A site-specific dance performance on an outdoor staircase

Etude for Escapists was created with the goal in mind to re-define a well known space: a popular outdoor staircase on the Columbia University campus. The space was defined both by the performance and by the set design.

The choreography was developed to respond to the unusual landscape for dance performance — aggressive level changes punctuate the movement, expanding the choreographic scope vertically in addition to horizontally. The set was comprised of numerous strips of layered paper pasted to the vertical face of each step, with a “set change” facilitated by the dancers mid-piece to re-define the space once more.

Performers: Claire Benton, Theresa Ling, Cara Regan
Graphic design: David Sun
Music: Johnathan F. Lee
Costumes: Minnae Chae

Commissioned by Columbia University’s C250 committee, celebrating the University’s 250th anniversary