i saw a purple duck

Created and performed by Nora Littell
Filmed by Nora and Charlotte Littell
Rocky theme song “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti, sung by Nora Littell
Thanks to my family for witnessing and giving me space to dance.

Dancing in Ithaca, NY: 

I dance on stolen Cayuga land.

The video I made for my senior work is not a culmination, it’s a step in the process. I’m beginning to dance for myself, I’m beginning to play, I’m beginning to grow into the world. Some days it felt like all that was happening was me crashing awkwardly. Like oops I thought I could do this but actually no. Actually, I will flail forever. Flail, crash, lol. I’m sure everybody feels like this sometimes. But other times it felt like enough to move the way I was moving and I felt like I had all the power I needed, though not much control. Flailing can actually be super interesting. 

The most important thing is that I’ll keep dancing (and also laughing). Haha, I win. 

Here’s more.

leafing through/leaving you

Fiona Spiegler

a debrief on leaving, and pandemic musings.

How does leaving/leafing become another chapter in our lives yet remain so blazingly in sight? How does the heart makes sense of sudden departure? Movement became subtle – within my roots, almost imperceptible – in the last few months. As if spring began and then was forced back down to flower among her roots. Dance created a cacophony of desire within me and in accepting this chorus I watered my garden and felt a stirring within. As I leave I see you. I witness you becoming. Thoughts will come and go as you watch, and I invite you to watch with your stomach and sacrum, hear my voice with each of your shoulder blades as they slide down your back. Your jaw melts and you let your eyes blur as I walk away. This work is something you know already. a reminder of the clarity of hindsight, and the beauty hidden in goodbye.

Creation and Performance: Fiona Spiegler
Filming: Fiona Spiegler
Sound: surrender by Fiona Spiegler 

zelda

Fiona Spiegler

This is a part of my solo I built over Field Work Term. During self-isolation, my solo work became a monolith I deconstructed with care and many frustrating days. I could not puzzle out what I wanted, and I was sick of my self! I connected to this part of my solo work during self-isolation due to its nature of loneliness, desire, and unwanted yet cherished leisure. I was thankful for this practice during Covid-19.

Zelda is inspiration. Zelda is what you want. Zelda is luxury even if unprecedented. Zelda is siesta. Zelda is a laugh. Zelda is a contagious stretch. Zelda is curious. Zelda is play. Zelda is undeniable privilege. Zelda is practicing care no matter who you are. Zelda is consideration. Zelda is here, now. 

Creation and Performance: Fiona Spiegler
Filming: Fiona Spiegler
Sound: After Hours with Joe Buskin, Joe Buskin and Trio
Contact:
fionaspiegler@bennington.edu 
Fiona’s Vimeo

MEMORABILIA


I start by carting out the plastic laundry basket full of trophies to my backyard. I have just washed them in the bathtub and they are still a little wet so the cheap gold painted plastic is going to glisten in the sun. I place them one by one on the white stone patio which I think is a perfect stage for them. I step back to admire them shine together in their group-ness. Suggesting mini Greco-Roman columns, they stand magnificently on their marble pedestals 5 inches apart, in staggered rows. The iridescent stars on the black, orange, red, and blue panels double up and bounce back at the sun. I tower over the cityscape, hands on my hips, squinting at the evenly spaced rows of tacky glittering buildings. (The two huge trophies that tower above the rest are from Sara. She won third place in the Little Miss Portugal pageant at The Portuguese Club and then two years later tried again and won first place. I remember being there for the first competition, I was fascinated by the pageant. I loved fashion and dressing up and I wanted to be Sara. The rest of the trophies are soccer tournament trophies won by me, my brother, Sara, and her brothers.) Arranging them in the formations of rows reminds me of staggering lines for center adagio in ballet class. Arranging them in semicircles and arcs in order of decreasing height reminds me of cheerleader routines and soccer team photos:

the tall girls standing in the back row, their hands drawn conservatively behind their backs, the shorter girls in the front row, kneeling, one hand cupping their front knee and the other hand hidden behind their back. Trying to smile but squinting straight into the sun in our matching outfits. Clad in our red checkered drawstring shorts, reversible mesh jerseys- one side white and the other blue, shiny silver and blue plastic shinguards with the black stretch, sweat-absorbing, Velcro ankle guard, white socks with the navy stripes, and black plush-leather logo’d cleats. Matching polyester, nylon, mesh, spandex, and velcro, sweat-absorbing American flags with ponytails running around. 

Wet grass and mud caking our cleats, smelling of sweat and gatorade. Team spirit. Hands in, “1-2-3 Strikers!” Take positions. Offense. Defense. Midfield. Wings. Whistle blow. Go. Kick. Pass. Running hard. Struggle. Foul. Referee. Everybody take a knee. Coach runs onto the field and carries her off. Everyone claps. It’s a penalty. It’s a goal. Reset. Half-time oranges. Pep talk. Subs. It’s a throw-in. Game. After-game Little Bites. Everyone shakes hands. “Good game, good game, good game, good game, guh game, guh game, guh game, guh gay, guh gay, guh gay, guh gay, guh gay, guh gay….” 

I needed to break out my trophies from the closet where they were collecting dust, losing their luster in their dormancy. I needed to not let them go to waste, to act out what they’re good for, the rightful display of a proud soccer mom. To showcase the dinky, non-biodegradable little objects celebrating athletic achievement and sportsmanship in all their glory. I’m soccer mom-ing my little girl self. 

I’m tiny and I’m in the field, taking the outdoor space of the game, sometimes dancing the sidelines dance in the arena, cheering, waving, the celebratory movement of cheerleaders and spectators. Sometimes recalling the athleticism of the players. I’m huge and I’m skirting the edges of the green space, framing the stage, encircling my tiny doll-like lounging body with a crowd of relics. I’m wearing heels that click clack on the patio and sink into the grass. I’m wearing a jogging sweatsuit, full body Adidas with Nike sneakers, a clash of the two giant sports brands, oh my god betrayal, literal fashion betrayal… 

a wrestling match breaks out between corporate giants Adidas and Nike…

A Duet  

Can I be the little girl soccer player and the snacks-providing soccer mom on the sidelines, at home displaying and admiring her kid’s trophies, at the same time? Can I be the cheerleader and the cheered? Traditional socially-constructed gender roles of sports are acted out by female cheerleaders cheering on strong male athletes. In this case men are the spectacle and women the spectators, becoming the spectacle during the half-time show. There is the player and the game as the main event. And the cheerleader, the spectator, the sidelines, the soccer mom admiring the trophies after the fact as the supporting event. The host of the TV game show Wheel of Fortune also plays the role of the supporter of the main event while simultaneously becoming another main event as she performs her task of revealing letter cubes in her floor-length gown. Taking the duality of gaze and performativity of sporting events and embodying it in a duet with myself, I am asking, how does this supporting event become the main event? When do the cheerleaders become the spectacle themselves? When do they steal the show? And, how can I slip in and out of these two roles, between the two versions of myself on screen?

Green Space (2) video conceived and performed by Angelina Hoffman, filmed by Tim Hoffman 

Writing by Angelina Hoffman, with duel image editing by Justin Fossella 

Memorabilia photo series conceived and performed by Angelina Hoffman, taken by Lisa Keim 

angelinahoffman@bennington.edu 

Angelina’s Vimeo

d o l d r u m s

Performed and Choreographed by Mikah Baumrin-Daniels
Video Edited with Hrachya Sargsyan and Truda Silberstein
Lyin’ Eyes by the Eagles
Sweetheart by Frankie & the Knockouts
Clair de Lune by Kumasi Washington

She would like to thank Sarah Henry and Michael Gorin for their studio and Laura Roosevelt and Charlie Silberstein for their home.
She would also like to thank Kirk Jackson, Dana Reitz, and Elena Demyanenko for their insight.

Mikah’s vimeo

Audrey King

Is Everything an Act of Seduction

Is everything an act of seduction

Performed and Choreographed by Audrey King
Sound: Obsolete Object and Phantom Waltz by Meredith Monk
Filmed by Mel Salli

Moments of ecstasy within deep pain. Grieving the part of the body that gets lost when we feel deep pleasure—
the particular mourning of my past self when I find new facets of myself through pleasure. It is scary.
That sustained moment when reaching full expansion in the body; completely open, vulnerable; breaking the body in order to find the body.
How can I lose myself further? How losing myself provokes being close to death; close to sexual freedom. Falling apart on stage?
I want you to see that side of me. To watch me give over myself to you fully.
Pulling up the thing that begs to be buried. This is a recurring theme—
the weightlessness in suspension while being anchored into submission by an earthly force; drenching the legs into perpetual chaos.

I Can Never Go Home Anymore \\The Shangri-Las

Lip Syncing Exploration

Performed, choreographed and filmed by Audrey King
Sound: I Can Never Go Home Anymore by The Shangri-Las

I am interested in the way that lip syncing can be an exploration in emotion and movement. It is a micro-scale investigation of the mouth and the face as a whole, as a way of processing deep emotion. The face in a way represents the whole body. I hold your words in my mouth and I can become a version of you. I sing you. I know, why not just sing the song, press mute, and overlay the song over the video? Because when I mouth the words I hold space for you to enter. I don’t know why I love it, I only know that it has the power to bring me to tears. And that space that I hold allows memory to slip in. The memory of playing and replaying the song while walking back and forth to school; holding those words against my tongue and teeth and lips and spit.

Contact: audreyking@bennington.edu

The Passage of the Sentient Three

Created and Performed by Olivia Garrity
Filmed by Olivia Garrity
Filmed at Bennington College, Bennington, VT
Johann Sebastian Bach – Air on G String, J.B. Lully – Armide Passacaille, Handel – Sarabande, Richard Jones – Fifth Set in B Minor Allemande 
Thanks to all those that gave me support and commentary while creating this piece.

This collection of videos is part of my French and Dance collaborative senior work. I initially started with four live people, but with ever changing circumstances it became a solo with three sentient statues. I was interested in how to adapt a French dance notation called “Beauchamp-Feuillet Notation.” It is a beautifully geometric and intricately written script introduced in the time of Louis XIV. I decided that instead of a direct translation of movement I wanted to put a modern twist to it. Therefore, I focused on the geography of my movement, developing certain moves within the collection of videos, playing baroque music, and maintaining the element of representing an entity or image more powerful than yourself. So, without further ado, The passage of three sentient beings, otherwise known as, The Three Fates.   

GUILT

  1. the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously
  2. feelings of deserving blame especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy

Feeling guilty in front of our parents,
friends,
teachers,
society,
authorities,
country,
gods,
our lovers,
and oneself.
Are we born guilty or is it something that society teaches us?
Can one learn how to live with a sense of guilt?


YOU CAN MAKE ART
ANYTIME & ANYWHERE

Improvised performance live on Instagram for the opening of Pankumenta 2020, a recurring arts festival run by students of Bard College Berlin.

THANK YOU

Thank you for watching! Feel free to scroll back up and experience it all again, right now, because you can! 

Before you go, we would like to give a special thank you to everyone at Bennington College that supported us in the last four years. First, thank you Dana Reitz for your infinite understanding, enthusiasm, eloquence, and humor. Thank you Terry Creach for introducing many of us to the play of dance at Bennington. Thank you Elena Demyanenko for your unwavering passion and encouragement. Thank you Susan Sgorbati for your wisdom. Thank you Mina Nishimura for your generosity and inquisitiveness. Thank you Hilary Clark for your rigour and compassion. Thank you Russell Stewart Lillie for your insight and technical prowess. Thank you Souleymane Badolo, Yanan Yu, Stuart Shugg, and Rebecca Brooks for greatly influencing and teaching us in our first two years at Bennington. Thank you Michael Giannitti for your knowledge and expertise. Thank you Richard MacPike for your willingness and dexterity. Thank you Linda Hurley for your unending support. Thank you Dale Doucette and Seancolin Hankins for your essential help behind the scenes. Thank you Paing Hein for assisting with sound at Dance Workshop. Thank you Hrachya Sargsyan for your video skills. Thank you Anna Kroll for your presence, especially remotely, in making this website. And, thank you David Thomson for joining us in our last semester as a critical force pushing us with our work, taking things as they’ve been thrown at us, carefully, calmly, and with perseverance. 

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