Skip to main content

This is your Donation message.

Home » News » School of Dance to Present Two Exciting MFA Thesis Concerts

School of Dance to Present Two Exciting MFA Thesis Concerts

Published March 28, 2014

MFA-PhotoThe School of Dance is proud to present two exciting MFA thesis concerts in April. The first to hit the stage will be Engraved in Space, April 4th and 5th, by MFA candidates Jee Euh Ahn, Kaitlyn Christensen, and Erica Lessner. Christensen explains that the title was chosen because, “we are essentially leaving our work, hearts, and mark out on the dance floor… not literally, but in the [stage] space we are engraving our stories and dances.”

Ahn’s Work, “Body Calligraphy,” was inspired by the Korean language (Hang-guel) and Calligraphy (Seo-ye). Integrating dancers’ movements and technology, this piece aims to use the stage as a canvas. Ahn is also showing “Existence,” a recreation of a previous a duet with her six year old son. Ahn was interested in seeing the movements of her original work transformed on to the bodies of three male dancers. Inspired by the extremes of exclusion, Kaitlyn Christensen’s “Those We Don’t Speak Of” will transport the audience to another time as the seven dancers let go of the past and reveal themselves in the present. In “Glimpse,” Christensen dances her own choreography as old-fashioned light bulbs frame the space and create an enchanting atmosphere. Erica Lessner’s work, “Self Portrait,” features colorful, Andy Warhol influenced projections to accompany a mix of gestural and space eating movement on the stage. Her self choreographed and performed solo, “Lucid,” transforms the stage into a dream-like environment. Inspired by the feeling of flying in a wakeful dream, this aerial work involves seamless transitions between a trapeze and the floor.

The second MFA concert, Rising from Everywhere, held on April 25th and 26th features the work of MFA candidates McKenzie Baird, Samantha Pazos and Jeffrey L. Smith. In addition to work by the MFA candidates, choreography is also provided by esteemed School of Dance faculty member, Dan Wagoner, and alumna Loren Davidson. This concert covers a wide range of experiences and themes including interpersonal relationships, cultural identity, displacement, and transcendence from earthbound tethers. Much of this exciting MFA work is informed by video technology support designed by these MFA artists.

“Co Mune,” presented by McKenzie Baird, is a multidisciplinary work inspired by a Shakespearean model of a love triangle. Another work by Baird, “What We Bring Forward” melds Baird’s research in both psychology and movement by highlighting four women’s struggle to identify eccentricities inherited by their mothers. “Rise,” choreographed by Jeffrey L. Smith, is inspired by the recent discovery of the Boson Particle, which has the potential to explain nature’s most provocative fundamental force, gravity. The 25 minute piece uses contemporary references and scientific properties on how the universe shapes human movement as well as our relationship to the ground. Samantha Pazos’, “Coming from everywhere, towards everywhere we go,” is a commentary on the problems of immigration and exile loosely inspired by her father’s journey to the U.S. as well as other members of the Cuban exile community. Ideas of displacement, memory, home/patria and identity are explor ed in this piece.

All performances will be held in the Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre in Montgomery Hall at 8:00 pm. For ticket information, contact the Fine Arts Ticket Office at 850-644-6500 or online at For more information about concerts, contact Joyce Fausone at 850-645-2449 or Information is also available online at