Arts News

Dance Capstone Project
Posted 05/16/2017 03:21PM

Naya H. choreographs & performs three original pieces

Capstone Spotlight:

Naya Hutchinson '17 Dance Capstone

The first, "Still I Rise" is based on the audio of Maya Angelou's poem "Still I Rise." I recently heard this poem at the beginning of this year and was very inspired by it; I connected with it and felt it spoke to some of the realities that I live every day. Although I was very excited to create movement to this poem, the challenge was a new one as the poem doesn't have a specific melody behind it, and I am very proud of what I created. Performing this piece was invigorating and powerful. I felt as if I was connecting with the audience in a very intimate setting. Although there was a large audience during each show the poem allowed for a sense of vulnerability between me and the audience that I loved!

My second piece is called "Spirit" and is based on improvisation. This past summer I recently went to Alonzo King Lines Ballet Summer Intensive where I learned the true art and beauty of improvisation. This workshop pushed me to ultimately discover who I am as a dancer and made me more comfortable to perform. This dance shows my love for improvisation and allows me to express myself based on how the music makes me feel. When I perform this piece I feel free. When I performed it during the Capstone Symposium, I felt very connected with the music as I was performing.The audience was able to see where my original movements came from and ultimately saw me enjoy who I was on stage.

My final dance was called "From the Inside Out" and was a concept that I discovered while creating a piece for my advanced dance class called "So Broken." I thought this was a very interesting concept and as the year went by I thought that this would be a good idea for my capstone project. Yet I wanted to approach the concept in a different way than I had in "So Broken." I came up with three characteristics/feelings that would go with each section of the dance. The first section is fear/vulnerability. We are all vulnerable inside and a lot of times are not quick to show who we really are because we don't trust people right away. Trust is the next characteristic I addressed. The act of trusting others is a process that can be difficult and can take time but ultimately can lead to long lasting and rewarding relationships that allow you to be free and show who you really are. The last characteristic is freedom which is what we feel with the people that we are closest to. We always have the best time with these people because we are comfortable and free to ultimately be ourselves. This was my favorite piece to perform because I felt that it purely came from my authentic thoughts about seeing yourself from the inside out. When I was performing the piece I felt all of the emotion and hard work that I had put into creating the movement. It was also undoubtedly fun to perform with some of my closest friends, Briana Cheng and Gianna Moore. I'm very proud of this piece and hope to be able to create more pieces like this one in the future!

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