Rileigh Goldsmith, School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Collaborator: Alex Li, School of Music, Theatre & Dance

SMTD senior combines dance and virtual reality in “Pivot” exhibitionThe Michigan Daily

My senior dance thesis project, “Pivot,” is an immersive virtual reality exhibition, an interdisciplinary endeavor that blends dance, technology, and interactive art. It offers an engaging, sensorial experience using VR headsets, guiding viewers through the themes of forging new paths and shedding ties that no longer serve us.

My thesis’ interdisciplinary nature is appropriate because it leverages diverse elements to create a multi-sensory experience beyond traditional dance performances.

I am also excited to collaborate with student Alex Li, and aim to learn more about the interplay between dance for film and lighting design. We will address the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary collaboration through open communication and cooperation, harnessing our expertise and capitalizing on diverse perspectives to ensure the project’s success.

The project spans five months, involving cast rehearsals, collaborative choreography, filming, video editing, and scenic design. It culminates in an exhibition at the Duderstadt Gallery from January 10th to 22nd, 2024.

Aside from lighting design, I am responsible for all aspects of the project. My thesis aims to make a profound impact on student life by using movement to promote introspection. After experiencing the movement narratives, participants engage in a mindfulness activity, reflecting on how they can “pivot” in their lives.

This exercise highlights the arts’ capacity to inspire self-discovery and personal growth. Art serves as a tool of empowerment, encouraging individuals to make meaningful choices and navigate life’s complexities with clarity and intention.

Together, Alex and I possess the skills necessary for project completion. While I am confident in my choreographic, technological and marketing skills, she will bring the project to life through lighting and design. These skills combine to create a unique interdisciplinary experience that can leave a lasting impression on the campus and local community.