B.F.A. seniors present original dance, music, film and writing capstones

Posted on September 16, 2016 by Jennifer McManamay

Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates Amber Boyer, Vanessa Finnegan and Ruth Packard will present their B.F.A senior capstone performances in a joint concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Sept. 22-23, in the upper dance studio.

The B.F.A. in interdisciplinary arts is directed toward students with multifaceted creative interests. The senior exercise requires that the student combine two or more art areas that she has studied in a performance, exhibition, recital or installation.

Boyer, a theater major and creative writing minor from Kissimmee, Fla., says it was Finnegan who led her to apply for the B.F.A. program late in her junior year — even though she would have some catching up to do.

B.F.A. Senior Concert
“She is my best friend and hearing her talk about the program inspired me to audition,” Boyer said. “Our pieces weren’t collaborative, though I certainly relied on Vanessa’s opinion. We shared advice and progress with each other throughout the summer.”

Boyer plans three performances, the first being a ballad she wrote about drug addiction.

“That inspired me to make each of my pieces about an important social issue,” she says. “I want all of them to make a strong statement which will, hopefully, evoke a strong response from the audience. I’m not looking for ‘Oh, that was nice.’ I’m looking for, ‘I loved this’ or ‘I hated it.’ ”

The second work is a comedic monologue about the beauty industry. She’ll finish with a short film about rape.

“It won’t be all dark; it won’t be all light. It will be human,” she said of the concert as a whole. “My three pieces together are titled ‘I Am Human.’ I hope the audience shares in my vision for a better future by discussing the problems of today.”

Finnegan, of Washington, N.J., is an English and creative writing major with a teaching-focused minor in dance. She’s mixing spoken word and dance in four live pieces, which include original poetry and prose, solo performances and group dance.

One of them, “Voices,” is an autobiographical dance “about learning to overcome toxic advice,” she says. It incorporates voicemails edited into the music. Seniors Holly Rueger, Alex Dagher, Katrina Buniak, Noel Cosby and Caroline McDonald will perform the choreography.

Packard, Velocity Haigh ’18 and Fia Moser-Hardy ’19 will perform “Red Carpet, Black Table” to an original poem spoken by Finnegan. No music will accompany it.

Finally, she’ll present “Camouflage,” a dance film she made for her Honors Summer Research project about the complex relationship between art and self in which she is the sole dancer.

Packard, who is from Spotsylvania, is majoring in dance with a minor in creative writing. She plans to lead her program by reading a short story titled “12:35,” which revolves around a town where time has stopped.

Packard also will perform “Seven,” a solo dance that is a reflection on writing and “what it means to be me,” she says. Her final piece is a group dance preceded by a prologue that she will read aloud.

The concert is free and open to the public, although some content may not be appropriate for young children. For more information, contact Mark Magruder, dance program director, at mmagruder@sbc.edu or (434) 381-6150.