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Department ofTheatre and Dance

Spring Dance Festival 2016

A dancer performs a graceful move in green and white attire.

Faculty Advisor: Kristin Kusanovich

Choreography by Piper Thomasson and Skye Windsor

Fess Parker Studio Theatre

April 9–10, 2016


The bi-annual dance festival presents a diversity of original choreography created and performed by Senior Dance Emphasis students.

Choreographer, Skye Windsor

The Wall around the Heart

Choreographer's artistic statement

I remember when I saw the border wall separating the US from Mexico. It looked like a jagged scar. Unnatural and Imposing. I pressed my face between the rust-colored, steel spikes jutting 20 feet into the sky and gazed into the never-ending desert. It's amazing how much pain a wall can cause.
Researching this project, I came across similar border walls that had made their place in World History. Berlin, Israel, South Korea. What was it with humans and building walls between one another? Like a fatal blood clot in the veins, building border walls seemed to be a blockage against the natural flow of life.
I was speaking with a friend prior to this project and he told me about his experience migrating to the US from Mexico and what he had endured. I asked him, "Do you think tearing down the border wall will fix this mess?" He replied calmly, "No. The real wall that must be broken is the wall within peoples' hearts". In that moment, I realized that this problem was so much more than just a physical manifestation of human disconnection.
In my recital, I hope that you find a piece of yourself within the stories of the many Latin American people who have inspired me with their graciousness and unceasing passion for life. In time, I hope that we can break down the walls within our hearts to reveal the similarities that we all share.


Choreographer, Piper Thomasson


Choreographer's artistic statement

Dance has been my saving grace more times than I can count. It's gotten me through tough times, it's been the root of some of my best times, it has brought me closer to people, and it has helped me understand myself. And after eighteen years of doing it, I still feel as though I have so much to discover. How can a single art form have such a wide-ranging effect on those who participate, whether it's through choreography, performance, or being an audience member? I still don't have the answer to "how" but I'm here to explore "why".
There is something about the human form, moving in space, both controlled and free, personal and exhibitory, that I think speaks to us, as humans, on a deep, emotional, and empathetic level. Dance is an entry point for examining ourselves, others, and our relation to each through the various ways of interacting with the art form.