past four years.
VINCE DI MURA (Resident Composer/Musical Director) has appeared on concert stages and theaters throughout North America, Canada, Europe and Latin America. He has conducted theater seasons in virtually every region of the United States. He is best known for his arrangements of My Way: A Tribute to the Music of Frank Sinatra, Simply Simone, and I Left My Heart, (with over 900 productions nationally). He is also the author of A Conversation With The Blues, a 14 part web instructional series on improvisation through the Blues produced by Soundfy Inc. He holds fellowships from the William Goldman Foundation, Temple University, Meet the Composer, CEPAC, the Union County Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Puffin Cultural Forum, and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. He has six CDs on the market including his most recent release, Meditations on the Sacred Heart. He is currently engaged in a collaboration about the Great Migration with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Yusef Komunyakaa. The new work is slated to premier in 2021 and was commissioned by the Jazz Disciples.
MARY-SUSAN GREGSON (Stage Manager) has worked with Princeton’s Program in Dance since 2012. Recent credits include Gabriel Kahane’s 8980: Book of Travelers, Lincoln Center’s Global Exchange: Art for Good, A Proust Sonata for Da Camera Chamber Music, Narcissus Now Festival for the Onassis Cultural Center, Sufjan Steven’s Round Up and Gabriel Kahane’s The Ambassador, both at BAM. At The New Victory Theater she has stage-managed over twenty shows in the last 20 years and spent 20 summers production coordinating for Lincoln Center Festival. She has production managed Divinamente Festival and the New Island Festival on Governor’s Island. New York shows include Dance Africa, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, The Gate, BQE, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, The Jazz Nativity, Breaking the Code and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Regional credits include McCarter Theatre, Yale Rep, Williamstown, The Huntington, and the White House. She has toured with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Elisa Monte, Jennifer Muller, Pilobolus and internationally with Forbidden Christmas starring Baryshnikov.
MIGUEL GUTIERREZ (Host) is a choreographer, composer, performer, singer, writer, educator, and advocate. He is Princeton’s current Hearst Choreographer-in-Residence and a member of the Program in Dance faculty for 2020-21. Gutierrez’s work has been presented in more than 60 cities around the world in venues such as the Centre national de la danse, Centre Pompidou, Festival Universitario, ImPulsTanz, Fringe Arts, Walker Art Center, TBA/PICA, MCA Chicago, Live Arts Bard, American Realness, and the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Gutierrez is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including support from MAP Fund, New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, NPN, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and United States Artists. In 2016 Gutierrez received a Franky Award from the PRELUDE festival and has received four New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awards. He is a 2016 Doris Duke Artist.
LIAM LYNCH ’21* (Student Choreographer) is a senior in the Department of Philosophy, pursuing certificates in the Program in Dance and in German language. His movement practice is primarily rooted in the techniques of hip-hop, house, popping and waving, but he has also been inspired by the wide range of contemporary styles he has studied in Princeton’s dance program. In his work, he attempts to weave together his disparate influences into a unique, individual mode of physical expression. On campus, he was the Artistic Director of diSiac Dance Company (2020) as well as an Outdoor Action leader and volunteer for Big Sibs and Trenton Youth Dancers. He credits the importance of the campus dance community in his development, which he notes has supported him and fueled his growth over the years.
DANIEL MADOFF (Film Production Manager) has created several award-winning films which have screened worldwide, as well as commercials for national television. He has directed, edited, shot, and/or produced content for The New York Times, BBC America, Grey Goose Vodka, BMW, Dewar’s Whiskey, Michelob Ultra, Dermalogica, People Magazine, The Empire State Building, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Trisha Brown Dance Company, Celebrity Series of Boston, Princeton University, SUNY Purchase, East Carolina University, BRIC Media Arts, among others. Daniel was a dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 2007 until its closure in 2012. He served as Director of Media for the Merce Cunningham Trust during Cunningham’s centennial celebration.
MARY JO MECCA’s (Costume Consultant) work includes Nicole Wolcotts’ Luggage Lost at Triskelion Arts; Ellen Cornfelds’ Raw Footage; Aaron Landsman’s Empathy School & Love Story at Abrons Art Center; Joanna Kotze’s Find Yourself Here at Baryshnikov Arts Center; Liz Magic Laser’s Like You; Laura Petersons’ Forever at The Kennedy Center; Rashaun Mitchell’s Tesseract, Interface at Baryshnikov Arts Center and Nox at Danspace Project; Rebecca Lazier’s There Might Be Others at New York Live Arts, Coming Together/Attica at the Invisible Dog and I Just Like This Music, Terminal; Zvi Gotheiner’s Bear’s Ear, Detoura, Escher/Bacon/Rothko, Surveillance at New York Live Arts, Sky and Water at the MUSA! Festival; Jody Sperling’s Time Lapse-Fantasy at Danspace Project; Laura Peterson Dance’s Atomic Orbital and traceroute; and Barkin/Sellisen Project’s Differential Cohomology. Mecca has designed for the Theater and Dance Programs at Princeton University since 2009. She studied Couture Design with Miss Alice Sapho of Paris and New York. Creator of the Sippi, a social distance Drinking Mask.
ENVER RAMADANI ’21* (Student Choreographer) is a senior in the School of Public and International Affairs studying counterterrorism policy and strategy as well as receiving a certificate in the Dance Program. During his time at Princeton, he has been in several dance productions including senior thesis works and department performances. He is also very involved in the student dance group community and is the current Artistic Director of BodyHype Dance Company.