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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Webb’s COMPS incorporates multiple dance forms

<ir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-6d97763b-1bc5-542e-31cf-a18bdcfb6f17">On Friday, April 15, Lucia Webb ‘16 will present her Comps show, entitled Ephemera, in the Weitz Blackbox Theater. On behalf of the the Carletonian, I was able to view the show before its release.

Ephemera exhibits a variety of fleeting notions. The naïve observer can recognize the roots of heady concepts. Dances sample broadly, from hip-hop to ballet, communicating in a postmodern language that employs pre-existing dance vocabulary. The show still remains within reach of its audience. Webb chooses a variety of interesting yet accessible American musicians, from LCD Soundsystem to Johnny Cash, thereby attaching her work to pre-established and familiar cultural objects.

Webb, who hails from Portland, Oregon, started dancing when she was three years old. Before Carleton, she performed ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and modern dance. This broad base provided her with a variety of styles from which to draw influence. Webb is one of only two Dance majors at Carleton, a double major with American Studies. While working on her dance show, she drew heavily from her recently completed American Studies Comps on the commodification of place in neoliberal America.

These influences are visible in the first number, a particularly anxious dance set to ambient mall sounds. In another piece, the performers put on and remove a wardrobe’s worth of t-shirts, emphasizing the shared experiences of Carls. “Service Above Self,” and “Rotblatt 2015,” read two of the t-shirts. The show arcs towards self-discovery and actualization, culminating in a solo piece performed by Webb and choreographed by Heather Klopchin, an Associate Professor of Dance at St. Olaf. In its entirety, Ephemera exhibits the subtle athleticism of dancers in both self-contained and contact-based movements.

According to her artist’s statement, Webb attempts “to find ways to get past the oxymoron of authentic performance through a commitment to acknowledging the personal subjectivities of the dancers with whom [she has] the privilege of working.” Webb acknowledges the personal subjectivities of her dancers in a variety of ways, from facilitating improvisation in her choreography process to making sure that dancers dance comfortably in their “individual bodies.”

Addressing various topics of interest, from a body’s relationship to its spatial environment to the construction of self in the postmodern era, Ephemera is a rare opportunity for Carls to see a student’s artistic vision physicalized on the dance floor.

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