BFA Senior Capstone Concert

Joelie Havey, School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Collaborators: Austin Mital-Skiff, FTVM, LSA; Samhita Vaishnavi Rao, FTVM, LSA; Kiran Stump, CoE

Faculty Advisors: Jillian Hopper, Clinical Assistant Professor, SMTD; Judith Rice – Clinical Associate Professor, SMTD

In order to expand upon my current skillset within movement arts, I sought to create an interdisciplinary screendance film to accompany the self-choreographed solo and group piece for my Senior Capstone Concert.

My first step was to find someone with expertise in film and post production that went beyond my own level of understanding. I was led to Austin Mital-Skiff – Junior FTVM (film) Major.

Together, we traveled two hours to Silver Lake Sand Dunes to film a deeply emotional screendance that, with imagery, movement, and experimental film techniques, abstractly shares the vulnerable journey of my life.

Throughout the filming process, we explored experimental improvised movement within the sand and water, pushing my body physically and mentally to portray this sense of vulnerability through the screen.

We utilized Austin’s refined videography skills and even attempted new filming techniques, one in particular required the camera to be submerged in a fish tank, placing it into the water to achieve a dual angle, incorporating the crashing waves and my dancing all at once. As a team, we experimented with how this movement above and below the water’s surface translated through a lens.

After leaving the dunes that day, we felt we had created something unique that we held an immense amount of pride for; we could not wait to share it with our communities.

Following the filming, Austin and I sat down for hours at a time to edit the film together. As teammates and friends, we workshopped and experimented with different editing techniques, how these edits affected the music/movement, and how these three elements could be cohesive.

Austin’s familiarity with film editing software made the post production process a breeze. We also added sound effects to further transport the viewer into the landscape. Throughout the editing process however, we worked through moments of varying visions and instinctual preferences to produce what we believe to be an exquisite film.

With such passion and dedication to the project and skillsets that related to different art forms, Austin and I did not always have identical visions for the final product, but as we brainstormed and maintained consistent communication, we worked through these moments and as a result, expanded our perspectives and comfort zones.

As we finalize the screendance, I will begin the choreography and production of my solo and group piece. Weekly rehearsals for these pieces will commence during the second week of January, followed by a “works in progress” showing at the end of March to receive feedback from my colleagues and faculty. The show itself will take place April 11-13 in the Dance Building.

The goal of this production is to share with friends, family, dancers, and non dancers, the power of film, dance, self expression, collaboration, and determination. I hope to inspire viewers to explore their own capabilities in the arts while simultaneously sharing my own personal growth and individuality.

Woman at sand dunes
Woman at sand dunes
Woman at sand dunes