By Marissa Aucoin
“As expected, the dance department showed up in full force for this year’s Scholars Day. This annual event supporting the creative and academic research of Brockport undergraduates, graduates, and staff showcased over twenty dance based presentations. This array of presentations included conference papers, lecture demonstrations, works-in-progress showings, poster presentations, and more, making dance one of the most represented disciplines of the day. As a 2nd year MFA candidate within the department of dance, I had the privilege of sharing my personal research in the form of a conference paper earlier in the day. The feedback and interest that both I and my fellow presenters received left me proud, not only of the work I had done, but of the community here at Brockport. Witnessing and experiencing how students, especially those from disciplines outside of dance, were able to engage with the research, further affirmed the importance of stimulating inquiry and interdisciplinary exchange.
This Scholar’s Day in particular was a very personal one for the department of dance. In “This dance exists in the present and the future, but not in the now” : Defining a dance, Associate Professor Maura Keefe shared a thoughtful yet gut-wrenching paper, documenting her process of creating a dance that never came to fruition. Our worlds were turned upside down after the unexpected loss of Christina Gorman this past October. Ms. Keefe along with myself and fellow dancers Marissa Subik and Maya Gonzalez had the honor of working intimately with Christina, creating a work to be presented in the department’s annual Danscore concert. With her passing, not only did we lose a cherished dancer, student, and friend, but we were left with the haunting of a dance that could no longer subsist in the way it was envisioned. Without Christina, without her presence, the dance did not exist. While, as a cast, it continues to live on in our minds, bodies, and memories, only those few who had the privilege of witnessing it know the work in its truest sense. We struggled with not wanting to leave the dance behind, all the while knowing that it would never be the same. Keefe’s presentation allowed us to share our struggle. Her presentation was our catharsis. Together, Ms. Keefe, myself, and fellow dancer Marissa Subik finally shared the fragments of the movement that remain.”
In addition to Marissa Aucoin’ s experiences at Scholar’s Day 2015, many other students in the Department of Dance and all around the Brockport campus shared their scholarly work. Take a moment to check out this short and sweet recap of Scholar’s Day: In 30 Seconds!