Student-choreographed dance concert challenges limitations of containment

By: Julian Robison,  Department of Performing and Media Arts
April 19, 2018

Cornell University senior Danielle LaGrua explores the limitations of traditional performance and the pressures of being a student in her dance concert "containment: defining boundaries, activating outbreak," which runs May 3–5 at Cornell’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, 430 College Avenue.

The idea for the piece came to LaGrua after reflecting on the stressors inherent in her collegiate life. By breaking the rules of traditional performance dance, LaGrua finds a way to channel her frustration with the norms she encounters.

“Containment is a vast term,” said LaGrua. “In this context, it represents how dance has been contained in the stage structure. I am working to challenge that containment by both defining even harsher boundaries and completely disregarding typical stage boundaries.”

The 40-minute piece features dancers Gray Ryan '18, Deanna Myskiw '18, Alexis Vinzons '19, and PhD students Dasha Gloutak and Kate Harline.

LaGrua’s involvement with the Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA) started her freshman year when she took senior lecturer Jumay Chu’s dance class for a physical education requirement. Chu encouraged LaGrua to choreograph two pieces for the department’s Mini Locally Grown Dance concert and assisted her in applying for her own show.

“The PMA Department has been such a large part of my life at Cornell,” said LaGrua. “I am glad to have had Jumay as such an amazing mentor and to have met all of my fellow dancers through the department.”

"Containment: defining boundaries, activating outbreak" is cosponsored by the Cornell Council for the Arts.

$5 tickets are available online or at the Schwartz Center box office Monday–Saturday, 1:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

Julian Robison '20 is a communications assistant for the Department of Performing and Media Arts.