By Jenna Pierson

The Master of Fine Arts in Dance program at this university held its spring thesis recital February 8 through the 10 in the Kogod Theatre at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, where two graduate students presented their final, original pieces to the public.

MFA candidates Ama Law and Shawn Stone presented their works entitled “Tides” and “‘s (apostrophe s)” respectively.

“Tides” centered largely around the ancestry and cultural community of black women, while “‘s (apostrophe s)” explored the consciousness of people’s minds and what they choose to fill them with in terms of metaphorical clutter.

Undergraduate dance students perform “Tides,” directed by MFA candidate Ama Law. (Jenna Pierson/Bloc Reporter)

The show, which comprised of both pieces and held a 15 minute intermission, was approximately two hours long. The Kogod Theatre is a constructible, black box theatre designed for abstract and more spatially open theatrical performances.

“[The show] was very vibrant and there was lots of intricate movement going on,” said Cordelia Hyle, a sophomore communication major. “It was definitely a beauty in the chaos type of thing and I was very involved.”

MFA candidate Shawn Stone said he found the inspiration for his piece through mindful meditation and utilized his visual art experience to create a more contemplative piece.

“‘s [apostrophe s] stands for ownership of one’s actions and thoughts,” said Stone. “The entire piece is a metaphor for the chaos and neurosis we can possess and what we experience as members of society … it’s how we take ownership for what we go through from childhood and beyond.”

“‘s (apostrophe s)” also explored themes of modern-day capitalism and marketing.

“I was sitting in a coffee shop one day and I noticed litter,” said Stone when describing another event that sparked the creation of his thesis piece. “I think litter and the source of a lot of it has subsequently stolen art in a way, kind of like creative blasphemy.”

Both shows required months of practice and multiple years of creative brainstorming and theory.

The three-year graduate program for dance is audition only and accepts approximately four students every fall, which allows the program to be incredibly hands-on and help students learn how to comprehensively teach choreography and other aspects of performance.

Featured Photo Credit: Undergraduate dance students perform “‘s (apostrophe s)” directed by MFA candidate Shawn Stone. (Jenna Pierson/Bloc Reporter)

Jenna Pierson is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at

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