dancers on stage.
UB Center for the Arts logo & UB Theatre and Dance logo.

2021-2022 Season Program: MFA Dance Thesis, Spring 2022

UB Theatre and Dance Presents: MFA Dance Thesis

Choreographed by Jacqueline Cherry and Meg Kirchhoff

Directed by Ariel Nereson

Production Designer: Tony Rajewski

Sound Designer: Jonathan Irizarry Hernandez

April 8 - 9, 2021 | 7:30pm

DIRECTOR’S NOTE:

It’s my pleasure to welcome you back to in-person, live performance at the Center for the Arts. I couldn’t be happier that you are here to celebrate our first in-person MFA Dance Thesis Concert! Our three-year MFA in Dance is both a hub and an incubator of critical, collaborative artistic practice that is tailored to the individual student’s interdisciplinary interests, developing a rich, multimodal practice of investigation. With close faculty mentorship and numerous opportunities to create and show work, MFA Dance students at UB cultivate the knowledge and skills necessary to become the next generation of innovative dance makers, leaders, advocates, teaching-artists, and artist-scholars.

Two choreographers of this next generation are sharing work with you tonight: Jacqueline Cherry and Meg Kirchhoff. Jacquie and Meg have spent half of their graduate careers online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the support of peers and faculty have innovated their creative practices to include significant screen dance components. Jacquie’s MFA thesis project “Praxis” takes an autoethnographic approach to embodying strategies of joy and resistance in Black femme life, integrating Jacquie’s study in Black sociology with her study of embodiment and choreography. While at UB, Jacquie’s research into Black women’s lives and art-making has been recognized with a UB Celebration of Student Excellence Award and a UB Social Impact Fellowship. In Meg’s thesis project “Fragmented Multiplicity,” viewers are invited to co-create meaning with performers and designers as Meg explores the theory of intra-activity through concepts from somatics, cognitive science, and posthumanism. Meg’s thesis research received a grant from Humanities NY to collaboratively develop an original composition with composer Thomas Little, and Meg’s ideas about intra-activity are also forthcoming in The Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship.

I’m thrilled to celebrate the MFA Class of 2022 with you this evening. Enjoy the show!

-Ariel Nereson, Director of Graduate Dance

CHOREOGRAPHERS: JACQUELINE CHERRY, MEG KIRCHHOFF

DANCERS: ANNA CAISON BOYD, ABIGAIL CASS, JACQUELINE CHERRY, GABI MARSHALL, NATASHA MCCANDLESS, KELLY ANN QUINN, CELIA RAMOS, SAM SCHMEER, HAYLEY TIMBERLAKE

One Act, No Intermission

1. Fragmented Multiplicity
Choreography by Meg Kirchhoff
Created in collaboration with dancers Anna Caison Boyd, Abby Cass, Gabi Marshall, Natasha McCandless, Kelly Quinn, Celia Ramos, Sam Schmeer, Hayley Timberlake
Music: A Particular Shade of Unseeable Color, composition and performance by Thomas Little
Lighting Design: Tony Rajewski
Projection Design: Meg Kirchhoff and Thomas Little

The idea for the piece started when I read a book I didn't understand by a woman named Karen Barad. Do you ever read something, and the content is kind of over your head, but something about the phrasing and flow of sentences strikes you as beautiful, so you keep reading? Karen Barad is a theoretical physicist, but I'd argue she's also a poet. She's trying to write about the world in a way we don't quite have language for. She's looking at the big picture-time, space, and matter—and saying maybe the relationship between these things isn't what we've imagined it to be. Perhaps time and space aren't things that we have or are situated in but are concepts that we co-craft with, in, and through every moment. 

 I most understand what Barad is proposing when I'm dancing. It's a sense that the bodies around me, the people and objects and sounds and textures, affect what unfolds and how. And the experience exceeds the words I have to describe it. This dance isn't going to be a lecture-demonstration of Karen Barad's theory, but I encourage you to read her book, Meeting the Universe Halfway. This also isn't going to be a story, but you are welcome to look for one. Really what we're offering is threads of questions, feelings, responses, and curiosities for you to weave together into your own experience.  -Meg

Humanities New York logo.

This dance work is made possible by a Public Humanities Grant from Humanities New York. Humanities New York encourages critical thinking and cultural understanding in the public arena through grants, programs, networking and advocacy. Visit humanitiesny.org to learn more.

2 Praxix
Choreographer/dancer: Jacqueline Cherry
Music: James Fortune, Cantorum, Tye Tribbett, Jacqueline Cherry, PJ Morton
Spoken text: Jacqueline Cherry

TECHNICAL PRODUCTION/DESIGN SUPERVISION & UBTHD DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY FACULTY AND STAFF
Gina Boccolucci, Tom Burke, Dyan Burlingame, Judy Curtis, Cindy Darling, Erich Frank, Rick Haug, Jonathan Irizzary, Lynne Koscielniak, Melinda J. Lamoreux, Catherine F. Norgen, Jon Shimon, Tom Tucker

PRODUCTION VOICEOVER ARTISTS
Robyn Horn, Melinda Lamoreux

PRODUCTION PHOTOGRAPHER
Ryan Nappi

PRODUCTION VIDEOGRAPHER
Ryan Nappi

UB DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE AND DANCE
Department Chair & Producing Director: Anne Burnidge
Interim Department Chair & Producing Director: Meredith Conti
Production Manager: Michael A. Formato
Assistant to the Chair: Veronica Sedota
Academic Manager: Melissa Berg
Staff Assistant: Rachel Olszewski
Senior Staff Assistant: Rob Falgiano

DANCE FACULTY

Melanie Aceto, Anne Burnidge, Michael Deeb Weaver, Jenna Del Monte Zavrel, Jeanne Palmer Fornarola, Chanon Judson, Ariel Nereson, Thomas Ralabate, Kerry Ring

UB CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Executive Director: Jamie Enser
Director of Events: Katherine Trapanovski
Facilities Manager: Vince Harzewski
House Manager: Sara Wild
Director of Photography: Paul Calandra
Production Associate: Sean Krueger
Technical Director: Dave Jordan
Head Electrician: Harry Mandris
Head Electrician: Patty Rihn
Head Carpenter: John Rickus
Audio Video Technician: Josh Piatov
Audio Engineer: Mark Shotwell

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The UB Department of Theatre and Dance is a proud member of the UB College of Arts and Sciences.

The department of theatre and dance gratefully acknowledges the land upon which the University at Buffalo operates, which is the territory of the Seneca Nation, a member of the Haudenosaunee/Six Nations Confederacy. Today, this region is still the home to the Haudenosaunee people, and we are grateful for the opportunity to live, work, and share ideas in this territory.

2021-2022 UB THEATRE AND DANCE SEASON SPONSORS: