MFA Choreographers Unpack 'Upside-Down' Fairy Tales, Racial Identities, Gender Roles And More

Five CU Boulder MFA dance candidates will present new works in the Charlotte York Irey Theatre this October as part of two dance concerts: "re-membering" and "Lacunae." Their individual pieces will unpack themes surrounding race, gender and neurological difference.


Oct. 4-6
Works by Taylor Madgett and Kshitija C. Saturdekar

In "re-membering," Taylor Madgett and Kshitija Saturdekar will use many genres-including classical and contemporary Indian, modern, jazz, and urban styles and hip-hop-to question racial and gender identities and norms.

"My research in dance has always involved the role of gender, society and gaze in dances and the expectations and opinions surrounding a dancing body," said Saturdekar.

For Madgett, exploring racial identities through dance resonates on a personal level.

"I personally sometimes struggle with the double consciousness of being African American, in particular not knowing enough about my African heritage, while also being othered as a black person in America, resulting in not feeling wholly connected to either component of my identity," said Madgett. "This show tries to take a stab at potential solutions, in particular by looking at what remnants may remain or may be often overlooked within ourselves that point to a deeper connection to African roots."


Oct. 25-27
Works by Kristen Holleyman, Gretchen LaBorwit and Kelley Ann Walsh

"Lacunae" will take the stage in three parts, exploring dystopian fairy tales, feminism, and the relationship between intimacy and the unknown.

Kristen Holleyman's performance is inspired by unexpected connections that exist in our universe.

"How does the ocean floor reflect the cosmos? How does this live inside and outside of us? It's the idea of inevitable connectedness, of being suspended in the web of seemingly disparate threads," she said.

Walsh's work chronicles the evolution of square dancing through the lens of Appalachian culture and history.

"I am particularly interested in art's ability to have a positive impact on Appalachia," said Walsh. "I love traditional Appalachian art, but as a contemporary, experimental artist making non-traditional art, I am interested in how artists of all media can come together. I am curious at what point a square dance is no longer a square dance."

Finally, LaBorwit has used the inspiration behind a classic fairy tale to explore current events and the modern world.

"My concert tells a dystopian upside down 'Alice in Wonderland'-esque tale," added LaBorwit. "The inspiration for this show is coming to terms with how I feel about the current climate of the world and how can I use dance and story to find solutions or ease from the problems that are monumental."

Tickets for both "re-membering" and "Lacunae" are available at, by phone at 303-492-8008 and in person at the box office (972 Broadway) Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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