Comparative Arts presents “XIV”

  • A comparative arts student performs an aerial silk routine during "XIV."

  • Two students perform an original musical during "XIV."

  • Xi Ting Betty Li performs "Me and You."

May 29, 2018

On May 11, comparative arts students debuted their end-of-year projects in a showcase titled “XIV.”

Before the performance in Phoenix Theatre, Instructor of Cello Crispin Campbell led the String Improv Studio in a handful of improvised musical selections. During the showcase, each of the 14 students presented an individual, interdisciplinary work on the topic of their choice. Works presented included art installations, EP records, songs, musicals and more.

Across campus, senior Aidan Flynn created an installation celebrating the history and legacy of the Hildegarde Lewis Dance Building. Fellow senior Jade Parker also created an installation, which was hosted in the Phoenix Theatre lobby prior to the performance of “XIV.” Parker’s installation investigated the sexism that often hides behind the internet’s anonymity.

The first project of the showcase was presented by senior Jefferson “Jack” Frost, a multimedia piece titled “Arts Block.” Frost was followed by Juliana Day, whose project “Pipeline” examined the local controversy over the Line 5 oil pipeline in Mackinac.

Jericho Zornes, who also served as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, presented a film titled “Pit in the Woods.” The film continues the story introduced in Zornes’ earlier film, “Giraffe Facts,” and tells the story of a world-weary man who leaves society to live in the woods.

Next on stage was Shaan Chhadva, who created an EP titled “Feelings.” The album, with its hip-hop beats and lo-fi acoustic, is designed to evoke comfort and warmth in the listener and enhance the listener’s ability to study, work or sleep.

Junior Jamie John also directed a film as his final project. His film, “Sugar and Rice,” examines the idea of fatherhood and honors the father figures in his own life. John was followed by senior Simon Steinorth, who presented “The Crowned Rabbit.”

Junior Gabriel Kennis debuted selections from his forthcoming musical, It’s Complicated, which is scheduled to be completed next year. It’s Complicated examines the political process, idealism and corruption through the lens of a fictitious, student-run high school.

Junior Larkin Lucy was inspired by her participation in the Young Feminist Club to create her project, “Feminism: Not a Dirty Word.” Lucy’s video aims to clarify what feminism is and is not by creating a new definition of the concept of feminism.

Naphat Na-Nongkai also presented selections from a musical, an R&B work titled “Borghildr.” The musical seeks to give a voice to young people and advocate for the equality of all people. Na-Nongkai’s musical selections were followed by Marsh Henderson’s piece, “His Rise,” performed by creative writing student Seth Kirby.

Zi Ting Betty Li presented the penultimate project, “Me and You.” The musical clip explores Li’s journey from being deeply hurt by circumstances to embracing joy, hope and love.

Postgraduate student Taia Koker concluded the program with “Challenging Beliefs.” Koker’s project examines the restricting nature of social norms, delving into Koker’s own experiences of being told that she could not fulfill her dreams.

The Comparative Arts Division presented a second performance of “XIV” during Festival 2018.