The faculty selection committee in care of the Capstone Director,
The culmination of my life at Marquette University whittles down to my capstone project, which is a dance piece made up of 15 songs. I have had the idea of using Laurie Anderson’s music since my senior year of high school and now I have the chance to put my thoughts into action. Laurie Anderson is a performance artist who achieved wide recognition in the 1970’s and 80’s, but is still creatively producing today. Working with her music, I wish to create my own performance piece, using dance and more of a performance art feel.
“It was a large room full of people, all kinds. And they had all arrived at the building at more or less the same time, and they were all free. And they were all asking themselves the same question, ‘What is behind that curtain?’” This is the beginning line of Laurie Anderson’s song, Born, Never Asked. It is this quote that will help guide my project. That quote and this thought, Life is just a series of rooms and the people you get stuck with in those rooms. These rooms and people shape your world and life, by going from room to room, person to person. That contact with people is what I want to explore. How we came to be us, what made us? How did our human ancestors become the technologically advanced civilization we are today? These questions will be addressed in my project, not answered, but looked at, played with and then left to be pondered. I want to send out a question. The audience has to answer the question themselves. I know my answers, but there are so many answers out there. How can we put a pin on just one? Laurie Anderson asks these same questions with her music. She questions authority, and she questions people and their actions as a society, driven by technology.
With my dance project, I would like to put six dances on a company of dancers. There are three dances that have 15 to 20 people in it, but I would like to use as many people that are willing to dance. But this would mean that I cannot use the studio, for 18 dancers at once would mean we dance on the audience, so I would like to propose that I use the mainstage. With the showcase that I want to do, it would be best visually if the dancers are separated from the audience by a raised stage. Not all dancers would be used all the time, the dances have different amounts of dancers, with about three or four pieces being company dances.
This performance also tells a story of a man named Sharkey. Sharkey represents the human race and I actually have both a male and a female Sharkey. There are two reasons for this; one is that I want both sexes represented in the human race. It’s not the race of Man; it is the race of Man and Woman. The other reason it that my girls dance better and I would like to have a female dancing Sharkey and a male performance artist as Sharkey. The dances discuss Sharkey’s days and nights and his interpretation of life: about pollution and disasters that have happened over our years of living. This culmination of the performance will use what I have learned at this university, teaching in high schools in the area and my life long love of dance.