Arts at Michigan Blogger Kayla Silverstein sat down with Sstudent Organization Performance Ark to discuss their upcoming event. Here’s what she had to say:
The student organization Performance Ark is putting on their new show, “Things both Hushed and Grand” March 23rd and 24th. It is sure to be a thrilling and unique experience, so I definitely recommend marking your calendars. I had the privilege of sitting down with Julia Smith-Eppsteiner, Tehillah Frederick, and Macklin Underdown to hear more about the project!
What is Performance Ark?
Performance Ark is a student organization centered on the notion of “performance collaboration.” Tehillah explained how she sees it as an opportunity for students studying genres of the arts, like dance, music, etc., to come together and create a project that highlights all of the different talents involved. For example, their upcoming show involves the choreography of the dancers as well as the unique musical stylings of Macklin’s work. Through their organization, they have also established a growing list of phone numbers and contacts for unconventional performances spaces around Ann Arbor that they hope to pass along to future organizations.
Who participates in Performance Ark?
There are four co-founders: Julia, Tehillah Frederick, Macklin Underdown, and Katy Telfer. The cast includes nine dancers, three of which are Julia, Tehillah, and Katy. All of the dancers are dance majors.
How did it get started?
Katy, Tehillah, and Julia started at the end of their freshmen year. They liked each other’s choreography styles, and worked from there to create something truly fantastic. They mentioned how nice it was to have several managers, keeping them all motivated, with venues and events constantly coming and going.
What can you tell me about “Things both Hushed and Grand”?
It consists of one evening-length work of dance. To focus the broad label of the show, they added the tag line, words by J.D. Salinger: “the courage to be an absolute nobody.” What started as a series of dance phrases became linked together into one piece. They come up with the theme “Things both Hushed and Grand” while brainstorming, and the motions just stemmed from there, they explained.
Why do you think people should come see your show?
It’s different than anything anyone’s ever seen, they explained. It’s original, and the unusual venues give it an “underground” feeling. Tehila added that many people think of dance as either ballet or weird, contemporary dance that is too bizarre to understand. She believes “people have certain perceptions about dance that, if they were exposed to more kinds, would change.” She says it’s a show that’s personal and means something to them; “people can come and leave with something.”
How would you describe the show, if you had to characterize it in one genre?
“Dance party colloquialism and tailored contemporary technique meets low-fi bedroom pop.”
Who would want to miss that? Check out Performance Ark, March 24th at 5pm in Studio 1, at 8pm at the Ann Arbor Art Gallery, and at 2pm on Saturday the 25th at the Campus Chapel. It’s free, and it will be spectacular.