MFA 2022 Dance Concert

The Smith College Department of Dance presents sketches of being, a performance of thesis research by the department’s MFA candidates on February 17, 18, and 19 at 8 p.m. in Theatre 14 featuring work by Sarah Konner, Erin Kouwe, Chrissy Martin and Laura Osterhaus Rosenstone. The event is open to the public at 50% capacity with masks and proof of full vaccination required. Full details and tickets are available at

This is the first MFA mainstage concert since 2020, just before the pandemic shut venues across the country. This cohort of graduate students had to quickly pivot to teaching and presenting dance works online in both live and recorded performances. Chris Aiken, director of the MFA program, has been impressed and inspired by the student’s artistry, perseverance and adaptability. “We honor their contributions to our community during a time of tremendous social and political upheaval.” Due to a change in concert dates, a thesis piece by Miguel Alejandro Castillo was presented on February 3.

Part memoir and part science experiment, Erin Kouwe’s untitled explores inheritance, imagination, labor, love and outer space. The piece asks: What gets archived in the body, what gets archived in the mind, what gets archived in the attic? The work features a misguided lecturer who grapples with their legacy, a trio of astronaut dancers who toil and triumph together, and a towering 11-foot rolling staircase. Artifacts, memory and futurity disorient our sense of time and overlap with humor, interrogation, and–sometimes–gravity.

In now again becoming now again, Chrissy Martin collaborates with performers to bring a sensory feast of live video projection, electronic music, spoken word and dance to the Smith College stage. Performers fall with wild abandon, gesture with powerful and sometimes absurd clarity, and display a kaleidoscopic, interconnected sequence of floorwork. The interdisciplinary performance reaches towards the ineffable, showcasing the interplay between language and music, language and dance, vocal sound and physical movement. The performers move through various stages of interdependence and individual choice, calling into question how community is built, when and where desire and personal freedom affect those around us, and how experimental performance can allow our most vital humanity to emerge.

CUSP, by Laura Osterhaus Rosenstone, is an exploration of one’s sense of body-time in relationship to others. The work seeks to shift the perception of time by playing with rhythm and repetition. Rosenstone sees her piece as a commitment to listening–to ourselves, space, music, and each other. “As we’re on the verge of furthering our own understanding in each passing moment,” she explains, “we utilize a return to our body-time to find spacious pockets for perceiving our own change.” The piece will be performed by Osterhaus Rosenstone, dancers Di’ Anna Bonomolo and Emma Frank, and music collaborator Patrick Marschke.

This Lawn is Not My Lawn is a collaborative dance-theater piece that considers: What does peace look like? And is peace boring? Sarah Konner presents a shifting sea of theatrical scenes to construct and deconstruct nature and fake nature. The real and imaginary are entangled; theatrical devices are both revealed and left hidden to evoke magic. The piece was made in collaboration with Austin Selden, Lance Schnorenberg, and composer Matthew Daher. Konner explains, “The work comes out of careful attention to generating movement, ongoing conversations about sincerity within a busy and globalized world, and long-lasting friendships.”

Miguel Alejandro Castillo had the pandemic disrupt his plans when a shift in concert dates conflicted with his dancers’ availability–thus making it impossible for his piece to be performed as part of this concert. Instead, it was performed for a select audience and recorded on February 3. He describes his piece We imagined something different as an expedition in search of enchantment. The word enchantment comes from latin incantar which means to be in song. So, to be enchanted is to be surrounded and held by song. Castillo admits that enchantment is ephemeral and almost impossible to stage. His piece utilizes projections of clouds, a confetti cannon, and a cascade of yellow balloons to create a space for play and joy. “In the attempt to capture the impossible we came together and wondered.” He explained, “We invite the audience to let their attention be drawn to whatever they find most magnetizing and to hopefully, find some wonder of their own.”  

sketches of being is open to the public with masks and Smith IDs or proof of vaccination required for entry. Theatre 14 has reserved seating. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors 65+. People can find more details about entrance eligibility and purchase tickets online at Email with any questions. Be aware that this event is subject to change. Please check for updates. Note: there is some nudity.