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MFA Dance Concert Program

May 28- June 13, 2021


Yebel Gallegos, Alexander Olivieri, Roel Seeber, and Alia Swersky

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A Film by Roel Seeber and Sarah Choi
Choreographed by Roel Seeber in collaboration with the performers
Edited by Sarah Choi      
Cinematography and Drone Footage
by Alexander Olivieri
Second Camera by Sarah Choi
Original Music
by Paul Sklar, piano, and Trevor Stam, violin
Additional Music: Maringuouins by A Travers; Timelapse by Serat; Flying by Metre 

Audio Recording Support by Benjamin Holroyd
Costume Design by Jordan Fell
Lighting Design & Stage Management by Peter Bracilano
Set Design & Construction by Roel Seeber and Alexander Olivieri

Performed by Raquel Gordon, Ariel Oswalt, Sweekruthi Raghunathan, Megan Sellman, and Aliona Vakulchik

...X… is a work inspired by the place where things meet and their intersection point.  Big thank you to my collaborator Sarah Choi for inspiration and wisdom, to Alexander for so much help, to Peter Bracilano for going above and beyond, to the beautiful dancers for creating and performing magic, to Ben Holroyd for audio recording assistance, to Paul and Trevor for making beautiful sounds, to my beautiful wife Bianca Cabrera and my son Bela Marcello, and the Shephard Family for all of their support. 


Directed by Alia Swersky 
Choreographed by Alia Swersky in collaboration with the performers 
Creative Collaborator & Production Assistant: Hannah Rice 
Cinematography by Sebastien Scandiuzzi 
Assistant Camera by Daniel Mimura
Edited by Greg Mares
Music: we dis|appear; Composed by Jonathan Rodriguez
Costume Design by Isabella Harris
Performed by Emma Conrad, Clara Herrera, Benjamin Holroyd, Andy Lobkov, Alexa Ray, Juliet Romano-Olsen, Alyssa Vacheron, and Hadi Nazirool Bin Yusri

dis|appear is a site-specific dance film that looks at the relatively stable, yet continual shifting identities of self and the environment. Considering the body as a changing landscape and its connection to the constant evolutionary metamorphosis of the earth––what comes into view, what appears, and then disappears when we are faced with the inevitable nature of change. 

This work is filmed at West Point in Discovery Park.

As an artist using this land, it is important to honor its origins and histories. This is the ancestral land of the Duwamish, Suquamish, Tulalip, and Muckleshoot nations that for thousands of years were active in the meeting, storytelling, trading, gathering, and preparing food at what is now known as Discovery Park. The original name for West Point is PKa’dzEltue (phonically: pa-uq-dz-al-tsu), which means “thrust far out”.  The bluffs and beaches of this area have long been changing, eroding and disappearing from geological shifts in topography, but also from the colonization of Euro-American settlers that forced indigenous peoples to be removed from their native land.  

Discovery Park is a place where Indigenous resistance to colonization has led to a native cultural center, Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, which owes its existence to Native American activists who staged a non-violent takeover and occupation of the land in 1970 after most of the Fort Lawton military base was declared surplus by the U.S. Department of Defense. Thus, West Point is a place where the complex interplay of colonizing and anti-colonizing forces can be seen more fully than most others. Considering my settler ancestry, I acknowledge my part in the ongoing history of taking over and using as we please a land that was never ours. We dance and touch this site with respect, with care, and to honor its complex history.

All that you touch
You Change.
All that you Change
Changes you.
The only lasting truth
Is Change.
Is Change.

~ Octavia Butler

Thank you to this cast of dancing humans for committing to a rich creative process and working in a site that asked a lot of you both physically and emotionally. I have such deep appreciation and admiration for this team of collaborators -- thank you Sebastien Scandiuzzi,  Daniel Mimura, Jonathan Rodriguez, Greg Mares, and Isabella Harris for what you brought to this creation. With so much love and gratitude for the guidance and support of Hannah Rice, Peggy Piacenza, Aaron Swartzman, Rachael Lincoln, Alexander Olivieri, Roel Seeber, and Jim Coleman. 

The Boards

Choreographed, Painted and Performed by Roel Seeber
Video by Alexander Olivieri
Lighting Design by Alexander Olivieri and Roel Seeber
Set Design & Costumes by Roel Seeber
Music: Retour by Tony Anderson

The film captures a series of seven vertical dance performances layered with choreographed and painted landscapes of acrylic, cardboard, and the imagination of Roel Seeber. 

Special thank you to Whitney Lynn, Alia Swersky, Rachael Lincoln, and Hannah Wiley. 

on the third side

Directed & Filmed by Florian Alberge and Yebel Gallegos
Choreographed by Florian Alberge and Yebel Gallegos in collaboration with the performers
Edited by Florian Alberge and Melissa Younker
Assistant Editing by Yebel Gallegos
Production Assistant by Lawrence Parry
Music and Sound selected by the performers 
Sound Design by Vladimir Juarez
Costume Design by Jordan Fell
Performed by Ieva Bračiulytė, Sweekruthi Raghunathan, and Piper Robertson

"on the third side" speaks to the idea of being on the precipice of something new and exciting, albeit unknown. A space in between imagination and reality where possibility is amplified. Eventually, a decision looms and the dive is imminent. 

I want to thank my dear friend and collaborator Florian for embarking on this short but rich journey with me. What a great opportunity to finally get to create something together! A huge thanks to my nephew, Vlady, for sharing his sound design skills with us and to Melissa for jumping in and helping us make our vision happen! Thank you Lawrence for being a never-ending source of support, not only throughout this process, but in life as well. 

Our deepest gratitude goes out to Piper, Sweekruthi, and Ieva for inspiring us. This film only exists because of your generosity and commitment to the work. We appreciate your trust and will hold dear all that you shared with us. Congratulations on your upcoming graduations, bon voyage! 


Directed by Alexander Olivieri
Choreographed by Alexander Olivieri in collaboration with the dancers
Videography by Alexander Olivieri and Cameo Lethem
Edited by Cameo Lethem 
Drone Footage by Alexander Olivieri
Sound by Alexander Olivieri
Music by Brandon Moeller, Charles Holme, Anthony Earls, Joseph Beg, Velda, Jakob Ahlbom
Costume Design by Jordan Fell and Jenni Gile 
Lighting Design by Peter Bracilano 

Performed by Rose Amlin, Audrey Byrne, Makayla Day, Faith Elder, Gabbi Masten, Maisy Neill, Elana Skeers, and Anna Waltz

Avifauna is inspired by urban landscapes and the populations of birds that cohabitate the city with us. This work is dedicated to the dancers who made this vision come to life. I'd also like to thank collaborators Cameo Lethem, Jenni Gile,  Jordan Fell, and Peter Bracilano for your artistic expertise. Thank you Rachael Lincoln, Corrie Befort for teaching me everything I know about dance on camera. Thank you Alana Isiguen for your guidance. Thank you Alia Swersky, Roel Seeber, and Yebel Gallegos for your friendship, emotional support, and epic artistry. And thank you, Gildas Lemonnier for your unwavering love and support.


Department of Dance Faculty, Staff & DMC Production

Concert Director & Artist in Residence: Alana Isiguen 
Operations & Media Specialist: Lisa Kwak 
Marketing & Promotion Design: Lila Hurwitz/Doolittle+Bird
Production Manager: Peter Bracilano
Head of Design & Production: Deborah Trout
Costume Design Advisor: Jordan Fell
UW Costume Shop Manager: Ricky German
Divisional Dean of the Arts, Professor: Catherine Cole
Director of Student Services & Program Operations: Kelly Canaday
Interim Administrator: Patrick Gibbs
Assistant Professor: Rujeko Dumbutshena
Associate Professor: Rachael Lincoln
Professor: Juliet McMains
Music Director, Lecturer: Paul Moore
Associate Professor: Jennifer Salk
Department of Dance Chair: Christina M. Sunardi  
Professor: Hannah Wiley

Special Thanks to...

Meany Studio Theater Stage Technician Doug Meier 
Tom Burke
Sarah Wilke
 and support from The Jones Endowed Funds for the Arts

About the UW Department of Dance

The Department of Dance at the University of Washington, housed in Meany Hall for the Performing Arts, offers a dance minor and a dance major that culminates in a Bachelor of Arts degree. The department also offers a highly competitive and innovative M.F.A. program.

The department serves over 50 undergraduate dance majors, 90 minors, six graduate students, and over 1,000 non-major students who enroll in dance courses each quarter. 

The Department of Dance is staffed by six full-time faculty in addition to a full-time Music Director and Production Manager. The facilities include three large dance studios, an intimate 238-seat studio theatre, and the 1,200 seat Katharyn Alvord Gerlich Theater in Meany Hall.

The mission of the UW Department of Dance is to educate performers, educators, arts advocates and cultural leaders. With a commitment to respect the individual, the Department of Dance fosters inquiry and engages the community in open-minded exchange.

Send donations to:
UW Department of Dance
Meany Theatre, Box 351150
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-1150