This spring, the Department of Dance at Case Western Reserve University will continue its 2020-2021 season with Alchemy on April 18th, a thesis concert featuring works by Master of Fine Arts candidates Katie Nabors and Christian Mintah, and Master of Arts candidate Stephen Markwei, with additional work by department chair Karen Potter.
Christian Mintah and Katie Nabors each perform in their solos as well as choreograph an ensemble work for the concert. Nabors’ solo work, Portraiturés, explores the ideas of inner and outer fortitude as it relates to the whole self.
I Can’t Breathe is a solo work choreographed and performed by Christian Mintah. In this work, he expresses his passion for protesting and his reflection on his experience that “The White supremacists see my skin color before my nationality but the black American sees my nationality before my skin color”. This piece is inspired by the last words of George Floyd: “I can’t breathe”, which led to some awakening in this country. With this awakening came a new self-awareness as an international student. The piece seeks to portray an individual who is in a constant struggle with a system structured to restrict their right to absolute freedom.
Two ensemble works will premiere on this concert, Night Visions and Mia O Hem. Mia O Hem means ‘be determined’ in the Dangbe dialect of the Adangbes of Ghana, West Africa. Mintah’s piece seeks to acknowledge the emotions of fear, self-doubt, and vulnerability in each individual while being determined not to let these emotions hold them back but rather move past these emotions in order to achieve a set goal. The choreography will draw from both modern and contemporary dance and West African dance movements in order to create a wide range of movement vocabulary and fusion.
Night Visions, choreographed by Katie Nabors, is set to a dynamic and rich score and depicts the abstract, nocturnal journey of a dreamer manifested through a series of night visions.
Stephen Markwei will premiere an original solo, Who am I, set to music by Gionanni Sollima. It is an abstract piece that communicates the struggles associated with finding one’s identity and the sense of liberation upon finding it.
Piercing the Veil of Time is created by Karen Potter with the two MFA candidates, and is an outdoor duet that is filmed on the Mergings fountain on the Mather Quad on the campus of Case Western Reserve University. Seeing dancers move in the water on the fountain inspired the idea of seeing dancers dance amidst leaves in the fall and snow in the winter. The sections of the dance serve to weave the man and woman together in a journey through the seasons.
The premiere is on April 18th and will be made available on the CWRU Department of Dance YouTube Channel.