The School of Dance is sending two student works from their recent Days of Dance performance to the American College Dance Association’s (formerly American College Dance Festival Association) Southeastern Regional Conference. Thryn Saxon’s work, By and Alone, as well as Du’Bois A’Keen’s Silenced will represent the School of Dance in an adjudicated performance. ACDA is sometimes the only means for college and university dance programs to perform outside their own academic setting and be exposed to the diversity of the national college dance world. The conference provides a venue for students and faculty to engage in three days of performances, workshops, panels, and master classes taught by instructors from around the region and country.
Thryn Saxon, a senior in the School of Dance will present her work, By and Alone. Performed by Saxon and fellow senior dance major, Nicole Morris, the dance emphasizes energy and dynamics rather than a specific story or characters. “The way it feels to me as a performer is that Nicole and I are playing a very subtle game of chess. Our decisions and movements are carefully calculated and precise. Then when it’s least expected we try to surprise the other ‘player,’” explains Saxon.The two women worked collaboratively to create the work as they were both studying in New York through the School of Dance’s FSU in NYC program last semester. This will be Saxon’s second time showing work at ACDFA. Her choreography was selected for informal showings in her sophomore year. Saxon has expressed that she is excited to be representing FSU, and that she is eager to share the stage with Morris for additional performances after Days of Dance.
Du’Bois A’Keen is also a senior dance major who has previously shown work at ACDFA, and in his last experience his choreography was selected to be performed in a final gala performance. A’Keen’s work, Silenced, explores the concept of oppression and the experience of being silenced. In preparation for rehearsals, A’Keen researched instances of slavery and oppression throughout history that ultimately informed his movement choices. He also spent a great deal of time in discussion with his dancers, asking them to generate some material based on their own experiences with feeling “silenced.” Always sensitive to his dancers’ experience, A’Keen notes, “I was asking them [to do] a lot, especially emotionally…I thinkthere’s a lot of vulnerability in the work.” It is because of this vulnerability that A’Keen chose to keep the costumes and stage design very minimal. The cast of Silenced is primarily made up of freshmen dance majors. A’Keen is grateful t hat his young cast is being offered another performance opportunity and that the work, which is very personal and important to him, will be shown to a wider audience.
The ACDA’s Southeastern Conference is being held at Georgia College from March 19-22. The Director of Dance at Georgia College is Amelia Pelton, FSU School of Dance alum.
For more information about ACDA, visit http://www.acdfa.org/.