Arts and Humanities

Forward Fest Performing Arts Showcase

By University Advancement

“Becoming 人” performed by Zi (Crystal) Liu ’24 as part of Rebecca Lazier’s Site Dance. Choreography, poetry, voice: Zi (Crystal) Liu. Videography: Daniel Madoff. Music: Ryan Wolfe. Costume design: Mary Jo Mecca.

In the fall 2020 course “Dance in the Site Specific Space,” Senior Lecturer in Dance in the Lewis Center for the Arts Rebecca Lazier asked her students: Where can dance happen? What can it do? Students shared site-based performance projects built from research into their communities. Each project traces different intersections of personal, cultural, and geographic stories with movement, dance, and performance. In creating and performing “Becoming 人,” Zi (Crystal) Liu ’24 considered the elements of a street in New York’s Chinatown along various sides of her identity.

Maria Berrio’s The Augur. Music by SegnoSoundtrack/Pond 5. Film by Ricardo Barros. Used with permission of the Princeton University Art Museum.

Created specifically for the Elfers Reading Room of Firestone Library, The Augur by Maria Berrío depicts a pensive woman beneath a whirling flock of birds in flight. Berrío builds large-scale collages composed of hundreds of pieces of colored and patterned papers that she cuts and tears and then lays down in layers like brushstrokes of paint. Her work frequently explores the interdependence of humankind and nature and features figures in moments of transition, narratives she saw as ideally suited to a university campus where students gather from around the world to pursue ideas and work toward future possibilities. In this video interview conducted with the Princeton University Art Museum, Berrío discusses her artistic process, well as the ideas that she hopes viewers will take from the piece.

“I Won't Sleep Soundly” performed by Molly Trueman ’23, featuring the Princeton University Glee Club. Words and music by Molly Trueman. Originally recorded for the Hand in Hand virtual benefit concert, October 2020. Audio engineering by Molly Trueman and Andrew Mellor; video by Chris McDonald at FourTen Media.

Singer-songwriter Molly Trueman ’23 penned this piece after attending a Black Lives Matter event in June 2020 and produced the recording for “Hand in Hand: A virtual benefit concert for equity and justice in arts education,” organized by the glee clubs of Princeton, Yale and Harvard universities. She was joined in this recording, made virtually from home, by members of the Princeton University Glee Club.

“Endurance” performed by Liam Lynch ’21 as part of Francesca Harper’s Emergence and Discovery: Digital Dance Portraits. Creation, editing and direction: Liam Lynch; Sound design and composition: Vince di Mura.

In the fall 2020 course “Emergence and Discovery: Digital Dance Portraits,” Lecturer of Dance and the Lewis Center for the Arts Francesca Harper recognized that art would help us preserve our current moment and encouraged students to develop personal dance films that would forever document a unique moment in their life story. Liam Lynch’s “Endurance” reflects, through his interaction with an urban setting, both isolation and reemergence.

Maya Lin’s The Princeton Line and Einstein’s Table. Film by Ricardo Barros. Used with permission of the Princeton University Art Museum.

Two new works by the internationally acclaimed artist Maya Lin were commissioned for and can now be seen on the grounds adjacent to Princeton’s Lewis Center for the Arts. This video shows the undulating spine of “The Princeton Line” and “Einstein’s Table,” with its 11-foot-diameter elliptical granite water feature surrounded by seven spheres reminiscent of our planetary system.

“Heirloom” by Seb Benzecry '20

Presented as part of his visual arts senior thesis project, Seb Benzecry’s short film “Heirloom” is an animated journey through the history of a piece of fabric, blending stop-motion and rotoscope animation to bring to life moments in time across two hundred years of American history.

“Tiger Rag” performed by the Princeton Clarinet Studio under the direction of Jo-Ann Sternberg: Henry Ando ’20, Joseph Gelb ’20, Michael Hauge ’21, Hanson Kang ’21, Neerav Kumar ’22, Emily Liushen ’22, Kevin Mo ’23, Fiona Logan Sankey ’23, Audrey Shih ’20, and Yang Song ’20. Music by Original Dixieland Jass Band, Eddie Edwards, Nick LaRocca, Henry Ragas, Tony Sbarbaro (1917). Arranged by Bill Holcombe. Courtesy of the Department of Music.

Clarinetist and Lecturer of Music Jo-Ann Sternberg and her clarinet studio students created a compilation of "Tiger Rag," a piece which the group has frequently chosen to conclude their ensemble performances throughout their time at Princeton. Everyone recorded from a distance April, in dedication to the Class of 2020 and in loving memory of the Department of Music's Production Manager, Bryan Logan.

“Runs the Gamut” performed by Sophie Blue ’21, Jane Brown ’21, Sam Grayson ’21, Vivian Li ’24, Ethan Luk ’24, Ally Wonski ’22, Thea Zalabak ’21, Julia Zhou ’24 as part of a course of the same name led by Silas Reiner '06.

Led by former Merce Cunningham Dance Company member and Lecturer of Dance and the Lewis Center for the Art Silas Reiner ’06, the course and resulting dance entitled “Run the Gamut” engages Princeton students in Cunningham’s innovative dance-making processes and methods and demonstrates how they can be used to create surprising and compelling dances with their dancers. By recreating and adapting Cunningham’s methods of dance-making and taking advantage of new and evolving digital platforms during this time of social distancing, the piece provides for conversation between formalism and abstraction in dance.

“This Land Is Your Land” presented as part of “Sing for Today,” a digital initiative from Princeton University Concerts and University Musical Society of the University of Michigan. Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-Soprano; Àlex Garrobé, Guitar. Words and music by Woody Guthrie, WGP/TRO-© Copyright 1956, 1958, 1970, 1972, and 1995 (copyrights renewed), Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & Ludlow Music, Inc., New York, NY, administered by Ludlow Music, Inc. Additional words by Joyce DiDonato. Used by permission. Joyce DiDonato appears by kind permission of Warner Classics/Erato.

Conceived by multiple Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, and in association with Princeton University Concerts and the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan, “Sing for Today” features DiDonato responding to current events and global concerns through the lens of song and conversation in a series of short videos. In the first installment of her virtual residency, DiDonato spoke with students involved in election advocacy and offered this rendition of Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” with additional words she penned for our current times.

“While We Wait” performed by Runako Campbell ’21 as part of Francesa Harper’s Emergence and Discovery: Digital Dance Portraits. Creation, editing and direction: Runako Campbell. Videography: Nyah Campbell. Sound design and original music: Vince di Mura. Costume design: Mary Jo Mecca.

Like Liam Lynch earlier, Runako Campbell ’21 created a dance film—this side indoors—to commemorate the experiences of the past year and to explore the notions isolation and emergence.

Special thanks to all of the contributing artists, as well as: Steve Runk, Darryl Waskow, Marion Young and the dance faculty of the Lewis Center for the Arts; Lou Chen ’19, Dasha Koltunyuk ’15, Jo-Ann Sternberg and Marna Seltzer of the Department of Music and Princeton University Concerts; and Stephen Kim and Gabrielle Langholtz of the Princeton University Art Museum.