Smiling Cowards Folding Cards

Sasha Yakovenko – School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Collaborators: Rose Janusiak, Stephanie Gennusa, Tal Kamin, Mariah Stevens, and Kevin Wang – School of Music, Theatre & Dance

The University of Michigan Dance Department presents, Smiling Cowards Folding Cards, a Bachelor of Fine Arts dance concert.

Janusiak shares their journey of body reclamation and dissonance in their solo, i have never felt more certain than to be a question. They question what it means to be perceived by the world when you don’t want to be perceived at all. Janusiak’s group, the motive behind the game is self-protection, grapples with the phenomenon of how closely pleasure and violence exist in our bodies. Questioning ideologies society has created around pleasure, specifically the stigmatization of sex and how pleasure can be reclaimed as a force for transformative activism. Stephanie Gennusa examines and challenges the capitalistic urge to attach self-value to one’s labor and productivity in we all fake it till we die. Gennusa’s solo Have We Met Before? utilizes film techniques to explore the multitude of different ways to view one body in time and space. Sasha Yakovenko’s two dances can be conceptualized as an analysis of his own mind and experiences. His solo, The Fool on the Hill Stares to Kilimanjaro, is centered around ideas of loss and failure due to one’s own folly and imperfections. Yakovenko’s group Burning Down The House presents a dark-satirical perspective on American culture; where sexuality and white-goodness are presented in various forms of media to distract from the darkness that forms the foundation of societal stability and rots away at the core of the world.